Hybrid CBD Oil

Cannabis Strains and Their Effects – Indica, Sativa, Hybrid, and CBD Explore the history and genetics of hybrid marijuana strains with our guide to this cannabis plant. What's the difference between indica, sativa, and hybrid cannabis strains? How do the effects vary?

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DISPENSING KNOWLEDGE

How many types of cannabis are there? It’s an honest question. Biologically speaking, Cannabis is just a type of flowering plant. Growers typically recognize three distinct species: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis.

Over the years, these species have been bred into hybrid strains. That’s why we have so many diverse options at our Cambridge dispensary.

Strains and THC: The Basics

Each different strain of cannabis offers its own trove of medicinal benefits. Some strains have a higher percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the best-known and main psychoactive compound in cannabis plants. When it comes to the effects of a particular strain, however, THC isn’t the whole story. Understanding the genetic make-up – essentially Sativa vs. Indica – is a good way to start making sense of the options available.

Sativa – The effects of Sativa tend to be mentally stimulating but physically relaxing. People tend to feel energetic, uplifted, and ready for physical activity or creative pursuits.

Indica – The full-body effects of Indica strains tend to be more relaxing, and are associated with calming, sedative feelings which may assist people who have trouble sleeping.

Hybrid – Hybrid strains are the result of crossbreeding cannabis sativa and cannabis indica. Each Hybrid strain has its own unique balance between Indica and Sativa, and the effects will vary accordingly based on a given strain’s ratio of the two.

High CBD – Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a cannabis compound that has important medical benefits without the same psychoactive effects typically associated with THC. The idea behind High CBD strains is to provide an analgesic, or pain-relieving, effect without the “head high” commonly associated with cannabis. There is ongoing research into potential benefits of CBD’s ability to treat a number of conditions, such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, depression, and others.

At Sira Naturals, part of our mission is to help you find the appropriate products for your unique needs. That’s why we invest so much time and care into cultivating the highest-quality flowers, oils, and edibles. It is important to us that each person connect with the right treatment.

On our site, flowered products are divided into 4 categories: Sativa, Indica, Hybrid, and High CBD. The effects will vary from person-to-person and will also depend on how the cannabis is consumed. Other factors, such as a person’s expectations and environmental factors may also contribute to the effect of each strain.

Choices, Choices, Choices

Cannabis affects everyone differently, so as you explore options for treatment, use this information simply as a guide. Scientific research continues to seek a better understanding of how species and strain are related to the chemical compounds present in the flowers. The cannabis industry is innovating new ways to responsibly grow and use cannabis on a consistent basis. As the community grows and barriers to research disappear, that collective knowledge of cannabis will increase dramatically.

Sira Naturals is committed to remaining up-to-date on the latest research, fresh insights, and best practices. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and highest quality care possible.

Hybrid CBD Oil

When you set foot into a dispensary, you know they have sativa strains and indica strains, but what about hybrid strains? How do you know when to buy hybrid cannabis instead of something else? In this guide, we’ll explain:

  • What is Hybrid Cannabis?
  • How is Hybrid Different from
  • What are the Popular Hybrid Strains?
  • How do You Ingest Hybrids?
  • Is Hybrid Cannabis Right for Me?

What is Hybrid Cannabis?

Hybrid cannabis strains are plants that have the combined characteristics of Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica plants, depending on its genetic lineage. In fact, most cannabis today is a type of hybrid marked as either indica- or sativa-dominant, rather than pure indica or sativa. This is because “landrace strains,” or original cannabis strains that maintain their native characteristics, are hard to come by in today’s cross-breeding, global market.

Today’s hybrid cannabis plants may be tall with bushier leaves, short with thin leaves, and have a variety of unique qualities that make it evident they are a more modern cultivar than a landrace strain.

How Is It Different From Indica or Sativa?

While we have been using indica, sativa, and hybrid classifications in the cannabis industry for a long time, we’ve come to realize that it’s actually not correct. This is because on a molecular level, indica and sativa are all part of the Cannabis sativa L. species. This means we cannot attribute any effects to indica or sativa, but rather, to the entourage effect that occurs with all strains of marijuana when they enter the human body. The entourage effect is the belief that cannabinoids (not just THC), terpenes, and flavonoids all work together to create a unique experience in each of us.

