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What Is Landrace Cannabis?

Last updated: 16 December 2021

best landrace strains

When it comes to cannabis, you’ve got your fair share of strains to choose from. By some accounts, there are thousands of different cannabis strains out there.

However, did you know that all the various modern-day cannabis strains can be traced back to just a few original plants known as landrace strains?

Here, we’ll take a deeper look at these famous, original cannabis strains.

What Is a Landrace Strain?

Records of cannabis use date back as far as 2900 BC, meaning that humans have been using this ancient plant for at least some 5,000 years!

landrace cannabis seeds

Historical research suggests that cannabis originated in Mongolia and Southern Siberia. Experts believe that over time, humans spread the plant to other areas around the globe such as Africa, South America, Europe, and North America. After that, the plant had thousands of years to assimilate to the different climates of those areas, develop new and unique traits, and solidify them by generations-long natural breeding. This eventually resulted in the handful of landrace strains with exceptionally pure and stable genetics that became native to various regions around the world.

What’s So Unique About Landrace Strains?

Landrace strains are the purest of the pure. These unique strains are those that haven’t been crossbred with other cannabis strains. Because of this, their flavors and characteristics stay consistent and distinct, offering a genetic purity not found in strains that have been crossbred with others.

This isn’t to say a landrace strain will have stronger effects than a modern-day cannabis strain. In fact, many modern strains have been bred with higher THC levels and for very specific effects.

Landrace strains are unique, however, because they contain the DNA original to that certain variety. No cross-pollination. No cross-breeding. Simply a pure cannabis strain created the way nature intended. Typically, landrace strains are 100% Indica or 100% Sativa in origin.

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unique heritage

All the strains we’ve come to know and love today are a result of the original landrace cannabis strains. The following is a list of landrace strains and where they come from. These are considered to be some of the best landrace strains that continue to be prized around the world for their unique heritage:

  • Hindu Kush (Pakistan)
  • Afghani (Afghanistan)
  • Acapulco Gold (Mexico)
  • Durban Poison (Africa)
  • Malawi (Africa)
  • Columbian Gold (Columbia)
  • Lamb’s Bread (Jamaica)

Why Are Landrace Strains So Rare?

While you can literally choose from hundreds of cannabis strains from your favorite seed bank, or from dozens of varieties at your favorite dispensary, landrace strains aren’t as easy to come by.

So what makes landrace strains so rare in the modern world of weed?

It all comes down to their native environment. These strains are indigenous to a specific part of the world, which means they’ve adapted to a particular region’s climate and environment.

Taking a landrace strain out of its native environment and attempting to cultivate it in other regions means the plant must adapt to entirely new growing conditions. This results in a loss of some of the original characteristics of that particular strain.

Landrace strains cultivated outside of their native environment are referred to as heirloom cannabis strains, which are highly esteemed for their purity and solid genetic lineage.

pure indica strains seedsOpen collection

Landrace Cannabis Strains Vs. Heirloom Cannabis Strains

The word “heirloom” refers to something that has been passed down from generation to generation. Heirloom strains are those that have survived throughout several generations, with a pure genetic lineage that hasn’t been subjected to any crossbreeding.

Heirloom cannabis strains are simply landrace cannabis strains that are grown outside their native environment. In other words, you can consider heirloom strains to be landrace strains that are simply grown somewhere else. While there’s been a bit of modification, heirloom cannabis strains are still extremely close to landrace strains when it comes to their overall genetic profile.

Trying Landrace Strains Yourself

Any cannabis consumer should try a landrace strain at least once. While they’re not stronger than other strains in any way, they do hold the origins of cannabis itself – pretty cool when you think about it!

The following are a few landrace strains to get you started:

Hindu Kush

strains for relaxation

Hindu Kush is a classic pure Indica landrace strain from the Hindu Kush Mountains. It has an earthy, slightly spicy aroma and flavor. Unlike other Indicas, Hindu Kush won’t knock you out. Instead, it offers a peaceful feeling of total relaxation.

Relaxing strains Open collection

Acapulco Gold

best strains for daytime use

Acapulco Gold is a Sativa strain that originated in Mexico. This classic contains a sweet, citrusy, slightly woody flavor and a pungent earthy aroma. True to her Sativa genetics, Acapulco Gold offers an energetic, uplifting high that’s perfect for daytime use.

Durban Poison

buy worldwide popular strains seeds

Durban Poison is a Sativa that originated in South Africa. Her spicy aroma and flavor are rich with clove, licorice and anise undertones. The stimulating, energetic and uplifting effects of this Sativa are popular worldwide.

Relaxing strainsOpen collection


for experienced growers

Malawi is another African Sativa landrace strain, with effects that some suggest are some of the most powerful of any Sativa in existence, which makes her uplifting high best suited for experienced cannabis consumers. The taste and aroma of this strong Sativa are powerfully citrusy and fresh.

Back To The Roots With Landrace Strains

Regardless of whether you’re interested in smoking some of these strains or looking to grow your own crop with landrace cannabis seeds, landrace cannabis is something every cannabis consumer should know about. Seeing that the bounty of strains available today all come from these original landrace strains, they undoubtedly deserve the respect of cannabis consumers worldwide.

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