All about landrace strains of cannabis

Published Feb 13, 2019 02:43 p.m. ET

Nowadays weed is so accessible that the majority of people that smoke it don’t even realize what it took to get to this point. Our current market is overrun with so many high-profile hybrid marijuana strains, that it can be difficult to imagine what the original plants looked like. Landrace strains are only one piece in the genetic puzzle that led to cannabis as we know it today.

What are landrace strains?

Cannabis use has a history alongside people that goes back thousands of years with many of the original marijuana strains having come from Central Asia during a time it was found growing wild. Traders throughout the years who learned of some of the benefits of smoking and drinking the plant brought landrace seeds all the way to the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Sometime around 1788, is when those seeds made it to Australia, avoiding any human intervention or manipulation along the way resulting in what we refer to as original marijuana strains or landrace strains. Landrace cannabis strains that originated outside of Central Asia are labeled as feralmarijuana strains or cultivars that were somewhat manipulated at one time but eventually adapted to growing freely again. Even some of the landrace weed strains that did come from Central Asia are believed to have naturally bred with other wild cannabis strains, making any of our current Landrace strains highly unlikely to be anywhere near the true original cannabis strain.

How were landrace strains used?

Though landrace marijuana strains have been used for thousands of years for the same reasons that we use cannabis today; including medicinal, spiritual, and recreational purposes, however, the most significant use of landrace cannabis strains took place between 1960 and 1970 when growers from around the world started to collect landrace strains specifically to cross-breed them for unique characteristics. The strains that were created using landrace strains are called Heirloom cannabis strains and are the base of most hybrid cannabis strains we know and love today. Though pure landrace strains are uncommon, they can still be purchased and found growing in their home regions even now.

Landrace marijuana strains


Though landrace cannabis strains can be difficult to find, there are still many actively growing landrace strains around the world, with most of them growing wild in their regions of origin and the rest found amongst private grow rooms. Some are assumed to be completely extinct, but most of them are available from seed banks online. Some of the most popular and recognizable landrace cannabis strains are listed below, divided by type, either sativa or indica. All these strains come from Asia, South America, Central America, Africa, Mexico, Jamaica, Afghanistan, or Pakistan and have names that are associated with the region that they were discovered in.

Sativa landrace strains

Lamb’s Bread, King’s Bread, Acapulco Gold, Swazi Gold, Malawi, Malawi Gold, Kilimanjaro, Durban Poison, Columbian Gold, Panama Red, Chocolate Thai, Thai, Aceh, Rooibaard, Hawaiian, Punto Rojo

Indica landrace strains

Hindu Kush, Afghani, Mazar, Lashkar Gah, G13, Northern Lights, and Red Haze.



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