The word “strain” is one of the most potentially confusing terms in the cannabis glossary. Therefore, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with what cannabis species entails to understand what strains are.
Cannabis is a plant genus that produces many species. The plant goes by many other names, such as marijuana, weed, pot, etc.
Out of the many cannabis species, the most popular ones are Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis. These species differ across various aspects, including maturation period, overall resilience, and concentration of phytocannabinoids (pharmacologically beneficial compounds in cannabis).
Cannabis strains are cultivars derived from specific cannabis species. Some strains come from pure breeds, whereas others are obtained from more than one variety. Cannabis strains obtained by mixing different species constitute hybrids. Although still not universally accepted, many cannabis researchers recognize Cannabis hybrids as a distinct species.
In this post, we focus on 5 reasons why cannabis growers or users should consider hybrid strains.
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Development of Cannabis Hybrids and How They Differ From Pure Breeds
Common cannabis species, such as Sativa, Indica, and Ruderalis, occur naturally. However, hybrids are typically developed in the laboratory.
The process involves identifying and intensifying specific characteristics in the parent species. That reduces the risks of cultivating cannabis plants that produce cheap buds.
Note that buds are the most valuable parts of a cannabis plant, as they contain the highest concentration of cannabinoids. So, high-quality buds translate to better yields and return on investment for commercial cannabis growers.
To develop hybrids, researchers must carefully study the parent species before isolating its most desirable qualities.
For instance, Cannabis Sativa is noted for its high potency of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive chemical in cannabis. THC is famous for its energizing, mood-elevating, and stress-relieving benefits. On the other hand, Indica strains mainly contain cannabidiol (CBD), the primary therapeutic compound in cannabis. CBD boasts potent analgesic, anxiolytic, and antiemetic properties. Therefore, a cross between Sativa and Indica would feature the best of both worlds – energy-boosting, pain-relieving, and stress-busting properties.
Here’s another illustration;
Indica plants are high-yielding species. The plants are famous for their ability to produce high-quality cannabis Indica flower strains. Ruderalis share many phenotypic characteristics with Indicas. The main difference is that Ruderalis plants mature even faster. Therefore, theoretically, it would make more economic sense to cultivate an Indica-Ruderalis hybrid than pure Indica or Ruderalis. That way, you’ll benefit from Indica’s high-yielding and Ruderalis’ fast-maturation properties.
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5 Reasons to Consider Hybrid Strains
As we’ve already pointed out, the fundamental difference between cannabis hybrids and purebreds is that hybrids synergize the benefits of individual cannabis strains.
The following are 5 specific reasons to consider investing in the best hybrid strains based on your involvement in the cannabis industry.
1. For Growers: Hybrids Are Economically Viable
Economic viability is a crucial consideration while developing cannabis hybrids like rockstar strain. Researchers usually consider various aspects of economic viability, including resistance to pests and diseases, yield volume, and maturation period.
However, it’s almost impossible to have pure cannabis varieties that contain all the desirable qualities.
For instance, Indica strains are known to take full advantage of sunlight. That ability to optimize sunlight makes Indica plants transition from the vegetative to flowering phase much faster. However, Indica species also produce bushier clusters than their Sativa counterparts. That makes them more susceptible to mould and mildew growth.
By going for a Sativa-Indica hybrid, a cannabis grower can rest assured of quick maturation, high yields, and lower risks of pests and diseases.
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2. For Traders: Hybrids Are Fast-moving
Consumers associate the term “hybrid” with some magic. Although the word is commonly used about genetically engineered products, it’s synonymous with power, synergy, and effectiveness.
A consumer will gladly turn down a health supplement made from native herbal ingredients in favour of a product formulated with a hybrid of different elements.
As a cannabis trader, you can also take advantage of this market dynamic to stock more cannabis hybrid products. Since most of your potential customers will prefer hybrid to pure cannabis varieties, you can capitalize on this opportunity to add price markups to your products.
However, ensure you focus on educating your potential clients on the benefits of cannabis hybrids. To further influence their purchase decision, try to draw comparisons between hybrids and purebreds.
3. For Consumers: Hybrids Offer Compounded Benefits
Cannabis hybrids feature the best qualities of pure strains. Therefore, they offer compounded health benefits.
To better understand the synergistic benefits of cannabis hybrids, it’s essential to know the specific effects of the two major strains – Sativa and Indica.
Cannabis Sativa is generally energizing, uplifting, and motivating. Sativa-dominant strains can also stimulate your appetite, help reduce nausea, and enhance mental alertness and creativity. Indica primarily produces calming and relaxing effects. In addition, indica-dominant strains can mediate pain, relieve anxiety, alleviate inflammation, and combat insomnia.
When you use a hybrid product containing significant amounts of Sativa and Indica, you get to enjoy the qualities of each of these dominant strains.
4. For The Cannabis Industry: Hybrids Enhance the Supply of Rare Cannabinoids
The cannabis industry is expanding at an incredible rate. According to recent projections, the global marijuana industry was valued at USD 9.1 billion in 2020. Furthermore, it is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.7% from 2021 to 2028.
While this is excellent news for traders, it also means there may be a global shortage of cannabis products at some point. The shortage, if it occurs, would primarily affect rare cannabinoids like cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), cannabichromene (CBC), etc.
Thankfully, the fact that hybrids are typically developed in the lab means we may never witness that shortage after all. Cannabis researchers will continue developing hybrid seeds that cultivators can grow to regulate the global supply of rare cannabinoids.
5. For Everyone: Hybrids Offer Variety
Another great thing to love about cannabis hybrids is that there are numerous strains to experiment with.
Common ones include;
- Blue Dream
- Bruce Banner
- Cookies and Cream
- Kush Mints
- Lava Cake
- Mac 1
- OG Kush
- Pineapple Express
- Runtz Gelato
- Sunday Driver Cherry Pie
- Wedding Crasher
- Wedding Cake
- White Runtz
- White Widow
The best thing about the hybrid strains is that each strain has its most outstanding feature. So you can choose a Sativa-dominant, Indica-dominant, or Ruderalis-dominant strain. You can also opt for a hybrid strain that blends the finest qualities of other famous strains.
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Choosing cannabis hybrids is a perfect way to synergize the most potent compounds in the different parent species.
Just remember to research a hybrid strain thoroughly to uncover its core benefits before purchasing it.
- Hartney, Elizabeth. (2020, July 22). What is THC? Very Well Mind. Available at: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-thc-in-marijuana-4080556
- Grand View Research. (2021, May). Legal Marijuana Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Marijuana Type (Medical, Adult Use), By Product Type (Flower, Oil), By Medical Application (Chronic Pain, Mental Disorders), And Segment Forecasts, 2021 – 2028. Available at: https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/legal-marijuana-market