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Thread: Identifying strains

  1. #1
    gocryemokid's Avatar
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    Identifying strains

    Is there any way to identify strains simply by look, smell, taste, etc., other than knowing what it is ?
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  3. #2
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    ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!
    DO NOT ATTEMPT TO IDENTIFY UNKNOWN PLANTS!!!!

    Please mark them as 'mystery' or 'unknown'.
    Otherwise the strains mean NOTHING.

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  5. #4
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    The only way to know a strain is if you ordered the seeds from a seed company and you grow it yourself. Everything else is BS.

  6. #5
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    I wonder what gives the seed company the ultimate unquestionable authority of which strain is which. One can order seeds of the same "strain" from several different seed companies and end up with several completely different plants with completely different charactaristics. I was under the impression that a "strain" was a stabilized variety of plants with very similar charactaristics (potency, growth pattern, type of "high" produced, maturation time). I had been curious about the reasoning behind this(numerous seed companies having the same "strain" but very different products) and did a little research. According to Ed Rosenthal's "Best of Ask Ed" book during the eighties and part of the early nineties many breeders were crossing different varieties and creating their own hybrid strains, but most did not focus on stabilizing their new strains, thus creating a large variance in the charictaristics of the offspring of these "strains". It seems to me that by definition, the large variances in the charactaristics of the plants of the same strain kind of defeat the purpose of a "strain" and thus they only an unstabilized hybrid to me at that point.

    Of the breeders that did work on stabilizing their strains many would start off with similar strains (usually skunk or haze at that time), but through selective breeding for the charactaristics that each breeder preferred(often the preferred charactaristics differed from breeder to breeder) you would end up with very different plants with the same name and the same(or similar) geneology, but were called the same strain. Thus you have one version of a strain from company and a different version of the strain(with very different traits) from a different company, although they are called the same strain. Again, as with earlier, by definition you cannot have plants with very differing characteristics and call them a single strain, although in this case they may have been stabilized, the same "strain" from different breeders is, in fact, not the same strain or different versions of the same strain, but many different strains with the same name(like i said earlier they may have the same or similar geneology, but the preferred charactaristics from breeder to breeder changed, thus changing the genetic traits which were brought forward from generation to generation, thus creating entirely different strains)

    If you plan on breeding and know the name of the strain, make sure you include the original source of the strain you have with the name of the strain so people know which kush, skunk, haze etc your talking about and so the correct breeder gets credit. If you don't know the name of the strain don't name it until you have bred it(through crossing) and stabilized it(through backcrossing normally) to the chractaristics that you prefer, developing your own variety. I also suggest NOT naming it the same as a known strain you think it is similar to(no matter how close) because although the charactaristics might be very similar, the genetics are, more than likely, vastly different, and trying to cross it with the known strain would produce an entirely different hybrid, thus showing you it is not the same strain. Come up with a completely original name, that way there is minimal confusion as to which is which and so that credit(good or bad) is not incorrectly directed toward a breeder/s who had nothing to do with genetic history of your strain.

    For those who may disagree, I welcome your comments. just think about this for a moment, the original breeders of many strains were not able to work with stabilized varieties in the first place, they took feral plants and crossbred them and eventually stabilized them for the charactaristics they preferred thus creating their own strains. The principle behind my argument follows the same basis. You are taking plants with varied traits
    (just like feral plants) and selectively breeding and stabilizing them for the charactaristics you prefer, thus creating YOUR own strain. For those who may say "what about the original mexican, afghani, thai, hawaiian strains that were used as the basis for modern stabilized strains?" They were not strains, they were groupings of feral(although cultivated) plants based primarily on geographical location. The reasoning for the specific groupings were that a broad range of characteristics may have been common or specific to one group and not the others. However, within each grouping there is also a huge variance of traits from plant to plant. Therefore they were not really a strain, they were more or less simply a group of plants of the same species which share geographical location and a few similar traits, but in reality have vastly charactaristics within that grouping.

  7. #6
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    i guess for a more direct answer to the question, the only way to know the correct name for the strain you have is to purchase it from the breeder. but to me the main issue is, does it get you "high" in the manner you prefer? In the end, is the name more important or the quality of the product? A rose by any other name is still a rose.

  8. #7
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    ^ Or its to actually grow it your self.
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  9. #8
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    Famous outdoor-grown imported varieties can be identified, even by a photo, by those who have had them.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breukelen advocaat View Post
    Famous outdoor-grown imported varieties can be identified, even by a photo, by those who have had them.
    No, they can't.
    There are too many variants in phenotype and affects of various climates. Even within a single strain, you can have two completely different looking plants. Even clones from the same mother can look completely different from each other.
    Last edited by psteve; Feb-13-2008 at 20:18.

