The most common strains nowadays are the so-called hybrid strains: a mix of both sativa and indica strains in order to achieve optimum effects. Many of the well-known strains are hybrids, such as White Widow, Girl Scout Cookies, OG Kush and Blue Dream. All these strains were created by breeding together two different strains, which themselves were probably created by combined two different strains. This way breeders can select the right characteristics and create the perfect hybrid strain. Gone are the days where you had to make your own with a simple sativa or indica strain: now you can choose the strain that best fits your needs and desires!
A combination of indica and sativa
A hybrid can basically have any of the properties the breeder desires, but of course the breeder still has to work within the framework provided by the two major cannabis strains: indica and sativa. Indica is well-known for being relaxing and calming, offering a buzz that encompasses your entire body. Sativa on the other hand is uplifting and makes you energetic, offering a high that is mostly mental. A hybrid strain combines the properties of both indica and sativa to give specific effects. Sometimes these effects are very minor, such as Northern Lights, which is 90% indica. This strain is only cross-bred with sativa because the breeder wanted some of the growing properties of sativa, but the actual effects on the user are very minimal.
How to find the perfect hybrid
Hybrid strains nowadays are the result of very careful selection by highly skilled breeders, who are looking for a specific combination of properties. One of the major successes in this field was the creation of Charlotte’s Web, a strain that was carefully bred to have a very high CBD content. Charlotte’s Web is now used to treat children with severe epilepsy, something that would not have been possible if the breeders had not actively searched for a high CBD strain. Other strains are however the result of accidental cross-breeding or of just trying many different options. Many of the popular strains nowadays are hybrids and using a pure indica or sativa strain is not very popular. The effects of a ‘pure’ strain are often very pronounced and unwanted side effects such as cotton mouth or even paranoia come into play. Hybrid strain can circumvent those side effects and offer even more in return: you are no longer limited to choosing between the physical effects of indica or the mental effects of sativa, but you can have the best of both worlds. A good way to discover more is to start out with an option in the middle that has a roughly 50:50 indica to sativa ratio and go from there, discovering what you like and what you do not like.