0:00:00.0 April Pride, host: All modern cannabis genetics derive from landrace strains. Think of these as ancestral strains. These are strains that come from throughout the world, Jamaica, India, Africa, Mexico, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central America.
0:00:19.3 April Pride, host: I’m April Pride, your host on The High Guide podcast. This is the show for women who have an open and curious mind, and this is a show all about women changing their lives thanks to altered states of consciousness. At the top of this show, you heard from me, audio from a previous episode about strains which is what we’re gonna get into today in the context of shroom strains. Or am I correct in using this weed word for the fungi? Listen on to find out. Up next is our word of the week, and stay tuned to the almost in for our trip tips.
0:00:45.7 April Pride, host: And now for the word of the week, strain. In microbiology a strain is a subpopulation of species that differs in some way from other subpopulations of the same species. These differences can include distinct physical, chemical, or psychoactive properties. This difference could be due to genetic or environmental factors and can result in variations and characteristics such as growth rate, antibiotic resistance, or biochemical properties. These differences can also result in different effects when consumed. Let’s explore the word strain in the context of cannabis which boasts over 700 strains and most of these strains are from hybrid variations of a limited number of original landrace strains that were documented throughout the world. Listen on as I nerd out on strains in an earlier episode.
0:01:32.6 April Pride, host: If you’re a wine lover, you know about terroir, a French term used to describe the complete natural environment in which a particular wine is produced. And just like wine and food, terroir is also critical to weed. The elements, soil, light, climate all influence its original genetics. Nature, nurture, right? Variations in growing conditions can produce two very different cultivars or cultivated varieties of a single strain. So the blue dream from one grow may look, smell, and make you feel different than a blue dream from another grow with different terroir like state to state.
0:02:12.5 April Pride, host: So cannabis plant genetics. There are thousands of cannabis strains available and new ones bred on a regular. Some quick history about strains. All modern cannabis genetics derived from landrace strains, think of these as ancestral strains. These are strains that come from throughout the world, Jamaica, India, Africa, Mexico, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central America.
0:02:35.8 April Pride, host: Landrace strains with low THC and higher in CBD were more therapeutic and less intoxicating. And this was the genetic profile of the cannabis used in Chinese medicine and by pharmacists in the US who used cannabis in 150 prescription formulations and compounds before prohibition was enacted in the early 20th century. The strains you can buy today all derived from landrace strains and we call them heirloom strains. What makes them different? The original genetics of landrace strains have been modified through crossbreeding to make the plants adapt to modern cultivation needs, for instance, shorter growth cycles and more resistant to bugs and disease. They were also bred with a singular intention of getting people higher, a lot higher. In the 20th century, nearly all of the CBD was brought out while simultaneously levels of THC, the stuff that gets you high, increased wildly, like from 6% to 26% percent-ish.
0:03:33.0 April Pride, host: You might be familiar with terms like sativa, indica or hybrid. All heirloom strains are technically hybrids, indica and sativa describe two distinct types of cannabis plants, specifically plant structures that evolved because of where they were grown and how they adapted to conditions within that natural environment. Generally speaking, sativa strains grew naturally in areas that were closer to the equator and adapted to thrive in this hot climate with little water. Indica strains historically grew in more temperate, mountainous areas, and these plants adapted to survive the colder winters of their natural habitat.
0:04:14.5 April Pride, host: Yes, the different types of psilocybin mushrooms are commonly referred to as strains. Each strain typically has its own characteristics such as appearance, potency, and effects, and also the different types of psilocybin mushrooms can be referred to as varieties. In the context of mycology, the study of fungi, the term variety is often used to describe different subtypes or variations within a given species. For example, psilocybe cubensis is a species of psychedelic mushrooms. But within that species there are different varieties such as golden teacher in Ecuador which you’ll learn about this season in which have different physical and chemical characteristics. So while strain is a more commonly used term in the recreational or therapeutic use of psilocybin mushrooms, variety is also a valid way to refer to different types of these mushrooms from a mycological perspective. So then why in the context of psilocybin mushrooms is, so I’ve been told, the term strain only used by quote cannabis people, and does that matter?
0:05:09.6 April Pride, host: Going back to the word of the week definition, in microbiology, a strain is a subpopulation of a species that differs in some way from other subpopulations of the same species. Check. These differences can include distinct physical, chemical or psychoactive properties. Check. The difference could be due to genetic or environmental factors and can result in variations in characteristics such as growth rate, antibiotic resistance, or biochemical properties. Check. These differences can also result in different effects when consumed. Check. So if strains are often used to describe different subtypes of the same species such as psilocybin psilocybe cubensis, then why in the field of mycology is there an ongoing debate about the appropriate use of the term strain versus other terms like variety or morpho type to describe different subpopulations of fungi. The terminology can vary depending on the specific species or context, making the language somewhat loose and inconsistent. So it’s always important to understand the precise meaning intended by the person using the term. Even Darwin struggled with hair splitting. He said, quote, “I was much struck how entirely vague and arbitrary the distinction between species and varieties.”
0:06:16.3 April Pride, host: Choosing the right magic mushroom strain shouldn’t be overwhelming, but as access opens up, no doubt, you’ll be curious about the names on menus. So please use this series as your reference. Use these episodes to guide your high. Intended to be snack sized, each episode is dedicated to one. I mean, I mean, how can I not call it a shroom strain? [chuckle] It rolls off the tongue and by definition as we’ve covered. So we’ll do a deep dive covering the following information or a single type of psilocybin mushroom, the species and origin, their appearance, the intention that a lot of people use a specific variety or shroom strain for potency, effects, duration.
0:06:54.0 April Pride, host: And of course, we end each episode with trip tips. If you’re picking up what we’re putting down, send us a DM and let us know how the strain worked for you. Or if you think the strain we’re describing is perfect for a friend or relative, screenshot the episode and shoot it over to them in a text or save it for the next time you’re in the mood for magic.
0:07:14.9 April Pride, host: Thank you for listening to this episode of The High Guide. I’m your host, April Pride. Please check out our website, thehigh.guide for our shroom strain reviews and guide to psilocybin. Tune in next Friday for another episode of The High Guide, A show all about women changing their lives thanks to altered states of consciousness.