[Canniseur: There are so many strains these days that it’s getting silly. Sometimes it seems that sativa morphs into indica with the same strain name or … … well, do you really know what you’re getting? The proliferation of cannabis strains has spun out of control and needs to stop or at least catch its collective breath. Here’s a story that shows how dissimilar strains can have terpene profiles that are almost identical but have very different effects.]
Cannabis strains are made up of cannabinoids (like THC and CBD) as well as terpenes, which are aromatic compounds that give each flower its unique aroma. We’re constantly learning more about these terpenes and how they impact the overall experience of consuming cannabis.
When choosing a strain, we often think of sativas and indicas as being polar opposites in effect, but if you look closely at their chemical composition—again, cannabinoids and terpenes—you’ll notice that many indica- and sativa-dominant strains are unexpectedly similar, chemically speaking. Let’s get into some of these unanticipated similar pairs.
Original Post: Leafly: Cannabis Strains That Are Unexpectedly Similar
[Canniseur: Not all strains are created equal. Not all strains with the same name are actually what they’re purported to be. Here’s one example of a strain that’s become a commonly mislabeled product.]
Let’s talk about Sour Diesel, the legendary strain that every cannabis enthusiast worldwide has tried at least once.
Sour D is commonly described as a sativa-dominant hybrid strain whose origins date back as far as the 1990s. An old school strain, the original breeder of Sour Diesel is unknown (though much of the cannabis community credits AJ— short for “Asshole Joe”—for its creation). Its genetics are also unknown, but it’s widely believed that Sour Diesel is influenced by Chemdog 91 and Super Skunk.
Most consumers associate Sour Diesel with gas aromas and an uplifting, energetic high. But have you ever noticed inconsistencies in its aroma, flavor, and effects? Like a bored Bill Murray, Sour Diesel’s qualities can be all over the place. Why?
Because not all growers are growing the same Sour Diesel. Aggregated lab data shows that strains labeled “Sour Diesel” aren’t always the same, chemically speaking.
This could be due to:
- Blatant dishonesty. There are no legal regulations around naming and labeling strains.
- Lack of awareness. The growers think they have Sour Diesel, but have another strain with a different profile that they are calling “Sour Diesel.”
With its murky origins and genetics, there’s no easy way to authenticate which version is the “real” Sour Diesel. All we know for sure is that are multiple “Sour Diesel” chemotypes found in lab data sourced on the West Coast.
Using aggregated data, Leafly’s lab partners observed three distinct chemotypes associated with the label “Sour Diesel.” Interestingly, almost all tested samples fell into one of these three illustrated terpene buckets. Click to enlarge. (Elysse Feigenblatt/Leafly)
A chemotype refers to the chemical expression of a cannabis plant. Included in a plant’s chemotype are cannabinoids like THCA, THC, CBDA, and CBD. The other part of a plant’s chemotype is the terpene profile, which refers to the aromatic compounds that produce a plant’s fragrance and flavors and potentially influence its effects. With multiple Sour Diesel chemotypes and their varying terpene profiles, you may find that not every “Sour Diesel” affects you the same way.
We will refer to these different chemotypes as “Sour Diesel A,” “Sour Diesel B,” and “Sour Diesel C.”
Sour Diesel A: Limonene-Dominant
Click to enlarge. (Elysse Feigenblatt/Leafly)
The first chemical expression consistently found in lab data—what we’ll call “Sour Diesel A”—is limonene-dominant, followed closely by an abundance of caryophyllene and myrcene. Though these are the three most prominent terpenes, this chemotype is also influenced by linalool and pinene.
It’s important to remember the effects of cannabis are a combination of these terpenes acting as one, not just a car full of terpenes with limonene in the driver seat.
Sour Diesel B: Terpinolene-Dominant
Click to enlarge. (Elysse Feigenblatt/Leafly)
“Sour Diesel B” is terpinolene-dominant, with secondary and tertiary terpenes of myrcene and pinene. Like Sour Diesel A, Sour Diesel B is a cornucopia of different terpenes including caryophyllene, humulene, linalool, and ocimene. With a terpene profile that looks nothing like Sour Diesel A’s, you might expect to find a different set of effects and aromas entirely.
Sour Diesel C: Myrcene-Dominant
Click to enlarge. (Elysse Feigenblatt/Leafly)
“Sour Diesel C” has a terpene profile that’s highly focused on myrcene production, followed by a touch of pinene. In smaller amounts, you’ll find caryophyllene, humulene, linalool, and the rare ocimene.
