What Is Hybrid Weed? Understanding The Characteristics Of Indica & Sativa

Nikhil Goswami

Indeed, stepping into the cannabis dispensary for the first time can be overwhelming. Choosing a weed product from an extensive range is as confusing as exciting. Therefore, selecting the right product per your requirements may seem troublesome. Hence, it is essential to learn and understand some basics about weed, thus choosing the correct product according to your medicinal needs. Mainly, there are two species of marijuana, indica, and sativa.

Both of these species have distinctive and unique genetic makeup and properties. Indica and sativa cannabis plant species require different growth conditions and are native to different climates.

Although both marijuana species offer medicinal properties, there are some differences in their health benefits and negative side effects. Here we have thoroughly explained the unique features of sativa and indica and their hybrid strains. This article will help you understand hybrid strains’ unique qualities and significance.

Indica Strains

Cannabis indica strains are typically grown in southeast Asia around the Hindu Kush range, hence the indica. Formerly, these plants were produced only in the countries of the Indian subcontinent region, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Turkey. But, now, indica strains can be grown all around the world.

Indica plants can grow in harsh environmental conditions but prefer slightly cooler temperatures than sativa plants. In the blooming season, the flowers, leaves, and buds of the indica strains tend to turn into a pleasing purple color. Regarding the visual appearance of the indica plants, these plants are short and bushy and have chunky leaves. Furthermore, indica plants grow faster than sativa plants and are less demanding. The marijuana-growing community prefers Indica to Sativa for its fast pace of growth. 

Concerning the chemical composition of these plants, Indicas have higher THC and little to no CBD content. Hence, all the marijuana products indicating the presence of indica strains on the packaging will have euphoric psychoactive effects.

Health Benefits of Indica Strains

Indica strains are famous for offering several health benefits. Cannabis indica effects in reducing pain, acts as a muscle relaxer, relieves headaches, decreases stress, and reduces insomnia. Due to high THC content, your body will experience psychoactive effects, and your muscles will relax.

For this reason, another term used for indica strains is “nighttime strains.” The manufacturers mostly recommended using medicinal drugs with indica strains before bed. One of the most potent nighttime indica strains is “couch-lock.”

Though there are numerous potential health benefits of indica strains, it is advisable not to use these strains as self-medication. If you are suffering from any particular health issue, it is preferable to consult a doctor and start using these strains.

Popular Indica Strains

Some popular, nearly pure Indica strains include, afghan autoflower (20% THC, 0% CBD), white rhino (20% THC, 0% CBD), hindu kush (20% THC, 0% cbd), sunset sherbet (21% THC, 0% CBD), purple kush (25% THC, <1% CBD), corona kush (21% THC, 1% CBD), California dream (24% THC, 0% CBD), granddaddy purple (23% THC, <1% CBD), devil’s cake (20% THC, 0.01% CBD), bubba kush (22% THC, 0% CBD) and blood orange kush (24% THC, 1% CBD).

Sativa Strains

Sativa plant has thin leaves and longer flowering time. Unlike Indica strains, the sativa offers an uplifting and stimulating effect to your body.

These strains have a cerebral effect on the human body and impact emotions and mood. Sativa strain does not offer the dizzying psychoactive euphoric high. Instead, the sativa strain is mainly famous for its “head” high effect. Sativa’s head high effect helps in relieving stress and anxiety.

Generally, it is advisable to consume sativa strains in the daytime. Because these strains boost your physical energy, improve your mood and help relieve anxiety. Hence, consuming these strains can help you do your daily activities with more zeal and energy. CBD products have taken over the market since their legalization.

Health Benefits of Sativa Strains

Sativa strains offer plenty of health benefits. For instance, sativa strain improves your focus and creativity, relieves pain, enhances mood, decreases anxiety, and regulates appetite loss.

Regardless of its many health benefits, it is advisable to consume sativa strains as per the doctor’s recommendation.

Furthermore, do not consume more than the recommended dosage of the cannabis product. Preferably, begin by taking the less potent product and gradually increase the potency over time.

Popular Sativa Strains

Some of the most popular strains include trainwreck (17% THC; <1% CBD), durban poison (19%THC; <1% CBD), acapulco gold (18% THC, <1% CBD), and jack herer (24% THC, <1% CBD).

Hybrid Strains

The growers have specifically cultivated these strains to meet up the special requirements of the consumers. These strains contain the positives of both the sativa and indica strains. Therefore, the hybrid weed is in high demand. There are three types of hybrid weed; one with sativa dominant strains, one with dominant dominant strains, and one with equal share of both strains.

Sativa-dominant Hybrids

The sativa dominant strains have signature sedative and calming properties of cannabis sativa. These strains have a higher share of cannabis sativa strains. The most popular hybrid strains include jack herer (40% indica, 60% sativa), bruce banner (40% indica, 60% sativa), sour diesel (60% sativa, 40% indica).

