Pure Cannabis Strains
No doubt, you’ve heard of Acapulco Gold, Panama Red or Afghani Kush, but did you know they are considered Pure Landrace strains? Have you ever wondered what exactly a Pure Landrace strain is? Where did they come from? Why they are they now so rare?
Broadly speaking, a Landrace is a pure cannabis strain cultivated in its natural environment which has never been crossbred with another variety. You won’t find hybrid landrace strains, they are generally 100% Indica or 100% Sativa.
Landrace strains are often named after their native or adopted region (e.g., Afghani from Afghan and Thai from Thailand). Traces of these forefather strains are sometimes detectable in the names of their crossbred descendants. A combination of environmental conditions and selective breeding by native populations gave rise to these stable varieties, the forefathers of all our modern strains. But how?
Historical documents dating from as far back as 2900 B.C., show us cannabis has been utilized humans for thousands of years, cultivated for fiber and fodder, as well as for medicinal and religious purposes. According to research, cannabis originally emerged in the forests of Central Asia and was spread by humans to nearly every region of the planet. This was no accident; cannabis has a multitude of uses that ensured migrants and traders took seeds with them wherever they traveled. As civilizations grew, cannabis spread into the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia approximately 1800 years ago. Cannabis eventually made it to the New World around the year 1545 A.D. and Australia in 1788. Without human intervention, cannabis would have been confined to its birthplace in Central Asia.
During the 1960s and 70s, growers worldwide began collecting these landrace strains to breed in their own local gardens. These pure strains, also called heirlooms, were then propagated in a variety of environments like Hawaii and California that allowed for flower adaptations. We now enjoy a never ending flow of new hybrid strains. Patients are able to achieve a variety of medical benefits, and connoisseurs can bask in the diversity of their complex flavor profiles.
So why are these pure strains still sought after? Landraces very important for the breeding process because they have inborn genetic qualities as selected by nature. Climate, weather, soil quality and harvest time affect the chemical makeup of cannabis, and pure landraces, having adapted to these conditions over time are considered to have synergistic levels of these therapeutic compounds, like THC and CBD. These natural qualities are not replicable by any man-made condition. This means that Pure Landrace strains, having grown wild and indigenously in various regions of the world, reproduce with virtually no variation from one plant to another. These strains maintain remarkable quality and consistency.
They may be uncommon now, but pure landrace and heirloom varieties still bloom in different regions around the world. Here some of the pure strains you may have heard of:
Pure Afghanistan/Pakistan Indicas: Hindu Kush, Afghani Kush, Lashkar Gah, Mazar/Sharif
Powerful, pure Indicas, indigenous to the Hindu Kush and various mountain ranges in the Himalayas. Buds are typically thick and dense, much like their resulting full-body effects.
Pure Jamaica Sativas: Lamb’s Bread, King’s Bread
Known for their 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC, these strains uphold a perfect blend of powerful pain-relief properties and light euphoria.
Pure Mexican Sativa: Acapulco Gold
Native to the Guerrero Mountains and the areas surrounding Acapulco, Mexico. Also known as “Mexican Sativa,” Acapulco Gold came north of the United States’ southern border in the early 1960s.
Pure Africa Sativas: Swazi Gold, Kilimanjaro, Durban Poison, Malawi Gold
These Pure steady Sativas are renowned for uplifting and energizing their consumers.
Malawi Gold was traditionally grown by native Malawi tribes and is considered one of the strongest sativas ever produced in Southeast Africa.
Pure South and Central America Sativas: Panama Red, Columbian Gold
Panama Red is indeed bright red in hue, and has heady properties are mostly psychedelic in nature. Colombian Gold is a classic landrace sativa that originated in the Santa Marta mountains of Colombia.
Pure Asia Sativas: Aceh, Thai, Chocolate Thai
Chocolate Thai became a massive hit when it exploded onto the American scene back in the 60s in the form of thai sticks.
Historically, most cannabis breeders have been partnering strains to achieve a high THC content, favoring this popular psychoactive cannabinoid over other important chemical constituents like CBD. Discovery of our endocannabinoid systems, has led to a revival of the importance of other cannabis compounds and the desire for high-CBD products. This has expanded the medical potential of cannabis by a great degree. Pure cannabis strains still hold key ingredients that can continue to unlock the true healing potential of cannabis.