There’s literally hundreds of various strains of marijuana out available, each with their own unique name—Skywalker OG, Sour Diesel, The Moby Dick—that all claim to be perfect for inducing a specific effect, be it calming stress and anxiety, inducing sleep, or simply sending the user in to a state of euphoria. Across the board, if you use a strain such as Sour Diesel, no matter who grew it or where you got it from, is supposed to have the same effect. After all cannabis is a plant, and a rose is always a rose, right? Well that’s not necessarily the case with cannabis. In fact you are more likely to find that Sour Diesel does not always seem like Sour Diesel, because there are currently too many inconsistencies keeping cannabis strains from developing a true identity.
One of the main issues causing inconsistencies in cannabis comes down to the fact that it is hard to give a consistent label to cannabis, because it can be difficult to map the unique chemical composition of each and every individual variety. And while a lot of people don’t really seem to care what name you give the plant, many still desire that. This is especially beneficial to the medical side because people are far more comfortable purchasing a medicine with a name as opposed to purchasing something simply called “anti-biotics.”
A huge issue that goes along with labelling is the fact that there are still little to no regulations about how to cultivate and cure cannabis plants, which always leads to variations in the final product. And with no set standards of testing completed products, there’s no way of placing an accurate label on a product. In fact, most products that are tested are found to contain a much lower concentration of the chemical compounds (Like THC and CBD) than advertised.
Next you have to take into account the fact that cannabis generally has a different effect depending on how it is consumed. Also, everyone is different, and the way cannabis affects everyone is different. Then there’s the issue of the placebo effect, that is completely disregarded, that basically says people generally believe they’ve had the effects they were supposed to have. If they read that they were supposed to feel at care-free, euphoric and creative, than odds are they are going to feel care-free, euphoric and creative.
Fortunately we might soon see a change in this. California is drafting laws that will require testing to ensure products are labeled properly. Thankfully we’re now in a day and age where we have the research capability to really figure out what’s in a strain and what it will be good for, so people can get the products they really need.