Hybrid Cannabis vs Balanced Cannabis
When exploring cannabis as a new user, you're bound to come across the terms "balanced" and "hybrid," or even a confusing combination of the two - "balanced hybrid." But what do they mean, and why do they matter?
Your cannabis experience can change a lot depending on the strain you choose. Different strains offer different outcomes, and understanding the difference between hybrid and balanced cannabis can be a good start to finding the right weed for you.
What Is Hybrid Cannabis?
Generally, you'll find three types of cannabis in a cannabis store - indica, sativa, and hybrid. Simply put, hybrid cannabis is a plant with both indica and sativa genetics, making it a "hybrid" of the two.
What many smokers don't know, however, is that the vast majority of cannabis plants are actually hybrids, and that pure indica or sativa plants are very rare. Plants that lean more heavily to one side of indica or sativa will often be labelled that way. For example, the popular strain Death Bubba leans far more heavily to its indica side, around 70%. This is why it is often labelled as an "indica," even though it is more accurately an indica-dominant hybrid.
Cannabis strains labelled simply as "hybrid" are normally very close to 50% indica and sativa, making them fall right in the middle. When a plant is called a "balanced hybrid," this often means that the plant has a perfect, or almost perfect, 50/50 indica/sativa genetic makeup.
Hybrid cannabis is a great way to create unique products and flavours because breeders can mix and match different variations of sativa and indica. Understanding the two strains of cannabis that make up hybrid strains is also useful in finding your perfect strain. Sativa and indica have not only differences in physical appearance but also in how they may make you feel.
Indica cannabis is best known for its chill and classic vibe. Indica strains are often said to be best for the evening when you want to unwind, and is often said to give you a "body high". We find that indica is ideal for watching a movie, hanging with friends, or taking a well-deserved break.
There is some debate as to where indica cannabis comes from. It’s believed that indica is sourced from the Hindu Kush mountain range, specifically in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Cannabis sativa strains are better known for their "head" high because of its mental stimulation, and are said to be energizing, productive, and giggly.
People often use sativa cannabis when going out, cleaning, or working on a project, or exercising.
Note that cannabis strains affect everyone differently - there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to choosing a strain for its effects. We can do our best to guide you in your selection, but ultimately, your cannabis experience is going to be completely individual to you.
A third option that you’ll find in your local cannabis store or online is hybrid cannabis. Hybrids blend sativa and indica, helping you find a combination of the different effects you enjoy most.
If you want something that is somewhere in the middle ground of indica and sativa - not super energetic, but not super heavy, for example, a hybrid may be right for you. Some have what is known as a "combo" high, which is great for any time of day.
Cross-breeding has increased the number of cannabis strains available in the market. Specific strains mix and match different levels of sativa and indica so you can create your desired experience and minimize unwanted side effects. This is where the cannabinoid profile, including THC, CBD, and terpene profile, comes in, covered below.
What Is Balanced Cannabis?
Different to a "balanced hybrid," "balanced cannabis" means there is an equal balance of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). A balanced product includes a 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC.
Some cannabis products have other ratios of THC to CBD, often 1:2. You can control your experience when choosing THC/CBD potent strains by finding a ratio that best suits you.
THC is a cannabinoid from the Cannabis plant and includes psychoactive properties. THC is responsible for what people often refer to as a “high.” CBD is another cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. However, CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive ingredients, meaning it doesn’t offer the same high. Instead, it is often used for its wellness benefits.
How Terpenes Affect Experience
Terpenes are the chemical compounds that make up the cannabis plant. They can be compared to essential oils, in that they emit different aromas and effects. Many are said to have wellness benefits, and all terpenes affect the taste of your cannabis.
Some terpenes you may find in cannabis include:
Pinene: As the name implies, this terpene gives off a pine-forest scent.
Limonene: Limonene gives off a citrusy smell, similar to lemon rind or oranges.
Linalool: Linalool is best compared to lavender scents, giving it a warm and calm aroma.
Myrcene: Myrcene is spicy and rustic, reminding us of clove and pepper.
Terpenes work with CBD and THC to create a more potent outcome. They can also improve your overall cannabis experience by maximizing smells and flavours.
Hybrid Cannabis vs. Balanced Cannabis
"Balanced" cannabis refers to the blend of THC and CBD in a plant. "Hybrid" describes the plant’s strain and whether it is primarily sativa or indica.
Beginners may often find it overwhelming to choose from the wide range of cannabis products available today. That's where we come in - at Canna Cabana, we're always here to help! Ask your local budtender for recommendations on strains that fit your lifestyle, and let us help you find your perfect match.