What Is a Hybrid Strain?

What is hybrid marijuana? From a consumer standpoint, hybrid cannabis is cannabis that has both indica-like and sativa-like effects. Hybrid strains blend indica and sativa genetics, imbuing them with a robust and diverse effect profile ranging from giggle-inducing and uplifting to deeply relaxing and sedative.

As cannabis breeding techniques continue to develop and advance, many (if not most) of the strains available today are, in fact, hybrids!

Hybrid Genetics

When you browse the average dispensary menu, you’re most likely to find the majority of their strains divided into indica and sativa varieties. This is a handy and long-standing way of organizing cannabis strains by effects. Even if your favorite strain is listed as a ‘sativa’ or ‘indica’ on a dispensary menu, chances are it’s actually a hybrid that is what we call a “sativa-dominant” or “indica-dominant” variety.

This is because, apart from several landrace varieties, very few strains actually possess pure indica or sativa genetics. Almost every strain you see today contains some blend of indica and sativa effects from genetic crossing in its past.

You may occasionally come across a pure landrace strain like Afghan Kush (which is a true Indica) or Durban Poison (a true sativa), but these are few and far between compared to the enormous volume of hybrid marijuana strains out there.

So, how did all of these hybrid strains come about?

During the 1970s, cannabis lovers began traveling across the world collecting different seeds and bringing them back home for their own use. Northern California was a notable origin point for these travelers, as many of them were part of California’s hippie culture of the 1960s.

In fact, the route they followed through Africa, Asia, and the Middle East became known as the ‘Hippie Trail.’ After being brought back, these seeds eventually made their way into the hands of cannabis growers, who began crossing them to create some of the hybrid strains that we consume today.


Effects of Hybrid Strains: How Does Hybrid Marijuana Make You Feel?

So what does a hybrid strain do and what is hybrid marijuana used for? Figuring out the effects of a hybrid marijuana strain isn’t quite as easy as it may seem.

That’s because hybrid marijuana strains can produce a wide variety of effects!

While the indica/sativa/hybrid classification system is really convenient, it’s not very precise, and there are better ways of learning more about a strain’s effects. A more accurate way to predict the effects of a strain is by looking at its cannabinoid and terpene profiles.

For example, the entourage effect is a theory proposing that the many different chemical compounds in cannabis—there are over 500—work together synergistically to produce the overall effects of any given strain or plant.

The exact chemical makeup of a plant is influenced by a lot more than simply its genetics. Where the plant was grown and what conditions it was grown under will also affect its cannabinoid and terpene content and possibly alter its effects. Even if these factors are constant, other things like how a strain is consumed and at what dosage can also change the overall experience.

Still, these continue to be handy shorthand for talking about effects. In this guide, we’ll stick with associating sativa effects as being cerebral, uplifting, and energizing, while indica effects are typically associated with a relaxing, body-based experience.

Sativa-Leaning vs Indica-Leaning Hybrids

Sativa-dominant hybrids are associated with more uplifting mental effects than their indica counterparts. Sativa-leaning hybrids are often a good choice for daytime use since they are associated with energizing effects that can help with focus and creativity.

Indica-leaning hybrids tend to produce more body-based effects and are more relaxing and sedating than their sativa counterparts. Just like most indicas, indica-dominant hybrids are usually best left for afternoon or nighttime use.

Balanced Hybrids

As their name suggests, balanced hybrids offer a roughly even blend of indica and sativa effects. They offer a very wide range of different effects that depend on their parent strains, but all tend to impart a buzz through both your mind and body.

Different Types of Hybrid Strains

With so many different hybrid strains available today, and with so many effect profiles to explore, finding the right one for your tastes, goals, and preferences can take some trial and error. Not sure where to start? Here are a few tried-and-true hybrid strains for you to keep an eye out for the next time you visit your local D.C. medical dispensary.

Blue Dream

Blue Dream is a classic hybrid strain, loved by many for its truly vigorous blend of uplifting cerebral and relaxing physical effects. It’s known for offering an immediately uplifting head high that settles into a relaxing body high. Its sweet and fruity aroma is the perfect accompaniment to its calm and euphoric buzz, making Blue Dream a classic gem of a hybrid strain.

Cookies n’ Cream

Cookies n’ Cream is an indica-dominant hybrid that comes from the infamous Cookies line, known for its intense flavors and impressively high potency. This strain tends to produce a tingly physical euphoria that blends in really well with its uplifting yet unfocused heady effects. Cookies n’ Cream is also a treat for the taste buds thanks to its sweet, nutty taste.

NYC Diesel

NYC Diesel is a legendary strain that has won numerous awards over the years. The strain offers a bright and peppy cerebral buzz alongside relaxing, but not overwhelming, physical effects. The influence of its parent strain Sour Diesel is clearly evident in this sativa-dominant hybrid that, despite its name, can be found all over the United States. NYC Diesel is a great choice for a strain that isn’t too stimulating but that still delivers a euphoric and uplifting buzz, especially thanks to its impressive THC levels.

OG Kush

OG Kush is usually listed as an indica because its effects are overwhelmingly physical in nature. However, this strain has more sativa in it than most other Kush varieties! OG Kush produces somewhat stimulating mental effects in addition to the relaxing and sedating physical effects typically associated with Kush strains. It also has a brighter and more citrusy aroma and flavor than most other earthy Kush cultivars.

Explore Hybrid Strains at Takoma Today!

Ready to explore the world of hybrid cannabis for yourself? Come by our D.C. area dispensary today or browse our full online menu anytime to shop a wide variety of hybrid cannabis strains and products hand-picked for their quality, reliability, and affordability.

Do you have any additional questions about hybrid strains? Don’t hesitate to reach out, we’re here to help.  We look forward to seeing you!