While we all may enjoy a puff of some Purple Glookies or Iced Wedding Cake Sorbet, these strains simply would not have been possible were it not for their genetic heritage, the landrace strains.
Cannabis landrace strains, simply stated, are those original strains that have not been crossed with other strains to create modern hybrids. In other words, they are cannabis plants that developed through natural selection and evolved into distinct strains of their own in their original environment. Commonly referred to as “heirloom strains”, these strains were hunted down and gathered in their authentic terroir, or place of origin.
Through careful selection and selective breeding, these strains have become the basis for much of the cannabis we now know and love today.
Cannabis landrace strains often bear the name of the locale from which they were initially discovered, and many hybridized offspring bear these same names, such as Kush strains, hailing from the Hindu Kush Valley of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Like the Kush strains, many landraces have become legendary in the world of cannabis consumption, growing, and particularly breeding.
Are Landrace Strains Still Around?
While much of the world’s modern marijuana strains result from hybridizing landrace strains, these originals still exist and can be found. Though finding wild crops of cannabis growing may not be likely, the phenotypes of these old school strains have been preserved by numerous seed banks and genetics companies, making them available still.
Landrace strains still grow wild in some places in the world, but by and large, legislation and the increased popularity of marijuana over the years has made these sites increasingly rare.
However, fear not, for practically all of the original landraces discovered in the last century are still available from breeders such as Dutch Passion and Sensi Seeds. These growers, in particular, have dedicated themselves to not only maintaining the original genetics but also mixing those genetics to create delicious and surprising hybrids, resulting in increased potency, greater yields, and retention of the more popular characteristics of the original landraces. Should you choose to begin breeding your own cannabis, these original landrace strains are a great place to start.