So how many different cannabis strains are there?

Strain names are one of the many interesting things about cannabis culture. And if you’re at all familiar with strain names you know they can be pretty colorful, creative, funny, and weird. You also know there are tons of them. So how many different cannabis strains are there? Turns out the answer to that question isn’t as simple as you might think. And it all has to do with the fact that cannabis growers—amateur and professional alike—are constantly experimenting with new strains.

The Simple Answer

Here's How Many Different Cannabis Strains There Are

With that said, there is one fairly reliable number we can turn to. According to cannabis experts, there are at least 779 known cannabis strains in the world.

The different cannabis strains included on this list are pretty well known and well-established ones. These are strains that have been around long enough to be recognizable. And most of them are strains you could probably find at a dispensary somewhere in the world.

Of course, this number also includes tons of obscure, harder to find different cannabis strains as well. But one way or another, these 779 known different cannabis strains have achieved some sort of stability and recognition on the global marijuana scene.

The Complicated Answer

Here's How Many Different Cannabis Strains There Are

While it’s nice to have a solid number to fall back on, the reality is much more complicated. And that’s mostly because new strains are popping in and out of existence all the time.

A professional grower might come up with a new strain, and to make it more marketable, they’ll immediately give it a new name. If that strain happens to take off, then it’ll become recognized as a legit new strain. But if it fails on the market, it might just disappear.

There’s also a huge culture among amateur growers of experimenting with new strains. And when a home grower creates something cool, they name it. These homegrown strains might never make it onto any sort of market, but they still exist as a unique cannabis strain.

So, there a couple things complicating the question of how many strains there are. The first one is that there are just so many strains being created all the time.

But beyond that, there’s also the fact that there isn’t any sort of standardized protocol for creating, naming, or registering a new strain. And because of that, there’s simply no way of knowing how many strains there are.

Different Cannabis Strains Are Created All The Time

Here's How Many Different Cannabis Strains There Are

Breeding new strains is actually a big piece of cannabis culture. And it’s a really interesting process. When a grower wants to create a new strain, they cross a male cannabis plant of one strain with a female cannabis plant of another strain. And the end result is a new plant with a genetic makeup that includes stuff from both parent plants.

Depending on what a grower breeds together, the end result might be an Indica, a Sativa, or some sort of hybrid. It’s all about what a grower uses as the parents.

Growers usually try to target certain characteristics. If they want a strain that will produce a certain type of high, they’ll combine two strains that each give users particular effects. Or if they want a plant that’s really good for medicinal uses, they might cross together two strains that each have proven health benefits.

Basically, breeders are trying to bring out certain cannabinoid combinations. Cannabinoids are the chemicals in cannabis that react with your body. They’re what actually produce the highs and medicinal effects that cannabis gives you.

The Final Hit

Here's How Many Different Cannabis Strains There Are

Thanks to generations of genius growers and breeders, pot smokers today have access to tons of different cannabis strains. At least 779 to be precise. And each one has a unique combination of flavors, tastes, effects, and characteristics.

But in reality, that number is definitely much higher. That’s because one of the most longstanding traditions of cannabis culture is experimenting with new strains.

Thanks to this tradition, there are new strains being produced all the time. And although that makes it pretty much impossible to ever get an accurate count of how many strains exist, it also means that there’s no shortage of new strains for you to try.