When it comes to marijuana, there are many terms and classifications to know. Most people have heard of indica and sativa, but you may not understand the differences between them. This can make it even more challenging to understand what a hybrid strain is. To learn more about hybrids, you must also gain an understanding of indica and sativa.
What Is a Marijuana Hybrid?
A marijuana hybrid is any strain that combines indica and sativa strains. Hybrids are usually classified as indica dominant, sativa dominant, or balanced. Indica dominants have more indica than sativa, while sativa dominants have more sativa than indica. Balanced hybrids are usually around 50 percent indica and 50 percent sativa.
Marijuana hybrids will combine all of the features of indica and sativa, from appearance to CBD and THC ratios to hardiness.
A Refresher on Indica and Sativa
Since the characteristics of hybrid marijuana depend primarily on its proportion of indica to sativa, you need to have a solid understanding of these two strain categories to understand hybrids better.
Indica strains have historically grown in dry, turbulent, and harsh climates, such as those of the Hindu Kush Mountains. They are native to India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Turkey.
These strains are usually stocky and short, featuring wide, broad, and chunky leaves and bushy greenery. They tend to grow more quickly than sativa and produce more buds.
Sativa strains of cannabis typically grow in dry and hot climates where the days are long and sunny. These strains are commonly native to Central America, Africa, Western Asia, and Southeast Asia.
Sativa tends to grow thin and tall, sometimes over 12 feet. Sativa will also usually take longer to mature than other strains.
Hybrids may also share some genetics with the cannabis ruderalis plant, which is yet another variety. Ruderalis is less commonly known because the plants do not have the potency people want from marijuana. However, breeders incorporate ruderalis genetics as a way to take advantage of some of its features, such as hardiness and quick flowering.
Ruderalis evolved to do well in extremely harsh environments, including the Himalayas in Siberia, Russia, and India, as well as Eastern Europe. The quick growth cycle of ruderalis plants allows them to do well even in these areas with cold climates and low levels of light. This results in the trait of “auto-flowering,” which refers to the ability of the plant to flower regardless of the light cycle.
Ruderalis plants are usually small and bushy, with very rapid growth. They can be ready to harvest in just over a month.
Effects Depend on Terpenes and Specific Strains
Some people believe that indica strains tend to be more relaxing while sativa strains are more energizing. This idea is widely held as fact. Despite that, research shows that there are plenty of exceptions to this rule of thumb, and you can easily find an energizing indica or a relaxing sativa.
Instead, the effects of a given type depend on the strain itself and its unique blend of terpenes. As such, you should not assume that a sativa-dominant will automatically be energizing or that an indica-dominant hybrid will be more relaxing. Pay attention to the description for your chosen strain.
Common Marijuana Hybrids
With your new understanding of marijuana hybrids, take the time to familiarize yourself with some of the more common hybrids you may come across. Hybrids are incredibly popular due to their ability to combine the best traits of various strains. The following are some of the more popular hybrids that you may come across.
Resin Seeds, a Spanish seed bank, bred Cannatonic seeds, and this strain is known for its high levels of CBD and low levels of THC, 6-17 percent and 6 percent, respectively. This strain was created from a female MK Ultra and a male G13 Haze. You will notice a sweet and citrusy flavor and earthy aroma.
The high CBD concentration in Cannatonic delivers a relaxing and uplifting high. This strain is also particularly popular among medical marijuana patients for that high CBD content.
Gorilla Glue is among the better-known hybrid strains, and its name comes from the effects of this strain, including a feeling of being glued to the couch. The buds are thick and resinous with a sour and earthy scent. The hybrid strain is the result of breeding Sour Dubb, Chem’s Sister, and Chocolate Diesel.
Easily the most famous and popular hybrid strain, Northern Lights is an indica-dominant hybrid and is known for resinous buds. It flowers quickly and can withstand harsh environmental conditions. Breeders created it from indigenous Afghani strains and Thai landrace strains. Some rumors indicate it originated in Seattle, but it has been produced in Holland since 1985.
The aroma of Northern Lights is sweet and spicy, and the buds can be purple. Most people who consume Northern Lights will feel their muscles relax as their mind enters a dreamy buzz. This ability to provide comfort and relaxation makes it also popular for medical marijuana users. People even choose Northern Lights because it allows for mellow happiness.
Sour Berry is a balanced hybrid that comes from breeding Sour Diesel and OG Kush. It has dense and round buds featuring sticky trichomes. You can tell this strain’s parentage via both its flavor and aroma. Sour Berry’s taste can be pine-filled, like fuel, or sour lemon, with the possibility of some combination of these flavors.
Many people consider this to be a “one-hit-quit” hybrid strain. Expect to feel a cerebral high that then transitions into a body high that is incredibly calming.
Hybrids combine the traits of sativa and indica strains, sometimes with some of the genetics from ruderalis strains as well. Each hybrid will produce its unique effects, depending on its terpene profile and genetics, so read the description of the hybrid strain before choosing to purchase it.