OG Kush. Skywalker. Pineapple Express. Sour Diesel. Sour Jack.
These are the "strains" that medical marijuana consumers are sold, often at premium prices, with the promise that they'll do something special for you.
But a foremost cannabis expert, Jeffrey Raber, who holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from USC, says it's all b.s. Those names don't mean anything, and a forthcoming study he's working on will prove it, Raber tells us. In fact ...
... he even disputes the commonly held notion that the two polar types of weed, indica and sativa, produce opposing effects -- specifically that indica is more of a depressant and sativa is more of an upper.
To be sure, many of the aforementioned strains pack the punch promised by their purveyors.
But beyond that, especially when it comes to projections of stimulation or relaxation, head trips versus body highs, and strain-specific cures and treatments, it's a crap shoot, Raber says.
There's no scientific basis for the claims being made by pot shops about the effects of their weed, Raber argues. In fact, he says his study is showing that what's being sold as OG Kush in one shop could be something completely different in another.
"Most people don't even know," he says. "We took a popular name, Jack Herer, and found that most didn't even look like each other. OG whatever, Kush whatever, and the marketing that goes along with it -- it's not really medically designed."
Raber's company, The Werk Shop, provides testing for medical marijuana dispensaries so they can sell pesticide-free weed that's been verified.
The strain study he's working on is analyzing more than 1,000 brands of cannabis sold at pot shops, Raber says. The science involved is called metabolomics and will look at metabolites, cannabinoids, turpenes and 42 other aspects of each sample, he says.
The pot expert plans to see the study published by spring. He hopes in the end the research will establish new guidelines for naming strains so that they're consistent from dispensary to dispensary and, more importantly, so that they actually mean something to the consumer.
December 3, 2013
By Dennis Romero
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Marijuana Strains Like OG Kush Are Meaningless Says Forthcoming Study