The biggest takeaway from this debacle is that strain names are not as real as the chemical data behind them. Seeing “Sour Diesel” written on a label isn’t a surefire indicator of the effects or flavors to come, beyond the influence of the placebo effect. But knowing which arrangement of cannabinoids and terpenes meet your needs can help you find the chemotype that hits the sweet spot.
This all highlights a larger issue in cannabis, which is genetic authentication. With so many new named hybrids sprouting every day, chemical data plays an increasingly important role in figuring out what any given strain has in store for you. While some strains exhibit more chemical consistency than others, Sour Diesel is a prime example of how lab-verified data can help identify problematic inconsistencies attached to popular strain names.
Original Post: Leafly: Are You Smoking the ‘Real’ Sour Diesel?
[Editor’s Note: Terpene data is growing and has significance in how we relate to cannabis. The more we find out about terpenes, the more we need to discover. In this case these are terpenes that make cannabis strains smell lemony.]
In this series, Leafly explores what makes each family of strains unique based on their terpene profiles. A strain “family” refers to a line of hybrids branching from one genetic matriarch that expresses unique and desirable characteristics that breeders seek to build upon. This introductory primer will help you learn a little more about cannabis breeding and strain variability.
What came first: lemon or limonene? Lemon-named cannabis strains tend to have a citrus aroma and flavor, so it’s natural to assume that most, or even all strains in the “Lemon” family contain high levels of the terpene limonene, a compound commonly associated with citrus aromas and stress relief.
It’s the taste of citrus reminds you of bright summer days. It’s the color yellow that you associate with #feelgood vibes. If you’re looking for an uplifting, limonene-fueled high, it makes sense to assume that Lemon strains will provide you with this coveted and cheery terpene.
But are all lemon-scented strains high in limonene? To find out, we looked at verified lab data from trusted Confidence Analytics. Turns out, not all Lemon strains reflect a limonene-dominant terpene profile.
Click to enlarge image. (Elysse Feigenblatt/Leafly)
In the figure above, you’ll find the terpene profiles of four Lemon strains compared: Lemon G, Lemon Meringue (two different chemical expressions, or “phenotypes,” of the strain), and Super Lemon Haze. The points extend toward the terpenes that are most abundant in each strain. A closer look at these terpene profiles will show that none of these strains are, on average, limonene-dominant.
Although these are just four examples, it demonstrates that Lemon strains can express notably different terpene profiles—and therefore, potentially different experiences. So if the experience of these strains aren’t all driven by limonene dominance, which other terpenes influence them? Let’s find out.
Lemon G is a G13 hybrid that is said to deliver upbeat, euphoric, and giggly effects. Though its average terpene profile appears limonene-dominant, it actually has a tad bit more caryophyllene in it. Caryophyllene is known for having potential stress-relieving effects, and combined with limonene, it’s easy to see why so many consumers look to Lemon G for improved moods.
Lemon Meringue #1
Lemon Meringue #1 is the first phenotype of Lemon Meringue, a sweet, zestful cross of Lemon Skunk and Cookies and Cream. On average, this phenotype is myrcene-dominant with terpenes caryophyllene and limonene trailing behind. So if you try Lemon Meringue #1 expecting an uplifting, limonene-driven experience, know that you could potentially experience heavier, more sedative effects.
After all, Lemon Meringue #1’s terpene profile looks a whole lot like those of the potent powerhouse “Cookies” strains, which are known to be knock-outs.
Lemon Meringue #2
The second phenotype of Lemon Meringue is, on average, terpinolene-dominant with very little hints of limonene at all. While Lemon Meringue #1 expresses terpenes similar to “Cookies” hybrids, this phenotype looks more like Dutch Treat and Snowcap—strains famous for their bright and uplifting euphoria.
This provides a perfect illustration of why names alone aren’t enough to prove what compounds compose a strain. Without verified lab testing to show which terpenes guide the Lemon Meringue experience waiting for you in your stash jar, you’ll have no clue which compounds are about to slow-dance with your endocannabinoid system.
Super Lemon Haze
Super Lemon Haze is one of my favorite strains to wake-and-bake with, thanks to its pleasantly uplifting effects. But surprisingly, this strain doesn’t produce limonene in abundance. Like Lemon Meringue #2, Super Lemon Haze is terpinolene-dominant with caryophyllene and myrcene following in tow.
