The 7 best hybrid strains
In the world of weed, people usually think of sativas as the energizing head high strains, while indicas are the potent, sedating body high strains. While these generalizations of effects may have been applicable once upon a time, the truth is that very few 100% sativa or 100% indica genetics are available to the public — or even exist at all anymore.
Most of us are just smoking hybrids.
Hybrid cannabis strains are the result of cannabis breeders spending the past few decades crossing pure sativa genetics with pure indica genetics in the hopes of creating the “perfect” cannabis strains that every consumer could enjoy. Because of this, we now have thousands of strains that can make us feel a whole spectrum of ways. With so many hybrid options, choosing the right ones based on effects can be pretty overwhelming.
To ease the stress of browsing dispensary menus for hours, here are seven of the best hybrid cannabis strains ever.
Since its birth in the 1990s, Original Kush, better known as OG Kush, has been the backbone of California cannabis culture and genetics. As a result, there isn’t a strain out there that hasn’t been crossed with it; and usually, no matter the cross, those Kush attributes tend to be pretty dominant. Despite its fame, none of us really know for a fact which exact genetics created OG Kush. All we know is how it should make us feel.
OG Kush is known for providing potent effects suited best for those who can tolerate a high THC content. The high is generally a hard-hitting cerebral euphoria that leaves consumers feeling relaxed and goofy (i.e. stoned for hours at a time). While a heavy high, OG Kush isn’t thought to be a sleepy strain, though you can definitely smoke yourself into the couch with large doses.
In the same breath as OG Kush and its influence on modern hybrids, we also have to mention Sam the Skunkman’s Skunk #1. It’s a classic cross of Afghani, Acapulco Gold, and Colombian Gold and is world-renowned for producing a pungent funk that smells like a skunk. Additionally, since the 70s, it’s been used to create many of the world’s favorite strains, UK Cheese being the most popular.
Past the skunky terpenes, the Skunk #1 high usually leaves people feeling happy, relaxed, and uplifted. If you need a daytime strain that can help push you through a typical Monday, this might be the hybrid for you.
Gas. When we see Chemdog, all we think is gas.
This legendary strain, whose story began as some bagseed found at a 1970s Grateful Dead concert, is the reason why we all love cannabis flowers that produce a diesely flavor profile. Like most old school strains, no one really knows its genetic history. What we do know is that famous chemmy terpene profile and the extremely potent high that follows.
Chemdog is the definition of couch-locking cannabis. Just a couple hits may leave you too high for activities. Because of its mind-numbing effects that quickly spread throughout the body, it is often best to consume this hybrid towards the end of the day — or night, for that matter.
White Widow is so fun to smoke. It’s truly one of my go-tos when I want a strain that’ll make me feel happy and care-free. And the flowers are beautiful with a thick, white coat of trichomes.
White Widow was bred by crossing a Brazilian landrace with a South Indian landrace. It’s the perfect hybrid in terms of a long-lasting experience with effects that won’t bog you down. Anyone looking for a relaxed yet social high can probably stop right here.
GSC (formerly Girl Scout Cookies)
To know cannabis in 2020 is to know Cookies; it’s genetics are virtually inescapable at this point.
Formerly known as Girl Scout Cookies (but changed to GSC for legal reasons) this strain is the pride and joy of the Bay Area’s famous Cookie Fam. It’s a cross between Durban Poison and OG Kush that produces incredibly high THC percentages and long-lasting cerebral effects that apply to any time of day, much like OG Kush.
Original Glue (formerly GG#4)
Another strain, another name change due to legal reasons.
Original Glue is the artist formerly known as Gorilla Glue #4. It’s a hybrid with a complex mix of Chem’s Sister, Chocolate Diesel, and Sour Dubb genetics. It tends to have an earthy and somewhat diesel aroma.
If you came here looking for a hybrid that’ll lock you down for the next few hours, Original Glue is well-known for having potent and relaxing effects that leave consumers stuck to the couch.
Wedding Cake seems to be the newest people’s champ of hybrid cannabis strains. It’s a phenotype of Seed Junky’s Triangle Mints strain that was named for its supposed vanilla frosting taste. Unfortunately, many of us just think it tastes like earthy dough.