So what does this mean for hybrid marijuana? It means that it’s really not all that different from indica or sativa. It is a mix of the two different strains and can have unique effects from person to person.

What Are the Popular Hybrid Strains?

Because the majority of the cannabis flower available in dispensaries is considered hybrid, there are many strains that could make this list. Somehow, we managed to cull it down to our top five favorite hybrid strains:

  • Cannatonic: Cannatonic is a unique and popular hybrid strain for a reason: Its CBD content is higher than its THC content: 12% to 7% respectively. Cannatonic is a medicinal marijuana strain with an earthy smell but a surprising, citrus flavor.
  • White Widow: This balanced hybrid has been popular since the 1990s when it first entered Dutch coffee shops. Now, it continues to be popular for consumers and growers. It has helped produce other popular hybrid strains including White Russian, White Rhino and Blue Widow.
  • Wedding Cake aka Triangle Mints #23: This hybrid is a good example of an indica-dominant strain. It has a sweet, tangy flavor to it, likely in part due to its rich limonene terpene profile, and it has won awards, including the Leafly Strain of the Year in 2019. One thing to note: This flower has high THC content at around 25% so make sure to dose carefully.
  • Runtz aka Runtz OG: Cross Zkittlez and Gelato, and you get this fruity-sweet hybrid. Like Wedding Cake, this strain won Leafly Strain of the Year but in 2020. The buds are rich in resin and the actual flower comes in multiple shades that range from purple to lime green.
  • Pineapple Express: This hybrid is a good example of a sativa-dominant strain. It was created by crossing Trainwreck with Hawaiian and became famous when a movie by the same name was released in 2008. Pineapple Express tastes citrusy sweet with pineapple undertones.
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The availability of each strain depends on a variety of factors, so don’t be afraid to visit your local cannabis dispensaries and ask about a couple of different hybrid marijuana strains on the list. The cannabis experts there can help you find a few different strains to try.

How Do You Ingest Hybrids?

You can ingest cannabis hybrid strains the way you ingest any type of marijuana. You can vape, smoke, eat, or drink your hybrid product. Because hybrid marijuana includes both sativa and indica genetics, it’s a little easier to find a variety of product types that offer a hybrid experience. These include things like marijuana drinks and even premium cannabis flower. Ultimately, it’s important to decide how you want to experience marijuana first, and from there, decide on the products you want to try. And if you need help along the way, we’re here.

Want to try marijuana flower but aren’t sure where to start? Check out our guide to cannabis flower.

Is Hybrid Cannabis Right for Me?

Only you know the answer to this question. Cannabis is an entirely personal experience, and while you can research strains online to see how other consumers experience them, only you can know how the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids in a strain will affect you when you try them. That’s why we recommend visiting your licensed dispensary and talking to a cannabis expert. They can help you find budget-friendly options that allow you to try strains before investing too much into them.

As always, start slow and with a low dose. This will ensure you have the best experience with your cannabis product.

Recreational Cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and medical marijuana patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.

Indica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrid: What’s the Difference?

Hemp and marijuana. The two terms most people know when describing varieties of cannabis. But did you know there are ways to categorize specific types of cannabis?

The three you may have heard of are Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid. The other is Ruderalis, which is often lesser-known among casual or beginner cannabis users.

These four terms are commonly used to describe and categorize certain “strains” based on their genetics, appearance, cannabinoid profile, terpene profile, benefits, and effects.

