Scrolling through the seemingly endless options of cannabis strains available online, you’ll find yourself hard pressed to come across anything that isn’t a beautiful hybrid of indica, sativa, or ruderalis. Supply and demand, my friends – the people have spoken, and what they want is variety: super potent cannabis strains that taste great and give a powerful buzz, or deliver a potent dose of healing medication in one hit.
Cannabis plants don’t just magically interbreed, though, and the eclectic, ever-evolving selection of strains we know and love are the result of hybridization – the cross-breeding of landrace genetics in order to take advantage of qualities that growers (and patients and recreational pot lovers) find useful and attractive.
What is a “landrace” cannabis strain?
Landrace cannabis refers to plants that grow naturally and wildly in a specific climate without human intervention. A pure cannabis strain, if you will, that is either 100% indica or 100% sativa.
Said to have originated in Central Asia, cannabis plants were cultivated and harvested for food, fibre, and often religious and medical reasons by locals for hundreds of years. Recognizing the significance of the plant, the seeds were disseminated across the globe. Despite what some factions may have you believe, because of its multitude of uses and ability to adapt to seemingly any environment, marijuana is considered one of the world’s oldest agricultural crops, and it makes sense that travellers would want to bring these sturdy genetics along with them wherever they roamed.
Are all landrace cannabis seeds the same?
Just like the people of different cultures and continents, cannabis strains that grow wild or are cultivated in different parts of the world will have different physical characteristics, will have developed different phytochemicals, and will provide different benefits when consumed for medical or recreational purposes. Plants that are now native to Thailand will be markedly different in look and effect from those that grow freely in the harsh climates of Russia or the Kush Mountain region.
Is heirloom cannabis the same as landrace?
Considered to be OG strains themselves, heirloom cannabis varieties may have been around for “donkey’s years” but these are strains that have been cultivated by humans for human use. Typically, they will feature some kind of genetic modification through cross-breeding methods, though they tend to remain quite close to the original landrace ancestors.
Strains that are now native to areas like South and Central America are considered heirloom, and are thought to have been adapted from landrace strains that were native to Africa. The same can be said for most Hawaiian strains, since cannabis isn’t native to this part of the world.
At Growers Choice we offer a number of strains whose parents bear names like Afghani and Thai. But though these parents are less “fiddled with” than heavily bred strains, they are still technically heirlooms, not landrace.
Can you buy landrace cannabis seeds today?
Essentially, the public’s desire for “bigger, better, and stronger” has led to the relative demise of the landrace strain, which tends to be slow growing, produce smaller yields, and require a lot of attention. Most patients aren’t interested in the history and etymology of the cannabis they’re using to treat their epileptic seizures or migraines, and modern breeders are more than happy to supply “super” strains that have unique smells or tastes, and are jacked on either THC or CBD.
Where would we be without connoisseurs, though? Cannabis culture would be nothing without the few who dedicate themselves to maintaining pure strains. Outside of cannabis ruderalis (basically a type of hemp), a tough little Russian “ditch weed” that is prized for its auto-flowering capabilities and extremely low THC content, there are few pure cannabis strains available, and you might be intrigued to find Durban Poison among the growing catalog of cannabis seeds on Growers Choice.
A strain that truly gets cannabis lovers excited, Durban Poison is an uplifting, powerful 100% sativa strain out of Africa that will stimulate your senses and keep you going throughout the day. Relatively easy to germinate and cultivate, this strain thrives in warm, humid climates and does well outdoors during warmer months. Because of its sativa heritage it will grow quite tall, but you won’t have to wait forever for harvest time, as it generally requires only 8 or 9 weeks to reach the flowering stage.
If the classics are your dish, be sure to also take a look at our “2nd generation” strains grown from heirloom parents:
- Afghan Auto-Flowering (pure Afghani and ruderalis),
- White Widow (South American and South Indian indicas), and
- American Haze (a cross between Columbian, Mexican, Thai, and Indian landrace strains).
What’s your favorite landrace or heirloom cannabis strain?