Where do Hybrids come from?
Hybrids come from breeding (“hybridization”) indica and sativa plants together. For centuries American farmers have sought to increase the quality of their crops by hybridizing them with different varieties from around the world. Similarly, modern cannabis breeding as we know it began on the west coast of the United States and Canada in the mid-’60s – and it hasn’t stopped. Farmers mixed mold-resistant equatorial sativas with fast-flowering, subtropical indicas for a more viable commercial crop.
“Hybrid” cannabis strains are strains like Blue Dream, Jilly Bean, Dutch Treat, and Banana Kush. They are mix (a hybrid) of the other two main classes of cannabis — “indica” and “sativa”. Hybrids often provide a more balanced combination of indica and sativa’s effects. The names “hybrid”, “indica”, and “sativa” are part of the folk taxonomy of cannabis, and they predate modern chemical quantification of the plant. The terms are often not the whole picture, but continue to be useful both to breeders, growers and consumers of marijuana.
Why are some hybrids labeled “sativa-dominant” or “indica-dominant”?
Hybrids can be either indica or sativa-dominant, meaning they will express the characteristics of the dominant parent with less characteristics of the secondary variety. For example, an indica-dominant hybrid like Cookies will most likely affect the body and offer more sedating effects. A sativa-dominant-hybrid like Super Lemon Haze will lean toward energetic sativa effects.
Other times, a hybrid can be a “true” hybrid, meaning that it is an even mix of both varieties. Blue Dream is considered a true hybrid, balancing the indica sedation of the parent Blueberry with the sativa energy of Haze.