The effects tend to follow the road paved by OG Kush and GSC, as anytime hybrids that produce a potent, long-lasting euphoria that often hits hardest in the mind.
Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Most of us are just smoking hybrids.
Sativa vs. Indica: What to Expect Across Cannabis Types and Strains
The two main types of cannabis, sativa and indica, are used for a number of medicinal and recreational purposes.
Sativas are known for their “head high,” an invigorating, energizing effect that can help reduce anxiety or stress and increase creativity and focus.
Indicas are typically associated with full-body effects, such as increasing deep relaxation and reducing insomnia.
Although research examining these effects is limited, it appears these plants have more in common than previously thought.
In other words, the category, or type, of cannabis may not be the greatest indicator of the effects you’ll experience.
Here’s how to find the right plant for your needs, strains to consider, potential side effects, and more.
The often-applied rule of thumb is that sativas are more invigorating and energizing, while indicas are more relaxing and calming — but it isn’t really that simple.
Individual plants produce varying effects, even among the same type of cannabis. It all depends on the plant’s chemical composition and the growing technique used.
Instead of looking at the type alone — sativa or indica — look at the description the grower and dispensary provide.
Oftentimes, the plant types are broken down into specific strains, or breeds.
Strains are distinguished by their individual cannabinoid and terpene content. These compounds are what determine the strain’s overall effects.
Cannabis plants contain dozens of chemical compounds called cannabinoids.
These naturally occurring components are responsible for producing many of the effects — both negative and positive — of cannabis use.
Researchers still don’t understand what all of the cannabinoids do, but they have identified two main ones — tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) — as well as several less common compounds.
- THC. THC is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis plants. It’s responsible for the “high” or state of euphoria associated with cannabis use. Levels of THC have been increasing as growers try to create hybrids with a greater concentration of the compound.
- CBD. CBD is non-psychoactive. It doesn’t cause a “high.” However, it may produce many physical benefits, such as reducing pain and nausea, preventing seizures, and easing migraine.
- CBN. Cannabinol (CBN) is used to ease symptoms and side effects of neurological conditions, including epilepsy, seizures, and uncontrollable muscle stiffness.
- THCA. Tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA) is similar to THC, but it doesn’t cause any psychoactive effects. Its potential benefits include reducing inflammation from arthritis and autoimmune diseases. It may also help reduce symptoms of neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease and ALS.
- CBG. Cannabigerol (CBG) is thought to help reduce anxiety and symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression.
A great deal of attention is paid to the amount of THC and CBD in a given strain, but newer research suggests that terpenes may be just as impactful.
Terpenes are another naturally occurring compound in the cannabis plant.
The terpenes present directly affect the plant’s smell. They may also influence the effects produced by specific strains.
According to Leafly, common terpenes include:
- Bisabolol. With notes of chamomile and tea tree oil, the terpene bisabolol is thought to reduce inflammation and irritation. It may also have microbial and pain-reducing effects.
- Caryophyllene. The peppery, spicy molecule may reduce anxiety, ease symptoms of depression, and improve ulcers.
- Linalool. Linalool is said to help improve relaxation and boost mood with its floral notes.
- Myrcene. The most common terpene, this earthy, herbal molecule may help reduce anxiety and insomnia so you can sleep better.
- Ocimene. This terpene produces notes of basil, mango, and parsley. Its primary effects may include easing congestion and warding off viruses and bacteria.
- Pinene. As the name suggests, this terpene produces an intense pine aroma. It may help boost memory, reduce pain, and ease some of the not-so-pleasant symptoms of THC, such as nausea and coordination problems.
- Terpinolene. Cannabis with this compound may smell like apples, cumin, and conifers. It may have sedative, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.
- Limonene. Bright, zippy citrus notes come from this terpene. It’s said to improve mood and reduce stress.
- Humulene. This terpene is deeply earthy and woody, like hops or cloves. Cannabis strains with this molecule may reduce inflammation.
- Eucalyptol. With notes of eucalyptus and tea tree oil, this molecule is refreshing and invigorating. It may also reduce inflammation and fight bacteria.
Sativa and indica are the two main types of cannabis plants. The often-applied rule of thumb is that sativas are more invigorating and energizing, while indicas are more relaxing and calming — but this is an immense oversimplification. Here's how to find the right plant for your needs, strains to consider, and more.