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The Marijuana Name Game

marijuana name game

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

-William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act 2-Scene 2 (The famous balcony Scene)

As Juliet so poetically stated, what truly is in a name?  What lies under the surface is infinitely more important and while name games can be fun for some, they may not be for serious medical marijuana patients.

The safety of the medical marijuana industry needs to be an important concern.  When someone is seeking relief from MS symptoms or other ailments, what are they to make of strain names such as “purple urkle” or “green crack”.  The famous “Northern Lights” alone has many different variations and dispensaries are not always clear about which one they are selling or including in their hybrid strains.  Another large problem is that many hybrid strains can be considered an Indica or a Sativa.  While to some this is unimportant, there is a clear cut difference between the two.  If one is seeking to alleviate insomnia but instead is given a strain that increases cerebral activity and paranoia, their experience may be less than enjoyable.

The need for a consistent industry is clear.  Many of these concerns can be neutralized with lab testing.  Imagine going to buy Tylenol and not knowing if it will be the same formula as the last time you purchased it for a headache.  FDA regulations and the multi phased clinical trial model help to greatly increase consistency.  Being close or pretty sure of a strains genetic makeup simply is not good enough.  A brother and sister could have over 99% of the same genetics, but are they the same?  Will they react to stimuli in identical fashion?  Additionally, many medical marijuana users are concerned specifically with the chemical makeup of a particular strain.  Cannabidiol (CBD) is a major component of marijuana and has been known to deliver more treatment and relief for medical issues.  While a high level of THC is important for some, patients have other concerns and need to rely on lab testing in order to ensure that their medication is addressing their situation.

Much of this responsibility will have to fall on the collectives/caregivers for now.  In order to serve their patients properly there needs to be a demand for medications to be tested on-site or in laboratories.  In addition to a complete chemical breakdown, labs can also test for mold, insecticides, and other harmful hazards that can potentially be a part of the cultivation process.  Juliet was correct in identifying that there is not much in a name, but ultimately we need to prove her wrong.

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