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Better Nomenclature Needed; Not Phenotype or Genotype, but Chemotype

We need better nomenclature for discussing Cannabis, beyond Indica/Sativa or even NLD/BLD/NLH/BLH. Why?

Because “strain” names are about as informative as band names, and that’s because…

The same genotype could produce wildly different chemical composition depending on growing practices.

There are virtually no pure or true Indica or Sativa cultivars anymore, they are all Hybrids.

Effect-focused Nomenclature
Effect-focused Nomenclature

You never hear about Cannabis ssp Afghanica, the commercial reason we have short bushy plants that finish fast.

And it was all wrong anyway, we never really smoked Sativas, just Narrow Leaf Drug (NLD) and Broad Leaf Drug (BLD) Indica varieties.

Phenotype is a possible classification system, but how do you easily document and communicate “appearance + chemical composition?”

Since all anyone really cares about are the effects, why not base nomenclature on chemotype? That’s the chemical profile of a particular cultivar, or what many call “strain.” 

Smarter people undoubtedly will devise a better system, but maybe it could be something like this, the graphic to the right? “E1:50” might be energizing and clear like CBD, or “A50:1” might be like what people call an “Indica.” “E20:1” might be what people call a “Sativa.” Or an even balance for maximum Entourage Effect of “C1:1.” Or whatever

Then add Total Cannabinoids (%TC) for overall potency, thus allowing better user titration. So “A1:50 20%TC” might be a frosty Colorado 15% CBD hemp high in CBD and the terpene beta-caryophyllene, but not THC. Or “E20:1 30%TC” might be a stony “Sativa.” “A50:1 22%TC” might be a couch-lock “Indica.” Or whatever.

Expressed as “Effect + Ratio + Total Cannabinoids,” this nomenclature also mostly satisfies the differentiation proposed of “Type 1 (THC), Type 2 (1:1 THC:CBD), Type 3 (CBD), Type 4 (CBG), and Type 5 (none).” Although not so much Type 4, in its present configuration. It would be nice for nomenclature to be able to also disclose other Cannabinoid content as they become more available and desired. Typing by Terpene profile might also have its advantages.

Just a thought. Do you see any limitations of it? What do you think about it?

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