Everyone has a favorite strain to smoke, but is that your favorite strain to grow? Picking a hybrid variety can bridge the gap between what you love to smoke and what you are able to grow.
A hybrid cannabis strain has some Indica genetics and some Sativa genetics. They can range from 50:50 crosses to strains that have just a touch of Sativa and nearly all Indica or vice versa. The nearly infinite number of potential crosses opens up a wide range of characteristics to choose from.
Hybrid strains offer distinct advantages over pure or landrace strains when it comes to the grow room. Here are 9 reasons you should be growing hybrid cannabis:
1. Hybrid Vigor
The phrase “hybrid vigor” is often used to describe a sort of planned inbreeding of plants. The true definition of hybrid vigor is simply the increased function or improved positive characteristics of an organism due to increased genetic diversity. A purebred organism has a relatively small degree of adaptability due to limited genetic diversity, while a hybrid has more resources to deal with new or threatening circumstances.
In short, hybrid plants often demonstrate increased growth, higher fertility, greater disease resistance and generally better health than purebred strains.
2. Get a “Haze” High from Homegrown Bud
Everyone loves the hit from a member of the Haze family. These are the joints that get you flying, with that energetic, creative, euphoric mental buzz that just cannot be matched by any other buds.
But Haze varieties are notoriously difficult to grow. The image above shows a behemoth Haze that won’t fit into your average grow room. To have success outdoors, you need a long growing season to accommodate 12, 14 or even 16 weeks of flowering.
With hybrids like Critical Super Silver Haze, you can enjoy the elating effects of Haze with a grow-room friendly phenotype.
3. Grow Outdoors in Difficult Climates
There are some climates that make growing marijuana outdoors a serious challenge. If it is particularly wet, cold or simply unpredictable where you live, you have probably lost crops to mold, bud rot, freezing or drowning.
Fortunately, innovative breeders have created incredibly tough strains for outdoor growers. One great example is Guerilla’s Gusto. This Indica-dominant hybrid was bred to thrive outside and has been grown as far north as Ireland. She does well in moderate climates too, and is powerfully resistant to pests and mold.
Some growers claim that they can pop seedlings in the ground and not come back again till harvest time, making this the perfect strain for stealth operations. We don’t recommend leaving it up to chance that much, but vigorous hybrid strains like this one can make outdoor growing a possibility no matter where you live.
4. Grow Super Pot
Let’s consider a bit of chemistry here. Sativa strains tend to have higher levels of THC, while Indica varieties have more CBD. This isn’t always true, but in general studies have demonstrated this tendency.
So what if you want tons of THC for the psychedelic effects AND a bunch of CBD for its medicinal power? Crossing a potent Indica with a powerful Sativa is good place to start.
5. Enjoy Shorter Flowering Times
One of the main goals of crossing different strains of cannabis is to make the plants more friendly in the grow room. This means plants that are smaller, easier to train, healthier, give higher yields and have shorter flowering times.
By crossing a slow maturing Sativa with a fast finishing Indica, the flowering time can be reduced substantially. Several breeding cycles can be used to stabilize the trait of fast flowering.
Take a look at AK-47 as a great example. This is a high THC, Sativa dominant hybrid that flowers in 50 days or less.
6. Every Reason that Autos Are Cool
Have you ever grow an auto-flowering strain? These are the ultimate hybrids. A Sativa, Indica or hybrid is crossed with a Ruderalis, a type of cannabis still found growing wild in Alaska, Russia and other frigid northern climates.
These strains start flowering after a set amount of time (usually just a few weeks from sprouting) regardless of light conditions. That means you can have vegging and flowering plants in one grow room for a continual harvest, or grow outdoors in the shortest of growing seasons.
7. Achieve that Special Balanced High
Some people are diehard Sativa fans while others love the couch-locking effects of an Indica. But most of us, especially those of you reading this article, like a bit of both.
Good hybrid strains like Blue Dream offer a delicious combination of relaxing physical effects and inspiring mental activity. They are just the thing to relieve anxiety and melt away muscle tension after a long, tough day. So don’t get high. Smoke a hybrid and get balanced.
8. Grow Healthier Cannabis
Careful breeding results in healthier plants without necessarily losing out on your favorite bud qualities. Take Great White Shark, for example. If you smoke it without knowing what it is, you’ll swear it is all Indica. The effect is a powerful, couch-locking, narcotic, pain obliterating stone.
But Great White Shark has roughly 35% Sativa genetics, which open up its structure a bit, reducing the risk of mold or bud rot. It grows strong, healthy, vigorous plants. Plus, the Sativa influence adds a bit of fruit to the flavor of the bud, making it more fun to smoke.
9. Grow Tastier Cannabis
The last thing that hybrid weed does is allow us to play with flavors. Who doesn’t enjoy the novelty a fruity Strawberry Banana joint or the sharp, tangy bite of Diesel?
The flavor profile of a particular strain is directly related to the terpene and flavonoid content of the buds. Sativas and Indicas tend to have higher concentrations of different terpenes and flavonoids. That’s why Sativas tend to be fruity, piney or lemon scented while Indicas have a strong earthy, hash or dank smell and taste.
Mixing the two gives us tasty treats like Blueberry, Bubblegum, Chronic Fruity Juice and Blue Cheese.
What are you waiting for? It is time to go out and get some hybrid marijuana seeds today so you can enjoy your next harvest as soon as possible.