What is a cultivar?

I often see the term ‘cultivar’ used in discussions about cannabis strains. What does it mean, and how does it differ from other terms like ‘strain’ or ‘variety’?

One answer “What is a cultivar?

  1. A cultivar is a term used in the cannabis industry to refer to a distinct strain of marijuana that has been bred for specific attributes. Unlike other species of plants, cannabis strains can’t just be propagated sexually, so cultivators are forced to use techniques such as selective breeding and grafting to achieve the desired amount of THC, flavor and medicinal benefits.

    The term “cultivar” comes from the words “cultivated variety” and generally refers to plants that have been bred for a specific combination of characteristics. For example, a cultivar may be bred to have higher levels of THC or a particular aroma and flavor; or it may possess medicinal qualities such as pain relief.

    In a sense, cultivars are the “designer” or “specialty” strains of cannabis. They are unique and offer something different than the strain or variety of cannabis they were derived from. This makes it easier for people to find the strain that is perfect for them – whether they are looking for a strain that will make them feel relaxed, focused or energized; or a strain that will offer specific medicinal benefits.

    A strain is a type of cannabis that has been bred for particular attributes such as taste, smell, effects, and potency. Generally, strains are classified by their type of cannabis (Sativa, Indica, or Hybrid). All cultivars are strains, but not all strains are cultivars because a strain may not have been selectively bred for specific characteristics.

    For example, Blue Dream is a cannabis strain that has become popular due to its pleasant aroma and high THC content. It is not a cultivar because it has not been selectively bred with an intentional combination of characteristics that make it distinct from other Blue Dream plants.

    Varieties, on the other hand, refer to a broader category of cannabis strains. Varieties are not typically bred for specific characteristics; they are categorized based on their geographic origin and overall characteristics. For instance, Northern Lights is a variety of cannabis that is known for its relaxing effects and bright aroma. This variety is common in Canada and the US.

    When looking for a specific type of cannabis, it’s important to understand the differences between strains, varieties, and cultivars. Strains are generally broken down into Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid, while varieties are classified by their regional origin. Cultivars are their own special kind of strain – bred for specific properties such as flavor, potency, and medicinal benefits.

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