- To best understand the different strains of cannabis, it’s essential to know the basic chemical ingredients like cannabinoids and terpenes.
- Hybrid cannabis strains are a mixture of Indica and Sativa plants, though not necessarily in equal measure.
What is Hybrid Cannabis?
Hybrid cannabis strains, at their essence, are types of cannabis with both indica and sativa plants in their lineage. That means that hybrids are reasonably common – the only strains that aren’t hybrids are plants that are pure sativa or pure indica. But, hybrids don’t need to be a 50/50 mix. They can be indica- or sativa-dominant.
Still, the best way to fully understand the nature of hybrid cannabis strains is to delve into the chemistry of the cannabis plant itself. Then you can examine the difference between indicas and sativas and, finally, better understand the nature of hybrid strains.
The effects of cannabis are chemical in nature. Chemical compounds from the plant interact with the body, specifically its endocannabinoid system, evoking a physical and mental experience. These chemical compounds are fittingly called cannabinoids.
You’re likely already aware of two of the most common cannabinoids: THC and CBD. THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis. It generates the feelings of euphoria that come with the consumption of the plant through smoking, ingestion, or using sublingually. When you purchase cannabis products, the packaging should state the concentration of THC it contains. Most cannabis flowers tend to range from 15-30% THC. Concentrates, though, can reach into the mid-90s
On the other hand, CBD is more well-known for its potential health applications, such as reducing pain or nausea or preventing seizures. While products containing THC are still illegal on the federal levels, CBD-infused products can be purchased or shipped across state lines as long as they are legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. When purchasing CBD products, you should make sure to purchase from a reputable vendor that offers independent lab reports of CBD concentration within its products.
While THC and CBD tend to dominate the cannabinoid discussion, scientists continue to research the effects of less famous cannabinoid varieties:
Terpenes help give cannabis its pungent aroma. A naturally occurring compound, there is also the belief that terpenes help enhance the effects of cannabis. While terpenes aren’t typically labeled on packaging the way THC and CBD are, they are still worthy of mention when it comes to the full-fledged cannabis experience.
When purchasing cannabis, keep an eye out for some common terpenes and the aromas for which they’re known:
- Bisabolol: Chamomile and tea tree oil
- Caryophyllene: Pepper and spice
- Eucalyptol: Eucalyptus and tea tree oil
- Humulene: Cloves and hops
- Limonene: Citrus
- Linalool: Flowers
- Myrcene: Herbs and generally earthiness
- Ocimene: Basil, mango, and parsley
- Pinene: Pine
- Terpinolene: Apples, cumin, and evergreens
Cannabis Indica hails from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Turkey. Indicas are also know to be faster growers and more prolific producers than sativas.
Indica strains are lower in THC and higher in CBD, which makes them especially rich in medicinal benefits. They have a soothing, relaxing, sleep-inducing effect and are perfect for evening use. Many people prefer to consume Indica cannabis at night due to its commonly ascribed relaxing effect. This is also why people sometimes refer to Indica strains as “in da couch,” as it can lead to a more sedentary night.
Sativa Details Genetic origin, potential effect.
Cannabis Sativa originates in dry and hot climates such as those found in Central America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Sativa strains are higher in THC, the euphoria-inducing component in cannabis, and lower in CBD.
Sativas have an energizing, stimulating, mentally invigorating effect known to improve focus and clarity. Sativas are usually recommended for morning or daytime use. Those who prefer the “wake and bake” lifestyle tend to incorporate sativa as part of their routine. Some also say that sativa helps with creativity and productivity.
By definition, there is no such thing as a pure hybrid. Yes, some hybrids do a better job of balancing their sativa and indica parents’ inherited characteristics, but almost all hybrids will differ from one another.
Hybrids are typically developed purposefully by farmers and growers. That is, they aren’t necessarily native to any specific area. You’ll find most hybrids in greenhouses and on farms where they are cultivated under watchful eyes.
This also means that from a chemical standpoint, hybrids can be all over the place. Some may contain large amounts of CBD matched by similar amounts of THC. Others may have mismatch proportions. The ratio tends to be unique depending on the aims of the grower.
Why Do People Like Hybrid Strains of Cannabis?
People like hybrid strains because they are the most common form of cannabis available. Most strains are hybrids, even if the indica or sativa component tends to be dominant over the other. So, even if you purchase a sativa strain, you’re probably not buying pure sativa but a sativa-dominant hybrid.
Hybrids give the grower the ability to better choose what characteristics they want their cannabis plant to inhabit. Perhaps they want to grow a plant that grows like sativa due to the climate in which they’re cultivating the cannabis, but they want the effects to be closer to that of indica. The process of hybridization makes that possible.
Effects of Hybrid Cannabis Strains
Due to the nature of hybrids, they can give off a variety of effects. Some may feel more like indicas. Some may feel more like sativas. Others may feel like a mixture of both.
Stay Tuned for Part 2
In part two of this guide to hybrids, we’ll go over some popular hybrid strains and offer an in-depth guide to finding the best hybrid strain for you. In the meantime, you can also check out our online menu. As one of Denver’s premier medical dispensaries, we’re proud to offer high-quality cannabis strains to our customers. We’re conveniently located near Denver International Airport, so make sure to stop by today!
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