Cannabis acceptance is growing in the U.S., meaning it’s getting easier for users to get their hands on marijuana. But it’s not getting any easier to keep their dealers honest about the specific strain of weed they’re buying — most people still just have to trust that their plug knows what they’re selling.
But now, a team of researchers has conducted what it’s heralding as the first thorough genetic and chemical analysis of cannabis — and it could ensure the weed you buy is actually the weed you think you’re buying.
Depending on who you ask, the number of marijuana strains might range from a few hundred up to more than two thousand.
And because the chemical composition of each strain is slightly different, so is its effect — meaning a person hoping marijuana will help them battle insomnia isn’t going to want to purchase a strain likely to boost their energy.
In a paper published on Wednesday in the journal Plant Physiology, a team from Washington State University describes how it developed a method for analyzing different marijuana strains on a genetic level.
They believe government regulators could use this new analysis tool to ensure cannabis consumers get what they pay for.
“One of the things that needs to happen in the emerging market is that you know what you’re selling,” researcher Mark Lange said in a press release, later adding that “currently you can do whatever you want.”
READ MORE: WSU researchers tease out genetic differences between cannabis strains [Washington State University]
More on cannabis: Seven Ways Cannabis Legalization Will Make the Future Better