Choosing a Cannabis Variety

When it comes to choosing your cannabis at a dispensary, there, at times, seems to be a never ending list of options. All of these various names to categorize many different varieties of, what in the end, is all the same plant. But what really makes these plants different? The look, smell, taste, and effects all can vary greatly based on the underlying makeup of the plant. The cannabinoids and terpenes will help serve as a guide to understanding what may be reacting with your body, and can help lead you back to certain varieties which ultimately work best for you. All of the different strains available today have origins, and thanks to the extensive breeding of cannabis all over the world, we now have a wide range of options when it comes to choosing cannabis.

To start, the names of different cannabis strains can be a lot to take in. Sour Diesel, OG Kush, Trainwreck, Strawberry Banana, Gelato, Dosido, Northern Lights, Wedding Cake. These are all just strange names for most people and often times do not lead to any understanding of what the medicinal effects of consumption might be. However, all of these plants do have a chemical makeup with varying terpenes and cannabinoid percentages and ratios. These are the chemicals which our body is engaging with when we smell, taste, and ultimately feel cannabis. The names are exciting and cool, but are only beneficial for patients if equipped with the understanding of what is really inside the plant. 

Over time cannabis has evolved as breeders have and continue to experiment with cross-breeding different types of cannabis strains. What once started as a local or regional crop has quickly spread into a worldwide business over the past few decades. Many passionate groups and individuals traveled to obtain rare strains from all over the world, bringing them back to their home and combining them with the best of what they could source locally. This created an assortment of different cannabis varieties when it came to the way they looked, grew, smelled, and tasted. Additionally, this has led to a never ending combination of plants with sometimes similar, but oftentimes very different, chemical compositions. All of these varieties are what makes cannabis so unique and specific to each individual.


It is important to think about what is important for you when choosing and using cannabis while considering the outcome you hope to achieve. Everybody can have a relationship with cannabis that is unique for them. Having the ability to walk into a trusted dispensary and look at many strain names is a big step forward for patients. However, the names are just a start, and engaging with the dispensary staff to understand what is inside the plant will help you identify what does and does not work for you. This knowledge can be of great benefit when searching for new and familiar cannabis varieties that work best for the outcome you are looking to achieve with cannabis.