  11. #10
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    Is it possible to identify a strain by some sort of DNA testing or something along the lines of that? It's not like we could just test anything and say "this is a x x cross" but i don't think it sounds too farfetched to compare two different versions of the same strain and see the results.
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  12. #11
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    eventually maybe, they would have to first create a genetic database from confirmed samples of each strain(they would also have to include which breeder the strain came from as many different breeders will have a strain they all call by the same name and may have come from the same or similar genetic backgrounds, but the differing preferences and methods used in selective breeding by many different breeders will result in plants with different genetic makeup and dominant traits. many times, from one breeder to the next, the same "strain" from one breeder will have completely different charactaristics(growth pattern, potency, maturation rate, etc)than the next, sometimes completely breeding out a genetic trait that another breeder may have preferred and thus bred their "version" of the same strain specifically for that trait.) Even then because of crossbreeding different strains from different parts of the world(which has resulted in the majority of cannabis consumed these days), and the genetic variables within each strain(most are not fully stabilized) with current technology they could only be able to determine that any particular plant is closely related to a particular strain but could 100%for sure identify the strain(again the inability is mainly due to a great number of genetic variables within each strain due to the reasons mentioned above)

  13. #12
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    ^^^beowulf has it figured out.
    When I run strains, I make sure to call them not only by strain name but by breeder name, since different breeders have different ideas of what for example "THE" Skunk#1 is supposed to look/act/taste like, and lines do indeed drift over time. A farmer growing Island Sweet Skunk IBL in New England is going to end up using individuals for his seed patch each year that perform in LOCAL conditions, so a farmer growing the same IBL in anothr part of the country will in just a couple years end up with a strain that IS essentially Island Sweet Skunk but a localized version of it.

    And no, you can't identify bud from pics.

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by beowulfgreen View Post
    Even then because of crossbreeding different strains from different parts of the world(which has resulted in the majority of cannabis consumed these days), and the genetic variables within each strain(most are not fully stabilized) with current technology they could only be able to determine that any particular plant is closely related to a particular strain but could 100%for sure identify the strain(again the inability is mainly due to a great number of genetic variables within each strain due to the reasons mentioned above)
    meant to say the could not 100% for sure identify the strain

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by beowulfgreen View Post
    meant to say the could not 100% for sure identify the strain
    sad, but i doubt that any sort of scientifically proven lineage would be possible to create. it is a plant and since humans have been cross breeding them for so long and relocating the plant, i doubt that we are going to be able to ever 'confirm' that something is a specific strain, save a large genetic database as you mentioned, which I believe there is some sort of one for seeds, right?
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    actually....

    oak leaf or what ever its called is fairly easy to point out, because its leaves are attached in one big leaf.

    at least thats what ive heard.
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  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by marijuanavillebilly View Post
    oak leaf or what ever its called is fairly easy to point out, because its leaves are attached in one big leaf..
    Maple LEaf Indica and Ducksfoot are the ones you are thinking of.

  18. #17
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    Last edited by donsolo; Feb-20-2008 at 01:33. Reason: still learning site

  19. #18
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    i just had some good asss weed i dont know the name but it was golden i think it looked like gold and it had little blue leaves does anyone know the name it was good shit i got high like the whole day i thought it was bomb

  20. #19
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    if i get a strain thats commercial, Ill wait till i am sober, and pull out the 3 big book of buds...they are pretty good for identifying a strain...If its from a conn. grower, the cannabibles work good...you gotta have a good knowledge of strain characteristics before, or you will think that every fruit strain is blueberry...lol

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  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnSstealth View Post
    if i get a strain thats commercial, Ill wait till i am sober, and pull out the 3 big book of buds...they are pretty good for identifying a strain...If its from a conn. grower, the cannabibles work good...you gotta have a good knowledge of strain characteristics before, or you will think that every fruit strain is blueberry...lol

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  22. #21
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    yes it is possible , but you cant always be 100% because alot of strains look exactly the same

  23. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by spazzoid06 View Post
    yes it is possible , but you cant always be 100% because alot of strains look exactly the same
    If you ever need a bridge, look me up.
    There is no way to tell at all.
    Different plants of the same strain can look COMPLETELY different. Even different buds from the SAME PLANT can look completely different.
    Also...
    The pictures in the Big Book of Buds are not meant for strain identification. They are simply the best looking bud of each strain that the photographer could find. In fact, they are NOT generally typical of other buds of any given strain. He picked the prettiest ones, not the typical ones.
    Last edited by psteve; Mar-22-2008 at 12:08.

  24. #23
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    I agree with psteve. There are a few strains with distinct characteristics, that you MAY could tell by comparing it to others. Some of the quality purple strains, maybe a 'White' strain or two, etc. But even then, there are so many breeds on the market today that unless you know (for a fact) where the genetics came from, it could easily be mistaken for a different strain with similar flowering characteristics.
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  25. #24
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    gimme a little more respect than that...lol Not saying a pic will tell ya...but like i said, if one of my conn. growers has some left over seeds grown out that he doesnt know what they are...in the big book o buds, it give a picture (yes thats all i use), taste description, growing patterns, high... i can tell you if a bud is more sativa, indica, and sometimes what one of the parents are if its distinct....i never said it was the tell all, but it helps, and is a fun way to wake and bake if your not sure what your smoking...IMHO of course


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    Last edited by SnSstealth; Mar-22-2008 at 12:52.
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  26. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnSstealth View Post
    gimme a little more respect than that...lol
    No disrespect, bro! In fact, I've got some mad respect for you and your LED trials.

    I love those books, they make me drool every time I open one up... I've just never been able to take a strain of unknown origin, and point to one of the buds in those books and go "Yup, that's the one." I wish I could just stumble across some of those strains, but alas, I generally have to pay out the ass for those types of seeds...

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