Since the legalization of marijuana and the expansion of legal THC products in Canada, cannabis use is on the rise. According to Forbes, the worth of the global cannabis industry will likely reach $31.4 billion by 2021.
Getting into cannabis is like getting into any other niche product. Cannabis comes in different strains, and while these strains come from the same species of plant and have much in common, they do have different characteristics and effects. The marijuana industry is much like the wine industry, where you can choose red or white and then choose between countless varieties within those categories.
What are Cannabis Strains?
Marijuana products come in three main varieties: Sativa, Indica, and hybrid.
Indica was classified in 1785 using samples from India, where it may have originated. This is a short plant with dense buds that feel sticky and have a high resin content. Indica buds tend to be sedative and relaxing when used, making indica products an excellent choice for pain relief, insomnia, and anxiety. Indica strains can feature tasting notes of pepper, pine, bananas, earth, berries, lavender, and hops.
On the other hand, using Sativa strains typically has an energizing and creativity-inducing effect, making it ideal for daytime use. People primarily use sativas for treating depression symptoms, creating art, and other creative and productive activities.
Sativa plants used to be grown mainly for their fibers, so they are usually tall with smaller buds. Sativa strains have notes of tropical fruits, floral, citrus, and sometimes cherry.
Hybrid cannabis is a combination of both indica and sativa strains. Its effects can range from mellow and uplifting to somewhere in the middle, and they can taste earthy or fruity. Hybrids also have three subgroups: true hybrids, indica-dominant, and sativa-dominant strains.
True hybrids contain an even mix of both indica and sativa strains. In contrast, indica and sativa-dominant hybrids express the dominant parent’s characteristics alongside a few traits of the recessive parent. For instance, Super Lemon Haze, a sativa-dominant hybrid, leans towards the energetic effects of sativa. And Cookies, an indica-dominant hybrid, offers more sedating effects.
You can use hybrid strains at any time of the day. When you do use a hybrid, the effects you experience will depend on the hybrid strain you use. For instance, Blue Dream is great for daytime anxiety control, whereas Super Lemon Haze helps lift the mood and manage depression symptoms. Each hybrid strain has a different chemotype and therefore offers different effects.
How are Hybrids Made?
Like breeding any other plant, breeds of cannabis pollinate a female plant with male pollen. While this can happen naturally, breeders employ selective breeding methods in a controlled environment in hybrid creation. In other words, they choose the female plant and male pollen with ideal characteristics to produce a progeny with a specific set of traits.
The seeds germinated through this process are the first-generation hybrids of the male and female parents. The breeders again selectively breed the plants with desired traits, and once they reach the desired characteristics, they “cube” the strain. Cubing a strain means they breed a child hybrid with a parent strain to further strengthen the traits, also known as backcrossing. Generally, breeders need to repeat the process for more than three generations to stabilize the characteristics.
Similarly, breeders crossbreed two cannabis strains to create a hybrid. “Skunk” is one of the first hybrids that was a cross between indica and sativa. If you’re still confused about the different strains and wondering which strain is right for you, you can click here to learn more about buying hybrid strains in Canada.
Not All Hybrids are the Same
With the options for cannabis hybrid strains in the market growing steadily, researchers need to perform additional analyses of strains and their effects to help consumers find the cannabis strain that perfectly aligns with their needs and preferences.
As the variety of strains increase, so does the demand for it. When trying out different strains, you should keep in mind that not all hybrids are the same. So, always study the effects of a hybrid before using it for a specific purpose.