The hybridization the plant has gone through in the last decade alone has created a near-incomprehensible family tree that may be more diverse than any other flora on the planet. Now that’s a massive statement and probably unquantifiable. But it’s hard to think of any other plant that has gone through experimental and artisanal genetic manipulation on the scale of cannabis. It’s harder yet to find a true heritage strain from 20+ years ago. Most of what we see in the contemporary culture is a market overrun by hybrids that are either 50/50 crosses, slightly leaning one way or the other, or heavily leaning one way or the other. The Market generalizes the heavily-leaning hybrids as either Indica or Sativa for simplicity’s sake.
The crossing of strains at its core is about trying to manipulate the profiles of the plant to suit the desires of the end-user. Aesthetics, aromatics, potency, and high profile tend to be the core areas of concern for cultivators. For example, growers a few decades ago were priding their strains on plentiful and bright stamens before it was realized that the abundance of the little orange hairs meant little with regard to the quality of the flower.
Nowadays hybrids can take on countless combinations of characteristics. For example, a longtime favorite in the NiCD strain library, Tahoe OG, is a 50/50 hybrid but with extremely dominant Indica properties. Our NiCD description calls it a “light switch” because of its ability to couch-lock even the most seasoned smoker. Another 50/50 hybrid, Key Lime Pie, will offer the citrusy nose of a Sativa while hitting the head with a heavy-headed euphoric experience.