Landraces

What are landrace cannabis strains? Landrace cannabis strains are naturally evolving cannabis strains that grow in the wild without human...
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What are landrace cannabis strains?

Landrace cannabis strains are naturally evolving cannabis strains that grow in the wild without human interference. Landrace cannabis strains could be called the genetic backbone of the foundation of modern cannabis strains. Most modern hybrid cannabis strains can trace their heritage back to a landrace, and landrace traits are prevalent in hybrid cannabis strains.

Where do landrace cannabis strains come from?

If you mapped the origin of landrace cannabis strains. You would notice that Sativa landraces evolve close to the equator and that Indica landraces grow in more mountainous regions like the Himalayas.

Many believe the first cannabis landraces originated in central Asia, possibly in the Himalayas. The evidence suggests that wild cannabis was used as herbal medicine by the ancient Chinese and that it later spread to the Indian subcontinent. Nomadic tribes brought cannabis landraces to Europe, and cannabis landraces reached Australia by the 18th century.

Are landraces all the same?

All landraces have distinctive traits which differ depending on where in the world they grow. Each cannabis landrace has a unique terpene profile, and each plant grows under different conditions. Satvias tend to evolve without needing much water. Sativa landraces grow tall and slender in warm climates and rich soil, as opposed to Indicas, which grow short and stout at high altitudes.

How many landraces are there?

There are a few reasons why the number of landraces is unknown. Human interference is the biggest reason why we don't know. Some of the interference has been well-intentioned, and some not.

An increase in well-intentioned breeders using landraces when cultivating new hybrids has led many landraces to lose original traits and develop new ones. Humans are also responsible for deforestation and the loss of an untold number of rare and unique cannabis landraces.

In addition, cannabis is still illegal in most places, making searching for original landraces difficult at best and dangerous at worst. If cannabis was not illegal, we might have historical botanical records for cannabis and know how many landraces there are.

Are landraces better than hybrids?

There isn't a correct answer to that question because choosing any cannabis strain to grow or breed is a personal preference, but there is a divide. Because landraces are low yielding by nature, many question whether it is worth the time and effort to grow them. It is fair to say that the demand for high yields, fast flowering, and high THC cannabis strains has influenced the market. The ratio of hybrids to landraces is only increasing, and getting ahold of a cannabis landrace seems harder than ever.