Cannabis plants, commonly known as hemp, belong to the Cannabaceae flowering family. It is highly sought-after for its recreational drug effects but is also often used in the medical field as a prescription for mild illnesses. The plant has an immensely diverse lineage, Sativa and Indica being the main sub-species. It is cultivated through different methods to produce unique strains, which contain specific traits of these species and serve a particular purpose.
Before getting to know the hybrid varieties of marijuana seeds, you will first need to understand some facts about the main subspecies and how they are bred to produce various marijuana strains, including hybrid varieties. Continue reading to learn more about the diversity of cannabis!
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What is The Difference Between Cannabis Indica and Sativa?
Cannabis Indica and Sativa, though similar in many aspects, possess some distinct qualities, which make one preferable over the other for required purposes.
The Cannabis Indica plant, found in broad compact clusters, is typically sought for its therapeutic effects. It contains a high amount of CBD, which makes it great for pain relief and muscle relaxation. Most medicinal marijuana is a variation of this strain due to these reasons.
On the contrary, the cannabis Sativa plant with thin leaves spread apart is most well known for its high ratio of THC content. Sativa strains provide, what is termed, a ‘head high’ or ‘cerebral high’ and, in some cases, may even cause hallucinations. It is most common among folks who use marijuana for recreational purposes.
What is Meant By Hybrid Cannabis Varieties?
The two strains, Sativa and Indica, which we are now quite familiar with, are generally termed as original cannabis strains. Hybrid cannabis plants are developed by combining precise characteristics of the original two breeds to make up a new, more unique product. As hybrid cannabis varieties depend chiefly on the properties of the parent plant, they come with the dominance marking of the strain that is in excess. For example, if a new hybrid strain contains more characteristics of the Indica strain, it is marked as Indica-dominant.
Hybrid varieties are much more popular in the market nowadays for various reasons. As pure Sativa and Indica weed seeds are hard to cultivate, weed cultivators prefer to cross-breed different strains to produce new ones tailored to their liking.
Some pure strains also contain THC content in unhealthy amounts, which can be harmful to humans. Therefore, you will mostly come across hybrid varieties of cannabis plants as cross-breeding is now being practiced on a much larger scale.
The Breeding Process
Hybrid varieties are a mix of different strains, and their effects may vary from person to person. These strains are cultivated after many trials and errors by farmers who try out unique combinations to produce novel hybrid strains. The principal breeding process involves pollinating a female plant with the desired male of one strain. This process may occur naturally, but weed cultivators carry it out in a controlled environment to have more influence over the result.
The female plant then produces autoflower seeds, which after maturing, are harvested and are first-generation hybrids of the parent plants. Afterward, they are further engaged in breeding to stabilize the hybrid characteristics. It usually takes more than three breeding cycles to produce a sufficiently stable hybrid strain.
What are Some Good Hybrid Cannabis Varieties?
With the constant innovation in the weed industry, several more unique hybrid cannabis varieties are being developed, diversifying the market like never before.
Determining good hybrid weed strains relies significantly on your personal choices, such as whether you like them with a high THC content or with pain-relieving effects. Although there are no set standards to help aid these choices, you can try out the strains that are most vouched for by experienced smokers.
Recently, the OG Kush, an Indica-heavy hybrid variety, is gaining admiration for its blend of Chemdawg, Hindu Kush Indica, and Lemon Thai Sativa. Other famous hybrid strains include Cherry Pie, Blue Dream, White Willow, and Gorilla Glue. The Blue Dream, a perfect 50/50 hybrid breed, is ideal for achieving a balanced high.
Throughout the past decades, cannabis has undergone a fair amount of evolution. The development of hybrid strains proved as something that is equal times necessary and effective.
Hybrid cannabis varieties are a mixture of pure cannabis plants and host specific characteristics to fulfill a targeted purpose. Weed cultivators especially partake in growing hybrid varieties to diversify and capitalize on the continuously expanding cannabis market.
Since its origin in the late 60s, cultivating hybrid strains has gained much popularity and will continue to grow in the future.