The short answer is, yes.
Naming marijuana strains originated because people began to notice minute differences between certain types of plants. These differences ranged from height and appearance, all the way to taste and smell. Some plants were a lighter shade of green, others smelled like petrol, and some even tasted fruity. This of course, created a necessity for distinction.
Enter the name game.
In addition to these physical cues, recent discoveries in cannabis have given us even more data on why the strain is important. The most significant of which, is that certain strains are genetically predisposed to create higher levels of cannabinoids e.g., THC, CBD, CBG etc. This means that select strains of marijuana are stronger and more potent than others.
Example: Plant A has a max THC content of 23% (meaning that out of 100% of cannabinoids in the plant, 23% of them is the compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). In comparison, Plant B has a max THC content of only 16.9%.
This is why knowing the strain matters. (So that as a consumer or distributer), you are able to make a knowledgeable and accurate decision regarding your product.
Does this mean that certain strains are always better than others?
No. Marijuana is still a plant, and like all plants, it is subject to the sporadic uncertainties of nature. Just as how certain renowned vineyards may have a bad year and produce inferior wine. So too, may certain strains also have a bad season and not develop as completely. But usually, this is readily apparent upon look and touch. Leaving us two choices for finding out the best out of two that are visually similar -knowing the strain name, or by partaking. If you can’t partake, go for the best strain. Because not all weed is the same.