Step inside a marijuana dispensary in any legal state and there is a plethora of strains, all of them genetically designed with varying ratios of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) to give the user a unique buzz that caters to his or her specific needs. This has been one of the hottest selling points of the cannabis industry. There are strains for people who want to maintain a more functional, creative high, and others for those looking to veg-out and relax at the end of the grueling day.
But a new study shows the different strains do different things concept may be a bit misleading. No matter what the weed is called, researchers have determined that all variations contain relatively the same amount of THC and CBD.
“A high abundance compound in a plant, such as THC or CBD, isn’t necessarily responsible for the unique medicinal effects of certain strains,” lead study author and chemistry professor Elizabeth Mudge of the University of British Columbia (UBC) Okanagan, said in a statement for Science Magazine.
But how could this be?
The researchers looked at 33 strains from five different cannabis producers and found that the THC and CBD content of all 33 were basically indistinguishable. They even compared Indica and Sativa strains, which are known to produce two different experiences, and found they were also mostly similar.
So the idea that one strain with a high amount of CBD providing more medical benefits than another strain is a lie, according to these researchers.
This doesn’t mean that all cannabis strains are necessarily the same. There are over 100 cannabinoids besides THC and CBD in the cannabis plant, so it’s possible some of the less advertised cannabinoids are actually doing more of the work and contributing to the differences between weed strains.
But this does indicate that perhaps more research should be conducted to figure out what is actually producing the benefits in cannabis.