From Zombie Killer OG to AK-47, cannabis strain names capture the plants’ structural, functional aspects and everything in between. Much like our own names, these strain labels have a specific story behind their origin. Some were passed on from previous generations while others such as the Pre-98 Bubba Kush, denote a place in history. But how many cannabis strains are there? And why did so many of them arise?
The Simple Answer
The response to this question is not as straightforward as many may assume. But, there’s one number that we can rely on. Cannabis experts report that about 779 marijuana strains exist, each of them falling into one of three main parent strains: Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis.
- Cannabis Sativa
If you know any person addicted to marijuana smoking, high chances are that they’re smoking cannabis Sativa. This plant grows very large and can reach a height of 15 feet. Due to its height potential, this marijuana strain is often grown outdoors.
In many cultures, cannabis Sativa is dried and cooked. However, there are those who prefer to smoke it to get high or vaporize it using a weed vaporizer.
- Cannabis Indica
Compared to cannabis Sativa, Indica is a more compact strain. However, it does not grow as high as cannabis Sativa. Indica plants grow up to 3 or 6 feet tall.
You can identify cannabis Indica by its bushy nature or round healthy leaves. Given the short stature of this plant, it’s ideal for growing indoors.
While Sativa strains take their time to flower, Indica plants bloom quickly. The latter is a favorite of many stoners because of its relaxation effect. It’s also regarded as a medical weed because of its ability to combat:
- Headaches and migraines
- Muscle spasms
- Cannabis Ruderalis
It’s quite hard to find the cannabis Ruderalis strain. It has one of the shortest statures growing to just 25 inches. Like the cannabis Indica, this plant has thick foliage and it’s native to the northern regions of the world.
The Complex Answer
Although we can conclusively say that there are 779 cannabis strains out there, the truth is that there may be lots more. New cannabis strains pop up every day. Amateur and professional cannabis growers alike employ different techniques (read Top Hacks for Growing Excellent-Tasting Weed) and marijuana growing tools to experiment with different species.
For instance, if an expert grower develops a new strain, he will give it a new name to make it more marketable. If that strain is successful on the market, then it’s acknowledged as a legit new strain.
There’s also the fact that amateur growers keep experimenting with different cannabis strains. Most of these individuals like to give their creations cool names. While most of these strains may never hit the market, they will continue to exist as unique cannabis strains.
In conclusion, we have two factors that complicate the question of how many cannabis strains are in existence. Firstly, there are new cannabis strains being developed regularly, making it hard to keep tabs on all their varieties.
Secondly, there’s the fact that no one organization has been tasked with standardizing or regulating the creation, naming and registering of new cannabis strains. For these two reasons, we cannot give a definitive answer on just how many cannabis strains exist. Read also What’s the Most Potent Strain of Weed?