Dear Stoner: Why do some strains have numbers next to them? I’ve seen Bruce Banner and Bruce Banner #4, or whatever, and that’s not the only one.
Dear Intrigued: Cannabis breeders will take their favorite strain genetics and combine them to breed new strains, which I’m sure you already know. Those new strains don’t always turn out the same, however, even when the breeder is using the same genetics. That’s where the numbers — and in some cases, completely new names — come in.
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Strains such as Bruce Banner, Gorilla Glue and Northern Lights all have varieties with different numbers, because those phenotypes have different effects, smells, tastes, colors and so on, even when grown in the same environment. The numbered phenotypes occasionally share a couple of similar qualities like smell or taste, but other characteristics, such as indica or sativa effects, can vary widely. There’s a common misconception that growing a strain in a different environment or stressing it out is what creates a new phenotype, but in reality, variations in factors such as humidity and lighting can make two of the same phenotypes seem completely different.
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