Anything good, is bound to be improved upon. Which is just the case for cannabis and the rise of hybrid genetics. As the industry progressed with legalization, growers set out to breed better strains, with badder effects. Mixing potent Sativas with potent Indicas, and seeing what would come out of the experiment.
Cross-breeding favourite genetics over the years has lead to many new favourites for connoisseurs along the way. In fact, some of the most popular strains on the market today, are now hybrid genes. Beyond just powerful potency or recreational effects, hybrids are also designed to address specific medical effects and can amplify benefits for healing. To learn more about the history of cross-breeding genetics, keep reading for our in-depth guide to hybrids and why they’re so popular in today’s modern world of weed.
How Hybrids Came To Be
You may be surprised to know, that hybrids only came to be in the 1960s or ’70s. Even though cannabis has a long-standing history to being used for medicinal purposes, this era was when North American cultivation was just getting started. Which is actually the reason why cross-breeding began in the first place. Originally, breeders in this region were only utilizing North Mexican and Jamaican varieties. Which were quick to flower, but lower in potency.
That’s where the idea of cross-breeding their existing genetics, with genetics that was sourced from Colombia, Panama and Thailand came from. Not only did this process increase the intensity of cannabis’ high, but it also improved plant growth for climate, pests, size, etc. Over the years, this process continued throughout the industry to make most of the hybrids we’re familiar with today.
How to Decipher Hybrid Effects
For the most part, a hybrid flower is classified as either ‘Sativa dominant’ or ‘Indica dominant’ some brands even listing the percentages, based upon the strains that were crossed. In general, this will give you an idea of the familiar type of effects you’ll feel from the combination.
To better predict a hybrid’s effects you can look to there are a few specific factors to look to for deciphering what type of effects you might feel from one strain to another. Here’s a quick summary of the intricate compounds of cannabis that will make a difference for your high or healing.
- Terpenes – Terps are the aromatic centers of the cannabis flower, that produce their own unique effects. For example, limonene is scented like lemony citrus and is stress-relieving in nature. Linalool smells of herbal lavender and is soothing for pain relief. Smelling your hybrid strain can point you in the right direction, to follow the scent of your usual favourite strain.
- Cannabinoids – Cannabinoids, most primarily THC and CBD, and the levels found in hybrids will make a profound effect on what type of elevation you’ll experience. Obviously, if a hybrid has maximized THC levels from cross-breeding two normally potent strains, then your effects will be that much more powerful. In some cases, familiar strains will be cross-bred with less potent strains to promote better functionality for users throughout the day, while still gaining the genetics medical effects.
When combined, terpenes and cannabinoids provide what’s classified as an ‘entourage effect’. This is the amplification or heightening of intensity when all compounds combine. Meaning…if you were to consume only CBD or only THC, you’d feel less intense effects then when you consumed them when combined with terpenes. The entourage effect is most profound in full-spectrum, or isolate CBD goods, and makes a difference in concentrate or vape pen products, too.
The Most Popular Hybrid Strains
There are a few standbys amongst strains, that everyone is typically familiar with. But as the availability of hybrids becomes ampler, the lines are beginning to blur between the classics and newcomers on the block. In actuality, some of the most popular strains today, are hybrids of sativa and indica genetics
- OG Kush – One of the original hybrids ever, OG Kush is an Indica dominant hybrid with an unknown Hindu Kush landrace cross.
- Gelato – An Indica dominant hybrid cross of two legends, Sunset Sherbet X Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies.
- Krazy Glue – A uniquely equal 50/50 Indica to Sativa hybrid, crossed from Gorilla Glue #4 x Super Silver Chemdog Haze.
- Bluefin Tuna – An Indica-dominant hybrid cross of Blueberry x Tuna Kush that ended up highly potent.
Just trending now, is the cross-breeding of high CBD strains with popularized THC strains. Delivering the best of both worlds for CBD and THC benefits, with familiar effects. Think of it as your favourite strain, kicked up a notch for healing with higher levels of CBD added to it. Here are just two prime examples –
It’s likely you’ve heard of the classic Canadian strain Death Bubba, but how about CBD Death Bubba? As you can expect the visionary Yaletown Flower Co cross-bred this popular strain with CBD dominant genetics, for an improved and more well-balanced hybrid.
Normally, Death Bubba is quite potent in THC, which makes it hard to handle for most newbies. By combining both potencies, CBD Death Bubba delivers a 2:1 CBD:THC ratio ideal for healing.
Sunkiss CBD is the end-result of crossing a CBD classic with a THC classic…that being, Cannatonic x Afghan Skunk. The outcome is a CBD fueled Sativa dominant hybrid, that’s ideal for daytime use. Not only does the CBD soothe common aches, pains, and stresses, but the energizing traits from its Sativa side, produce energy, focus and creative stimulation.
Weed Gone Hybrid
Long are the days when you didn’t know where your weed came from, or what type of effects you’re going to feel. With increasing research, we’ve gained the knowledge to decipher what cannabis actually contains that produces its unique effects – beyond the original ‘Sativa’ or ‘Indica’ classifications.
This is key since the rise of hybrids won’t be stopping anytime soon. With many growers and seed breeders dedicated to coming out with fresh cannabis combinations for fine-tuned effects. If you’re interested in trying some top hybrid genetics on the market today, check out Greenz’s premium collection of strains. Don’t forget – hybrid effects are also available in concentrates, edibles and tinctures or oils, too.