As you can probably guess, a hybrid is the ‘best of both worlds’ in the sense that it offers both Sativa and Indica. They are a combination of two or more forms of cannabis, and they are designed to allow you to get the benefits of Indica and sativa in a single strain.
For example, if you have chronic pain from arthritis but have to go to work, you could use a hybrid strain to alleviate the pain while still remaining alert. Hybrids are used to treat the same illnesses as Indica or Sativa strains.
WHAT KINDS OF HYBRID STRAINS ARE THERE?
Generally, there are four types of strains:
- Sativa x sativa: Two different sativa varieties are bred together.
- Indica x indica: Two different indica varieties are bred together.
- Sativa x indica: A strain described this way is a hybrid with sativa-dominant characteristics. However, it has traits of both varieties of cannabis. It could be a tall plant with purple buds, for example.
- Indica x sativa: This variety will have characteristics of both, but is indica-dominant.
What Medical Conditions Do Hybrid Strains Treat?
For all the furor about marijuana, it is worth remembering that it has been used for medicinal purposes for over 3,000 years. While the number of states where it is possible to buy medical marijuana is growing, the FDA refuses to legalize it across the board due to a supposed lack of evidence supporting its medical benefits.
While there have been studies on marijuana’s medicinal value for decades, it is only in the last few years that relaxed legislation has allowed for a veritable explosion of research. A 2015 study by Ware et al. in Canada analyzed 215 adults from seven different clinics. All of them suffered from non-cancer related chronic pain.
The study lasted one year and during that time, the patients consumed either flowers, edibles or concentrates with a THC level of 12.5%. There was also a control group of 216 adults for comparison purposes; none of them consumed THC. Overall, the cannabis group reported a significant reduction in pain and, perhaps more importantly, an improved quality of life. Interestingly, the cannabis group also reported decreased levels of fatigue, depression, and anxiety.
Hybrid marijuana strains appear to be especially useful when it comes to the treatment of various anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety. These marijuana strains also excel when treating migraines, depression, insomnia, and inflammation. As legalization continues to be brought in, we expect even more research about the medical benefits of marijuana. A lot of this data will probably come from Canada as it legalize recreational use in 2018.