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Let’s talk about hybrids.Sourcing your perfect hybrid is an art of trial and error. First thing to know is that they are wildcards and often more potent than a classic indica or sativa. Oddly, I’ve heard bud connisseurs liken the process to finding the right shoe or outfit in that once you’ve established elements like the occasion, your budget and you comfort level…“voila!” Saying these components out loud in any given dispensary is theoretically supposed to result in a blueprint of your idea hybrid. Alas, this isn’t a Cinderella story, and wishing for a one of a kind size-eight glass slipper won’t solve your problems. They’re budtenders, not fairy godmothers. Sadly.Weed is more akin to a real life Romeo and Juliet story…if the feuding families hadn’t driven the protagonists to off themselves and instead procreate. If sativas are Montegues and indicas are Capulets, hybrids are their laboratory-conceived, genetically refined lovechildren. Though both are “alike in dignity”, they are diametrically opposed. Stick with one of the stocky, thick-leafed indica flowers and you’re guaranteed to land somewhere on a scale of sedating couch-lockers. On the other hand, buddy up with a sativa and you’re in for an expressive, caffeine-esque kick.Individually, they’re perfect for treating certain ailments or providing uniquely stimulating recreational fun, but sometimes their negatives can interrupt the experience. A very rudimentary example is tried and true sativas can be mood enhancers, but provoke anxiety while classic indicas may kill pain but send you to bed.Luckily, weed does not have to end in Shakespearian tragedy—we don’t have to choose one or the other (or set up an elaborate exit strategy.) Genetics and breeding have come a long way and it has left us with hundreds of known strains to custom tailor your experience.Take Grape Wave, for example. I walked into Weeds on Richards Street last week in search of an indica-dominant hybrid that I hadn’t tried before. I was handed a compact bud in a deep shade of fresh green, covered in dark orange hairs and a light dusting of white trichromes. It was a good start. Hybrids can range in colour, and grow anything from dense and compact to fluffy and bulbous buds. As long as the bud is intact with little to no visible stems and doesn’t crumble from a light squeeze, you should be golden.
Luckily, weed does not have to end in Shakespearian tragedy—we don’t have to choose one or the other (or set up an elaborate exit strategy.)
I stuck my nose into the bag and took several deep inhales. True to its namesake, I was hit with the acidic odour of a sour grape candy, followed up by black liquorice. It tasted equally as delicious. Again, another checkmark.The high was true to form: wavey. It was pleasantly long-lasting and gently declined from a fun, social buzz to a body and brain numb. One of the negatives of hybrids is that it can be a proverbial grab-bag of side-effects, leaving you in a scramble to satisfy overwhelming munchies or sudden jolts of creative energy. In this case, not expecting a hybrid favouring its indica parent to be demanding of social interaction, I was forced to make a very expensive long-distance phone call to my best friend in the Dominican Republic just to satiate my need to gab. Halfway through the high, I noticed a deep muscle relaxation had taken hold, which was a clear indicator to crawl into bed with my laptop, a few pre-loaded episodes of Scandal and let this high ride its course. An hour or so later, I began to drift off.The wonderful thing about the world of weed is that there is always something for everyone. Begin by analyzing your specific needs (medical and recreational), start talking to budtenders about their recommendations, read blogs and experiment. You’ll find some strains satisfy certain needs, but sometimes (if you’re lucky) you’ll find a gem that satisfies all you’re looking for. Grave Wave wasn’t that elixir for me, but it certainly stakes a competitive place on good all-around nighttime strains.
The breakdown: Indica-dominant hybrid. $11/gram. Weeds. 1108 Richards St