Is there really a difference in marijuana varieties?

Always glad to find another empiricist. Hume and Mill would be proud.
If a scientist doing official research in a lab wanted to take the taste out as a confounding factor, he could process them into edibles by heating ground bud at 105C for 2.5hours then mix with peanut butter (the fat helps absorption) and ingest that. All the strains would have to be processed at the same time though because heating is such a finicky process that every batch turns out a little different.
But, I repeat, I’m only speculating about how an accredited research institution might go about making sure it is truly a blind test. If you, reader, try this at home, you’ll end up homeless on the streets, giving hand jobs for crack.

This article explains how, from the mouths of agricultural botanists, the indica/sativa difference is just a marketing ploy.

From the same cite:

““people kind of overhype the differences,” he says, referring to getting a different feeling from one shape of plant or another—and insistent that there is a difference in experience—“anecdotally, I can attest that they feel very different,” he says, referring to the actual variations of experiences of smoking the weed. In his world, indica and sativa have left behind their 18th-century scientific meanings and become stand-ins for different types of subjective experiences.”

Bolding mine.

Is the difference overhyped? Yes. Does that mean it’s “just a marketing ploy”? No.

OP presumably cares more about the types of neurological differences than about the kinds of differences botanists would care about. It’s like saying that, from the point of view of people growing them, 2 different apples are the same, that must mean they taste the same.

Fair enough.

Its 90% marketing hype and placebo effect. In most respects, its no different than any other plant product. Different apples from the same tree can have variations in flavor, color, size, and sweetness. I grow and I have intentionally given a variety of friends 3-4 differently labeled containers to try out and they then tell me a “favorite”, and I give them something different lableled as the “favorite”, and they keep asking for more of the “favorite” even though I am randomly giving them whatever I have the most of. Producers know this. you can pretty much claim you have the newest coolest thing ever and there isnt anything to prove otherwise. Artificial flavorants and colorants are already becoming a thing because something that looks or smells different is often perceived differently.

There you go; That shows my ignorance in the whole thing. I meant ‘strain’ instead of blend.

Thanks for the informative replies.

I should have used grapes as an example.

Not that I disagree with either of you you about the marketing hype bullshit surrounding pot. Hopefully, once it’s no longer so novel, we’re still going to get the equivalent of wine snobs (prepare yourselves for fair trade, heirloom pot) but it should generally quiet down.

OP, can I ask what is behind your question beyond looking before you leap? Are you looking to avoid a bad trip? I can understand that, taking something which will modulate your mind can be scary and it’s prudent to do research and ask around, just like you’re doing. I’m going out of my way to give you information because I would have liked someone to do that for me with other substances when I was anxious about taking them.

I wouldn’t put much stock in disease-curing; It can definitely alleviate some of the psychological effects of various diseases; A lot of the unpleasantness people experience is not from the initial sensations themselves but from the aversive reaction they’ve built up for them. That’s not the same as curing a disease although it can give the user that impression because they experience less unpleasantness than they used to or they’re temporarily better able to deal with it. The tooting of pot’s medical properties was, I suggest, mainly a way to get a foot in the door which would eventually lead to legalization. You can see the same thing happening with MDMA right now (although that’s actually much more promising for therapy).

If you have more specific questions, that might help. The most important thing to remember is that whatever you experience, it will wear off after a few hours, it can’t kill you, turn you crazy or make you do anything you don’t want to do. All of the effects are within the theater in your skull.

Too Late!

Landrace Strains

There are huge differences in the taste, small, look and strength of difference strains but I couldn’t tell the difference between an Indica and a Sativa a few minutes after a smoke it. I think. I’ve done side by side tests but so much depends on your mood and the time of day and how you define ‘up’ and ‘down’ and how well you can believe the labels you get that it’s hard to tell anything for sure. Sometimes I’m up and active, sometimes I like to chill out, like real life.

The look and taste are important components of the experience for me, so I look for that in something with decent THC.

Last night we got home pretty late, and I thought I’d have a puff of something new I’d just purchased. Knowing no details of the strain, I took a few hits of Tangie and then went to bed. After thirty minutes of intense thinking, I got out of bed and read about the strain. It is a sativa dominant hybrid.

I took one hit of Afghani (an indica) and fell asleep as my head hit the pillow.

An amusing empirical assessment of the effects of various strains can be done with the trim crew. All the very best smoking weed is still hand trimmed (there are machines but they tend to do a crap job and if you want top dollar you’ll pay for trimmers) and it’s common for the crew to sample each strain as they trim it. Get a sassy sativa heavy strain going and the scissors are flashing, the jokes are flying and the music level goes up. Transition over to an indica heavy strain and load a phat bowl of that and the trimmers slow down, they start obsessing over perfectly trimming each bud, conversation drops to a low murmur and the earphones go in and soon everyone’s in their own little world. It’s pretty hilarious, really, seeing a room full of people so perfectly mirroring the effects of the various strains, one after the other.

Yes.

Anecdotal from a misspent, but unrepentant, youth.

I have not smoked pot in 20 years. Not because I think it is wrong but because for personal reasons I choose not to do so.

That said, I smoked A LOT back in my youth. More than enough to be an expert at the time.

While things have changed I can say with certainty that there is a difference between marijuana varieties. 100 million percent.

It’s kinda like alcohol. Different boozes can have different effects. I had a girlfriend who was fine with beer but give her tequila and holy shit…whole other person.

Pot can work the same way. I do not know why but again…there was a time when I did this a lot and could discern differences.

So to the OP >>> Yes.