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Same Strains for THC and CBD? Explaining the Confusion

strain names

Many were taught that cannabis was classified by strain names, and that those strain names were born from the indica, or sativa, or hybrid genetics used to breed and create the strains. As hemp-CBD legalization swept the nation, CBD flower started popping up on the scene with the same names that THC strains have: Blue Dream, OG Kush, Gelato, etc. This may confuse some in their purchasing decisions because though hemp CBD, the strain name blue dream is attached to THC. Let’s get into why and how this happens.

How Cannabis Strains are Named

Leafly provides this insight for how cannabis strains are named:

“Modern cannabis names primarily began in the 1960s and ’70s when cannabis breeders began transporting feral strains from around the world called ‘landrace strains’, and transplanting them locally. Some of the most popular landrace strains are: Acapulco Gold, Durban Poison, Panama Red, Colombian Gold, and Afghan Kush.”

These landrace strains received their names from the names of the regions they were born and grown in, their geographical origin. Then, these landrace strains were bred together to create more genetics. Blue Dream is a great example for a new genetic. Blue Dream is a combination of Blueberry and Haze. 

These days, there are plenty of strains being named after people, places, and things so- genetics may not always influence the strain name. 

No One Really Knows the Answer But, We Think It’s Terpenes

When doing a search on the why’s, there isn’t an article that pops up to explain the reason that THC and CBD strains have the same name. There is plenty of insight as to their differences, but no insight into this similarity. 

What makes sense is the terpenes. Terpenes can be extracted from cannabis marijuana- no cannabinoids, just terpenes. Terpenes are compounds in cannabis that give strains their distinctive aromas and flavors. Terpenes can be extracted and used to infuse all sorts of things, including cannabinoids. 

Companies like True Terpenes utilize a process that “develops formulations that contain about 40 terpenes at percentages that mimic the chemical signatures of popular cannabis strains.” Vape concentrates are the most popular CBD product that offers strains named after THC strains names. Oils, topicals, and foods are some of the easiest things to infuse terpenes into. 

 CBD Terpene Profiles, Pulled from THC Strains

Photo Credit: Summit Releaf

In an interview with the owner of Fleur Verte Academy and Green Girls, AMH- Marne Madison, she explains that terpenes can be extracted from THC strains; the terpenes, not the cannabinoids:

“Terpenes are extracted most commonly through a propane or butane process. This is a very tedious process that requires safety PPE and a commercial lab facility is recommended. During the extraction process, heat from boiling water to create an environment that causes the cannabis to steam, is used. This step helps promote the condensation needed to return the terpene into a liquid form. Then, viola! You have the aroma and flavor of cannabis right in your hands- TERPENES! “Caution: Do not try this at home…seriously!”

Peacock Labs, states:

“The strains create the profile, we just replicate it. For instance, Cookies, it has a certain terpene profile that is part of what makes it cookies. So, we take the strain we want to replicate and have a couple of different batches lab tested for their terpene profile. This gives us the percentage of each terpene that’s in that profile. 

After we have that information, we then take our isolated terpenes and recreate that exact profile, getting the closest possible replication of the plant. The reason the terpenes are isolated is because that’s the best way to make a stable formulation of any strain’s terpene profile.”

In Closing

Until we have more insight and information, what makes sense is that terpene profiles are being created to make CBD strains, have similar impact to THC strains. With the THC profile of a certain strain, it seems that CBD strains can be replica’s for medicinal value, not so much a high. Did you know that Plain Jane carries similar products to those described above? If you check out our store, youll see CBD flower, with strain names inspired by terpene profiles, of THC strains, like Girl Scout Cookies.

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