What is Landrace Cannabis?
Landrace Cannabis Strains Explained
Landrace cannabis is the original wild marijuana genetics that has allowed weed to be bred into what we are growing today. The plants have evolved according to their terrain and are genetically honed by nature. While weed began in Central and South Asia, weed and hemp spread around the world through emigration, trade, and natural seed dissipation.
Cannabis has evolved with humans for millennia. Evidence of marijuana fibers being pressed into crockery dates back millennia in Taiwan. The first known consumption of cannabis materials is thought to be in the third renaissance BCE 3000- 2000. It was discovered at an ancient burial, where charred seeds were wrapped in a brazier. It was indeed used medically for gout and rheumatism as early as 2737 BCE by the Emperor of China, Shen Neng. After growing in these climatic regions for so long, the marijuana plants developed specific cannabinoid traits that were honed by natural selection, not us. It was these wild strains that formed from the different climatic corridors of the world that are known as Landrace Strains. They’re responsible for all ultramodern cannabis seed genetics.
So what are landrace cannabis strains?
By description, a landrace strain is a wild cannabis that has evolved in a specific area that is isolated in its environmental growing conditions for thousands of years. These first mother strains took on their own unique inheritable traits that allowed them to survive in the position and terrain they grew in. Again, to be a landrace strain it must be growing in the wild and have evolved to its natural terrain. Typically you will know them by the way they are named for the area they originated from. Such as Durban Poison or Afghani. These original strains are specific types of weed, they’re either full Indica, full Sativa, or full Ruderalis. They’re much easier to distinguish and label than their mongrel cousins.
But why are they important?
Landrace strains are the naturally hardened strains that our earth has bred over thousands of years. They each possess entirely unique cannabinoid and terpene biographies grounded on the region where they evolved. This natural hardiness took thousands of generations and isn’t replicable by us cannabis seed breeders. All of today’s cannabis can be traced back to a landrace strain, as these were the first truly distinct kinds of cannabis. They were used as the backbone to form ultramodern genetics through crossbreeding. Some cannabis farmers realized their importance in the mid-50s and started to travel what’s known as the Hippie Trail. This route through South Asia and Europe also went through Nepal, Pakistan, and India. It was a vacation used as an excuse to smoke and gather these unique landrace strains and bring back landrace seeds to grow.
These landrace weed seeds were imported from around the world and brought to different climates, most especially to Hawaii and California. While the forming genetics were left complete they did naturally evolve in their new growing climates. This apocalyptic change offered up numerous new “ phenotypes ” of those original landrace strains. Varying Phenotypes of landrace strains that aren’t a result of crossbreeding are known as heritage cannabis strains. These heritage cannabis strains and their parenthood genetics are the starting point when it comes to making new weed strains. As cannabis genetics hybridization occurs and the hunt for the highest THC record continues, these landrace and heritage strains are getting rarer in their pure form.
Sativa grows best near the equator, so it comes as no surprise that pure Sativas come from South Asia, North Africa, and South America. Landrace strains with Sativa genetics are true to their morphology, yield, and flowering length. Although the airy, wispier flowers take a longer time to develop and yield less in the end, the creative and reenergized Sativa high surely makes these strains worth the delay in harvest. Below is a list of Sativa landrace strains
- Aceh – Pure Sativa from Indonesia
- Thai – Pure Sativa from Thailand
- Chocolate Thai – Pure Sativa formed in Thailand, named for its coffee/ chocolate terpene profile.
- Luang Prabang – Pure Sativa from Northern Laos
- Delta Zonker – Pure Sativa from Vietnam
- Nepalese – Group of pure Sativas from Nepal
- Swazi Gold – Pure Sativa from Swaziland, Africa
- Durban Bane – Pure Sativa South Africa
- Kilimanjaro – Pure Sativa from the mountains of Tanzania
- Malawi – Pure Sativa from southeast Africa, has an extra-long flowering time.
- Panama Red – Pure Sativa from Panama
- Colombian Gold – Pure Sativa from Colombia
Punto Rojo – Pure sativa from Colombia
- Lamb’s Bread – Pure Sativa from Jamaica, said to have been enjoyed by Bob Marley
King’s Bread – Pure Sativa from Jamaica
- Acapulco Gold – Pure sativa from Acapulco area of Mexico
- Altai – Pure Sativa from Southern Russia
Landrace Indica Cannabis seeds came from regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Primarily coming from the further temperate climate of the Hindu Kush mountains, they developed into further compact marijuana plants with thick flowers, that could survive the harsher environmental conditions. With a short flowering time, high yields, high resin production, and a body buzz, Indica landraces deliver important medicines and potent THC levels. These original landrace marijuana strains are still in high demand for making hash and other cannabis concentrates.
- Hindu Kush – Pure Indica evolved in the mountains between Pakistan and Afghanistan
- Afghani – Pure Indica from Afghanistan
- Pakistani Chitral Kush – Pure Indica from a city in Pakistan called Chitral
- Lashkar Gah – Pure Indica from south Afghanistan
- Mazar I Sharif – Pure Indica that evolved in the Northern corridor of Afghanistan
Although this species wasn’t generally used for the recreational cannabis market, the Autoflowering cannabis plant has been used in seed parentage to transfer some of its desirable inheritable traits to other strains. Autoflower(ruderalis) plants evolved in Eastern Europe, the Himalayas, and Siberia. In these high altitudes and harsh climatic conditions, these cannabis plants acclimated to the short growing seasons with the capability to flower based on their age rather than the light cycle. Crossbreeding with other strains has allowed this “autoflowering” gene to be passed on so that these cold-blooded crosses can flower without a change in the light cycle.