Marijuana ‘Strain’ Labels Often Mislead Consumers, Study Of Nearly 90,000 Samples Shows
The commonly used marijuana strain labeling system can be highly misleading for consumers, a new study that analyzed the chemical composition of almost 90,000 cannabis samples across six states found. Experts have been critical of how marijuana varieties are being marketed for some years, but the study published in the journal PLOS One last week provides an in-depth look at just how inaccurate cannabis product labeling seems to be. Researchers said that their findings undermine the most common way that marijuana “strains” are categorized: indicas associated with body highs, sativas with energizing effects and hybrids that can lean one way or another. That nomenclature just doesn’t match up to the chemical reality of cannabis varieties, the study suggests. That said, what’s often missing on cannabis labels is an accurate breakdown of terpenes—essential oils derived from plants that some studies indicate play a role not just in the taste and smell of marijuana varieties but also the physical and psychoactive effects. The new study did identify three main classes of terpene combinations that are prominent in certain strains: Those high in caryophyllene and limonene, those with rich concentrations of myrcene and pinene and those with robust terpinolene and myrcene content. But those categories “do not neatly correspond to the indica, sativa and hybrid labeling scheme,” the study authors determined.
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