July 11, 2014

"A memorable name like Purple Haze or Maui Waui can resonate for decades."

"It can also make the difference in today's crowded field of expertly grown pot, where one high is often as good as another."
All marijuana is derived from two parent strains: indica, which is associated with a sleepy body high, and sativa, which is believed to make users more energetic. Hundreds of hybrids now exist, including Orenstein's Super Strawberry.

"If people associate a good experience with a particular strain, they'll talk about it and look for it by name," said Cy Scott, co-founder of Leafly.com, a directory of dispensaries and cannabis reviews."The more clever the name, the more interest."...

"Feels like I'm falling backwards even when I'm sitting still," read a Leafly user review of Charlie Sheen OG.
Imagine selling liquor based not on the flavor but on the particular feeling of intoxication you're supposed to get! It's quite absurd, but people are suggestible. One problem with this name-branding: You can't register a trademark.
The U.S. Trademark and Patent Office briefly allowed people to register cannabis in 2010 before abruptly halting the practice and saying it was a mistake.

More pressing to the industry than trademarking is the lack of laws that require labeling and testing of marijuana in California. That means no one can be certain whether they're actually buying a container of White Widow or Super Silver Haze — or if it's another strain entirely.
We need a specific brand of marijuana that erases your uncertainty about whether you are consuming a specific brand of marijuana... to go along with that sensation that your body is in motion even when you're just sitting around.

30 comments:

tim maguire said...

Pot doesn't come in FDA-approved packaging, but that doesn't mean there is no quality control.

Relationships matter a lot in the drug trade--if you have a regular guy you trust, then you're probably safe paying extra for quality pot. If you're buying form a stranger in an alley, you're not.

Or so I hear.

Mitch H. said...

We tremble on the verge of Norman Spinrad's "No Direction Home".

surfed said...

Panamanian Red, Colombian Gold...how quaint. How 60's.

EDH said...

"I told my weed guy to step it up and he gave me that... It's called 'Mind Rape'. It's actually pretty mellow... he only had three other batches: 'Gorilla Panic', 'They're coming! They're coming!' and something called 'This Is Permanent'. Go on, spark it up... Take pride in that."

Bob Ellison said...

I've been wondering how pot laced with other drugs might play in the Colorado market. Maybe someone will do a guaranteed-unlaced line called "Mr. Clean". Someone else could do ones that are suggested to be laced, with names like "38 Special" and "White Rabbit".

MayBee said...

"Imagine selling liquor based not on the flavor but on the particular feeling of intoxication you're supposed to get! "

Absinthe comes to mind.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

"Imagine selling liquor based not on the flavor but on the particular feeling of intoxication you're supposed to get!"

Beer advertisements differ from vodka advertisements for this reason.

It's "The London Vodka" vs "I Love You Man!"

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Imagine selling liquor based not on the flavor but on the particular feeling of intoxication you're supposed to get!

Pretty easy to do, actually, once you've managed to imagine selling liquor based on the social results you're supposed to get.

holdfast said...

So glad that there are no real problems in this country that need solving.

I am not a proponent of the War On Drugs, and take an attitude of resignation to the legalization efforts, but I have no desire to devote any sort of regulatory resources to making sure that stoners get the exact sort of high they want?

Especially not in a country so benighted that a vinter is permitted to call something "Ice Wine" when then the grapes didn't actually freeze on the vine.

Mike said...

The constant cross-cloning of various strains also leads to something else: You can't expect to find the same strain from one visit to another. They cycle through in just a few days and are replaced by a whole new set of strains with similar but not exactly the same names. Now that the legalization and normalization of marijuana production and distribution is occurring, these proprietors needed to t5ake a lesson from the restaurant industry and learn the value of consistency.

The disguise of "medical use" has provided a sheen of respectability to the distribution centers but the constant chasing after what's new and different gives away their real target market: stoners who want the "latest and greatest." If proprietors are really attempting to serve the medical market (as one profiled by Michelle Malkin a month or so ago was clearly doing) then consistency will become more important to them, as it is the "patients" who are looking for reliable results.

