Top 7 Hybrid Cannabis Strains You Should Be Smoking
Published on 8/12/21
In the old days - like, really old days - two distinct types of cannabis plants grew on opposite sides of the world. In Asia and the Middle East, Indica plants with wide leaves and thick, strong, sedative buds grew freely in mountainous regions like the Hindu Kush range in Afghanistan. Conversely, sativa cannabis plants in Central and South America grew taller, with thinner leaves and spindly buds that produce more stimulating effects than its Indica sibling.
As globalization shrunk the world, adventurous aficionados and daring cultivators collected different cannabis strains from every corner of the world they could. Instead of just reproducing those original strains, growers in California, Canada and other cannabis hotspots began cross-breeding the indicas and sativas, eventually creating thousands upon thousands of unique hybrid varieties. These days, there are more hybrid strains than any single stoner could ever try. With different strains of weed hitting the market every month, it can be hard to select the best buds. Whether you're looking for the best strains of all time or just the most popular strains of the moment, we've got you covered with the best hybrid weed you can find right now.
Sativa vs. Indica vs. Hybrid Strains
The differences between indica vs. sativa strains are not just present in their physical appearance and indigenous locales. Indica and sativa designations are directly correlated to the presence of specific terpenes, or natural flavonoids that make up the plant's smell and taste. In addition to aroma and flavor, terpenes are also responsible for psychoactive effects that interact with cannabinoids like THC and CBD to change how each strain makes a user feel.
Bright, uplifting sativas like Tangie and Jack Herer are packed with high quantities of limonene and pinene. Those specific terpenes not only give sativa strains their citrus and forest smell, but also make users feel alert and focused. On the other side of the coin, indica strains typically have high levels of myrcene and caryophyllene, giving them a funky, sometimes peppery flavor and heavily sedative, mellow effects.
Hybrid strains typically lean towards indica or sativa, but with such a large spectrum of strains under the hybrid umbrella, looking for the presence of specific terpenes will help you determine what kind of feeling you are looking for and make it easier to widdle down any list of strains. So what are the best cannabis strains with hybrid genetics for the 2020 harvest season? These are some of our favorites.
The 7 Best Hybrid Strains On The Market
GMO, or GMO Cookies as it is sometimes called, may sound like the result of a laboratory experiment, but instead of "genetically modified organisms," this GMO stands for "Garlic, Mushroom, and Onion." The heavy-handed and incredibly funky flower is a cross between Chemdog and Girl Scout Cookies, giving it a distinct umami flavor and indica-dominant effects. GMO produces so much THC - regularly testing above 25% - that it has become an instant favorite of experienced smokers and the hash rosin industry alike.
Just like OG Kush before it, the balanced hybrid Girl Scout Cookies and its many genetic offspring have dominated the cannabis breeding industry for the better part of the last decade. And while cookies genetics have had a hand in some of the best strains of weed available, Tropicana Cookies is one of the most distinct GSC crosses. The deep purple bud is a cross between Cookies and Tangie, resulting in a perfectly balanced, citrus and earth forward smoke with uplifting and euphoric effects that don't lack strength. Trop Cookies usually comes in at about 20% THC and makes for great relaxation after work or with your next Sunday brunch.
If you are a fan of spicy strains, Zookies is the hybrid for you. A combination of the ever-popular GG#4 and Animal Cookies, Zookies is high in caryophyllene, with a nice limonene kicker for a hint of citrus. And while GG#4 is known to glue users to the couch, Zookies is a daytime hybrid with a THC content in the high teens. Whether you're a beginning smoker looking for an even-keeled experience or a veteran toker seeking a tasty bud that won't keep you down, Zookies is the strain for you.
MAC is an acronym for Miracle Alien Cookies, but the indica-dominant strain is also the Mac daddy when it comes to high-THC hybrids. Also known as Cap's Cut - named after legendary breeder Capulator - Mac 1 is a blend of Alien Cookies and Miracle 15. This sativa-leaning hybrid is high in limonene and pinene but packs a strong punch thanks to its high THC percentage, which usually sits in the mid to high 20s. Mac 1 is extremely euphoric with a nice kick of energy to match its high potency.
Possibly the most popular strain of 2020, Runtz is a fruit-forward combo of Zkittlez and Gelato. The high-powered hybrid typically has a THC percentage in the mid to high 20s, floods the nose with the aroma of candy, and tastes incredibly smooth and creamy like its Gelato parent. Despite its high THC levels, Runtz won't put you to sleep, making it a perfect strain for your next party or special occasion.
Dominion Lights is a limited edition sativa-forward cross of Dominion Skunk and the classic strain Northern Lights. The skunky smell from the Dominion lineage is matched by earthy, citrus flavors that make Dominion Lights an ideal afternoon strain for getting work done and staying focused. Don't get it twisted, though, even though it won't keep you down, Dominion Lights' THC percentage hovers around 25% and will leave you with a lasting high.
Cherry Diesel isn't a new hybrid on the scene, but the sweet, funky, and earthy strain is a classic for a reason. Clocking in at about 23% THC and stinking up any room with a hefty aroma of fruit and OG fuel, Cherry Diesel is relaxing and uplifting, creating a perfect evening smoke. The cherry flavor comes through strong on the smoke and if you love sativas, you already know Diesel is one of the best weed strains ever. If you're looking for a balanced strain that combines the energy of sativas with the calming intoxication of indicas, grab some Cherry Diesel on your next dispensary visit.
Do you have a favorite hybrid strain? Let us know your favorite in the comments below!