Updated on March 18, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Cultivar is a botanical term meant to define plants that are grown to have well-defined traits. In other words, cultivar is another word for variety. Despite the term ‘strain’ not officially falling under the classification of plant biology, it is conventionally used in scientific literature as well as in popular culture.
Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus, hailed as the father of modern taxonomy, described all variations of cannabis to exist as one species. He stated in his seminal research publication, “Species Plantarum,” that the varieties of the cannabis plant species belonged to the Indian soil.
Although the classification of cultivar is debatable, it can be generally categorized as common tomato types, which include Big Boy tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and heirloom tomatoes, to name a few. The fact that some crop cultivars are seedless, for instance, seedless grapes and watermelons, makes it a bit clearer that they do not come about naturally. Specifically, manifold techniques are used in creating a new cultivar, such as mass selection, synthetic variety development, top crossing, and recurrent selection.
What are cannabis strains? They are either pure or hybrid varieties of the plant genus cannabis, which includes the species C. sativa, C. indica, and C. ruderalis. To learn more, check out Marijuana Doctors directory of cannabis strains so you can identify which meets your health requirements best.