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Mother Knows Best: Why Are Hybrid Strains So Awesome?

Our advice columnist explains why you love White Widow and Bruce Banner weed so much.

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Dear Mother,

Can you tell me more about hybrid strains? How do you grow them and why are they my favorite type of weed?

— High on Hybrids

Dear HOH,

You are definitely not alone in your love of hybrid strains. Hybrids — strains that are a combination of sativa and indica — are super popular and for good reason. So, let's take a look at what makes hybrids so awesome.

A lot of people think of hybrids as the best of both worlds, and they're right. While some people love the total body relaxation and couch lock feel of a strong, pure indica—and others dig the racy, spacey head vibe that sativas offer—strong strains from both types might simply be "too much" for a lot of folks. Hybrids offer up a beautiful balance of the two. Or, think of hybrid cannabis as the baby bear of weed: just right.

One great thing about hybrids is that they span the gamut. So, if you truly do love sativas, but want to mix things up — but not too much! —  you can enjoy a sativa-dominant hybrid like Bruce Banner (a combo of OG Kush and Strawberry Diesel), which will start by causing you to feel euphoric and creative, but finishes with a nice, relaxing feel. Or, perhaps you want to branch outside your indica comfort zone? Puff down on some Sunset Sherbet (an indica dominant mix of Girl Scout Cookies and Pink Panties) for some super powerful relaxation effects and just a jolt of cerebral high. And, of course, you can always try one of the most popular balanced hybrids in the world: White Widow.

But how do these amazing plants come into existence? In the simplest terms, hybrids are created when you cross-pollinate two strains (using a male from one strain and a female from another). If you think of each independent strain as a "parent," the seeds from their "child" plant would be the start of the hybrid strain. You can then clone this "child" to keep producing more of your new strain. While in theory that sounds fairly easy and straightforward, there's actually a real craft and skill needed to produce successful hybrid strains.

One of the wonderful effects of legalizing cannabis is that it allows growers more freedom in flexing their cross-breeding muscles. For instance, check out this hybrid "Strategy" which was created by a Colorado ad agency in partnership with cannabis grower Colorado Kind specifically for creative folks. There's also Mendo Breath, bred by the Gage Green Group. It's been dubbed a "new-school/old-school" hybrid that both calms anxiety but also provides a meditative and trance-like feeling.  

It definitely takes work and dedication to figure out how to harness the traits you enjoy in various strains before finding a hybrid that produces the desired effects from each parent. Though, if you have the space, the inclination, and the cash, you can definitely try your hand at creating your own hybrid. Who knows, you might just have the next White Widow on your hands. But until then, enjoy knowing that there are already amazing hybrids out there. Tip your hat to those who create them, and spark one up in the name of happy hybrids!

— Mother