Indica-dominant Hybrids

Strains with higher ratios of indica  offer the soothing and pain-relieving properties of the indica strain. These strains contain a higher percentage of indica strains. The sedative and calming properties of indica specific strains put your body at ease and create a “calming high.” Highly potent indica strains tend to help you sleep better.

The most popular indica dominant strains include; Skywalker OG (80% indica, 20% sativa), green crack (70% indica, 30% sativa), gelato (55% indica, 45% sativa), cherry pie (80% indica, 20% sativa), LSD (55% indica 45% sativa), zkittles (70% indica, 30% sativa), super skunk (80% indica, 20% sativa), blue cookies (60% indica, 40% sativa), kali kush (75% indica, 25% sativa), gold leaf  (60% indica, 40% sativa).

Balanced Hybrid Strains

The balanced cannabis hybrids contain equal share of both indica and sativa cannabis strains. Some of the most favorite examples of balanced hybrids include purple diesel, gorilla glue, and blue dream.

Health Benefits of Consuming Hybrid Strains

Hybrid strains offer several therapeutic benefits specific to the type of the parent strains. With the consumption of these strains, you can experience the health benefits of both sativa and indica strains.

Who Should Consume Hybrid Strains?

Generally, finding suitable strains per your preferences often requires time and a string of trial and error attempts. For this reason, the medical associations advise consuming low potency marijuana strains to find the correct dosage for full body effects in the beginning.  In this regard, the hybrid cannabis strains work perfectly for beginners. Initially, you are unaware of your body’s reaction to weed.

As the hybrid cannabis strains contain a certain percentage of both sativa and indica strains; so you will get the best of both worlds. For instance, one strain has an eminent quantity of THC, whereas the other has more CBD content.

Thus, with these cannabis strains, your body will experience the good psychoactive effect of THC and the medicinal effect of CBD. In particular, these cannabis strains are great for patients who have to use weed products regularly.

The hybrid strains make the drugs tolerable and effective for the patients.

Things to Consider Before Buying Hybrid Strains

Recently, hybrid strains have become immensely popular among masses. However, a comprehensive collection of pure sativa and pure indica strains is available in the market. But people prefer enjoying the benefits of both strains in a single go. However, the following are certain factors that you must keep in mind before buying these strains. Considering these points will help you purchase a premium product per your preferences.

The lineage of the Strain

The most crucial factor in determining the characteristics and quality of the hybrid marijuana strains is their lineage. The hybrid cannabis depicts the features of the parent strains. Knowing the lineage of the hybrid strains will inform you about the expected THC and CBD content, smell, flavor, and other similar characteristics.

Sativa vs Indica Percentage

The hybrid strains have a particular percentage of both indica and sativa strains, and the percentage of both strains determines the qualities of the hybrid strain. Most hybrid strains contain one dominant parent strain with a higher percentage and one in a lower percentage. The percentages are rarely equally split between two strains. Some hybrid strains have 80% of one type of strain while 20% of other or the split is 60% one strain and 40% other. It is essential to check this sativa vs. indica percentage split before buying any hybrid strains. Knowing which one is the dominant strain with a higher percentage will give you an idea about the expected characteristics of the hybrid strain.

THC and CBD Levels

Whether you are buying weed strains for medicinal or recreational purposes, it is essential to check their THC and CBD content beforehand. All strains have a specific chemical composition and percentage of these two most important cannabinoids. In general, the higher the THC, the better the euphoric sensation of the strain will be. Thus, if you want to get “high,” choose hybrid strains with higher THC.

On the other hand, CBD does not offer psychoactive effects and is usually consumed to gain health benefits. The higher the CBD content, the better it will deliver the health benefits. Thus, check the THC/ CBD ratio of the hybrid strains and pick the one per your requirements. You can now easily buy CBD oils, CBD gummies, and other various CBD products at your local store and online. Notably, if a specific dosage is acceptable for one person, it is not necessarily suitable for everyone.

All human bodies have a particular threshold level to tolerate the presence of THC in their body, and our metabolism reacts to all these supplements and strains differently. Hence, it is necessary not to go overboard with the hybrid strains’ dosage.

Smell and Flavor

The flavor and smell of the strains also matter while buying hybrid strains. Hybrid marijuana strains contain both parent strains’ chemical and physical properties. However, the hybrid strain’s scent and flavor mainly reflect the dominant strain’s characteristics. For instance, if the hybrid strain is a cross between a strain with a citrusy flavor and the other dominant strain that has a pungent smell. The hybrid strains will have a strong, pungent aroma with a hint of citrus flavor. Indeed, the hybrid strain’s qualities reflect the mix of both crossed strains, but the dominant strain will show its presence. Hence, before buying the strains, check whether the smell and flavor of the strain seem acceptable to you.

