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What is a Cannabis Landrace Strain?

cannabis landrace strain

Cannabis users are now faced with a variety of marijuana strains. Most of the strains can be linked to a landrace strain. Landrace strain by definition is a cannabis strain that has never been cross-bred with other strains and has been evolving in its own native environment. Cannabis has been with us for centuries and has been in its native environment. The earliest strain grew in the Hindu Kush area of Afghan and later spread to places like South America, Africa, Jamaica, Asia. Cannabis strain is a resilient plant and can reproduce in other places. As mankind spread, so does the cannabis plant that slowly became ‘native’ to their respective regions.

Where does the cannabis landrace come from?

Marijuana is the oldest crop in history and has been recorded in 2900 BC by the Chinese Emperor Shen. He is known as the father of Chinese medicine. Shen wrote of cannabis strain in his book, an encyclopedia about Chinese medicine. Moreover, this is supported by archaeological finds that cannabis plants have been used during the early periods in China.

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Renowned botanist has traced the origin of cannabis genetics to a single plant in the Hindu Kush region which is now called Pakistan and Afghanistan. This cannabis plant is used for cloth making, rope making, spiritual and medicinal practices.

Roman and Ancient Greeks transported the cannabis plant to the west towards Russia and the Middleeast. And the German brought it further down to the west, and the Ottoman delivered it towards the African continent.  African strain species crossed over to the Atlantics in their early exploration of the Americas -the Caribbean and Central Americas.

Cannabis plants are adaptable plants that flourish best in their respective region namely Africa, Asia, and America.  These are the first landrace strains named after their origin country. 

Landrace weed strains are hard to find outside their home territory. In the 1970s, cannabis growers began to experiment in hybridization, breeders have crossed landrace strains, the first hybrid landrace strain such as Chemdawg and Skunk #1. Many tried to make the best strain, and propagation of new cannabis strain has diluted the original landrace profile. Landrace strain is complicated as many came from one genetic source. Technically, the only landrace strain variety is the strain found in Hindu Kush mountain.

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It is difficult to grow landrace strain outside of their environment. When the landrace seed grows outside of their native environment, they develop the same genetics but different characteristics that adapt to their new environment. This difference is known as heirloom cannabis stature. If one would plant a Hindu Kush landrace seed from the original plant and cultivate this in Southern California in a dry and sunny climate, it will produce different phenotypes as compared to the one grown in Hindu Kush mountain.

Identifying Landrace strain

Landrace strains are named from the regions they are developed. A good example is the Acapulco Gold, grown in South America, and Durban Poison, grown in Africa. These strains flourish close to the equator in a warmer and drier climate. They grow larger dense leaves and prolonged flowering periods and take advantage of plenty of sunlight.  Afghan and Hindu Kush develop short plants and with wide fan leaves that are suitable to elevated moisture levels and altitudes with little sunlight.

Lists of Popular Landrace strains


Latin-America landraces like Acapulco Gold, Jamaican’s Lamb’s Bread said to by Bob Marley’s choice strain and Colombian Gold have elongated buds and tall plants, it has abundant lateral branching and with elongated leaves. They have high levels of limonene and caryophyllene, which produce a lemon and pepper aroma. It gives that creative endeavor and provides that uplifting energy and sense of clarity.

Middle-Eastern landrace weed strains like Hindu kush and Afghan marijuana strain, this strain is stocky plants, small, with wide thick leaves, fat buds with elevated resin levels. They have an aroma of pine and pepper due to the pinene content and caryophyllene. They evolve in a dry arid climate. It has a sweet and earthy smell. It provides that euphoric high, relaxing sensation with heavy sedative effects.

Durban Poison ganja strain, a popular African landrace weed strain. It is cultivated by the indigenous tribe. It has round fluffy buds and flourishes to medium height. It is an energizing strain with a unique flavor. It is sweet with earthy spiciness.  It has that round cheese puff that tastes similar to black jellybean.  It has a high level of limonene and myrcene, and THC. it provides that strong intense high, that’s great for creativity.

Asian landraces like the Thai marijuana strain, also known as Thai Stick.  It is known for its intense cerebral high and potency. It has an aroma of tropical fruit with a hint of diesel and has a floral aftertaste. It can flourish near the equator, grows into dense branches and tall plants. It has long serrated leaves and fuzzy buds. It has high levels of humulene and caryophyllene. It has an aroma of peppery and sweet. It provides that euphoric, uplifting high, that induces focus and clarity.

Nepalese strain is another popular Asian landrace strain in Nepal. It has an aroma of floral earth, sweet citrus with a moderate THC level. It provides that intense euphoric, energizing high, uplifting that induce that focus and creativity. It has large popcorn-like dark forest green nugs with amber pistils that cover its trichomes.  It is ideal in treating depression, stress, ADHD, PTSD, anxiety, nausea, fatigue, migraines.

Chocolate Thai is another Asian landrace strain discovered in the 70s in Thailand. It is discovered and popularized by Dutch flowers. It entered the US market but slowly lost its luster due to its low THC level averaging from 12%. As the name suggests, it has a chocolaty flavor profile. Its buds are dark green, dense,  and small with a coffee-like appearance. Its terpene profile is mostly humulene and caryophyllene.  It provides that euphoric, cerebral high and focuses. It’s suitable to treat chronic pain, depression, fatigue, headache, insomnia, muscle spasm, and PTSD.


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