- By Jorrit
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9. Inconsistencies among Cannabis strains
Over the years, even though illegal, the cannabis cultivating market has grown into one of the major commercial plant markets world-wide. During these years, cannabis breeding has led to a large number of strains with distinct and polar opposite smells, flavours, and effects. The recent re-legalisation of Cannabis for both medicinal and personal use, particularly in the US and Canada, has brought up an interesting topic of exploration in the Cannabis market: the lack of regulation in Cannabis strains nomenclature. For example, in the USA Cannabis is not regulated or included by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). A consumer’s only source of knowledge on a strain, and therefore the expectation of the product is based on trust with the retailer, whom must in turn trust their supplier. Recent genetic studies have shown that there is some form of genetic consistency within a batch of the same strain, however the lack in regulation also results in completely different strains (genetically different) to be sold under the same name! However, genetic classification is not sufficient as different strain’s phenotypes are dictated by the interactions between its genes and the environment, meaning two genetically identical seeds, can result in two very different phenotypes if presented to different growth conditions. In the future, we can expect regulation of strain names to be handled via a combination of genetic and chemical analysis. The following newsletter goes more in depth on the shortcomings of Cannabis nomenclature and regulation, as well as novel research and suggestions on how to treat Cannabis Industry’s Achille’s Heel.