Reliability and Reputation of the Manufacturer

With the increase in the popularity and demand for marijuana products, the number of manufacturers has also tremendously increased. Indeed, most of these manufacturers offer premium quality strains.

But unfortunately, some brands provide poor-quality products. It is necessary to consume premium hybrid strains to avail their health benefits. In general, consuming inferior products can cause negative side effects such as nausea, loss of appetite, and dry mouth. Prestigious and reliable companies provide the complete content list, percentage, and recommended dosage.

Moreover, good quality weed products in the recommended quantities do not cause severe health issues. Contrarily, the lesser-known brands may offer you quick results, but you may have to suffer through the drastic side effects and potential risks in the long run. Therefore, buying cannabis products from a trustworthy and reputable source is advisable.

Ruderalis Strains

In addition to the main three cannabis types, indica, sativa, and hybrid cannabis plants, there is another cannabis strain type called ruderalis strains. Cannabis ruderalis plants are sometimes called the third type of cannabis, the other two being cannabis indica and cannabis sativa. However, botanists are conflicted about whether ruderalis is a separate species or a subspecies of any indica or sativa.

These plants are native to the extremely cold weather conditions of the Himalayan region of Eastern Europe, Siberia, and Russia. Regarding the appearance of the ruderalis marijuana, these are bushy plants with short height, no taller than 12 inches. These plants are not demanding regarding growing conditions and can easily grow in little sunlight. Hence, they can grow indoors as well.

Moreover, they have the auto-flowering ability with a short flowering cycle of less than a month. These ruderalis marijuana plants start flowering within 21 to 30 days of the seed cultivation. These strains are mainly known for their incredible medicinal properties.  Ruderalis have high CBD and low THC.

Because of the low THC percentage in ruderalis marijuana, the consumer can avail of the medicinal properties of the cannabinoids without experiencing a full body high. Low THC content makes it perfect for beginners who have recently started using marijuana products. Owing to the fast flowering properties of ruderalis, the cultivators have crossbred this cannabis species with sativa and cannabis indica plant.

The hybrid strain of ruderalis with other cannabis strains has improved chemical composition and highly productive properties. Overall, for their easy growth conditions, fast flowering cycle, and great CBD content, ruderalis marijuana plants quickly become favorites among the marijuana community.

Factors Determining the Affects and Side Effects of Different Weed Strains

Each weed strain has a specific effect on your mind and body. Two main factors determine the type and intensity of these effects and the side effects of weed strains. One of these factors is the natural chemical composition of these strains, and the other is the variations in the growing techniques of the weed.

These growing techniques include harvest conditions, growing times, and environmental conditions. The cannabis plants are divided into different breeds and strains depending upon variations in these factors.

In general, weed plants contain two major chemicals; cannabinoids and terpenes. Different weed strains have a unique and distinguished composition of these chemicals.

Typically, the chemical composition and percentage of cannabinoid profile in a weed strain help the consumer understand its particular effects. But, terpene content also plays a vital role in determining weed strains’ positive and negative effects.


Cannabinoids are natural compounds that are abundantly present in the weed or cannabis plant. These compounds are responsible for significant physical and mental effects of cannabis products on the human body.

Cannabinoids interact with the human body’s biological system, the endocannabinoid system (ECS). ECS helps in the proper functioning and regulation of various bodily functions such as metabolism, sleep, mood, memory, appetite, pain, and many more.

The weed plant contains more than 100 types of cannabinoids. However, THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol and CBD or Cannabinidol are two of the most abundant and significant cannabinoids. 

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

Tetrahydrocannabinol is the most significant cannabinoid in the weed plant, mainly known for its psychoactive effects. THC is responsible for the “euphoric body high” consumers experience after taking weed. This cannabinoid interacts with specific receptors in the brain and increases dopamine production.

Dopamine is an essential neurotransmitter that plays a vital role in various functions such as pleasure, pain, mood, sleep, arousal, lactation, movement, and memory. Hence, the consumption of THC content develops euphoric sensations and helps your body ease anxiety and pain. Over time, there has been an increase in the demand for weed strains with higher THC content for their recreational and medicinal purposes.

Therefore, the growers have started producing weed strains containing high THC levels according to the requirements of the cannabis industry.

Cannabinidol (CBD)

Cannabinidol is the second prominent cannabinoid in the weed plant, mainly known for its medicinal uses. Unlike THC, CBD does not pose any psychoactive effects. Therefore, most people consume CBD products to relieve pain and anxiety and avail its sedative effects without feeling the “euphoric high.”

