Cannabis classification and nomenclature are more complicated and essential than you would believe. The conventional category, strains, has been phased away in recent decades. It is being phased out to favor more precise and flexible terms like chemovars and chemotypes.
Though the difference between these phrases may seem insignificant at first look, it is critical for cannabis research and users and regulators. Today’s survey researchers frequently only have access to the THC content of the Cannabis that their participants are taking. They’d be able to deduce far more useful information if they had access to the complete chemical profile, such as which strains of Cannabis are better for particular diseases and how various chemical profiles affect the body.
Cannabis classification: strains, chemo types, and chemovars
Instead of “strains,” chemo types (chemical types) and chemovars (chemical variants) have become more popular as alternatives to “strains” (chemical variations).
These phrases allude to the chemical makeup of cannabis plants, which is one of the most important aspects in determining the high you’ll get or the efficacy of your cannabis therapy.
It is what they imply:
- Strains: Cannabis varieties are identified by their names but are not standardized. For example, Bubba Kush at one dispensary could not be similar to Bubba Kush in another. A product with the same strain designation might differ from batch to batch, even within the same dispensary.
- Chemo types: Cannabis strains are classified according to their most prevalent cannabinoid. Type 1 cannabis, for example, has a high THC content.
- Chemovars: Cannabis strains that are informally classified and categorized based on the presence of at least one or two of the most prevalent cannabinoids and two to four primary terpenes.
The world of wine provides a useful comparison for comprehending the significance of chemo types and chemovars. Let’s pretend you’re a red wine connoisseur. That doesn’t imply that you like all red wines, does it? Most likely not. Perhaps you prefer certain grape kinds, growing locations, or weather. In any case, you probably favor one variety of red wines over another.
Cannabis is similar to marijuana, but there are a few key distinctions. Your eyes are unable to distinguish between different strains of Cannabis. Second, unlike in the wine business, where regulations exist to maintain uniformity and quality of labels like cabernet sauvignon or merlot, there are none for cannabis varieties like Harlequin or Grandaddy Purple.
First, you’ll need to select the chemical composition that suits your desired product, whether it’s for curing symptoms with CBD gummies or just enjoying a delta 8 vape pen at a party. That will need some learning as well as some trial and error.
The word chemovar is often used to classify cannabis plants based on their chemical profile, which is typically determined by examining the primary cannabinoids (the most common being THC, CBD, and CBG) and the two to four most prevalent terpenes (the most common being myrcene, linalool, limonene, pinned, caryophyllene, terpinolene, hemline, and cymene).
What are the different forms of cannabis chemotypes?
The chemotype technique, which was initially proposed in the work of academics like Canadian botanist Ernest Small in the 1970s, was embraced by cannabis scientists in the 1970s.
4 THC dominant, CBD dominant, and a balanced ratio are the three primary forms of Cannabis identified by Small based on their THC: CBD ratio. Small’s study (on organically grown Cannabis) had very low THC and CBD concentrations (about 1%). Yet, the theory still holds today (i.e., 10 percent THC and 30 percent THC plants could be Type I, as long as THC is the major cannabinoid).
Type I is characterized by a high concentration of THC
Recreational consumers choose this chemotype because they believe that more THC equals a greater cannabis experience. However, this might be a beginner error. If we extended similar reasoning to alcoholic drinks, beer and wine would become obsolete, and we’d all be sipping whiskey, tequila, and vodka instead. There’s a lot more to Cannabis than simply THC!
Type II: THC: CBD ratio is balanced.
This form of Cannabis is less common than Type I, but it’s gaining popularity. It contains an approximately equal (1:1) ratio of THC and CBD, so there’s not just one main cannabinoid but two. There’s some evidence that combining THC and CBD may boost THC’s effectiveness (more impact with less substance) while also reducing some of its negative effects. One of the reasons Doctors often prescribe type IIs is because of this.
Type III: CBD-dominant with low THC and CBG concentrations
This chemo type, like Type II, is just recently gaining popularity as people become more aware of the possible benefits of taking both CBD and THC. In comparison to Type I, it is still rather uncommon. Type III is ideal for those with a low tolerance to THC or who are new to the drug and want to test their tolerance. It’s also the best option for medical problems, including depression, epilepsy, and an autism spectrum disorder.
Type VI: CBG predominates
Gilbert Fournier, a French researcher, discovered a novel strain of CBG-dominant cannabis7 in 1987, which some researchers have labeled Type IV. There’s been a lot of buzzes (and demand) around this cannabinoid in recent years. Therefore some cannabis breeders are trying hard to breed Type IV plants with high CBG levels. However, we know very little about this form of Cannabis from a therapeutic standpoint, both in safety and effectiveness. However, as CBG research progresses, this is likely to alter shortly.
Type V: Cannabinoids are not present
Some varieties of Cannabis have no cannabinoids at all, as discovered by the same Frenchman and his research group in 20058. While some may argue that such an atrocity should never have existed, it might be useful in cannabis research and development and industrial applications (growing hemp without dealing with the legal restrictions on THC levels).
When the major issue is the THC: CBD ratio, or for forensic or legal reasons, the chemo type approach to cannabis nomenclature is beneficial for organizing and classifying cannabis products (i.e., differentiating between intoxicating and non-intoxicating varieties).
However, since this method evaluates dominant compound ratios rather than actual concentrations, there may be significant discrepancies across kinds. In Cannabis, this is where the “chemovar method” comes in help.