Hybrid cannabis plants are crossbred varieties of the cannabis indica, cannabis sativa or cannabis ruderalis species under the genus Cannabis in the family Cannabaceae. Hybrid cannabis is favored by marijuana users and cultivators for for a myriad of reasons including increased yield, potency, flavor and hybrid vigor.
Hybrid cannabis plants display a mix of traits, inherited from the “mother” and “father” parent plants used to breed the hybrid seeds. An indica-dominant hybrid plant may grow taller than a pure cannabis indica species, while a sativa-dominant hybrid plant gets denser buds than a pure cannabis sativa species. The vast breeding possibilities creates a range of outcomes, which can be observed as indica-dominant or sativa-dominant.
For the past 40 years, hybrid cannabis has been at the heart of the cannabis community with both growers and smokers. The most famous strains of weed in history are hybrid strains – Haze, Skunk, Northern Lights, White Widow, OG Kush, Blueberry, and more.
Cannabis seed breeders have selectively bred hybrid cannabis genetics to obtain a number of desirable attributes including unusual colors, higher yields, resin production, tastes, aromas and cannabinoid content.
Recently the introduction of cannabis ruderalis into seed breeding has allowed for the new “autoflowering” type of cannabis seeds, that flower automatically in any light hour cycle.
By crossbreeding different species of cannabis together, the resulting generation of seeds has a special trait called “hybrid vigor”, or heterosis, which may increase the rate of growth compared to the parent generations.
Hybrid cannabis is often bred to be more manageable in the grow room than say, a pure sativa. Topping or cropping techniques such as Sea of Green (SoG) or Screen of Green (SCROG) are used to maximize yields per square meter.
As the female hybrid plant shifts into it’s flowering stage, an explosion of white pistil bud sites form scattered on the branches, starting at the internodes and growing up.
Flowering hybrid cannabis plants can be finished anywhere from 2-5 months time, or longer for heavy sativa-dominant varieties. As a rule of thumb, indica-dominant hybrids typically grow shorter and flower in less time than sativa-dominant hybrids.
Hybrid cannabis affects users with a number of different effects including mixed narcotic, energetic relaxing and stimulating highs. The effects of smoking cannabis hybrids may vary on a per strain basis.