Study: Marijuana Genetics Often Mislabeled

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

In an evaluation of the taxonomy of marijuana published in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers from three different universities reported strains of cannabis indica and cannabis sativa are often mislabeled due to their relatively insignificant genetic differences.

The investigators looked at the genetic structure of commonly cultivated marijuana and industrial hemp and reported, "We find a moderate correlation between the genetic structure of marijuana strains and their reported C. Sativa and C. Indica ancestry and show that marijuana strain names often do not reflect a meaningful genetic identity." The scientists attribute this to the process of breeding which has resulted in an admixture between the two. The authors, however, said they did notice a difference at a genome-wide level, which demonstrates "the distinction between these populations is not limited to genes underlying THC production."

While many choose to classify their cannabis strains as Indica or Sativa, we at CannaBest believe this classification is insufficient. Not only are these strains commonly mislabeled, but we believe these labels do not provide specific enough information about the strain composition to help patients make informed decisions about their medication. The symptom relief a patient experiences when using medical marijuana is attributed to the cannabinoids and terpenes contained in the plant. As with prescription medications that have very specific chemical makeups, when patients understand the exact composition of their strains, they can discover the compositions that best provide symptom relief. This will also provide consistent results.

For more information on the genetic mislabeling of C. Sativa and C. Indica strains, read this article on the Daily Chronic. You can also find the online publication of the journal here.