Oct 1, 2020

Are Hybrid Cannabis Strains Stronger?

Most people have heard that sativas will be uplifting and energetic while indicas are going to knock you out on the couch; so, hybrids must just be a combination of those effects right?

 

Maybe not.

 

Though this seems to be an ever-present discussion in the cannabis world, there is no real evidence yet that there are actually tangible differences between the effects people experience from the different classifications. Since cannabis is such a subjective, personal experience, it is impossible to guarantee the effects that any specific strain will have on a person. So when it comes to understanding how indicas or sativas may affect you, self experimentation is really the only way to know for sure. An important part of self experimentation is keeping track of your experiences, try using a journaling app to start a “cannabis journal” to log all the products you try. 

 

Take note of the product name and brand, the cannabinoid and terpene ratios, how it smells and tastes, how and where it affects you, how long it takes to kick in and how long it lasts for – you may even jot down how well you slept the night before or what you last ate; all these can play a part in that high you experience. This can help customize your future experiences based on your past reactions.

 

If they’re not that different, where did the terms Indica, Sativa and Hybrid come from?

 

Originally these terms referred to the taxonomy of the plant; sativas would grow tall, with long thin leaves and large, sparse, airy buds. Indicas would grow short, with wide leaves and very dense, very small buds.

Growth and Physical Characteristics of Sativa vs Indica Cannabis
Image by Substance

OG strains

Back in the 70s, an intrepid group of North American pioneers travelled to Afghanistan and Northern Pakistan, specifically the Kush Mountains of northern India, and brought back some of the original indica genetics. They bred them on the West Coast, adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, with North American sativa genetics that had come from the Equatorial regions (primarily Mexico and Columbia). And thus the very first Ocean Grown (OG) Kush was created!

 

Over the years, breeders took the attributes they liked from each by crossing the two species together. Growers wanted tall plants (found with sativas) that grew faster (found with indicas) that had large, dense buds and high THC and eventually most of the original genetics were bred out of existence and replaced by their superior children, able to produce higher and higher levels of cannabinoids and terpenes with each generation.

 

Growing an old fashioned sativa takes time, they can take up to 12 months before they are ready for harvest sometimes. Indicas don’t get very big and don’t have the best yield. Neither are really commercially viable. 

 

So are they stronger?

Well, unfortunately, like with most things Cannabis, the answer is, it depends. It is more about the individual product and the person consuming it than it is about the broad category. 

 

Keep your experience journal up to date so that the next time you visit your local Hunny Pot Budtender you can tell them what your experiences have been like and they can use that information to help guide you along your journey to find your desired cannabis experience.

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