Know Your Buds: How to Identify Strain Types

Unless you are a professional weed grower, you may be unable to identify your smoking strain. This is on the off chance you didn’t get your product from a dispensary. Looking at the best weed strains by AskGrowers, some almost look alike, and others are entirely different. How can normal stoners pick out one variant from a list without being labelled?

Before becoming a weed connoisseur who can tell apart strains, you will have to start with more essential points. The marijuana plant is diverse, so there are several things to consider when taking on an identification project. The main question is, where to start?

The Three Major Weed Distinctions

New and old users may have often come across the three main distinctions of marijuana. These three distinctions determine the characteristics and effects of the various strains. They are; Sativa, Indica, and Hybrids. Before knowing whether a plant is Lemon Kush or other Kush strains, you must understand how the three types play into the mix.

Sativas are a common type that is reported to have significant THC levels. They are primarily found in tropical regions such as Southeast Asia and the equator. They need warm temperatures to thrive. Indicas, on the other hand, are primarily found in colder regions such as Continental Asia. They thrive in low temperatures.

Hybrids are the result of experimental breeding. A hybrid can be the combination of an Indica and a Sativa or two or more Indicas or even two or more Sativas. The goal with hybrids is to achieve a more refined and potent product than either of the parent breeds. These three types are the main ones in the weed market.

How to Differentiate Sativas, Indicas, and Hybrids

Now that you understand the major types, the next task is differentiating them. The identification may be difficult for hybrids, but we can tell whether they lean towards a dominant Sativa strain or a dominant Indica one. The key to differentiating the types is in knowing the significant characteristics. Here are some of the significant differentiators;

Shape and Size of Bud

Sativas grow longer than Indicas. They consist of long plants with thin leaves. Their buds are similarly long and airy. This is the result of the tropical climates. When it comes to Indicas, they are short and well packed. Their buds are also shaped the same.

In differentiating between the two, you only need to remember that Sativa has longer and less packed buds while Indicas have short and densely packed ones. The question of hybrids is as described above. If the buds are less packed and long, then the Sativa strain is more dominant. The vice versa and the Indica variant is even more dominant.

Color of the Flower and Buds

One of the contributing factors in crop growth is temperature. In this case, temperatures play a critical role in the development of color. Since Sativas are prominent in tropical regions, they have an assortment of bright colors. Sativas often have colors such as gold, red, and more.

On the other hand, Indicas have darker colors such as purple, dark grey, and others. This is because they do not receive adequate sunshine to develop brighter colors. Also, it is a growth mechanism to survive the cold temperatures where they grow.

The smell of the Plant

The question of smell in marijuana plants comes down to the terpenes. Due to the composition of Indicas, they have higher levels of myrcene which produce a musky and herbal aroma. Sativas, which commonly contain limonene, find themselves with citrus, fruity, and earthy smells. In determining which is which, it may be helpful to light a bud up or just inhale its scent.

Differentiating Strains

You may then proceed to identify strains with a basic understanding of what differentiates one weed type from the other. This can be a challenging task mainly because you cannot get the full name of a strain from using it the first time. You will get the Plant’s profile regarding terpenes and their general effects on the body.

The first critical step in identifying a strain is to examine its physical characteristics. Is the bud short and well packed? Is it long and loosely packed? Does it contain bright colors or dull ones? This will give you the first distinction of whether it is an Indica or a Sativa.

After the physical characteristics, the next step is to smell the Plant. Through smell, you can identify whether it smells sweet, fruity, or musky. There are also other smells that cannabis can take on. For instance, some strains smell of cheese and others of diesel.

It may be helpful to use the bud to come up with a smell profile. Try and determine what it smells like when burning. Other than the smell, use may also help you identify the bud due to its effect.

Sativas and dominant Sativa hybrids are well known for their immediate cerebral high maintained throughout their use. Indica users report a high that spreads all over the body.


The process of pinpointing that this bud is from this Plant without the name can be tasking. How is anyone expected to identify OG Kush from looking at the bud? Luckily, you do not have to produce the name. You can identify which type it is by looking at its physical characteristics. This may not make you a professional grower, but it will help predict the effect you will get with each bud. When studying your weed, be keen on some of the essential characteristics mentioned above.

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