What is Hybrid Cannabis?
“Hybrid” cannabis strains are strains like Blue Dream, Jilly Bean, Dutch Treat, and Banana Kush. They are a mix (a hybrid) of the other two main classes of cannabis — “Indica” and “Sativa”. Hybrids often provide a more balanced combination of Indica and Sativa’s effects. The names “hybrid”, “India”, and “Sativa” are part of the folk taxonomy of cannabis, and they predate modern chemical quantification of the plant. The terms are often not the whole picture, but continue to be useful both to breeders, growers and consumers of marijuana
Why are some hybrids labeled “sativa-dominant” or “indica-dominant?
Hybrids can be either indica or sativa-dominant, meaning they will express the characteristics of the dominant parent with less characteristics of the secondary variety. For example, an indica-dominant hybrid like Cookies will most likely affect the body and offer more sedating effects. A sativa-dominant-hybrid like Super Lemon Haze will lean toward energetic sativa effects.
Other times, a hybrid can be a “true” hybrid, meaning that it is an even mix of both varieties. Blue Dream is considered a true hybrid, balancing the natural sedation of the parent Blueberry with the sativa energy of Haze.
Who are hybrids right for?
Everyone’s personal chemistry is different and discovering the cannabis effects you like is often a matter of trial and error. That said, hybrids are great for beginners, who might not know how cannabis makes them feel, or know how they want cannabis to make them feel. Hybrids can also be great for medical cannabis patients who are going to be using the product regularly and need “balanced” effects they can tolerate all day long.
What are the most common types of hybrids to shop for?
Kush strains are perhaps the most common hybrid variety available today. The legendary Indica-dominant hybrid OG Kush strain originated out of Southern California in the mid-1990s. While the genetics of this hybrid are heavily debated, its popularity is undeniable. Various growers have used cuttings from the OG plant to grow popular phenotypes of their own—spawning an OG craze among growers and tokers alike. Older “legendary” hybrids like Diesel and Skunks are living proof of the value of experimenting and crossbreeding plants and are now used as a building block in some of the most popular hybrids being developed and grown today. While newer hybrids like Blue Dream, Cookies, and GG4 have become some of the most versatile strains available today—appealing to indica and sativa-lovers alike.
Cookies is thought to be a hybrid of the sativa Durban with the Indica-dominant hybrids Grand Daddy Purple and a type of OG Kush called Triangle Kush.
What medical effects do the most common hybrids have?
It really depends. Patients report using Blue Dream for daytime anxiety control. Indica-dominant hybrid Cookies can help manage body pain, patients report. Sativa-dominant hybrid Super Lemon Haze is sought after by some to lift mood and manage depression. Each hybrid strain has slightly a different chemo-type and thus, slightly different effects, depending on a person’s chemistry.
The Origin of Hybrid
Hybrids come from breeding (“hybridization”) Indica and Sativa plants together. For centuries American farmers have sought to increase the quality of their crops by hybridizing them with different varieties from around the world. Similarly, modern cannabis breeding as we know it began on the west coast of the United States and Canada in the mid-’60s – and it hasn’t stopped. Farmers mixed mould-resistant equatorial sativas with fast-flowering, subtropical indicas for a more viable commercial crop.
Cannabis comes in male and female sexes and is an annual crop that reproduces through pollination and creating seeds. Most wild hybrids are unstable mixes of both parents. Subsequent generations may yield wildly varying mixes of the parents’ genes — just like people.
To “stabilize” a new hybrid, a breeder must selectively inbreed generations of the same hybrid (called “back-crossing”), until each future generation of hybrid expresses its genes in a generally consistent way.
How do I learn more about hybrids?
Hybrids are all about experimentation. While growers are experimenting with breeding new crosses, consumers are experimenting with different hybrids to really find out what each hit delivers.
New hybrids are coming out seemingly every week in the world, and it’s impossible to keep up with all of them.
You can go to strain information sites like johnweedfarm.com, which index popular strains and allow users to post reviews of their effects. For a more underground, in-depth analysis of a particular hybrid strain, we like Seedfinder.eu, where the information is often provided by the breeder themselves.
There are also reference books filled with popular and classic hybrids. They include Ed Rosenthal’s Big Book of Buds, “Green” by Dan Michaels, and the Cannabis Sativa or Cannabis Indica volumes from Green Candy Press.Shop Now at JOHN WEED DISPENSARY