Jonathan Page, a University of B.C. botanist who co-wrote a study published in the online journal PLOS One, says that, “the genetics of cannabis are muddled at this point and we need to spend some time doing research to figure that out,” adding, “There’s a lot of confusion and a lot of chaos in the system now.”
The study found that the strains and potency of cannabis weren’t always accurate with test results.
“Cannabis breeders and growers often indicate the percentage of sativa or indica in a cannabis strain, but they are not very accurate,” Page explained.
Cannabis dispensaries and compassion clubs often offer a variety of strains known for their specific medicinal properties. Indica-type plants are often used to relieve pain, while sativa strains are known to be more cerebral.
“And yet we don’t really have a good idea about what the genetic bases for those differences are and how those differences relate to the properties of marijuana,” says Page. “We’re still trying to figure out the scientific truth behind that.”