What is Hybrid Cannabis: Characteristics, Top Strains, & More

May 10, 2023

There are two ways strains come into this world—landrace, which means they grow wild in a particular location, and hybrids, which means somewhere along the line, two strains were crossed to make something unique. We’re here to talk to you about those unique strains and dive deep into the topic of hybrid cannabis.

What is Hybrid Cannabis?

Check any cannabis glossary, and you’ll find three types of strains—indica, sativa, and hybrids. Hybrid cannabis is created when two or more cultivars (plants of a particular strain) are crossed together to produce a new strain. Typically, that new strain carries a name that reflects its parent strains. For example, when Blueberry was crossed with Triple OG, it created the aptly-named Crunch Berries hybrid. 

Depending on the parent strains’ genetics, hybrids can be balanced between indica and sativa, or they can lean in one direction or another—creating a unique experience when you consume them. While you may think you know how your body reacts to an indica or sativa, you may find the combination of the two offers you a different outcome. Of course, how you experience a strain is unique to you, so the only way to know how you’ll feel when you try a strain is to start with a low dose.

How are Hybrid Strains Different From Indica or Sativa?

There are three significant differences between hybrids and indica and sativa marijuana plants. The first difference is that hybrids must be grown on a farm or in a greenhouse, while landrace sativas and indicas are native to certain areas around the globe. 

The second difference is that they can be grown for specific characteristics based on their genetics. This means that growers can breed hybrids for traits like CBD-to-THC ratios, flavors, aromas, and more. 

This leads us to the third difference—availability. Landrace sativa and indica strains are prized because they’re relatively rare. Hybrids, however, make up the vast majority of cannabis products you find in a dispensary. 

What are Hybrid Cannabis Plant Characteristics?

The different characteristics of sativa and indica plants are easily discerned the moment you walk into a greenhouse. Sativa tends to be tall and thin, and indica is bushy and short. When it comes to hybrids, it’s not quite that easy. Because hybrid marijuana strains are a cross of genetics, the plants themselves can have a variety of different appearances and characteristics. 

Because of this, we tend to describe hybrids by different traits—flavors, aromas, and genetics. Flavors and aromas, thanks to a plant’s terpene profile, are easy to describe, but genetic characteristics get a little more nuanced. You may hear phrases like “indica-leaning” and “sativa-dominant.” These refer to the traits of the parent strains and how they may (or may not) influence the strain you’re interested in purchasing. Here are a few of the hybrid terms you’ll see and what they mean:

  • Balanced hybrid: This term is used to describe a hybrid that is about as close as you can get to being 50/50 indica-to-sativa. Cannabis enthusiasts claim that you get a balance between indica and sativa effects, as well, but your experiences when you consume cannabis are unique to you, so don’t take anyone else’s word for it.

  • Indica-dominant hybrid: Any hybrid over 60% indica is considered indica-dominant. This means that the indica genetics are far more prominent in the plant. 

  • Sativa-dominant hybrid: If it’s over 60% sativa, it’s a sativa-dominant hybrid. The sativa genetics are far more prominent in sativa-dominant hybrids. 

Prefer to keep things simple? Check out our selection of consumables and find cannabis edibles that are right for you. 

What are the Best Hybrid Strains?

It would be impossible to list all of our favorite hybrid strains. Not only are there great options on the market currently, but new strains are being created yearly. Still, there are a few hybrids that rise to the top. Here’s a handful of our must-try hybrid strain selections:

Blue Dream

A slightly sativa-leaning hybrid (60% sativa & 40% indica), Blue Dream is a delicious cross between Blueberry and Haze, and Blue Dream preserves both the potency (up to 24% THC) and the flavor of its parent strains. A combination of blueberry pie flavor and aroma makes this strain a delicious addition and one of our favorite hybrids. 

Jet Fuel aka G6

No matter what name you know it by, it’s hard to get into the hybrid world and not hear about Jet Fuel. Despite its name, it has moderate to slightly high THC levels topping off at 19%, but the experience of Jet Fuel gets cannabis enthusiasts talking. True to its moniker, it smells and tastes like diesel fuel—making it one of the most pungent additions to our list.

Grape Ape

What do you get when you cross two hybrids and a landrace OG? Grape Ape. We thank Mendocino Purps, Skunk, and Afghani for this berry-flavored, indica-dominant hybrid. Not only does Grape Ape smell and taste like grapes, but its buds also have a grape-like appearance with their deep purple hue. If you’re looking for a strain between moderate and high THC levels, this strain typically ranges between 18-21% THC.


From sweet strains back to pungent, Chemdawg is a diesel-scented and flavored indica-leaning hybrid with a reputation that precedes it. Not only is Chemdawg one of the original hybrids, but it is also the parent strain to another fan-favorite, Sour Diesel. Its moderately high (~19%) THC levels make it a great option for both recreational cannabis consumers and medical marijuana patients.

GSC aka Girl Scout Cookies

It’s almost impossible to enter into the cannabis industry and not hear about Girl Scout Cookies. An indica-leaning hybrid created from a cross between OG Kush and Durban Poison, GSC is popular across the country for its nutty, sweet, cookie-like flavor and its sweet cherry-menthol aroma. Its sensory profiles aren’t the only things that get cannabis enthusiasts talking—Girl Scout Cookies has a whopping 24% THC.

Prefer to dab your hybrids? Check out our menu to shop concentrates available at your local dispensary. 

How Can You Consume Hybrid Cannabis?

You consume hybrid cannabis the same way you’d consume any other cannabis product. Hybrid cannabis can be smoked, dabbed, consumed via edibles, taken as a tincture, rubbed on as a lotion, and so much more. If you want to try a new strain of cannabis and enjoy smoking, we recommend giving pre-rolls a go. They can be a great option to try one of our favorite hybrids without the risk of purchasing a large amount of loose flower in a strain you end up not enjoying.

Prefer to roll your own? You can shop pre-weighed cannabis flower to get the amount you need and not a bud more. 

Where Can I Find Hybrid Cannabis?

Ready to shop for a new favorite hybrid strain? Find a dispensary near you and visit us. Depending on the type of cannabis product you’re looking for, we can find a wide variety of hybrid strains for you to try and enjoy. 

Please consume responsibly. This product may cause impairment and may be habit forming. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product.  State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and medical marijuana patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.

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