The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy of Cannabis Strains

Used to be, once a year, every year, they'd show us a short film in junior high math classes. Which was the only day of math I ever enjoyed, because The Powers of Ten, directed by design legends Ray and Charles Eames in 1977, was and remains the most brilliant illustration of magnitude I've ever seen.

Just a couple enjoying a picnic in a Chicago park . . ..Still from Ray and Charles Eames' The Powers of Ten

Year after year, each time they plowed that honkin' old gray projector cart in and out of class, after viewing The Powers of Ten, I distinctly remember wondering, like, why math couldn't be that totally awesome and mindblowing everyday.

And that—my wistful math-challenged pre-adolescent yearning—that is exactly what came to mind, watching Phylos Bioscience's The Galaxy.

In short, "The Phylos Galaxy is a 3D visualization of the cannabis world. It uses DNA sequence data to map the relationships between cannabis varieties."

In 2015, after two years of collaboration between The Cannabis Evolution Project and Rob Desalle, curator and phylogeneticist at the American Museum of Natural History, the Galaxy launched the sequences of thousands of ancient and modern cannabis strains, rendering each and every one as an individual 'star.'

To give some idea the magnitude, imagine your handy-dandy Leafly brochure, render its 1800 known strains in 3D, and then start multiplying by the power of 10. Because, having only begun this past year, Phylos adds hundreds of new cannabis samples to the big picture every month—a world of cannabis that's literally and figuratively growing at the speed of light.

Best of all, beyond this interactive demonstration, Portland's Phylos Bioscience will soon offer cannatype testing, so that anyone will be able to submit the results of their strain sequence to the Galaxy.

Basically, it'll be the 23andMe for you and your weed—far out, indeed.