Sourcing Genetics


In this course, we examine one of the most complex — and most contested — topics in cannabis today: the identification and classification of individual cannabis cultivars, which are commonly called “strains.” Whether you are a budtender helping patients and customers select specific products, or a cannabis entrepreneur sourcing genetics to grow, process or sell, this course is for you.

Course Overview

In this course, we gain a better understanding of what a cannabis cultivar is, and what it isn’t. We explain why the term “cultivar” is more accurate than “strain” in the context of describing cannabis varieties and break down the myth of the dichotomy between “indica” and “sativa.”

Then we learn more about what drives the differences in effects among cultivars and examine the lack of standardization in cannabis cultivar labeling. We wrap up the course with strategies for helping cultivators select cultivars that achieve their desired business goals.

First, we define the term “cultivar” and discuss why it is a more appropriate, and scientifically accurate, way to describe cannabis than “strain.” Along the way, we learn about the history of the cannabis genome and some other important concepts in cannabis genetics, including the ways in which cultivation practices influence the expression of cultivars. Then, we break down one of the most pervasive myths about cannabis cultivars; the division between “indica” and “sativa.”

We discuss the lack of standardization in cultivar labeling across the cannabis industry and the challenges that it poses for budtenders and cannabis entrepreneurs. We take a brief look at labeling for cannabis extract products like dabs and vape cartridges, and examine whether the label information provided can tell you anything meaningful about the cultivar.

We conclude with practical advice on how to make good cultivar recommendations, educate your customers, and help them achieve their desired therapeutic effect.


  • Strained – What is a Cannabis Cultivar
  • The Hazy Kaleidoscope of Cannabis Genetics
  • The Sativa-Indica Fallacy
  • Cultivar Labeling Standards – What’s in the Jar
  • Properly Recommended Cannabis Cultivars


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