Cannabis is one of the fastest-growing industries today.
It has met some resistance from different parts of society over the years, but people are beginning to recognize its benefits. It has been approved for medicinal use in 22 states and recreational use in 11 states.
If you are warming up to the idea of visiting your local dispensary, you are not alone. As cannabis continues to gain wider acceptance, more and more people see it in a different light.
However, the experience can be overwhelming at first. There are hundreds of strains to choose from. There are also three broad categories: Indica, Sativa, and hybrid.
This article focuses on hybrid weed.
A Look Back Into History
Like most commercial crops, cannabis now comes in a wide variety of strains.
However, all of them can trace their roots to the first feral strain, which grew on the steppes of Central Asia approximately 15,000 years ago.
As time passed, the original cannabis plant made its way to other parts of the world through ancient trading routes.
Africa, Europe, and the Americas were among the first to welcome cannabis and benefit from its many applications. This includes rope manufacturing, textile products, and of course, medicinal purposes.
There were no other cannabis strains prior to this point. But over the years, the cannabis plants in different geographical locations began to adapt to the region’s climate.
This resulted in subtle differences between plants in different areas, giving rise to “landrace strains.”
Another contributing factor is the traditional cultivating method, which was unique for every region.
Generation after generation of cannabis growers learned that selectively breeding the landraces gave the plant better traits, such as mold resistance and viability in arid climates.
An Introduction to Crossbreeding
As the cannabis plant continued to thrive, it spread even more throughout the world, reaching North America at the start of the 20th century.
It became so popular that by the 1960s, the demand had far outpaced the growers’ ability to supply the product. This was problematic, especially because cannabis plants took a long time to grow in northern climates.
It was also during this time that authorities started to crack down on the cannabis industry. Between the increased demand and more stringent measures from the government, the well-publicized “cannabis droughts” happened.
The cannabis community caught a break when innovative breeders in California and other areas discovered that crossing different landrace strains resulted in hybrids that grow faster, give higher yields, and offer a better experience.
This started the mad race in cannabis crossbreeding.
Even as the acceptance for cannabis ebbed and flowed, the industry’s popularity continued to grow. It prompted cannabis growers to keep on coming up with better products by crossbreeding one strain with another.
Some want to improve the terpene count, while others want to increase the cannabinoid. Regardless of what their motivation is, the end goal is to create a better offspring that is more suited to meet the increasing level of customer expectation.
Today, there are many cannabis strains available in the market. Each one has its own unique characteristics and offers a different but equally satisfying experience.
What is a Hybrid Strain?
Hybrid cannabis is the result of crossbreeding different sexes of two distinct strains. In other words, you pollinate a female plant of a certain strain with a male plant of another strain. The seeds that you get from this hybrid are a new strain.
There are many factors that go into the process of choosing which plants to crossbreed. In a nutshell, you try to pick those with optimal characteristics, including smell, taste, terpenes, and medicinal effects.
Most of the cannabis products you will see in popular dispensaries like the Ice Kream Shop are hybrids. They can be Indica-dominant, Sativa-dominant, or a balance between the two.
While there are still pure Sativa or Indica products, the market is virtually saturated by cannabis hybrids, each one with its own name.
Some names are more methodical, offering valuable insight into what you can expect after using the product. Others seem random at first glance but still provide a relevant story behind them.
However, it is crucial to keep in mind that the product brand holds more value than the name of the hybrid strain when it comes to quality.
What Are the Effects of Cannabis Hybrids?
Hybrids are mixtures of different strains, and the degree of each blend is unique. With this much creative freedom involved in the growing process, it can be difficult for a customer to predict what the effects of a hybrid would be.
If you are trying to choose which products to buy, it is essential to look at the strain’s chemical composition and percentage of CBD or THC. You should do this whether it is a hybrid or not, as this information gives you a better idea of what to expect once you use it.
As more states push for the legalization of cannabis, the testing of cannabis products will become more prevalent. This means that the information that you need would be readily available.
What the Future of Cannabis Hybrids Looks Like
Cannabis has been a big part of our history and culture, and it is hard to think that it could get any bigger. Still, with the way things are going, the future of the industry does look brighter.
For one, more and more states are legalizing or at least decriminalizing the marijuana plant. As a result, scientists are able to study it more.
What does this mean moving forward? Experts will be able to come up with more information to support the cannabis industry. With more knowledge, people will start seeing cannabis in a better light.
In addition, more studies would lead to more innovations, which means that cannabis enthusiasts will have access to better products. It is even possible to find new ways of how cannabis can improve people’s quality of life.
It is truly an exciting time for the cannabis community and its advocates.