A landrace cannabis strain can be defined as a naturally occurring cannabis strain, not crossbred or interfered with in any way. Landrace strains are the only 100% Indica or Sativa strains on earth as all others are considered as Hybrid.
Landrace cannabis is where all of the contemporary cannabis strains have evolved from. Whether a landrace strain was taken to a different climate or even bred with another landrace strain, all of these strains are incredibly important in the history and evolution of cannabis.
Cannabis has a long history with regard to medicine and religion. Once people started to explore other countries, cannabis quickly spread across the world. One of the most important time periods in cannabis history was the 1960s-1970s when many South American and Asian cannabis strains were imported to North America. The illegal importation of cannabis from overseas during this time has influenced modern cannabis strains and culture greatly.
Learn more about landrace cannabis strains, their history, and how they have impacted strains that are popular today.
Landrace Cannabis Strains
The Middle East & Indian Subcontinent
Afghani – Not to be confused with Afghani Kush, Afghani is a heavy indica strain, found in the mountain ranges between Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan. Afghani produces copious amounts of trichomes for protection from the environment and its heavy resin production is very well known.
Hindu Kush – A pure indica strain that originated in the mountains for which this strain is named. The harsh climate of the Hindu Kush mountains promotes a heavy coating of trichomes for protection. These trichomes have been used for centuries in hash production within Afghanistan/India/Pakistan and elsewhere.
Mazar l Sharif and Lashkar are two additional landrace strains from the same area. Both of these strains, as with Afghani and Hindu, produce heavy amounts of trichomes, ideal for hash production.
Southern & Central America
Acapulco Gold – This landrace sativa originated in Acapulco, Mexico and is becoming steadily rarer to find in its original form. The orange/amber hairs, green/brown/gold colouring, and distinct smell give Acapulco Gold some very distinct characteristics.
Columbian Gold – This landrace sativa originated within the Santa Marta mountains in Columbia. It is a skunky and sweet strain, with notes of lemon and lime. Columbian Gold is revered across the world for its stimulating and mood-enhancing effects.
Panama Red – The late 1960s saw a large rise in cannabis use among North American youth and to meet the demand, importers looked to South America where strains like Panama Red grew naturally. This pure sativa has a longer flowering time than most cannabis strains, hence its rarity among cannabis growers today.
Aceh/Atjeh – Originally from the westernmost province of Indonesia, Aceh, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aceh), this strain exhibits lemon and mango flavours complemented with an earthy tone. Aceh plants grow tall and thin and this strain is considered a landrace sativa.
Thai – Thailand’s famous landrace sativa strain that has gained notoriety worldwide since the late 70s when it made its way to North America. Outside of tropical climates, this strain is hard to grow outdoors, but, many home growers in North America have found success in breeding Thai to create other strains such as Juicy Fruit and Voodoo. In the 1970s and 80s, this strain was commonly known as ‘Thai Sticks’ in North American due to the way this strain was traditionally dried and tied.
Chocolate Thai – Although Chocolate Thai descends from Thai, this strain is still considered an important landrace strain. The unique chocolatey/coffee aroma from this cannabis strain is incredibly unique. This strain has become almost mythical within cannabis circles as many argue that the Chocolate Thai from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, was far superior to the Chocolate Thai of today.
Durban Poison – Originating from the city of Durban in South Africa, Durban Poison is one of the few landrace strains that can still be found in its original form today. This pure sativa promotes energetic and uplifting effects for its users with a sweet, fruity, sometimes minty, aroma. Durban Poison is still grown today by many across the world and the amount of resin this strain produces is ideal for cannabis extractions such as shatter or rosin.
Kilimanjaro – Originally from the mountains of Tanzania, this pure sativa landrace strain was originally cultivated for its energetic effects as well as religious ceremonies. Ideal for outdoor growing, the citrus and fruity notes from this strain are easily recognized.
Swazi Gold – This strain grows with ease across Africa and can withstand harsh environments such as the mountainous country from which it comes (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eswatini). The sweet aroma of Swazi Gold has made it a favourite across Africa.
Malawi – This sativa landrace strain that originated from the Salima region of Malawi has a long flowering time, sometimes up to 3 months.
Lamb’s Bread (Also Known as Lamb’s Breath) – A bright green pure sativa from Jamaica that is known for being ultra-sticky. Flavours of citrus, herb, and pepper are abundant from this strain of cannabis. This famous Jamaican landrace strain was also enjoyed by Bob Marley himself.
King’s Bread is another important landrace strain from Jamaica that exhibits similar effects and flavours to Lamb’s Bread. The environment and mountains of Jamaica produce several sativa strains that are rather similar.
Tracing Modern Cannabis to Landrace Strains
Landrace cannabis is especially important in the evolution of modern cannabis. Whether a landrace strain was taken to a different climate or even bred with another landrace strain, all of these strains are incredibly important in the history and evolution of cannabis
Here are just a few examples of how landrace strains have impacted the modern world of cannabis:
Afghani genetics can be found in several popular strains. Afghani evolved into Northern Lights and has been used as a parent for many other strains.
Columbian Gold, for example, is a parent of Skunk #1, an absolutely legendary strain that has been bred several times over to create some of our favourite strains today. An example of this is when Afghani and Skunk #1 were bred together to create Big Bud as well as Super Skunk.
Hindu Kush has also parented many favourites, including OG Kush, Master Kush, which have also created several new strains by breeding them with others.
The lineage of all cannabis can be traced back to the original landrace strains.
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