Let's face it, by juggling the concentrations of THC / CBN / CBD the growers can create a variety of effects from sleep-LESS-ness to sleep-EE-ness and there is a world of difference in those two reactions to the pot. We expect pharmacies to supply drugs that do whet they are intended to do and have known side effects. To truly mature into a legitimate business pot shops need to start considering their constituent needs in light of the features and benefits their clients are seeking.

Blue@9 said...

Imagine selling liquor based not on the flavor but on the particular feeling of intoxication you're supposed to get! It's quite absurd

I don't think it's absurd at all. Wine certainly gets me a different kind of drunk than beer, but the differences don't come close to the gap between indica and sativa.

I don't see that the number of strains is any issue, any more than it's a problem because there are too many kinds of beer, wine, and vodka. Generally you walk in, tell the salesperson what you like (sativa, indica, hybrid), and then smell and examine the various strains. The shops I've visited undergo testing and can tell you THC content of every product.

mikee said...

When the active ingredients are sold in pill form with known concentrations the pot sellers will be selling a drug. Right now they are selling a way to get high.

Thankfully huffing paint hasn't caught on in the US like it has in Central America.

mezzrow said...

@Bob Ellison

The very thought of .38 Special covering White Rabbit makes me think I may have been smoking something, you know? Unless of course, they decide to become hipsters...

Naahhh. They're way too old for that by now.

richard mcenroe said...

The biggest challenge in coming up with a pot brand name is finding one so outré it will catch the eye but not so esoteric a stoner will forget how to ask for it.

MrCharlie2 said...

"Imagine selling liquor based not on the flavor but on the particular feeling of intoxication you're supposed to get! It's quite absurd"

One of my favorite beers is "Arrogant Bastard"

allison said...

--It's quite absurd, but people are suggestible.

I don't think it is absurd. I've witnessed someone who is a "mean drunk" on gin but who is fun on rum,
and certainly vodka is different again. That is why people drink different drinks in different moods.

Even if it turns out it is *due to suggestion*, the effects can still be real.

Mark said...

Mike, you can expect the same strain from one visit to another as pretty much all plants are cloned cuttings from a single mother plant. No process is perfect, but I bet they use the same source plant for years.

Outside of breeding facilities whose sole aim is production of new varieties no one lets a male plant grow as a tiny bit of pollen would put seeds in their product in that facility for years.

To breed and use seeds you need a second facility which only does that.

Mike said...

Yes, Mark, but if they are the same clones why the name changes from one week to the next? If you're correct then they are just renaming Strain X as Strain Y this week. That's bad marketing and needlessly confuses customers. But I think your hypothesis is incorrect and they are indeed sourcing slightly different strains with the wild and wooly names.

And MrCharlie2 that is a good beer from Stone Brewing. During the '90s brewing craze my room mate and I came up with a 10% or so ale and, as was fashionable at the time, gave it an outrageous name of Gecko Puke with a cool label showing barley and hops streaming out of a lizard's mouth. It won 1st place at the brewing competition that month. Good times!

PS - Running a hose from the airlock on the fermenting tank into the grow chamber was an early example of CO2 sequestration our own way! And it really greened up and sweetened the product too.

Fernandinande said...

Imagine selling liquor based not on the flavor but on the particular feeling of intoxication you're supposed to get! It's quite absurd, but people are suggestible.

All forms of alcohol have one simple psychoactive ingredient: the nerve toxin alcohol.

Yes, people are suggestible, but marijuana contains many chemicals.

Cannabis contains a large variety of different chemical compounds. With already well over 500 known constituents, cannabis is one of the chemically best studied plants. But because most of these constituents have not yet been properly characterized for biological activity, the cannabis plant could be called a “neglected pharmacological treasure trove”. Many of the cannabis constituents can also be found in other plant species. However, the cannabinoids are unique to the cannabis plant alone."

and

Key Cannabis Components Have Opposite Effects on the Brain"

ALP said...

