Know Your Buds: How To Identify Strain Types
Published: December 21, 2022
Are you a big fan of cannabis and all its related products? Perhaps you smoked an amazing bud but failed to ask your friends about what it was. Now you might find yourself looking for that specific strain to use recreationally.
Luckily, we can help you identify the different strains of cannabis available in the market so that you can find the perfect bud for you. Below, we discuss what to look for and how to differentiate one strain from another.
Observe Its Appearance
The first thing you'll want to look at is the bud of the plant. When it comes to cannabis, your sense of sight can help a lot. How a bud looks can give away plenty of clues to help you figure out what kind it is.
Profiling the Bud
Before anything else, take note of the bud's color, size, and shape. This will help you figure out the first part of the puzzle: to see if you have a sativa, indica, or hybrid type. Once you know what kind of cannabis you have, you can start pinpointing the exact strain you're looking for.
If you notice that your bud is narrow, elongated, and fuller in shape, you may be holding a sativa or a sativa-dominant hybrid. If your buds are dense, tightly packed, and quite heavy, you might have an indica strain or one that's indica-dominant. Unfortunately, it can be hard to find a pure hybrid since cannabis plants will often have many of the traits listed.
Check the Flower Color
To get more clues, look at the plant's color, but only rely on this a little since the details can be limited. A cannabis flowers' colors depend on a few environmental factors.
A cannabis plant grown in warmer climates will tend to produce a bright-green color. However, plants that grow in colder climates will produce buds with darker colors, which will eventually turn into a shade of purple.
Don't forget that genetics will also play a part in creating the color of cannabis buds. For example, some strains will always turn out purple, even if grown in cold environments.
Trust Your Nose
When you don't know the type of cannabis strain that you're faced with, it's always a good idea to give it a whiff. The smell it emits will provide you with another clue about what it is while giving your nose a peek at what's to come. Be sure to take your time and pay attention to its subtle aromas. It also helps to break the bud open and get a better sniff at it.
Note that every cannabis strain will have its own terpene profile — compounds found inside cannabis plants that give them their smell and taste. Each strain will have a few dominant terpenes which are the building blocks of its terpene profile. This means that you'll be able to rely more on their smell than on how they look.
Below are a few of the most common smells you may encounter when determining a strain.
Piney or Earthy: Cannabis that smells earthy will likely be a Kush variety. OZ Kush BX2 is a great place to get started.
Skunky or Cheesy: If your cannabis emits a skunky odor or smells a lot like cheese, chances are you have a Skunk strain.
Citrusy: This is a common smell among cannabis, but some strains will have a more potent smell than others, such as the Lemon Fire MAC.
Diesel or Fuel: Getting a fuel smell or aftertaste is a sign of diesel strains. A sour diesel such as the Sour Tangie strain is a great flavor to explore.
Berry or Sweet: Strains that are sweet are highly popular; both berry and candy strains have taken over the market. A sweet aroma gives these away, and an excellent place to start is with Candy Shop.
Use Your Taste Buds
Because terpenes give cannabis its unique taste, it will also help if you taste them, especially because the way they taste may sometimes differ from how they smell. Even more surprising is that most strains will have a woody, piney, or earthy flavor, with dessert strains serving as the only exception.
This is why sweet strains rapidly became popular — along with how they smell. If you take a puff and notice strong notes of candy, fruit, vanilla, or mint, you likely have a new strain of cannabis in your hands.
Notice the Strain’s Effects
Remember that determining cannabis strains will take a while, much like piecing a puzzle together. You should also pay attention to how the strain affects you. While this won't always give reliable results, it can help when combined with other methods above.
Even if you don’t find the exact strain you’re looking for, you may find others that you can also enjoy. Always keep in mind that with more observation and practice, you’ll be able to develop your knowledge and tell strains apart from one another.