Hybrid marijuana strains are the foundation for today's cannabis market. In fact, a majority of marijuana strains are hybrids derived from pure, landrace strains over years of breeding. Today, these hybrid strains provide medical and recreational users with the right type of relief.
Our guide on hybrid marijuana strains covers:
- The difference between indica vs. sativa vs. hybrid strains
- The origins of hybrids
- Hybrid mental and physical effects
- Growing hybrid strains
- Hybrid medical effects
- Popular hybrid strains
Ready to find out which hybrid strains are right for you?
What Is Hybrid Weed?
A hybrid marijuana strain refers to a variety of cannabis plant that has been bred to have certain characteristics from its two parent strains. Hybrid strains will either be sativa dominant, indica dominant, or evenly balanced. Hybrid strains may also originate from ruderalis, or autoflowering plants, which do not need a change in the light cycle to start flowering.
What Is the Difference Between Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid Strains?
It is important to understand the differences between a sativa vs indica vs hybrid high to understand how hybrid strains can affect you. Sativa-dominant and indica-dominant strains have several differences in mental and physical effects.
Pure sativas originated in the tropical and humid equatorial regions of the world, such as Thailand, Mexico, and Africa. Sativas evolved to grow long and slender with thin leaves and a longer flowering time. Generally, sativas are known for their energizing and cerebral effects, which are perfect for daytime use.
Ready to feel invigorated? Here’s a comprehensive guide to sativa effects.
Pure indicas originated in the Hindu Kush mountain range that runs through Afghanistan and Pakistan. Due to the naturally colder and harsher weather, indicas evolved to have a shorter flowering period and grow short and bushy. Generally, indicas are known for their body-high and relaxing effects, which are good for evening and nighttime use.
Looking to relax and unwind? Here's a guide to indica effects.
What Are Hybrid Cannabis Effects?
Hybrids can be bred from sativa, indica, and ruderalis plants to produce a unique blend of mental and physical effects and have distinct growth patterns. Since hybrid strains are a blend of two parent strains, their effects vary based on the strain’s genetics, the growing environment, and a person's tolerance to cannabis.
Cannabis strains contain a wide range of cannabinoids and terpenes, the therapeutic compounds that are believed to work together to produce elevated health benefits. Not only is the chemical profile controlled by the strain’s genes, but also the way it's grown, harvested, and stored.
There are even differences in hybrid marijuana effects between different batches of the same hybrid strain. While their hybrid weed effects will generally be the same, there may be nuances in potency, flavor, and aroma depending on their cannabinoid and terpene concentrations.
Where Did Hybrids Originate?
Cannabis breeders began to cross genetics to improve their yields and bud quality. Breeders pollinate a female plant with a male plant depending on their desired characteristics. In the mid-twentieth century, growers would combine genetics from mold-resistant sativas and quick flowering indicas to improve the commercial production of cannabis strains.
The first hybrid strain generations will be relatively unstable and produce a wildly varying set of characteristics. Through a process called backcrossing, breeders cross the new hybrid strain again with a genetic clone or its parents to improve the stability of its traits. Backcrossing ensures the future generations of hybrids will produce generally consistent traits.
Are Hybrids Right For You?
Generally, dispensaries carry a majority, if not all, hybrid strains. Pure sativas and indicas are rare to find nowadays. On that note, hybrids are perfect for almost everyone. Over time, breeders have developed unique blends to create specific aromas, potencies, and flavors.
Since there are so many hybrids to choose from, there's bound to be one with the right combination of cannabinoids and terpenes for you.
Hybrid pot strains are right for a wide range of users, including:
- First-time user: You can choose from a wide range of low THC, CBD-rich strains to become acquainted with the effects of cannabis.
- Medical patient: Choose from a range of strains that have the right cannabinoids and terpenes to provide relief for your medical condition and symptoms.
- Recreational user: Find a balanced hybrid strain (50/50 marijuana hybrids) to use to unwind or gain energy without feeling too drowsy or hyperactive, respectively.
Hybrid Marijuana Medical Effects
Hybrid cannabis strains can produce a wide range of therapeutic effects depending on the strain. Like indicas, they can be relaxing, which can aid in sleep management. Like sativas, they can be energizing to help with fatigue.
Indicas are known for providing the following positive benefits:
- Promoting good sleep
- Anxiety and stress relief
- Pain management
- Inflammation relief
- Minimizing frequency and severity of seizures
Sativas are known for providing the following positive benefits:
- Mood improvement to reduce anxiety and depression
- Pain relief
- Appetite stimulation
- Increase energy to reduce fatigue
- Increase focus and creativity
The medical effects of hybrids depend on their genetics. Experiment with different sativa-dominant, indica-dominant, and balanced hybrids to find the right strain for your needs.
Growing Hybrid Cannabis
Choosing the right hybrid marijuana seeds or clones for your garden can be the difference between a successful and poor yield.
- Indicas tend to have a short flowering time, grow short and bushy with broad leaves, and produce high yields.
- Sativas tend to have a longer flowering time, grow tall and thin with thin leaves, and have relatively low yields.
Hybrid strains fall somewhere in the middle when it comes to growing them. Flowering times, growth patterns, and yields will vary depending on their genetics.
For instance, a hybrid pot strain may inherit the fast flowering time of an indica and the energizing effects of a sativa. Or, it can have a long flowering time of a sativa with the relaxing effects of an indica.
You can find a variety of hybrid marijuana seeds for sale from licensed dispensaries and online seed banks.
Do you want to learn how to grow cannabis at home? Check out our guide on how to grow cannabis from seed in 10 easy steps.
Popular Hybrid Marijuana Strains
There are many hybrid cannabis strains and new ones coming out every year. The best hybrid cannabis strains depend on your needs.
Here are some of the most popular hybrid strains:
- Pineapple Express
- Blue Dream
- Jilly Bean
- Dutch Treat
- Banana kush
- White Widow
- Girl Scout Cookies
- OG Kush
- Wedding Cake
Which Hybrid Marijuana Strain Is Right For You?
With so many hybrid weed strains to choose from, it can be daunting trying to find the right one for you. However, the wide selection of hybrid strains ensures that there is a strain out there that has the right combination of cannabinoids and terpenes to work for you.
Learn more about using, growing, and cooking with cannabis by enrolling in Cannabis Training University’s online marijuana college.