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How Marijuana Strains Earn Their Names

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We all know the favourites and the All Stars. Blue DreamSour Diesel, OG Kush and various other monikers in the stratosphere of the cannabis world. Then there are the odd names, Green Crack, Alaskan Thunderfuck, 9 LB Hammer and a list of others that will make you feel high just saying them out loud.

So how do these strains receive epic names fit for a legacy? Jordan Sinclair, Communications Manager for Tweed has the answer. “Lot’s of early marijuana strains get their name based on geography. As breeding started to get more sophisticated, it makes sense that breeders would use geographic origins as a marker.” said Jordan. He went on to cite some geographical examples including Hindu Kush, Afghan Kush, and Northern Lights to name a few.

But the past is history and these days more new strains are coming out all the time as breeders vie to grow the bud of choice in your vape. You can’t name them all after places.

“Now marijuana strains are named by the people who breed them or the people who sell them. The naming convention can come from the lineage of the strain, like Kush and Haze varieties, and some are named for their aroma, like Sour Tangie.” Jordan was also part of the naming of a new strain at Tweed as well. “We named our newest strain Boaty McBoatface. If you haven’t heard the backstory, Boaty was suggested as a part of an online voting contest to name a British research vessel, but after dominating the voting competition for weeks, it was deemed too silly. A great name is a great name, so we figured we’d give it a new home as a marijuana strain.”

Jordan has come across some pretty unique strain names during his time in the industry. “Girl Scout Cookies and Green Crack are two of the weirder ones I’ve heard. Toronto’s former Mayor, the late Rob Ford had a kush strain named after him at the height of his media infamy, that was pretty weird too.”

The big question on the minds of various pharmaceutical executives and others moving forward is, do these names hinder the normalization of this product as it goes further into the mainstream? Jordan believes it depends on the audience. “Recreational smokers probably see the humour or at least won’t take offense to some of the odder names. Doctors and some patients might not see the humour as readily. That’s one of the reasons we have our own naming convention at Tweed. You can always reference our products by the ‘street name.’ We use it as a pharmacist would use the latin name for a drug, but the product names we market are unique to us. Boaty aside, we tend to stick to a few themes to make sure they all work together to reinforce our company’s voice and personality.” Some of those names include Herringbone, Argyle and Birds Eye to name a few.

As the legalization of Mary Jane spreads across the world like a brush-fire, ingenious names will no doubt follow the creation of new strains. So smoke as many as you can while they are here because who knows if anyone will remember “Bubble Trumps OG” for example, which is ironically described as “sour and harsh” when ingested. That sounds about right.

Photo Courtesy of Roxana Gonzalez

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