Hybrid cannabis strains are those which combine an equal (or almost equal) percentage of indica and sativa genetics. This brings an extra dimension to a cannabis strain because a hybrid will combine the best characteristics of each. This could be in the form of factors such as growth pattern, ease of management and of course effect.
What Does Hybrid Cannabis Look Like?
For this reason, there is no clearly defined hybrid appearance, unlike the obvious differences between indicas (shorter and bushy, large and wide leaves) and sativas (taller and more stringy, thin and narrow leaves). As such the term ‘hybrid’ can sometimes cause confusion, especially amongst new growers who have just got their heads around the difference between indica and sativa.
What adds to this confusing picture is that some hybrids show a 50/50 split, while others show a 60/40 split. In basic terms, a 60% sativa / 40% indica is going to have a more uplifting or energetic effect, while a 60% indica / 40% sativa will lean towards relaxation and heaviness in the effect department.
So what is the point of hybrid cannabis strains? Well, many people like the fact that the dial is not turned up so high in either direction! Aside from the obvious advantages of a more balanced effect, the evolution of hybrid cannabis strains has allowed breeders such as Paradise Seeds, to push the boundaries. These days most new strains lean towards the hybrid, as opposed to an out and out indica or sativa landrace strain.
Are Hybrids Easier to Grow?
As Paradise founder, and master breeder, Luc Krol, stated when interviewed about the ever popular hybrid, Wappa: “I was really interested in exploring the potential of hybrids. From a breeder’s perspective they were very attractive because they allow you to really accentuate the strengths of individual sativa and indica genetics and produce a magnificent all-rounder.”
For the grower, hybrid cannabis strains can offer extra advantages in the grow room – for example a plant which leans towards the sativa in terms of effect, but engineered with indica genes to make it grow to a more manageable height. The hybrid also provides extra dimensions in terms of terpene profiles, scent and taste.
Five Hybrid Cannabis Strains to Try
Nebula: This is one of Paradise Seeds most popular strains and is a sativa dominant hybrid (60/40), which displays a sativa aspect in the growth pattern – it can stretch a little bit with moderate side branches – is complemented by a proliferation of dense fat buds (an indica characteristic). The effect is a real hybrid mix of an uplifting energy boost with a mellow indica trail.
Mendocino Skunk: Indica is the dominant element in this hybrid marijuana variety from the Tommy Chong’s Collection. The effect is incredibly balanced (often described as being pleasantly uplifting) with the indica factor really coming through in the growth pattern – modest height and bushy and a thick central cola.
Original White Widow: This IBL strain comes from the original source (IBL stands for In Bred Line) and White Widow is perhaps the ultimate hybrid with a straight 50/50 mix of sativa and indica. The growth pattern reflects its South Indian Indica parentage, whilst the effect is more typical of its other parent – a racy Brazilian sativa.
Wappa: It has been described as a near perfect hybrid, and this has fuelled its popularity amongst Paradise Seeds customers. Again it is the indica dominance which prevails in the grow room, manifesting itself in the squat size and dense concentration of buds on its bushy branches. The sativa element prevents its potency from taking the consumer to couch lock, with an energetic uplifting side to the effect.
Space Cookies: With GSC (formerly Girl Scout Cookies) and Original White Widow providing the parents, this is a hybrid born from two classic hybrids! There is a slight indica dominance, but the potency of the relaxation is undercut with a sativa uplift which contributes to a sense of euphoric bliss.