What’s the Buzz About Hybrids?

Almost everything across today’s cannabis landscape is a Hybrid, but the meaning behind the traditional distinctions Indica and Sativa still comes into play. Learning more about the attributes of these two main types can help medical patients and consumers better choose a strain that’s right for their needs and preferences. 

As plant qualities go, Cannabis Sativa tend to grow taller, with narrower, bright green leaves. They thrive in warmer climates with a long growing season, which also means they flower much more abundantly. Sativa strains typically have a higher ratio of THC to CBD. Due to their uplifting and energizing results when consumed, they are traditionally recommended for daytime use.  

Common attributes of Sativa strains include: 

  • Euphoric or elevated mood 
  • Increased energy 
  • Stronger ability to focus  
  • Boosted creativity 
  • Mental, cerebral “high” 
  • Relaxation & stress relief  
  • Assists with nausea & dizziness 

In contrast, Cannabis Indica are shorter, with thicker stems and broader, darker green leaves. These physical features allow them to absorb more sunlight and heat, making it possible to grow well in colder climates. Another adaptation of Indicas is a shorter flowering time, saving energy when light and warmth are less abundant.​ They tend to have higher levels of CBD, while not necessarily less THC than Sativas.​ Many Indicas often result in sedative-like effects, making them generally recommended for nighttime use. 

Common attributes of Indica strains include: 

  • Offers pain relief 
  • Promotes sleep 
  • Antiepileptic 
  • Reduces anxiety 
  • Stimulates appetite  
  • Reduces intraocular pressure 
  • Reduces spasms & relaxes muscles 
  • Anti-inflammatory 

Meanwhile, Hybrid strains are classified as Indica-  or  Sativa-leaning, depending on the strain’s lineage. Hybrids are produced when two or more different types are crossbred. This process allows growers to tailoring their qualities to ensure specific desired effects, makeup, and physical characteristics.  

They can contain a dominance of one over the other, or they can even be 50/50, and carry the characteristics of each species. For example, Sativa-dominant strains can provide the signature mental stimulation and creativity, while an indica-dominant hybrid may bring on relaxation and relief of physical symptoms.  

Due to their genetic makeup, Hybrids’ impacts can vary and aren’t suggested for any specific times of day, rather, they’re recommended depending on the desired effect. Individual experiences will always vary and patients should ideally try different strains to identify one that best fits their needs.  

Much of the cannabis industry has moved away from using the terms Indica, Sativa and Hybrid as categories and started classifying strains by their distribution of cannabinoid levels. However, knowing the basics of the cannabis types is useful for guiding your decisions when choosing strains.