landrace cannabis strains

Cannabis Landrace Strains – Origin and Complete Strain List

Cannabis Landrace Strains – Origin and Complete Strain List

Consumption of cannabis for recreational and medicinal use might seem like a recent thing, but this green plant has been with us since centuries. We can trace the use of cannabis plants back to 2900 B.C.E. (before common era). It’s not necessary that our ancestors were sitting around a fire smoking weed, but they did consume the plant in some way or the other.

The new-age stoners walk into a shop and are presented with hundreds and thousands of options and can decide what effect they want and the potency of the strain. Well, this wasn’t always the case. In this article, we will be educating ourselves with the pure breed of cannabis, also known as landrace strains. While you may think they are outdated today, however, you can trace your favourite strain to one of the landrace strains. They are most probably the strain’s grand-grand-parents or ancient forefathers.

So let’s dive into the history of cannabis and pick out some notes that will help us understand the landrace strains better.

A brief history of cannabis

The absence of Wikipedia and documentation during ancient times make it difficult to accurately track the usage of cannabis. It is said that it was utilized in many ways and can be traced to the earliest memories of mankind. These green friends are here to stay!

We will be ignoring the consumption history of cannabis and will be addressing the genetic history which has been tracked down by botanists and scientists to accurately measure where it all started. It is said that every strain that we know today can be traced back to a single plant variety that was first discovered in the Hindu Kish region – now known as Pakistan and Afghanistan.

This is when it was a no-man land between Chinese and Indian civilization. It was only a matter of time before someone came across the wild cannabis and tried to utilize it in some way or the other. This is what started the great marijuana revolution that we know today!

As people travelled from the Hindu Kush region to the other places, they carried cannabis with them, and hence, the plant spread everywhere. Cannabis was now found in Russia, Africa, the Caribbean, South America, and even North America. As the plant travelled and came across many different climatic conditions, they adapted and changed some of their qualities on the way. But in the end, everything could be traced back to a handful of the original strain.

What is a landrace strain?

Landrace strain is a cannabis strain that has not been crossbred or mixed with any other strain. It has less diluted DNA and is more of a pure breed than other strains that we see in the market today.

These rare landrace strains are indigenous to a part of the world and are adapted to the climatic and growing condition of that part. They are then used to make hybrid strain and are named after the region from where they were originally taken. For example, Durban Thai, Kandy Kush, etc.

Let’s divide the distinctions into three parts. Starting with wild species, they are the original strains developed in the Hindu Kush region (as explained in the section above).

Ancient people took the wild species to other parts of the world where it adapted to the different climatic conditions and bore a variety of plants. These plants were the direct descendants of the original strain and are known as landrace strain.

When Cannabis consumption grew, in the past 100-200 year, the cannabis plant was mixed with different types to produce a more varied effect and types. This is the modern hybrid strain that we smoke today.

Landrace Strain List and the Specific areas

The Middle East & Indian Subcontinent

Afghani – This is different from Afghani Kush. Known to be a heavy Indica strain, Afghani is found in the mountain ranges between Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan. It is popular for the plentiful trichome production and also for its heavy resin production.

Hindu Kush – Every stoner has heard this one! Found in the same region as Afghani, they also have a copious amount of trichomes to protect against the cold environments. Hindu Kush landrace strain is most famous for hash production in the India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan region.

Mazar l Sharif and Lashkar also come from the same region and similar to Afghani and Hindu Kush, produces a heavy amount of trichomes, making them ideal for hash production.

Southern & Central America

Acapulco Gold – A pure Sativa strain, the Acapulco Gold was originated in Mexico with amber, golden hair and golden brown coloured leaves. The aroma of this Mexican strain is very unique and can be used to distinguish it from other hybrid strains. However, Acapulco Gold is becoming increasingly rare to find its true form.

Columbian Gold – Pothead’s favourite, the Columbian Gold is a landrace strain originated in the Santa Marta mountains of Columbia. It has a very euphoric, mood-lifting effect along with a mix of skunky and sweet flavour.

Panama Red: Originated in South America, the Panama Red was a known strain in the 1960s and was largely exported to North America for consumption.


Aceh/Atjeh – Known as landrace Sativa strain, this was originated in the Aceh region of Indonesia. It is known for a fruit flavour accented with the earthy aroma and undertones.

Thai – A very popular strain, Thai is Thailand’s famous Sativa strain that was critically acclaimed and loved since the 70s. It was largely exported to North America, but due to its specific climatic condition, couldn’t be grown outdoors. Thai is the father strain of many popular hybrid strains like Juicy Fruit and Vodoo.

Chocolate Thai – Chocolate Thai is a scrumptious strain descended from Thai strain. It has a unique chocolate and coffee aroma that makes it rather delectable and attractive for consumers. Most people and cannabis connoisseurs believe that Chocolate Thai is today is not as superior as it used to be.

Durban Poison originated in the lands of South Africa and is one of the African landrace strains that you can still find in the true form. It has a mild, sweet, fruity aroma and is known for its uplifting and motivating effects. Its resin production is most famously used to extract shatter and rosin.

