When I think of cannabis I immediately think of landrace strains. Most of the time when I hear about some new strain I think of what its history and origins are. If you’ve never heard of a landrace strain then you might be a little confused. Landrace strains aren’t that well known, even by some of the “top pros” who own huge production companies.
Why are these strains important and where do they come from? Cannabis has been growing on our planet for quite some time. Some believe it began in Africa others China and others the Hindu Kush Mountains. This article isn’t going to debate the actual origin of the plant. Feel free to do some research about the topic as there’s much debate and conflicting information. The important thing here is that every cotton candy, lucky charms, lemon super-duper-whatever strain is one or more landraces at its core. That’s because ALL cannabis strains have roots in landrace strains. Pun definitely intended.
Landrace strains are the fundamental building blocks for the rest of the genetics we see today. It’s challenging to get a straight answer on what is, and isn’t, a landrace strain. Like much of the information regarding cannabis, the history and origins of the landrace strains aren’t totally clear. I spent a good amount of time researching the Internet and talking with growers to refine my list of the landraces. This is as close as I’ve been able to isolate all of the landraces.
Mazar I Sharif
Take a moment and think about one of your favorite strains, assuming it’s not in this list. Strains are sometimes classified by generation. The newest strains are considered fourth generation by some. If you were to look at the ancestry for a new, fourth gen strain like Sunset Sherbert you’d quickly see that it originates from Durban Poison, Thai and Hindu Kush. Sites like seedfinder.eu are usually pretty good for finding genealogies for cannabis strains.
Alright, so that’s kind of cool. Why should anyone care? For one thing if you ever plan on doing any growing genetics are really fun to work with. Finding and knowing the lineage of different strains can enable a grower to make their own strains starting from the landrace strains. The inclined grower could even recreate their own versions of well known second generation strains, like Northern Lights or OG Kush. If that seems boring you could create your own strains similar to well known ones with modifications in the strains lineage. Imagine having your very own version of GG4.
Another reason I find landrace strains very important and interesting is for historical purposes. Once you start learning more about the landraces you might find yourself wanting to share your knowledge or at least chat with others about it. You’ll find very quickly that it’s not all that well known of a topic. For those reasons preserving the landraces themselves and knowledge about them is pretty important in my opinion.
There’s also the terpenes and full spectrum aspects of landrace strains. The fourth gen, newest strains generally have pretty complex genealogies. All cannabis strains contain terpenes and a combination of cannabinoids. The levels and amounts of both vary from strain to strain. Each strain, including the landraces have a profile associated with them. The profile depends on the amounts of the various terpenes and cannabinoids contained within the strain. I’ve found that if there’s a strain that you like and you research its lineage you can identify one or more landraces that are responsible for the profile you enjoy. This means that you can start to find other strains that are rooted in a landrace you like. This takes some of the guesswork out of finding strains that appeal to you.
As the end of prohibition continues the cannabis scene and industry is moving ahead at light speed. Every week there’s a slew of new strains that come into the shop. It’s exciting and an amazing time to be alive and involved. With that said I think it’s important that we retain our knowledge of cannabis history. From what I’ve seen in I 502 over the last couple of years I fear we’re losing some of that history. Ask yourself, do you want to really understand cannabis and its history? Or do you just want to follow the crowd and run to this weeks newest, shiny strain?