Dear Stoner: Should we be using the word “strain” to describe different types of weed, considering strain could even mean a virus?
Dear Merlin: This argument comes up in weed circles, since the main definition of “strain” essentially describes types of bacteria, fungi or viruses. Going by that, potheads should be using “strain” to talk about different types of mushrooms or current pandemics, and not much else.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Botanists argue that “cultivar” (plant varieties cultivated by selective breeding) is a more accurate term to describe different cannabis varieties (shit, even “variety” is probably more accurate than the continued use of “strain”), but good luck using that argument to flip decades of cannabis culture, which has never cared much about being technical. Indica and sativa designations are largely bullshit when considering a strain’s — excuse me, cultivar’s — effects, but you still see those at dispensaries across the country.
Some things have gone too far to change.
Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.