So all in all, what does this tell us in reference to Lemon-named strains, their terpenes, and the experience we should expect from them? It tells us that unless a producer provides testing data, you’ll have to rely on guesswork and expectations to determine what sort of experience a strain will provide.
What’s really in a cannabis strain? The conversation around this question is getting louder and louder, and it’d benefit each and every cannabis consumer to open their ears, mind, and lungs to it. Your body, your favorite terpenes, your desired experience… It’s all tied together, and it matters.
Original Post: Leafly: Which Terpenes Are Found in ‘Lemon’ Strains?
[Canniseur Note: Great interview of women who get it done, and can help you to achieve your dreams in the cannabis world.]
Editor’s note: interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Cannabis is growing faster than ever, and if Black people don’t grow with it, we’ll be left behind in this industry. But the thing is, very few of us have the resources to get started, and even if we did, we may not know where to start due to lack of experience. Thankfully, resources are cropping up to both boost us and provide us guidance. EstroHaze is one of them.
(Courtesy of Estrohaze)
Founded in 2017 by Kali Wilder (CEO), Sirita Wright (CFO), and Safon Floyd (CPO), EstroHaze is a media outlet and community hub for minorities and multicultural women who have interest in the business and lifestyle of the cannabis industry. Floyd told me, “It’s a place to learn everything cannabis: how to get in and start your own cannabis business, how to use cannabis to enhance your lifestyle, how boomers can maximize and capitalize on cannabis, how you can invest in cannabis—it’s everything how-to.” EstroHaze is one of the bridges for minorities to get involved in the “Green Rush.”
Starting as coworkers at Black Enterprise, a black-owned multimedia company with magazines on every coffee table of every Black household, Wright, Wilder, and Floyd soon realized that they had a lot more in common than their profession. They also shared a lifestyle. Floyd stated that their connection was as simple as, “Do you smoke?” (the battle cry of every friendly stoner worldwide). “We started to come together over cannabis, because that’s what it does. It breeds connectivity and community.” This connection birthed the EstroHaze podcast.
As the podcast grew, the EstroHaze founders began to identify a bigger purpose than Black Enterprise: creating a place in cannabis for people who look like them. “We, as cannabis enthusiasts, noticed that a lot of media outlets weren’t talking about girls who look like us, or had the culture that we had, or vibe how we vibe. It’s like no, we exist. If the 3 of us exist in this one place, we’re all over the place. So let’s do something for these girls that you don’t necessarily associate with a stoner image.”
(Courtesy of Estrohaze)
At the end of 2016, they planned to transition from Black Enterprise to full-time cannabis entrepreneurship by the end of Q1 in 2017. EstroHaze founders found themselves applying for Canopy Colorado, a cannabis business accelerator that helps people start ancillary cannabis businesses (businesses that don’t touch the plant: i.e. media companies, marketing agencies, etc.). This took EstroHaze from a single podcast to a full-fledged media outlet, which allowed them to use the expertise they already had.
At Black Enterprise, Kali was the Human Research Editor and she became the EstroHaze’s CEO; Sirita was the Social Media Editor and she became EstroHaze’s CFO; and Safon was the Digital Editor and she became EstroHaze’s CPO.
Now, after time as a media community, EstroHaze is finding an even greater calling in professional mentorship through networking events, workshops, and online mentorship. Of this transition Floyd said, “we could have more value in this space. Instead of being a site that focuses on people already in this industry, we’re teaching people how to get into—and succeed—in cannabis.”
The first of their events will be the Entrepreneurship and Licensure: A Cannabiz Guide panel at SXSW, Austin’s annual interactive media festival that will feature a full cannabis track for the first time ever. The panel will expose the nitty-gritty, enlighten, and engage those who are eagerly looking to join this booming, billion-dollar industry. Their goal is to not only provide insight, but also answer questions that breed action. The goal of this panel is not to just inspire, “you can get inspired on YouTube. We want people leaving with actual action items.”
(Courtesy of Estrohaze)
People looking to succeed in the cannabis game should check them out. For more information, visit EstroHaze.com, where they are offering free initial consultations for people who need guidance into and around the cannabis industry.
In addition to their website, you can also visit the EstroHaze Patreon page for more detailed and deeper action items. There is help out there for minorities and multicultural people in the cannabis industry, we just have to find, highlight, and support it. EstroHaze is a great place to start.