A quick glance at Sativa vs Indica vs Ruderalis

Sativa

  • Appearance: Long, spindly, grows up to 6ft tall
  • Aroma and flavor: Sweet, mango, floral aroma + sweet, sour, pine flavor (strain dependent)
  • CBD + THC (%): CBD = 1-12% (approx), THC = as high as 21-22%
  • Common terpenes: Myrcene, limonene, caryophyllene, pinene
  • Benefits and effects: Energy, mood, focus, concentration, anti-stress

Indica

  • Appearance: Shorter, denser, bushier, 3-5ft tall
  • Aroma and flavor: Pungent skunky, earthy, woody aroma + sweet, earthy, fruity aroma (strain dependent)
  • CBD + THC (%): CBD = 1-18% (approx), THC = up to 23-25% THC (approx)
  • Common terpenes: Pinene, limonene, myrcene, valencene
  • Benefits and effects: Sleep, relaxation, sedation, anti-stress, anti-anxiety

Ruderalis

  • Appearance: Very short, thick, dense, 1-2 ft tall
  • Aroma and flavor: Very little aroma or flavor (lack of terpenes)
  • CBD + THC (%): Quite high in CBD, very low in THC
  • Common terpenes: N/A
  • Benefits and effects: None. Best for auto-flowering Hybrids

Why knowing the difference between Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid is important

As a recreational or medical cannabis user, it’s important for you to know exactly which strains to purchase. There are thousands of different ones out there, each with varying effects and benefits depending on what you’re using them for.

As a medical cannabis user, you may need a specific medical cannabis strain for anxiety, depression, pain, or inflammation. If you’re a recreational cannabis user, you may simply require a cannabis strain for social enjoyment and a good time with your buddies.

However, if you choose the wrong strain, you’re not going to appreciate the power of cannabis in its fullest form.

Understanding the differences between Sativa, Indica, Hybrid, or Ruderalis strains is the first step to finding the most effective and beneficial strain for your needs.

What is Sativa?

Sativa, known formally as Cannabis sativa L., is one of the most common, widely used cannabis strains, providing you with a wide range of recreational and medicinal benefits. It was first identified by renowned Swedish botanist and taxonomist, Carl Linnaeus, in 1753, though its cultivation and medicinal use began thousands of years prior. Many believe Sativas cause a “head high”, which is generally good for focus, concentration, anxiety, and stress relief.

Appearance

Sativas are long, spindly giants. They commonly grow over six feet high, making them the tallest subspecies of cannabis. This is the result of growing conditions and the environment, which is generally tropical and along equatorial regions where sunlight is routine and consistent. The growth pattern is around 12-16 weeks.

Sativas are also sparse and less dense than Indicas. This allows air to flow adequately through the growing plants, preventing the growth of fungus and other bacteria, especially in more humid climates.

If you look a little closer at a Sativa, you’ll also notice it has anywhere up to 13 long, narrow leaves resembling cutting blades with saw-like edges. The buds are also long and slightly wispy, almost like a dense flame featuring orange and red hues alongside more “traditional” green and brown colors.

Aroma and flavor

The Sativa aroma and flavor are generally more pungent than Indica, though this is entirely strain-dependent. Users report some Sativa strains to have a very strong sweet but also sour flavor with hints of pine and skunk. In terms of aroma, Sativa’s limonene content gives its strains a nice sweet, mango-like smell with some floral notes.

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Sativa CBD + THC ratio

Sativas are commonly known to contain much lower doses of CBD but higher quantities of THC, especially when compared with Indica strains. The CBD percentage can be as little as 0.2-1%, while the THC percentage can soar way above 20-22%.

Common terpenes found in Sativa strains

  • Pinene
  • Limonene
  • Myrcene
  • Valencene

Sativa strains benefits and effects

Common benefits and effects of Sativa strains are entirely down to which one you choose to consume. As a general rule, Sativa effects induce focus, energy, concentration, mood-enhancement (uplifting), and a general sense of happiness, which is why many users prefer consumption during the day, especially if they have a busy day ahead of them. These effects and benefits are primarily down to the terpenes pinene and limonene. When combined with both CBD and THC, pinene and limonene are quite potent mood-enhancers, possessing anti-anxiety and anti-stress qualities.

What is Indica?

Indica, formerly known as Cannabis indica., is a subspecies of cannabis identified in 1785 by evolutionary biologist John-Baptiste Lamarck. Indicas are native to the harsh, hot, and dry areas of Central Asia, specifically India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Indica strains are as popular as Sativas but for different reasons. While Sativa strains are said to cause a “head high”, many Indica strains are thought to induce a “body high”, resulting in relaxation, calm, and relief from insomnia.

