Why growers should consider landrace strains more often

Published May 4, 2021 09:00 a.m. ET
iStock / cyano66

It is time to get those crops in, and many cultivators are currently debating on which cannabis strains they might want to bring to the market this year. It’s a daunting task that, for farmers, requires an intimate knowledge of what consumers really want and for personal growers, it comes with risks, especially when a large initial investment is made in hopes of saving a substantial amount in the long run.

Some growers select strains based on consumer demand, growing climates, or average yields, but as time goes on, we’re quickly realizing just how important it is for all different types of cultivators to include landrace strains in their plans.

What are landrace strains?

The history of cannabis dates back centuries and in the very beginning of it all, there were landrace strains, which were the original breeds of the plant discovered in their native lands. Landrace cannabis strains hold secrets as the true OG genetics, and without them, all of the wonderful Sativa, Indica, and hybrids that we know and love today would not exist.

Landrace strains made long journeys around the globe, as they were collected and traded by gatherers who eventually spread them everywhere man went. Once the seeds finally met each other across distant lands and in the hands of growers, they were selectively cultivated and bred to produce new and more powerful cannabis plants.

Why their preservation is important

Indigenous farmers in Southeast Asia and India have grown landrace strains of cannabis, processing it into hashish with methods that have been passed down over many generations. This practice dates back so far that we aren’t actually sure how long this tradition has continued, but despite its popularity and a growing movement to end prohibition, communities who have passed down the practice are facing economic hardships.

Climate changes have caused a devasting change to the environment in these regions, making cultivation much more challenging in certain areas. It, combined with the ever-growing suffocating tourism industry and human development, threatens the future of their existence, which up until this point has been a crucial part of what’s kept landrace strains alive and thriving for so long.

These original strains contain essential building blocks of life that could be world-changing for the future creation of cannabis strains as they offer the only pure genetics that are left on the planet. Ancient Himalayan and Indian strains are the most at risk, and if we let these precious species go, we’ll never have another chance to get them back.

The benefits of choosing landrace strains

If you choose landrace strains, you’ll feel great knowing that you’re helping to protect the true history of cannabis by preserving the genetics and lineage of some of the oldest and most influential types of cannabis in the world. Since these strains are native to warmer climates, you’ll also be presented with a unique challenge of raising a tropical species in an environment that isn’t generally suited for such things, which can be an awesome experience for more experienced cultivators.

Where to buy landrace strains

It’s really hard to find true landrace strain seeds these days, but not impossible, and one of the best sources is the Indian Landrace Exchange. From here, growers can order from a select menu of landrace strains including some of the rarest genetics on earth, and though they do cost a little bit more than your average local seeds, the end prize is almost always more than worth it, plus you’ll be guaranteed to receive the real, pure, properly labeled product.

All about landrace strains of cannabis


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