I think another reason for the explosion of so many strains is the popularity of vaping. Smoking via vaporizer allows one to taste more subtle flavors - thus the various strains can taste very different, while giving one the same high. Cigarettes may be a good analogy: the goal is nicotine into the system, but one can smoke regular, menthol, clove, etc....

Mark said...

Mike, you can expect the same strain from one visit to another as pretty much all plants are cloned cuttings from a single mother plant. No process is perfect, but I bet they use the same source plant for years.

Outside of breeding facilities whose sole aim is production of new varieties no one lets a male plant grow as a tiny bit of pollen would put seeds in their product in that facility for years.

To breed and use seeds you need a second facility which only does that.

The Crack Emcee said...

"The Cuervo Gold
The fine Colombian
Make tonight a wonderful thing

No we can't dance together
No we can't talk at all,…"

Fernandinande said...

MayBee said...
Absinthe comes to mind.

Just another phony drug panic and urban legend.

Mike said...

Mark if your correct, then the proprietors are just stupid to call these strains by different names. Because the truth is I cannot expect to see the same strain week to week. I'm telling you they aren't there. In their place is several new variants Super Silver Yoda instead of Blue Yoda, etc. I understand the science of cloning quite well. But there is true differentiation exhibited in the strains I'm finding in SoCal.

Sigivald said...

Imagine selling liquor based not on the flavor but on the particular feeling of intoxication you're supposed to get! It's quite absurd, but people are suggestible.

Alcohol is alcohol (with non-active impurities), but pot has different proportions and amounts of multiple psychoactive chemicals, so it's not entirely absurd.

(I think a bigger issue would be trying to figure out who "owned" a decades old underground strain name - and which actual physical strains "counted".

I suspect that as few as 0 of 10 things out there calling themselves, e.g. "purple haze" are whatever the original thing was. Or maybe as many as 3/4 of them are some descendent!

Problem is, nobody can even know, really.

Thus, new brand names are much easier to manage.)

FullMoon said...

I like beer it makes me a jolly good fellow
I like beer it helps me unwind
And sometimes it makes me feel mellow
(Makes him feel mellow)

Whiskey's too rough, champagne costs too much
Vodka puts my mouth in gear
This little refrain should help me explain
As a matter of fact I like beer
(He likes beer)

Tom T. Hall - I Like Beer Lyrics

NotquiteunBuckley said...

"Richard mcenroe said...

The biggest challenge in coming up with a pot brand name is finding one so outré it will catch the eye but not so esoteric a stoner will forget how to ask for it."

Those in the game laugh at the knowledge of those outside. Your knowledge is cool and stuff, but they are millionaires or soon to be. Not because you are more moral than they. Sorry. Some veterans weren't angels either. Yet we are here.

I missed my chance, chose manual labor with ladders instead, but oh well.

Either the 10th belongs to the categories we can all consider and interpret, or not. Based on history I consider Althouse a venue for reasoning, of course (as) flawed as not divine, and perhaps sometimes moreso.

Five black robes are actually kinda cool to me. Better than Italy.

What would Scalia had been there?

And "Kurple Fantasy" is one of many, evernew names about.

jr565 said...

Supposedly if you eat mangos before smoking pot you get a better high.
Just some useless trivia for the baked crowd (if they don't know it already).
I'm thinking of going into the mango pot business. I'm calling my pot mango django. and it comes with a free slice of mango. (if anyone steals that idea I'm suing you)

jr565 said...

Allison wrote:
I don't think it is absurd. I've witnessed someone who is a "mean drunk" on gin but who is fun on rum,
and certainly vodka is different again. That is why people drink different drinks in different moods.

There's a great How I Met Your Mother Episode where Marshal and barney get into a huge fight and Robin & lilly try to get them to make up by having them drink different drinks because each one changes their moods. And they hope to get them to be friends again through the right combination of drinks.

My problem drink is rum. Every time I got drunk on rum bad, embarrassing, stuff happened. (Not that I drink much anymore)

Nichevo said...

Do you know what, I bet this is another Althouse trick thing. That's such a stupid thing to say, that she must not mean it. She's trying to troll her audience again.