Appearance

Indicas are much shorter than Sativas but still taller than Ruderalis strains. They reach up to three to five feet in height with thicker stems and “broader” leaves.

Indica buds also tend to be thicker, bushier, and far denser than Sativa buds, commonly with blue and purple tinges.

Indica growth and maturation time is much shorter than that of Sativa strains, typically taking 6-8 weeks but sometimes longer depending on growing conditions and how well-maintained they are.

Compared to Sativas, Indicas are darker with a color similar to olives.

Aroma and flavor

Indicas have a more pungent aroma than Indicas (generally), but this depends entirely on the strain you choose and which terpenes are involved. Many users report pungent skunky, earthy, and wood-like aromas due to the high myrcene content, though this is entirely strain-dependent

Some other Indicas have a very strong, almost harsh sweet, fruity, and earthy aroma, alongside sharp hints of diesel, spice, and citrus. Generally, Indicas have a distinct flavor that’s somewhat similar to their aroma.

Average Indica CBD + THC ratio

As a general rule, Indicas typically carry a higher percentage of CBD when compared with Sativas, making them a little more balanced. However, this doesn’t mean the percentage of THC is suddenly lower. Many Indica strains can have up to 20-22% THC (sometimes higher).

Common terpenes found in Indica strains

  • Myrcene
  • Limonene
  • Caryophyllene
  • Pinene

Indica strains benefits and effects

The common benefits and effects of Indica strains vary depending on which one you choose to consume. Generally, we recommend consuming an Indica strain in the evening, on weekends, or after a stressful day at work. Why? Because many of these strains carry the terpenes myrcene and limonene. Myrcene is thought to be a mild-to-moderate sedative and muscle relaxant, while limonene is known for its anti-stress and anti-anxiety properties. In combination with THC, both these terpenes induce what’s known as a “body high”, which causes a strong sense of calm, balance, relaxation, and sedation, as well as relief from insomnia.

What are Hybrids?

Hybrid strains are a mix of Indicas and Sativas via selective crossbreeding and hybridization. Some breeders also mix Ruderalis strain genetics in there to quicken the growth pattern and boost CBD levels.

Hybrid strains fall into four separate categories:

  • Sativa-dominant
  • Indica-dominant
  • 50/50 Sativa + Indica
  • Hybrid Autoflower (combines Ruderalis with Sativa or Indica or both)

Appearance

The appearance of a Hybrid strain is dependent on which parent Indica, Sativa, and Ruderalis strains have been cross-bred and hybridized. Indica-dominant strains will, of course, have more Indica characteristics, while Sativa-dominant strains will have more Sativa characteristics.

Aroma and flavor

The aroma and flavor of a Hybrid strain are down to which parent Indica, Sativa, and Ruderalis strains have been combined and cross-bred. An Indica-dominant Hybrid generally has a skunkier, woodier, and spicier flavor, while a Sativa-dominant Hybrid has an earthy flavor.

Average Hybrid CBD + THC percentages

The CBD + THC percentages present in Hybrid strains vary, no matter whether it’s Indica-dominant, Sativa-dominant, or 50/50. Some strains may consist of 5% CBD and 18% THC, while others may carry 2% CBD and 22% THC. You can also find strains with more of a balanced 1:1 CBD + THC percentage ratio e.g. 10% CBD and 16% THC.

Common terpenes found in Hybrids

The common terpenes found in Hybrid strains depend on which parent Indica or Sativa strains are cross-bred and hybridized.

Hybrid strains benefits and effects

Hybrid strain benefits and effects are totally down to which type it is. If it’s a Sativa-dominant strain, you’ll likely experience mood-enhancement, energy, focus, anti-anxiety, and anti-inflammatory benefits. If it’s an Indica-dominant strain, you’re more likely to experience sedation and relaxation (in general).

What is Ruderalis?

Ruderalis is a strong, robust subspecies of cannabis commonly found growing across many parts of Central Asia, Russia, and Siberia. Many believe Ruderalis is the “lesser” subspecies due to yielding low quantities of THC and other valuable plant compounds. It’s rarely used on its own for recreational and medicinal purposes. Instead, breeders crossbreed Ruderalis with Sativas and Indicas to create Hybrids. Why? Because they possess one capability no other subspecies possess: auto-flowering.

