Estimated 5-minute read
You’ve probably heard about cannabis sativa and cannabis indica, but how familiar are you with hybrid weed? In this guide, we’ll cover all you need to know about hybrid strains, how to choose the right one for you, and this year’s most popular herbs.
What Are Weed Strains?
According to Leafwell, a marijuana strain is classified by cultivators following three important characteristics: chemotype, which consists of the chemical profile of the plant; phenotype, which is its physical appearance; and last but not least, the potential medical effects the plant holds. There seems to be between 700 and 800 known cannabis strains, but the world is vast, so I imagine there are hundreds of chemotypes ready to be found.
A quick recap about the herbaceous flowering plant: marijuana has two subspecies of the cannabis plant, which develop into strains; its most famous varieties are called sativa and indica, each having their own realm of effects on the body and the mind of the person who consumes them.
As you may know, the two main compounds present in the cannabis plant are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), both having different psychoactive effects thanks to their unique levels of CBD and THC. The former doesn’t have a psychoactive effect, meaning it only provides a sense of relaxation throughout the body, unlike the latter, which is considered to have an energizing reaction because of its psychoactive effects.
By natural design, strains of cannabis indica will often have higher CBD and lower THC, while cannabis sativa is known to have quite the opposite effect. But what happens when they’re mixed together?
How Are Hybrid Strains Created?
Cannabis hybrid strains are a mixture of indica and sativa strains. According to Flowhub, they allow the consumer or plant grower to take advantage of the best parts of each parent plant and create an option that fits their desired effect and flavor profile. This breeding process allows the new cannabis strain to produce both types of effects.
Cannabis is no different from breeding as any other plant does. If you missed your biology class or don’t quite remember the process – like me before writing this article –all it takes is a female plant to be pollinated with male pollen. This happens naturally, but as researched by Royal Queen Seeds, in hybrid creation, breeders engage in selective breeding in a controlled environment, meaning they will choose the female plant and male pollen to produce a specific trait or set of them. It’s relevant to mention that this process takes a few generations of breeding the same plants to stabilize the strain’s characteristics.
Royal Queen Seeds also mentions that cannabis can be propagated “sexually” or “asexually”. The sexual reproductive process involves combining different parents, as was mentioned in the previous paragraph. However, vegetative methods also include cloning, cuttage, and even dividing the roots. Asexual reproduction allows the same plant to be produced repeatedly, giving it more stability.
Nowadays, hybrids are the most popular strains due to centuries of crossbreeding. As a matter of fact, Leafwell maintains that nowadays, there are actually very few pure sativa or indica strains. And this statement makes complete sense because contemporary hybrid strains result from human manipulation and crossbreeding of marijuana’s subspecies over and over throughout the years. Strains exist to accentuate specific traits desired by the breeders, growers, and even the consumers who actually have a say in how and what gets consumed in the cannabis community.
So, How do I Know Which Strain is for Me?
Finding the strain (or strains) that work for you is a mission; should you decide to accept it, that takes time and dedication. There are indeed key factors that play a role in the game, like looking up information about strains, their potency and effects, taking into account your own health, and CBD:THC ratios (80:20 CBD:THC, 50:50 or 1:1). So let’s begin step by step.
Step 1: Consider your level of experience with weed.
Ask yourself how new you are in the cannabis world because if you are, you might want to start with a CBD-dominant strain with a low THC concentration. An 80:20 ratio is a good choice; that way, you can avoid getting too high and paranoid.
After you’ve passed that test, you can make your way up from there.
Step 2: Choose a strain according to the strains you wish to experience.
Here’s another helpful question, what do I want to get out of this experience? If your answer is to relax or sleep better, choose an Indica strain with higher CBD, but if you’re looking for concentration or creativity, you may want to go for a Sativa dominant strain.
Step 3: Consider your preference for aromas and flavors.
Yes, this is actually a pretty big thing. As beautifully put by Leafwell, “Pineapple OG can feel like a tropical vacation, while Gelato could transport you to an ice cream parlor in Italy.”
Okay, But Where Can I Find All That Information?
It has been mentioned before that as marijuana starts being more tolerated around the world, there’s been an increase in the amount of cannabis information living in the online realm.
Websites such as Dutchie, Leafly, and Pure Oasis will provide you with countless information about every single strain available, its CBD:THC ratio, its potential effects, and even the terpenes (responsible for aroma) that dominate the flower bud.
Popular Hybrid Strains
Here are three hybrid strains that Leafwell urges cannabis consumers to don’t miss out on this 2022!
THC 26%, CBD 0%; bred from OG Kush and Banana
Loaded with THC 36%, this is a fierce strain intended for consumers with a high weed tolerance. This strain is not recommended for people with low tolerance or who just started smoking due to the fact that there’s not a single drop of CBD in this flowerbud.
Balanced ratio of CBD to THC; an offspring of a Brazilian sativa and Indian indica
This is an ideal ratio for people who are looking for a good synergy of both characteristics. Experts say this strain is perfect for helping with chronic pain and easing anxiety.
Sour Space Candy
THC 1%, CBD 16%; bred from Sour Tsunami and Early Resin Berry
Originated in Oregon, this strain is perfect for relaxing if you’re looking for a smoke without possibly getting high or getting a tiny one. Sour Space Candy will do it for you thanks to the amount of CBD it has and the low amount of THC.
Author: Mary Jane
Arnold, M. (2022). What Are Hybrid Cannabis Strains & How Are They Created? Royal Queen Seeds. Retrieved from https://www.royalqueenseeds.com/blog-what-are-hybrid-cannabis-strains-how-are-they-created-n752#breeding-new-cannabis-strains
Magrabi, T. (2022). 8 Best Hybrid Strains to Try in 2022. Leafwell. Retrieved from https://leafwell.com/blog/best-hybrid-strains/
Magrabi, T. (2022). Everything You Need to Know About Marijuana Strains. Leafwell. Retrieved from https://leafwell.com/blog/marijuana-strains/#what-is-a-marijuana-strain-exactly
Pure Oasis (2020). Indica vs. Sativa. Retrieved from https://www.mypureoasis.com/indica-vs-sativa/