Kilimanjaro – Coming from the mountains of Tanzania, Kilimanjaro has been a staple in that region due to its energetic effects and religious significance. It has frui ty and citrusy notes which makes it distinct from other strains.

Swazi Gold – This strain comes from Africa, where it is known for its sweet aroma. It is known to stand harsh conditions as it is grown in a mountainous region.


Lamb’s Bread – Also Known as Lamb’s Breath, this strain is famous for being one of the favourites of Bob Marley. It is a pure Sativa strain with a sticky texture and a herbal and citrusy flavour.

Other landrace strains from different regions includes:

  • Pakistani Chitral Kush
  • Mag Landrace
  • Pakistan Valley Kush
  • Pure Afghan
  • Hawaiian Duckfoot
  • Puna Buddaz
  • Moloka’i Purpz
  • Lamb’s Bread
  • Punto Rojo
  • Limon Verde
  • Swazi Gold
  • Red Congolese
  • Malawi
  • Rooibaard
  • Kauai Electric
  • Luang Prabang
  • Altai

Is Landrace Strain different from other strains?

Landrace strains do not hold some extra potency or unique characteristics which will make you higher or have a better effect. Simply put, they are a pure breed whose DNA has not been mixed with another. This does not confirm their potency, it could be lower or higher than the hybrid strains.

Similarly, there is no evidence to say that purebred strains have a better effect – recreational or medicinal. It means that landrace strains will not get you higher than a good batch of Wedding Cake or decrease your anxiety quicker than a high-CBD strain.

In fact, modern strains are better at handling a specific problem because they have been cultivated specifically to cure it. Landrace strains are closer to the wild species than any other strain, but that’s the only difference.

This brings us to the end of our short guide on Landrace strain. I hope you found this helpful. For any question or doubts, feel free to drop a comment below.

Landrace strain is a cannabis strain that has not been crossbred or mixed with any other strain. They are a parent strain to many of our favourite nugs. Read this guide to know more.

What Is a Landrace Marijuana Strain? (Explained)

The word “landrace” comes from the Danish language and means “origin.” So as you may have already guessed, landrace marijuana strains represent the oldest known cannabis strains. Therefore, landraces are the ancestors of the many different types of hybrids that cannabis consumers enjoy today.

In this article, we will explore the historical and geographical roots of the cannabis plant. We will also look at some of the potential advantages (and disadvantages) of landrace strains over hybrids.

Landrace Strains vs. Hybrids: What’s the Difference?

Without a doubt, the vast majority of cannabis strains available today are hybrids. This means that they have been created through selective breeding to produce and preserve particular genetic properties. For example, some hybrids contain:

  • A high THC level with little or no CBD
  • Minimal THC with a high-CBD content
  • Have distinctive physical characteristics like purple nugs
  • Various terpene profiles with specific aromas and flavors.

While having lots of options is a definite plus, it can also be confusing. This is especially true if you are new to cannabis and don’t know what you are looking for. If you’ve browsed the various cannabis strains available, you’ve undoubtedly come across terms such as “sativa” and “indica.” You may even be aware that these are renowned for producing slightly different effects.

However, most of the time, these terms are a little misleading. It is more accurate to use the terms “sativa-dominant” or “indica-dominant” as these strains are often hybrids. The only pure sativa or indica strains are the landrace strains, which are increasingly hard to come by.

So why are landrace cannabis strains so unique? To fully understand this, we first need to take a brief lesson on cannabis history and global geography.

Landrace Weed: A Brief History

Humans have used cannabis for millennia. Historically, people have used both cannabis and hemp for a multitude of reasons. For example, as a source of food or medicine, as a building material, or to make cloth or rope.

Many believe that the cannabis plant first originated from central Asia. However, because of its desirability due to its many uses, it quickly spread across the globe.

The consensus is that the very first cannabis strains grew in the foothills of the Himalayas. More specifically, in an area that lies on the modern-day Afghan/Pakistan border. Even now, this area is still known for producing prized marijuana strains with a high resin content. Their abundance of resin makes these landrace strains ideal for producing hash.

From there, cannabis quickly spread across Asia. In ancient China, people used the cannabis plant in herbal medicine. Across the Indian subcontinent, it became an integral part of the Hindu religion. Cannabis was introduced to Europe later on (probably by the Scythians, a group of nomadic warriors well-known for their love of marijuana). By the 18th century, landrace cannabis had even made it as far as Australia, spreading worldwide.

By the 18th century, landrace cannabis had even made it as far as Australia, spreading worldwide.

With so many people transporting cannabis from place to place, it is no wonder that it began to evolve as a species. For example, to grow a plant in a warmer climate that traditionally thrived in cold, mountainous conditions, evolutionary changes had to occur. It is likely that this non-selective breeding gave rise to the hundreds of cannabis strains available today.

What sets landrace strains apart from genetically mixed hybrids is their similarity to the ancient marijuana strains.

