Landraces are wild growing phenotypes of cannabis that occur naturally in certain regions of the world. These strain include sativa, indica and ruderalis. The environment in which the landrace originates plays a large part in its effects and physical makeup.
Landraces are commonly crossed due to their strong genetics. As a result of natural selection and hardiness, the landrace strains have evolved to survive in their various distinctive locations around the world. In specific, landrace cannabis strains are wild cannabis plants that grow naturally, free of human disturbance or interference.
Each strain of landrace cannabis has evolved to flourish and thrive in its own unique environment, whether it is a sativa, indica, or other type. They have produced particular characteristics that make them robust and able to survive in the elements of the region they grow in. Landrace cannabis strains will only occur naturally, and humans have never manipulated or deliberately bred them.
Around 100 landrace strains of cannabis are believed to exist around the world. The plants have been found throughout Afghanistan, Africa, India, Haiti, Pakistan, Mexico, and Central America. The origins of landrace strains can be traced back to Pakistan and Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush region.
Presently, all cannabis strains cultivars and hybrids have roots that can be traced back to the landrace strains. Outside of Central Asia, the majority of landrace strains are the product of escaping (or “feral”) cultivars, strains specifically bred by humans and slowly adapted to their environment over a period of time.
Throughout the process, other new cultivars have interbred with the ones that escaped. Even within Central Asia’s ancient range, it is believed that feral domesticated cannabis interbred with its wild ancestors, making the modern presence of an original native strain unlikely. These considerations account for genetic variation between landrace strains that have been crossbred to create the cannabis strains we see today.
Use of Term
I’m pretty sure I saw some landrace cannabis when I visited Central Asia last week.