Many pot smokers have had to endure buzz-killing bad trips while searching for the weed strains that are just right for them.
Folks sparking up to find some creative inspiration can be left feeling lethargic, for example, while tokers hoping to catch some sleep can actually wind up feeling wired. That’s largely because the limited designations for different types of cannabis, particularly during its prohibition, haven’t actually been steeped in science — until now.
Seattle-based Leafly, the world’s largest cannabis website, launched an exhaustive guide last month “that redefines the way people understand cannabis and find the feelings and effects they want,” the company says. Maria Sharp, Leafly’s marketing manager of education and evangelism, laid out the new resource during an event earlier this week in West Town that marked the seventh stop on a 16-city tour.
“It’s about graduating from an antiquated, inaccurate and unreliable system” of labeling marijuana simply as indica, sativa or a hybrid of both, Sharp said. “For years, we’ve been using those as descriptors of what a final product can make us feel like, with indica being more sedative and sativa being more uplifting.”
“That system just doesn’t work,” she said.
Maria Sharp, Leafly’s marketing manager of education and evangelism Leafly
To devise a more reliable option, Sharp explained that Leafly scientists worked with select laboratories to test strains grown by hundreds of cultivators from across the country. In the process, she said, researchers learned there is really no significant difference between indica and sativa strains after decades of cross-breeding.
Leafly’s new system instead identifies marijuana strains based on their taste, smell and chemical makeup using sleek, snowflake-like graphics.
Cannabinoids, or the chemical compounds that impact how the drug will make you feel, are identified using shapes. The two main cannabinoids are THC, the psychoactive compound that gets pot users high, and CBD, which is used to treat a range of symptoms without creating the same stony effect.
“With cannabis, it’s not just about THC,” Nick Jikomes, Leafly’s principal research scientist, said in a video explaining the new labeling system. “If you go to a bar and order a beer, you’re not going to order a beer just based on alcohol content. You’re going to think about taste, aroma, aftertaste. It’s similar with cannabis.”
The colors of those shapes in the labeling