Cannabis is one of the fastest-growing industries in the country, as it has already been legalized for recreational use in 11 states and for medicinal use in 22 states. With marijuana becoming normalized, it is common for many people who were once hesitant about the substance to begin viewing it as a way to heal illnesses or just as a new hobby.
It can be pretty intimidating to step into the world of weed, but doing so is actually quite simple. There are three different categories of cannabis: sativa, indica, and hybrid weed online.
What Is a Hybrid?
A hybrid strain of marijuana is a type of weed created by fusing the other two types of weed: sativa and indica. This means the effects will be more balanced throughout the body, making it a good choice for a variety of users. Some of the most famous hybrid strains include Blue Dream, Girl Scout Cookies, and Gorilla Glue #4. As the demand for cannabis grows, so does experimentation with new strains. Most of the strains on the commercial market today are hybrids – plants bred from numerous different strains of cannabis to produce certain effects or features. This is a basic primer on what hybrids are, and some of the reasons they have become so popular.
Cannabis, like other plants, either exists as a pure breed, or as a hybrid mix of strains. As the industry has commercialised, both pure strains and existing hybrids are continually mixed and remixed. These new plants are known as hybrids.
Hybrids are a man-made attempt at customising plants with specific kinds of characteristics usually found in ruderalis, sativa, and indica strains. Successful hybrids inherit the best qualities from their parents.
Kinds of Hybrid Strains
Generally, there are four types of strains:
- Sativa x sativa: Two different sativa varieties are bred together.
- Indica x indica: Two different indica varieties are bred together.
- Sativa x indica: A strain described this way is a hybrid with sativa-dominant characteristics. However, it has traits of both varieties of cannabis. It could be a tall plant with purple buds, for example.
- Indica x sativa: This variety will have characteristics of both, but is indica-dominant.
In addition, autoflowering hybrids are cultivars which have been mixed somewhere down the line with ruderalis genetics.
Breeding New Cannabis Strains
Breeding any plant involves the same basic process. Cannabis is no different. A female plant must be pollinated with male pollen. This happens naturally. However, in hybrid creation, breeders engage in selective breeding in a controlled environment. In other words, they pick the female plant and male pollen to produce a specific trait or set of them.
Seeds germinated by this process will be first generation hybrids of the male and female parents. Those with the desired traits will be bred again. Once these traits have been produced, breeders will “cube” the strain. In other words, they will breed a child hybrid with a parent strain to reinforce the characteristics. It is usually repeated across three or more generations to stabilise the characteristics.
Cannabis can also be propagated “sexually” or “asexually”. The sexual reproductive process involves combining different parents. However, vegetative methods also include cloning, cuttage, and even division of roots. Asexual reproduction allows the exact same plant to be produced again and again.
What Does Hybrid Weed Feel Like Compared to Sativas and Indicas?
If you’re wondering what hybrid weed feels like, the effects of a hybrid strain depend completely on the two plants it is based on. Sativas are generally known for their uplifting and energetic effects, while indicas are felt more in the body and tend to be more sedative. A perfectly balanced hybrid will give you a mixture of both: uplifting your mood, while still relaxing your body.
Not all hybrids are perfectly balanced though, as some are known to favor one strain over the other. These are known as sativa-dominant and indica-dominant.
Sativa-Dominant Hybrid and Indica-Dominant Hybrid
A sativa-dominant hybrid is a strain that has more effects from sativa than those of indica. This means you’ll feel the uplifting and euphoric feelings of a sativa, while still get enough of a body high to ensure you are not overwhelmed. It follows that indica-dominant strains have more indica effects than those of sativa. These are for people who need more sedating effects but still want to experience some euphoria while medicating. For a hybrid strain to be considered a “true” hybrid, it will need to have a 50/50 balance of indica and sativa effects, but this type of strain is usually difficult to come across.
Who Are Hybrids For?
Hybrids are great for people who want a balanced high. They are not as cerebral and psychedelic as a sativa can be, nor will they put you to sleep like an indica. This is a great place to start if you’re new to marijuana, but keep in mind that all bodies are different and will thereby react differently to various strains. So, the best way to find out what works for you is to go out and experiment. New hybrids are constantly being made by marijuana growers and testers, so there will never be a shortage of options to pick from!
The Difference Between Hybrid and Balanced Cannabis
- Most known for: Somatic effects
- Often chosen for: Quiet occasions, pre-sleep consumption, low impact activities at home
- Looks like: short, stocky plants with broad leaves
- Origin: India (although emerging research has suggested it may have actually originated in Afghanistan)
- Most Known for: Cerebral effects
- Often chosen for: Physical activity, social gatherings and more active occasions
- Looks like: Tall, lanky plants with skinny leaves
- Origin: Regions close to the equator (Colombia, Mexico, Thailand)
- 1:2 – This balanced product contains slightly more amounts of THC than CBD.
- 1:1 – This is a true 1:1 balance with equal parts of THC and CBD.
- 2:1 – This balanced product contains slightly more amounts of CBD than THC.