Appearance

Ruderalis strains are very short and stumpy. They grow no taller than 1-2 ft tall. The leaves have a thickness similar to Indica. Each leaf has three blade-like fingers. Its buds are also quite dense but moderately sized, which are supported on noticeably thick stems. The stalks are comparably thinner and very fibrous, making them incredibly tough, robust, and durable.

Aroma and flavor

Ruderalis strains have a naturally low terpene profile, resulting in very little flavor and aroma. In fact, if you smoke a Ruderalis strain, the flavor and aroma are neutral compared to Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid strains.

Average Ruderalis CBD + THC percentages

Despite having little-to-no THC and carrying very few terpenes, the quantity of CBD is surprisingly high. In some Ruderalis strains, you can find approximately 18-22% CBD, which is actually very similar to hemp.

Ruderalis strains benefits and effects

Pure Ruderalis strains have very few recreational or medicinal benefits and effects and should be avoided if you’re looking to purchase cannabis for health and wellness.

The auto-flowering capabilities of Ruderalis for Hybrid strains

Despite Ruderalis strains providing very little in the way of recreational and medicinal benefits, they do possess one thing no other variety of cannabis does: auto-flowering capabilities.

Auto-flowering (day-neutral cannabis) refers to the automatic flowering of cannabis buds without relying on sunlight. Instead, flowering relies solely on time. Most auto-flowering strains (Ruderalis or otherwise) grow very quickly compared with Sativa and Indica strains (7-10 weeks), which is why breeders and growers combine Ruderalis genetics with Sativa and Indica to create quick growing Hybrid strains.

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What are landrace cannabis strains?

Landrace strains are the original genetic jackhammers responsible for all the Hybrid strains you see today. Grown in and adapted to their native land over thousands of years with little-to-no human manipulation, many see landrace strains as the purest cannabis strains. Regions where you find landrace strains include the mountainous regions of Pakistan (Hindu Kush) or the dry areas of South Africa (Durban Poison).

What are heirloom cannabis strains?

Heirloom strains are landrace strain seeds taken from their native land and grown elsewhere e.g. Hindu Kush seeds taken from Pakistan and grown in the USA. Heirloom strains will not be exposed to genetic manipulation, cross-breeding, or hybridization in any way.

Is hemp a subspecies of cannabis?

No. Hemp isn’t defined as a subspecies of cannabis. It’s a specially-grown high-CBD variety of Sativa carrying no more than the legal limit of 0.3% THC (by dry weight). If the THC content is above 0.3% THC, it’s automatically classified as “high THC” marijuana and deemed federally illegal under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

Choosing the right cannabis strain (there’s more to it than you think)

Choosing your perfect cannabis strain isn’t as easy as you think. There are hundreds of different ones, all with different benefits, effects, and genetic characteristics.

In fact, because there are so many cannabis strains out there, grouping them together under four broad umbrella terms simply isn’t accurate enough. There are many variables determining how cannabis strains will work within your body on a physiological level.

The most important variable to look for when purchasing a cannabis strain (regardless of whether it’s an Indica, Sativa, Ruderalis, or Hybrid) are the all-important cannabinoids and terpenes — the lifeblood of cannabis.

Cannabinoids and terpenes are essential when choosing a cannabis strain

Knowing which cannabinoids and terpenes are in your cannabis strain is essential, particularly if you need specific ones for your recreational or medicinal requirements.

Important cannabinoids to consider:

Important terpenes to consider:

  • Beta-caryophyllene
  • Limonene
  • Linalool
  • Myrcene

These cannabinoids and terpenes are thought to work together synergistically in your body via the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a phenomenon commonly referred to as the entourage effect.

This synergistic phenomenon can be triggered through smoking cannabis joints, eating cannabis edibles, and consuming cannabis oils orally or sublingually (among many other methods).

How do cannabinoids and terpenes interact with your endocannabinoid system?

Cannabinoids and terpenes interact with your endocannabinoid system and other physiological functions. The way this works is complex but uniquely special.

