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For centuries, people have consumed cannabis for both recreation and medicinal use. The green plant can be traced back to 2900 BC, our ancestors may not have sat around getting stoned, but they definitely used this plant in other ways. The cannabis that was available back then is way different than the ones you get now. People smoking pot back then were only limited to sativa; now, you can walk into a dispensary and have hundreds of strains to choose from.
Landrace strain is a pure breed cannabis strain that’s just as old as our forefathers. It is one of the original strains that was used by our ancestors. Although these strains are rumoured to be outdated today, some popular hybrid strains can be traced back to these landrace strains. In this article, we’ll discuss a brief history of landrace strains and why they are so unique.
What are Landrace Strains
Landrace strain is a strain of cannabis that has not been mixed or crossed with any strain. These strains are pure breed strains with less diluted DNA. These strains are very rare; their unique characteristics and appearance are influenced by the environment they are grown in and growing conditions. These strains were distributed to other parts of the world, where they adapted to different climates. They are then used to produce the hybrid strains we know and are named after the region they were originally grown, like Durban Poison, Thai, Afghani, etc.
Do Landrace strains still exist?
People didn’t start breeding two kinds of cannabis until the late 1970s. They produce offspring plants with desirable characteristics from both parent plants and avoid characteristics that could weaken the health of the plant. These hybrid strains are what we see all over today. They are descendants of these landrace strains and have a few of their characteristics. Hybrid strains have taken over the market and are what is commonly smoked today.
Landrace strains may not be entirely out of existence but are difficult to find. This is because they are grown on a smaller scale when compared to hybrid strains. If you are searching for landrace strains, the best you may get are Heirloom strains, which carry the genetics of landrace but lacks the original terroir.
List of Landrace Indica Strains
Afghani is known to be a very heavy strain found around Afghanistan, India and Pakistan. Its plants have broad leaves with dense buds heavily coated with resin. It has been used to breed popular strains like Blueberry and Northern Lights. It gives off an earthy and sweet smell and has a high THC content ranging from 15% to 20%.
This is a very popular landrace strain; every stoner must have heard of it. It is found in the same region as Afghani, in the mountains that form a border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is heavily coated with trichomes to protect it against cold environments. Like most indica strains, it has a typical THC level ranging between 15% and 20%.
Balkhi is a pure Afghan landrace strain found in the heart of Afghanistan. Its plant are usually compact, branches heavily with narrow leaves and can grow indoors and outdoors successfully. Its buds are dense and heavily coated with resin making it perfect for producing hash and concentrates.
Thai, sometimes called Thai Stick, is very famous for its potency and intense high. It is a critically acclaimed landrace strain in Thailand and is largely exported to North America. It can only be grown indoors because of its specific climate condition. It has a varying THC content that can be as high as 22%. It is used to breed many popular strains like Vodoo and Juicy Fruit. It produces a sweet odor that smells a lot like tropical fruit with hints of diesel. When inhaled, the smoke has a harsh acrid taste and leaves behind floral and herbal notes on your tongue when you exhale.
Originating from Durban, South Africa, Durban Poison is a potent landrace strain commonly known for its unique texture, smell and taste. It has medium to large-sized buds covered in milky-white trichomes. Its psychoactivity is very powerful and its sticky texture is mainly adapted to its growing conditions. Cultivated since the 14th century, this strain as brought to the US by expert breeder Ed Rosenthal and has since then been used to produce different hybrids.
Durban Poison has a dank and sweet subtle smell that becomes pungent and skunky when broken apart or burnt. It produces an intense cerebral high that leaves the user focused. It could also be best in social situations as it helps the user feel chatty and more at ease with the environment. Its medical benefits are enjoyed by people with depression, anxiety or PTSD.
For more on the best cannabis strains, read