What Is a Cannabis Landrace Strain?

Cannabis landrace strain

Cannabis consumers now enjoy a wide array of choices than ever before. Although there is a cultivar for all occasions, all cannabis strains can be traced genetically back to multiple varieties called landrace strains. In fact, such is the variety that every event seems to have a unique strain.

However, are you aware that every available strain now came from a couple of original (cannabis) plants called landrace strains? Ideally, the landrace strain ranks as the pioneer of the standard strains that most of us know.
Naturally evolving over decades, landrace strains represent rare strain types that form the pillar of the present cannabis industry and community.

Regrettably, despite their significant influence, history, or importance to the modern-day cannabis industry are only known to a few of us. This post will find the answer to those questions and help you learn everything you must know about the unique landrace strains. Are you ready? Let’s get started.

What are Landrace Strains?

Over the years, cannabis has assumed an essential emerging role as standard multipurpose medicine. However, what do people mean when they talk about a landrace strain? Landrace strains represent cannabis cultivars that have not been crossbred before, evolving stable genetics across decades of long-term exposure and natural selection to their geographical setting.

In addition, this strain is geologically isolated, meaning cannabis plants subsequently bred with other plants within these isolated production areas over decades. So, a landrace cannabis strain is a strain whose original genetics haven’t been crossbred with present strains.

These unique strains are usually highly adapted to thrive in the specific climate of their locality. Typically, this crossbreeding resulted in very stable genetics with time, always thriving in the same ecological environment. As a result, several well-recognizable cannabis varieties, including Durban Poison, Hindu Kush, and Acapulco Gold.
Cannabis is usually a highly adaptable plant.

As humankind generations spread across the globe, so did cannabis, ultimately becoming a ‘native’ of many regions in Asia, America, Africa, and the Middle East. Thus, the landrace strains get their name after their region or country of origin. Some of the most common examples are Panama Red, and Acapulco Gold Sativa landrace strains (from South America and Mexico, respectively); Pure Afghan and Hindu Kush Indica strains from Pakistan/Afghanistan area.

Also, there are Sativa and Indica landrace strains. Ideally, these original cannabis varieties represent the pure Indica and Sativa strains. Indica and Sativa landrace varieties are crossbred to produce the distinctive lineage that eventually led to numerous hybrids.

The original landrace strains are also known as heirloom strains (familiar with the sellers and breeders of cannabis seeds). Essentially, nearly all modern strains may be associated with these original varieties.
Not too long ago, seeds with landrace Sativa properties began spreading across the globe. The main reason for their widespread availability was due to human migration.

As a result, Landrace Sativa seeds made their way to the Middle East, Central Asia, Central America, Jamaica and South America. Surprisingly, despite South and Central America not being among the suitable lands, the two, due to their favorable climatic conditions, garnered the ideal heirloom strains.

Examples of landrace Sativa are Punto Rojo, Lamb’s Bread, Panama Red, Chocolate Thai, Acapulco Gold and Durban Poison. The best Indica strains diversities include G13, Pure Afghan, Afghan Kush and the Northern Lights. The Colombian Gold is also among Landrace cannabis and ranks among the best.

Why are the Landrace Strains So Rare?

As landrace strains continue to gain popularity, their original strains have proved hard to trace. Why? For instance, if by any chance you happen to transfer a Durban Poison and move it to a geographical location experiencing different climates, it is obvious that it has lost its authenticity.

Moving the landrace strains to new areas will force them to adapt to the locality’s growing conditions. As a result, the landrace strains gradually develop into something else. Therefore, the plant will not be the original landrace strain  instead, it will be a phenotype.

Over time, due to their scarcity, landrace strains have been hard to come across. So, in search of original landrace strains, cannabis fanatics from the west have traced the strain’s descent and travelled back home with the seeds.
In places other than their origin, landrace strains are pretty rare to find. Defining the term ‘landrace’ is a rather complex concept since all landrace strains have a similar background.

As a matter of fact, the actual landrace strains are those found where cannabis was first discovered, i.e., Hindu Kush’s geographical location. The term ‘landrace,’ as per Merriam Webster, refers to “a local variety of species with different characteristics emerge from growth and adaptability over a while, in climate conditions of a region.”

