A Novel Cannabis Classification System

Brooklyn Cannabis | 21 Dunham Place | DankeSuper

Over the past several months, our cannabis (and shroom) showroom next to the Williamsburg bridge at 21 Dunham Place has proven a reality TV worthy experience. Yet, outside of opening a bag of White Truffle Runtz, nothing quite topped the passionate elation felt upon encountering The Phytochemical Diversity of Commercial Cannabis in the United States.  The underlying paper itself served as a solid, somewhat dense, review of an extraordinary dataset across 86,000 indoor, outdoor, and partial deprivation registered plants across 6 regulated states. As a "ganjapreneur" with a background in data analytics this type of cannabis resource provided by Leafly+ is of tremendous value. It finally provides a platform to explore our field observations of users experience of weed, and determine whether there are data driven explanatory factors behind them. 

As noted above, samples were collected across a diverse set growers, technique (outdoor, partial deprivation, indoor), strain, and geographies across the United States. Principle Component Analysis (PCA) was performed on underlying cannabinoid & terpene data to determine whether there were relationships across plant profiles resulting in below proposed classification scheme: 


Cannabinoid Ratio Terpene Profile Weed


Since our formation, DankeSuper believed terpenes were foundational element to consumer's overall cannabis experience. This cannabinoid & terpene hierarchical system help validates this understanding while offering the beginning of a new framework for classifying cannabis beyond the traditional "Sativa", "Indica", "Hybrid" nomenclature. The easiest way to look at this approach is that there are two "principal components" that typically define a users cannabis experience: Cannabinoid Ratio & Terpene Profile.

In the context of DankeSuper, hemp derived cannabinoids such as Delta-8, THCo, THCp, and full spectrum extract served as primary tool for experimentation for cannabinoid ratio thus far. In the context of terpenes, over the course of product lifecycle we've only made a single adjustment despite interest in exploring a variety of paths. Our original formulation included "Blue Dream" terpenes in addition to full spectrum hemp extract. In retrospect, the result was an overwhelming taste profile (even for those who like cannabis taste) without any clear benefit, but the full spectrum hemp extract has remained consistent with very little deviation in terpene or cannabinoid profile. Our hemp extract's terpene profile  (which has very high CBD to THC ratio) would fall under Cluster II.


Cluster Analysis Commercial Cannabis

When we compared two of our own plants terpene tests to the cluster groups each displayed a distinct alignment with Cluster I & Cluster II. As per the results below, Tite Pussy closely reflects Cluster II's terpene profile while Helly Jelly falls under the Caryophyllene-Limonene category except exhibits higher prevalence of Humulene & Bisabolol as secondary terpenes. 

Helly Jelly Terpene COATite Pussy Certificate of Analysis Terpenes

Note, the nose or aroma profile of each strain is reflective of the terpene characteristics with overlap and variation amongst strains. It's not possible to describe a one to one relationship between cluster groups and traditional sativa, hybrid, indica groupings, but here's an initial generalization. 

Cluster I: Sativa / Sativa Leaning Hybrid 

Cluster II: Indica / Indica Leaning Hybrid 

Cluster III: Sativa / Sativa Leaning Hybrid 

There's no such thing as a true "Hybrid", and we place Cluster III in the sativa leaning category because of terpinolene's uniquely uplifting effects and presence in strongly "sativa" dominant strains.

Additionally, we'd  suggest starting with terpene concentration (generally, 0.5-2.5%) prior to expressing the experience by dominant terpenes. For example, Cookies favorites such as Girl Scout Cookies, Gelato, and Runtz all exhibit terpene concentrations typically above 2% which is at the upper range across all strains. This high concentration of terpenes might help explain the strains high popularity amongst breeders and growers as extremely popular to cross.

Ultimately, we surmise that the cluster groups will extend well beyond three, and the Hierarchy of Weed will adopt additional factors.

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