Original Post: Leafly: How EstroHaze went from Black Enterprise to Black Cannabis
[Editor’s Note: I want some! The only problem is obtaining a few grams. If I really want it, I’ll have to go to Washington and find out who sells this specific grower. That’s only one of the problems with cannabis in the U.S. today. Nothing travels legally between the states, unless it’s black market.]
What’s the best cannabis strain for fueling creativity, focus, and motivation? A common recommendation is the lively and inspiring Cinex, whose spirited effects breathe life back into your mood while putting stress and worries to rest.
All the things I was stressing about prior to smoking Cinex quickly become afterthoughts.
A genetic cross of Cinderella 99 and Vortex, Cinex produces a sweet, fragrant citrus aroma while the flavor tends to be a bit earthy with skunky notes.
There’s very little information on the origins of Cinex. Even TGA Genetics’ Subcool—the original breeder of its parent strain, Vortex—couldn’t add to our investigation. Despite its mystique, Cinex is prolific and easy to spot all along the West Coast.
Cinex oil produced by Trail Blazin’ in Washington (Leafly)
We all know that any strain’s effects are subjective, but here’s what one top Leafly reviewer had to say about Cinex:
“Easily one of my favorite strains, great for artists (music, painting, etc..). I’m not sure how it would be hanging out with friends or going to a party, but it works very well for concentrating, working, and just getting those creative juices flowing.” —Patfins
In my experience, Cinex provides an extreme mood boost. All the things I was stressing about prior to my session quickly become afterthoughts, and the tension in my shoulders evaporates. Overall, Cinex delivers an uplifting and clear-headed experience that most cannabis consumers would love.
The Main Ingredients of Cinex
Below, you’ll find the typical terpene profile of Cinex, determined by data collected from various growers testing with Confidence Analytics. (For those unfamiliar with terpenes, these refer to the aromatic oils that contribute to the different aromas and effects found in cannabis.)
Confidence Analytics found that Cinex’s main terpenes are limonene, caryophyllene, and pinene with myrcene following close behind. But what do these terpenes tell us about Cinex? Let’s break them down for some clues:
The overall experience of any given strain isn’t as simple as terpene + terpene = effect, but knowing the dominant terpenes of any given strain is an informed start to choosing the right experience for you. For example, if you know you like high-THC strains with limonene, caryophyllene, and pinene—like Cinex—then you may also enjoy Lemon G, whose chemical profile is similar.
Is Your Strain Actually Cinex?
Now we know what Cinex generally looks like in terms of its chemical profile (also called its “chemotype”), which helps us understand which strain “ingredients” lead to those creative, stress-relieving, pain-crushing qualities we look for in Cinex.
Find producers who can verify that their Cinex has the chemical profile you’re looking for—that is, a high-THC variety with limonene, caryophyllene, and pinene leading the charge.
But how do you know the Cinex in your stash is the real deal rather than an improperly labeled imposter? (That’s right—producers and retailers could get away with calling a strain whatever they want regardless of its chemotype.)
Answer: Find producers who can verify that their Cinex has the chemical profile you’re looking for—that is, a high-THC variety with limonene, caryophyllene, and pinene leading the charge in terpenes.
For that to be possible, you’d have to buy your Cinex from producers who get every batch they grow tested by reputable testing labs. The inconvenient truth is that producers are not legally required to get their cannabis batches terpene-tested, so most spare themselves the expense.
Then there are cultivators like Trail Blazin’ in Washington who go the extra mile to get every batch of cannabis terpene-tested by a trusted lab. Here’s what their Cinex looks like on average, according to Confidence Analytics’ results on several different batches of the strain:
As you can see, their Cinex is a close reflection of the verified chemotype determined by the broader pool of Cinex samples. In other words, it’s limonene-dominant with the heavy influence of caryophyllene and pinene, with myrcene in tow.
Lab data, provided by a trusted source, is key to a predictable experience—and knowing this can revolutionize the way you shop for that perfect strain or product. Blind faith in a strain name doesn’t always lead to a bad purchasing decision, but it’s nice to imagine a reality in which science can prove our assumptions right—and in turn prevent improperly named strains that will deliver an experience you didn’t anticipate.
Cultivators who prioritize batch-specific terpene testing value predictability and consistency. They care about providing you with the experience promised by a strain name. So if you’re a Cinex lover and you’re dead-set on those beautiful mood-boosting effects, you’re better off in the hands of a grower eager to provide the ingredients in their Cinex recipe.
Original Post: Leafly: The Strain Ingredients: Inside the Bright & Uplifting Cinex Strain