Clearly, this, for example, shows that growing a pure landrace from Afghan in South America is impossible.
As mentioned earlier, growing landrace strains in foreign lands mature into phenotypes, i.e., plants with matching genes but varying characteristics defined by the area of growth. Differences display themselves through Terpene content, cannabinoid levels and seasonal flowering.

The Most Popular Landrace Strains

cannabis landrace strain

Landrace strains are considered to have come from Northern parts of Africa and also Asia. As they made their way to different parts of the world, the landrace strains also landed in America. Landrace sativa strains proved to do well in the southern states.

However, this was not the case for landrace sativa strains that made their way to the northern parts of America until they were bred together with other genetic variants.

Examples of the true landrace sativa seeds are:

  • Lamb’s bread: Also referred to as ‘Lamb’s breath,’ the landrace sativa strain is said to have originated from Jamaica. The Lamb’s bread landrace is familiar for its out-of-the-box creativity appeals; it also allows you to have a clear understanding of things in your surroundings. More like other landrace strains, the Lamb’s bread has a cheese-like and spicy taste.
  • Durban Poison: Originates from Durban, the port city located in South Africa. Its popularity is due to its bud organization, taste and smell. In addition, it produces round, fluffy flowers; this is one of its unique characteristics as opposed to the other strains which produce tiny flowers.
  • Afghani: Traces show their descent to arid and semi-arid areas. This strain features several unique characteristics, including a sweet smell, broad-leaf’s, and generates heavy resin.
  • Thai: Alias ‘Thai stick’ due to its drying and curing process, It causes extreme cerebral highness and is also potent. It emits a tropical scent and tastes like flora when you exhale.
  • Acapulco Gold: This landrace sativa is known to have come from Mexico. At one point, the strain ranked as the best. This was because of its high production of THC at the time. The Acapulco Gold produces a toffee-like scent and somewhat tastes like cheese.

What Is The Difference Between Sativa, Indica And Hybrid Strains?

Cannabis dating back to the ’60s and ’70s is incomparable with what is available today. Smoking weed then meant indulging Sativa landrace. Currently, there are diverse strains, including Indica, Sativa, and hybrid strains. But what is the difference between all these strains? Sativa is an exceptional strain characterized by its tallness, wispy flowers and narrow leaves; straight from India, the strain landed east. It also found its destination in Africa’s east coast and, in the end, America.

But, unlike the Sativa landrace strains, which transferred from place to place, Indica strains were associated with arid areas in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In addition, the Indica landrace is known for several unique factors like its shortness, many flowers and broad leaves. In addition, it has sedating aftermaths, namely the B.L.D. (broad-leaf drug).

Finally, the last strain is the hybrid strain. Ideally, these are strains that come from a unique combination of Sativa and Indica landraces. Hybrid cannabis strains contain properties from both Indica and Sativa strains. This is to their advantage since they prevent unusual behaviors that may deteriorate the strain’s productivity and health in general.

So, are landraces more potent than regular strains? In truth, it usually depends on a particular strain, its cultivation method, and its origin. If you come across a genuine landrace strain, you will discover that it is most likely less potent than the strains you find in the modern market. This is because current strains are bred purposely for higher potency.

Final Thoughts

Although you may find it challenging to get these strains yourself from nature, you can enjoy the significance and impact through the numerous strains, extracts, and products produced from their lineage. Not that it’s their inaccessibility and rarity to the public, landrace strains continue to thrive in their intrinsic areas.

So, if you are ever in the Hindu Kush or Central America region, be sure to check out for these ancient strains out in the wild-you may be lucky enough to see one!

Stephen Pillman graduated from Stanford University in 2014 with an honors degree in agricultural engineering. His passion for crafting and crossbreeding plants is among the motivations that propelled him to focus on Marijuana strains. Apart from being an enthusiastic breeder, he writes timely content about strains, growing info, crossbreeds, conditions that the strain will do well, and the yields you can expect. Pillman believes that everyone with an interest in marijuana strains has genuine reasons. He argues that neurological situations that may not need medical treatment affect human life, and learning something about strains can be a great way to liberate yourself from such issues. Stephen loves Soccer, and he spends his whole weekend watching football.

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