Landrace Cannabis: The Original Sativa and Indica Strains

You may be familiar with the terms sativa and indica and know that these cannabis phenotypes can produce different highs. But did you know that these terms can tell you just as much about where a strain originated?

Generally speaking, sativa strains grew naturally in areas that were closer to the equator. Due to the long, hot summers and lack of water, the plants grew tall and slender, reaching heights well over six feet. They have narrow, delicate leaves and a longer flowering cycle than their indica cousins.

Sativa strains are known for providing an energizing, cerebral high that is great for socializing or sparking your creativity. Some of the most commonly reported medicinal benefits include relieving anxiety and depression and stimulating the appetite.

Indica strains, on the other hand, historically grew in more temperate mountainous areas – further away from the heat of the equator. These plants needed to be hardier to withstand the shorter summers and colder winters of their natural habitat.

Landrace indicas historically grew in Central Asian mountainous regions, while landrace sativas were common to tropical areas closer to the equator.

They also tend to grow shorter and bushier than sativa strains and usually have much broader leaves. To deal with sudden and drastic seasonal changes, these plants typically have a shorter flowering cycle than their sativa counterparts.

Indica strains are known to produce a relaxing, mellow high, which may be too sedating for some people. Their medicinal uses include managing chronic pain, muscle spasms, and insomnia.

The Difference Between a Sativa and an Indica Strain

For years, it was a commonly held belief that the difference between a sativa high and an indica high was due to differing levels of cannabinoids such as CBD and THC. However, we now know that this is probably not the case. Dr. Ethan Russo, a neurologist, and researcher with a particular interest in the endocannabinoid system, says:

“There are biochemically distinct strains of cannabis, but the sativa/indica distinction as commonly applied in [modern] literature is total nonsense and an exercise in futility. One cannot in any way currently guess the biochemical content of a given cannabis plant based on its height, branching, or leaf morphology.”

In other words, it seems likely that the real reason why sativa and indica strains – even landrace strains that have existed for thousands of years – have such different effects is due to another of the active compounds in cannabis – terpenes.

What Are Terpenes, and What Do They Have to Do With Landrace Marijuana?

Cannabis is, of course, best known for its active compounds called cannabinoids, which include THC and CBD. However, the cannabis plant also contains chemicals called terpenes. Cannabis terpenes may be just as crucial in deciding the effects of a strain as its THC/CBD content.

Simply put, terpenes are the chemicals that determine the aroma and flavor of a particular marijuana strain. They are found in many plants, not just cannabis. It is terpenes that make lemons smell like lemons, pine smell like pine, and so on.

These aromatic compounds are also thought to play a crucial role in the entourage effect. The entourage effect is a theory that cannabinoids are more effective when used in combination with one another than individually.

Because landrace marijuana strains historically grew under harsh conditions, they had to evolve and adapt to their environments over time. This evolution would have affected each strain’s chemical makeup, as well as its growing habits.

Bear in mind; the original landrace strains developed in complete isolation from one another. Consequently, each one went on to produce a unique terpene profile. For example, a Kush strain grew in the high altitudes of the Himalayas. Therefore, it had a different genetic profile from a Hawaiian strain grown in a warmer climate with rich, volcanic soil.

Research has shown that different strains have very different terpene profiles. This possibly could account for the differences in high — as well the variation in potential medicinal benefits. Regardless, all of today’s strains are descendants of the original landrace strains that grew globally in different geographical regions.

The Best Known Landrace Cannabis Strains

Although landrace strains are becoming increasingly rare, there are a few that are still available today. Some of the most popular sativa landrace strains include:

  • Acapulco Gold from Mexico
  • Lamb’s Bread from Jamaica
  • Durban Poison, Malawi, and Kilimanjaro from Africa
  • Panama Red and Colombian Gold from South America
  • Thai and Chocolate Thai from Asia

All of the indica landrace strains come from Central Asia. This part of the world is believed to be the original geographical home of the cannabis plant. Some of the most popular include:

If you want to try landrace cannabis, these iconic strains are a great starting point. However, marijuana grown away from its natural habitat will likely be different than its original ancestors. Modern-day landraces will probably have a slightly different cannabinoid and terpene profile than their ancient predecessors.

You would need to go back to the landrace strain’s original source for a truly authentic experience. However, considering the geographical location of many of these places, this may not be feasible.

Final Thoughts on Landrace Cannabis Strains

Landrace cannabis strains ultimately evolved and developed naturally based on the idiosyncratic conditions of their particular habitat. They contrast sharply with modern-day hybrids that are a result of artificial/selective breeding practices. Therefore, landraces are the only strains that can be considered 100% sativa or indica.

If you are looking for a genuinely natural cannabis experience, then you can’t do any better than trying a landrace marijuana strain. And if you are a grower, why not choose a landrace for your next crop? You will get to experience a little bit of cannabis’ rich history and help to keep these landrace strains alive.

What is a landrace cannabis strain, and how do they differ from regular weed? This article has everything you need to know — and much more.