With so many different strains available on the market, and with different categories to separate them, it’s no wonder our customers can get a little confused. When customers come to our Toronto dispensary, we have our knowledgeable Budtenders available to answer any questions that you might have. A common question that keeps popping up is ‘what is the difference between a hybrid and a balanced flower?' Let us break it down for you.
Cannabis is classified into two species: Indica and Sativa and in addition, you can also have "blends" of the two in various proportions which are called Hybrids. When talking about hybrid cannabis, this means that the strain is a hybrid between an Indica and a Sativa strain.
There are many differences between the anatomy of the two species; the way they are grown, how long they take to flower and more – but one of the most important differences are the chemicals they produce, and what that means for consumers of those products.
Most known for: Somatic effects
Often chosen for: Quiet occasions, pre-sleep consumption, low impact activities at home
Looks like: short, stocky plants with broad leaves
Origin: India (although emerging research has suggested it may have actually originated in Afghanistan)
Most Known for: Cerebral effects
Often chosen for: Physical activity, social gatherings and more active occasions
Looks like: Tall, lanky plants with skinny leaves
Origin: Regions close to the equator (Colombia, Mexico, Thailand)
Hybrids can inherit traits from both parent strains. Hybrids can be either Indica or Sativa dominant in their genetic makeup and effects. Each component can add something different to the overall experience. Strains can be created that allow the various properties of the two parents to combine with each other and create something different from either of the two strains on their own.
So now that we know what a hybrid is… what is a balanced strain!?
Balanced 1:1 product contains an even or similar amount of THC and CBD. The two cannabinoids work together to create a unique sensation made from a mix of their characteristics and effects. Equal parts of THC and CBD can produce a balanced, gentle effect that can be psychoactive in moderate doses.
1:2 - This balanced product contains slightly more amounts of THC than CBD.
1:1 - This is a true 1:1 balance with equal parts of THC and CBD.
2:1 - This balanced product contains slightly more amounts of CBD than THC.
What are THC and CBD?
THC is the most common cannabinoid in the cannabis plant and is the psychoactive component responsible for the intoxicating effects of cannabis. THC dominant products contain little to no CBD and create a cerebral high sensation that can deliver psychedelic effects.
CBD is the second most common cannabinoid in the cannabis plant and does not have psychedelic effects. CBD dominant product contains little to no THC and is responsible for the somatic effects associated with cannabis that can be relaxing and calming.
While Hybrid refers to the blending of Indica or Sativa strains, a balanced strain refers to the THC and CBD component of your cannabis. You can have an Indica strain that is THC dominant, CBD dominant, or Balanced 1:1 - meaning equal or similar parts of THC and CBD. Similarly, you can have a Sativa or a Hybrid strain that is THC dominant, CBD dominant, or Balanced 1:1.
Remember, Hybrid (or blend) refers to a mix of Indica and Sativa, while Balanced refers to a mix of THC and CBD.