When you consume cannabis products, each and every cannabinoid and terpene present in your cannabis strain or product flow through your bloodstream, attaching themselves to a special class of receptors known as cannabinoid receptors.

The two main cannabinoid receptors are cannabinoid 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid 2 (CB2). Certain cannabinoids (THC, delta-8-THC) bind directly with these receptors, while others (CBD, CBG) interact in a less direct manner.

Some terpenes (linalool, humulene) also show activity at your cannabinoid receptors.

What happens when CBD and THC interact with your endocannabinoid system and its receptors?

THC binds to CB1 receptors located all throughout your brain. This not only causes a euphoric “high” but may also alleviate symptoms of pain, pain perception, muscle spasticity, nausea, vomiting, and glaucoma.

CBD, on the other hand, has very little affinity with CB1 or CB2 receptors. Instead, it acts as an allosteric modulator of CB1 receptors, meaning it changes their shape and reportedly reduces negative THC effects. This reduction is thought to balance out a euphoric high, resulting in a more enjoyable cannabis experience.

CBD is also said to act at other receptor sites separate from the endocannabinoid system. The two most recognized receptor sites CBD activates are serotonin (for anxiety relief) and vanilloid (for pain relief).

Do terpenes act the same way?

It’s currently unknown whether cannabis terpenes are similar to cannabinoids insofar as endocannabinoid system and cannabinoid receptor activity. There are some researchers who believe terpenes have very little affinity with cannabinoid receptors, while there are others who do.

The best cannabis strains to consider purchasing

If you’re still totally stuck on which cannabis type or strain to purchase, we have a couple of recommendations for you. We’ve chosen three of the best Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid cannabis strains for you to try. Some are suited to beginners, while others are better for experienced cannabis users. Why? The beginner strains have a higher quantity of CBD vs THC, whereas the strains for more experienced users have a higher THC content.

The top Sativa strains

Sour Diesel

Sour Diesel (often shortened to Sour D.) is one of the most popular Sativa strains out there. It’s known for its pungent diesel smell, alongside skunky, citrusy aromas. Flavor-wise, it’s one of the best and definitely one of our favorites. You’ll notice a strong hint of spice with subtle sour undertones.

Sour Diesel CBD + THC percentages

Common terpenes in Sour Diesel

  • Caryophyllene
  • Myrcene
  • Limonene

Sour Diesel is good for:

  • Energy
  • Mood-enhancement
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Social events
Amnesia Haze

Amnesia Haze is another very popular Sativa strain and one you won’t forget in a hurry. It has a very earthy but also citrusy flavor with a few surprise notes of spice and haze. The aroma is very similar to the flavor. It’s quite pungent but not overwhelming.

Amnesia Haze CBD + THC percentages

Common terpenes in Amnesia Haze

  • Caryophyllene
  • Myrcene
  • Humulene

Amnesia Haze is good for

  • Mood-enhancement
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Energy
  • Focus
  • Social events
Harlequin

Harlequin is a different kind of Sativa. It’s closer to consuming hemp than marijuana. It doesn’t induce a strong high. The taste is earthy and sweet with hints of mango. It’s certainly not as pungent as the aforementioned strains. We recommend a Harlequin strain if you’re a beginner wanting to try Sativa strains for the first time.

Harlequin CBD + THC percentages

Common terpenes in Harlequin

  • Myrcene
  • Pinene
  • Caryophyllene

Harlequin is good for

  • Pain
  • Inflammation
  • Relaxation
  • Anxiety + fear

The top Indica strains

Granddaddy Purple

Granddaddy Purple CBD + THC percentage

Common terpenes in Grandaddy Purple

  • Linalool
  • Myrcene
  • Humulene
  • Caryophyllene
  • Ocimene

Granddaddy Purple is good for

  • Sleep + insomnia
  • Relaxation
  • Pain relief
  • Inflammation
Bubba Kush

Bubba Kush is another notorious Indica strain. It has a very strong earthy, nutty taste with some noticeable hints of sweetness without being too sickly. The flavor is equally as strong. When smoked, the aroma has a slight chocolatey smell to it. We recommend Bubba Kush to all experienced users. Beginners should be aware of the high THC content, which can cause negative side effects.