Furthermore, the peer reviewed studies have also proved the positive impact of CBD consumption on curing various health issues. For instance, CBD may help relieve chronic pain, seizure, insomnia, depression, epilepsy, and several others. The level of CBD or its potency varies in different weed strains.

Other cannabinoids

Other essential cannabinoids in the weed include cannabinol (CBN), Cannabichromene (CBC), Cannabichromene (CBC), Cannabigerol (CBG), Cannabigerivarin (CBGV), Cannabichromevarin (CBCV), Cannabidivarin (CBDV), Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), and others. Most research has been done on the health benefits of THC and CBD yet. Hence, further extensive research is necessary to learn the medicinal uses and potential side effects of other cannabinoids of weed.


Terpenes or terpenoids are natural chemical compounds. Primarily, the terpenes offer a flavor and smell to the plant. Plus, most weed plants contain a specific combination of both terpenes and cannabinoids. This combination provides a unique entourage effect to the weed strains. The research has revealed the presence of hundreds of terpenes in the weed plant. However, the following are the most common terpenes found in most cannabis plants;

  • Caryophyllene

Caryophyllene has a distinguished peppery flavor with an intense and earthy aroma. Research has revealed that this terpene may help reduce pain, depression, and anxiety. Furthermore, caryophyllene may also offer anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Overall, this terpene is highly beneficial for human health.  

  • Myrcene

Myrcene is a common terpene in weed strains. This terpene has a spice and peppery flavor with an earthy aroma. This terpene has soothing properties; thus, its consumption can help relax your muscle and induce sleep. All cannabis strains contain myrcene, including indica strains, sativa strains, and hybrid cannabis strains. However, nighttime or indica strains especially have this terpene for its sedative properties. Some of the most famous strains producing prolific levels of myrcene include OG Kush, tangie, pineapple express, remedy, granddaddy purple, grape ape, and 9-pound hammer.  

  • Bisabolol

Bisabolol has a soothing smell like tea tree and chamomile oil. This terpene offers several therapeutic benefits, including anti-inflammatory, gastro-protective, analgesic, antimicrobial, and anti-anxiety effects.

  • Linalool

Linalool is one of the most common terpenes in different plant species. In addition to weed, this terpene is present in over 200 plant varieties. Linalool gives the plant a pleasant lavender scent paired with a bit of spiciness. This terpene is in higher percentages in hybrid strains with high indica ratio strains, including Mazar-i-sharif, wedding mints no. 13, zkittlez, scooby snacks, and so-si-dos. Linalool has sedative, antimicrobial, and stress relieving properties.

  • Terpinolene

Terpinolene offers a range of distinctive aromas to cannabis strains. For instance, it may smell floral, piney, and sometimes citrusy. This terpene is present in almost all THC-rich strains, including sativa, indica, and hybrid cannabis strains. Some of the most popular terpinolene-rich strains include Dutch treat, J1, orange cookies, golden goat, jack herer, XJ-13, ghost train haze, and golden pineapple.

  • Pinene

Pinene has a rich pine aroma and may help fight against THC’s harmful effects. Furthermore, this terpene helps in relieving pain and anxiety. Typically, pinene is not present abundantly in most of the strains. However, you may find piene as the second highest terpene in some strains, including blue dream, big smooth, god’s gift, cotton candy crush, harlequin, grape ape, remedy, and kosher tangie.

  • Ocimene

Ocimene imparts a sweet flavor to the cannabis with woodsy and citrusy undertones. The percentage of ocimene in the cannabis strains varies according to the growing techniques. Plus, ocimene content does not alter the terpene profile in the strains.  However, some strains contain this terpene as the second or third most abundant terpene in their chemical composition. These strains include clementine, J1, Dutch treat, green crack, dream queen, and golden pineapple. Ocimene may offer an uplifting and energizing effect to your body. However, there is a lack of research regarding learning the health benefits of ocimene.

  • Limonene

Limonene terpene has a rich citrusy smell. The percentage content of this terpene varies in different strains and depends upon the growing techniques and the plant’s genetics. Generally, the limonene-dominant strains include banana OG, cinex, black cherry soda, berry white, purple Hindu kush, MAC, quantum kush, Tahoe OG, white fire OG, wedding cake, and strawberry banana.

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Conclusion: What Is Hybrid Weed?

A wide range of weed products is available in the market, all seemingly offering great benefits. It is crucial to have a basic know-how of weed products to pick the best strains according to your requirements.

One of the first things to know is the type of strains and their specific benefits. Secondly, depending on your preferences, whether you wish to purchase a hybrid or a pure strain. A pure strain contains 100% indica or sativa strains, whereas hybrid strains contain a certain percentage of both strains. All three types of strains offer significant health benefits. However, as the hybrid strains have customized ratios, these specific strains can offer the perks of both strains.  

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