There are grapes that taste like cotton candy, pumpkin in our coffee and bacon on our donuts. It’s no wonder we can also enjoy many different flavors of cannabis. Even with the 779 known strains, it is hard to imagine that there can be even more flavors than the already hundreds that exist today. For any hankering you might have, there is sure to be a sumptuous flavor of cannabis to indulge your cravings, now and into the future.
Researchers at the University of British Columbia have scanned the genome of cannabis plants to find the genes responsible for giving various strains their lemony, skunky or earthy flavours. “The goal is to develop well-defined and highly-reproducible cannabis varieties. This is similar to the wine industry, which depends on defined varieties such as chardonnay or merlot for high value products,” said Jörg Bohlmann, a professor in the Michael Smith Laboratories and faculty of forestry at UBC. They found about 30 terpene synthase genes that contribute to diverse flavours in cannabis. This number is comparable to similar genes that play a role in grapevine flavor for the wine industry. The study revealed how information on particular cannabis plants can be found in sections of their DNA, relating to everything from potential interactivity to overall skunk factor. According the Judith Booth, one of the ongoing project’s main collaborators, “The limonene compound produces the lemon -like flavor and the myrcene produces the dank, earthy [flavor] characteristic of purple kush.” This breakthrough has expanded the spectrum of prevailing flavors, unleashing the ways of how the plant is adapted for consumer tastes.
You have no doubt heard of or have even tasted the top mouthwatering flavors of cannabis such as Banana Kush, Blueberry, or Girl Scout Cookies. Or maybe you have yet to try certain scrumptious ones like Mint Chocolate Chip, Blueberry Muffin, Honey, Lime or Mango. Through science there will undoubtedly be even more exotic and unique flavors like Vietnamese Coffee, Matcha or Mozzarella Cheese. Imagine indulging in any taste your cravings might demand, with the possibility of more to come that would make Willy Wonka’s candy store melt with shame. Just get started on your bucket list now so that you can taste all that the bud buffet has to offer.
By Kelly Nguyen