Hybrid Cannabis Strains
Put simply, a hybrid is the result of combining the genetic material from one species or variety together with that from an entirely different variety. Hybrid’s appear in many animal and plant species, and a hybrid Cannabis seed or plant is simply the result of crossing a Sativa strain with an Indica to create something entirely new.
Due to the different climates and parts of the world that Sativa and Indica Cannabis plants grow in, it would be highly unlikely for an Indica-Sativa hybrid to be produced naturally, although not impossible. As both varieties are ultimately the same plant which has diversified into two distinctly different strains, pollinating a female using pollen from the opposite male would result in fertilization and ultimately, fresh, new seeds.
The batch of seeds will now contain differing levels of both it’s parents genetics, much like children for humans. And like children, even though they may share the same parents, their physical appearance and personalities may be completely different.
These first, early hybrids were, by modern seed standards, pretty unstable, with some seeds growing tall and displaying Sativa attributes, while others from the same plant and batch would grow completely differently, displaying Indica traits, or a combination of both varieties.
Modern Cannabis seeds are generally far more stable, with batches creating similar plants time after time. This is known as a stable and uniform strain. Some strains produce plants that display more than one set of characteristics. Several strains produce more than one stable cross, these are known as ‘pheno-types’ and tend to be dominated by one set of parent’s genetics or the other.
Almost all modern Cannabis seeds are hybrid strains, containing both Sativa and Indica genetics. Hybrid strains date back to the early 1970’s when the race began to create and develop the perfect Cannabis strain, one which flowered quickly and matured into dense, hard, Indica type buds, but had the psycho-active attributes associated with a prime Sativa.
From these first hybrids, three famous Cannabis hybrids emerged, Skunk, Northern Lights and Haze. Each different, with differing tastes, aroma’s and THC levels. These three popular Cannabis strains have all been highly awarded at Cannabis Cup’s and Expo’s in many countries, and have since their creation, gone on to be the foundations for a whole host of other, very well-known Cannabis seeds and strains.
Skunk was the first truly stabilized Cannabis hybrid created by the Dutch in Holland. It’s genetic make-up consists of three distinctively different varieties, Colombian, Mexican and Afghani and since it’s creation has been the basis for many other strains.
Skunk seeds are considered easy to grow, and perform best when grown indoors within a purpose built grow-room, or inside a greenhouse. Expect large, Indica dominant leaves with short, close branching and a short flowering period of between 50 – 60 days.
Skunk Cannabis buds are heavy and dense with a low leaf ratio, this makes manicuring easy and increases the plants resistance to mould. Harvests are good, producing between 500-700 grams of high quality bud per square meter.
Once dried and cured the buds have a sweet, citrus flavour and aroma, producing a couch-locking Indica stoned feeling.
A heavy, Indica dominant plant with predominantly Afghan genetics, Northern Lights was one of the original pioneering Cannabis hybrid strains. Used by countless breeders to increase weight and other dominant Indica factors into the genetics, it has dominated the Cannabis world by itself, and through it’s countless creations for over thirty years.
Northern Lights became such as success due to it’s ability to please all. An easy plant to grow, forgiving of many mistakes, it was the perfect choice for many new growers and enthusiasts. Commercial growers loved it’s dense, bush-like structure, making it a firm favourite for indoor growers everywhere.
Flowering times are approximately sixty days, and the odour is easily manageable,. Yields are around four hundred grams per square meter, producing large, swollen buds fully coated in resin. An earthy, Afghan flavour and aroma is complimented by the smooth sweet yet spicy taste, producing a relaxing, pain relieving body stone feeling.
With THC levels of around 18% and medium CBD, Northern Lights has proved to be a favourite with medical marijuana users and recreational smokers alike.
The last of our three famous Cannabis hybrids is Haze. The original Haze comprised of four different types of Cannabis, each from a different country; Mexico, Colombia, Thailand and India. The stabilized strain would become one of the most famous Sativa dominant Cannabis hybrids created.
World famous for it’s soaring, euphoric high, Haze become the buzz word for high quality Sativa Cannabis. As with the other two, very successful original Cannabis hybrids, original Haze was subsequently used as the foundation for many later strains.
Haze is an almost true Sativa, producing tall, plants with long, slender leaves. In it’s original form it was the perfect choice for growing outdoors in good climates, but with demand for indoor strains increasing, many of the subsequent varieties created from the original Haze contained a small percentage of Indica genetics, two of the most famous being Super Silver and Purple Haze.
With it’s creative and sociable high, Haze became a favourite with musicians and writers, culminating in the Jimmy Hendricks song, Purple Haze.