Indigenous to certain locations, landrace strains are the original cannabis strains. But where did they come from? and how have they influenced todays cannabis strains?. Find out all you need to know, right here. Heirloom cultivar Cannabis seeds from across Asia and Africa including Deep Chunk, X18, Afgaan 90, and Afropips Malawi Gold. Cannabis strains whose seeds or genetics have been preserved and passed down for generations. Learn more about heirloom cannabis from Leafly.
What are landrace and heirloom marijuana strains?
In today’s world of weed, the biggest trends usually represent the latest in strains or products. But as cannabis connoisseurs learn more about the plant, what’s ‘old’ is quickly becoming ‘new’ again. Recently, there’s been a rise in popularity for the nostalgia of classic cannabis. Especially with heirloom strains and landrace strains. So, what exactly are these genes? And, what do they mean to the industry today? Let’s find out more with our ultimate guide to landrace and heirloom strains, and why you need to know.
What are landrace strains?
To put it simply, landrace strains are the OG’s of the industry. They’re the originating strains that grew naturally. They’re also indigenous to certain geographical locations. Over time, many landrace strains have transformed into the genes we know today. But the original landrace strains are classified as being an original species. Meaning, they’ve never been cross-bred and are natural to the region where they came from.
Most landrace strains come from the middle east, or Pakistan and Afghanistan specifically. But others have also been traced back to the islands of Central America, Africa, India, Thailand and Vietnam, too. Let’s learn more about some of the more notable landrace strains that are still quite popular.
Get to know notable landrace strains
So, what are some of the most notable landrace strains that you’d recognize today? Some of the most infamous include –
Hindu Kush – Between Afghanistan and Pakistan lies a mountain range that stretches about 500 miles. This mountain range is to thank for many landrace strains. Including its namesake ‘Hindu Kush’. The Hindu Kush strain is pure indica. Like many genetics that originate from this area due to the climate and soil conditions.
Af ghani – Similar to Hindu Kush, Afghani can be traced to the Hindu Kush mountains and is pure indica, too. The strain genetics are notorious for being highly resinous. Making it ideal for hash, concentrates and oil goods. Also known often as Afghani Kush, the gene is highly sedating. Plus, the strain is well-loved by growers for its maximized yields.
Acapulco Gold – Acapulco Gold is a rare landrace strain that originates from Acapulco, Mexico. The dominantly sativa gene has longtime been held as a classic staple for what perfect growth should be like. The plant grows with a beautiful natural structure, and produces high levels of THC.
Durban Poison – Coming from the port town of Durban in South Africa, Durban Poison is synonymous with an energizing buzz. The pure sativa has a notorious sweet and spicy earthiness that produces round and fluffy buds. Growing Durban Poison has become quite popular for its adaptability to a wide range of outdoor conditions, and climates.
It wasn’t until the 1970’s, when growers began experimenting with improving genetics. Like cross-breeding two species to produce ‘hybrid’ versions of classic strains. Luckily, growers have been able to stabilize many landrace phenotypes. Plus, with modern growing innovations the industry is making it even easier to grow these landrace strains, now. With feminized regular versions, and autoflowering versions, too.
What are heirloom strains?
Another term that’s recently trending across the industry, is ‘heirloom’ strains. Similar to landrace strains, horticulturally heirloom strains reference a genetic that’s gone ‘unchanged’ for a long duration of time. Through cross-breeding landrace strains, heirloom strains are brought or transported to other areas. Instead of being natural to one region, heirloom strains can come from any geographical location. Many of the heirloom genes we’re familiar with, have come from the Caribbean, and the US. Predominantly, the states of California and Hawaii. In Hawaii, the climate conditions were ideal for many sativas that originated in Africa, and Vietnam. While northern Cali was similar in climate for landrace strains originating from the Hindu Kush region.
Some examples of heirloom strains that come from landrace strains include –
- OG Kush (Hindu Kush)
- Jack Herer (Afghani)
- Amnesia Haze (Acapulco Gold)
- Girl Scout Cookies (Durban Poison)
The importance of landrace and heirloom strains
With so many hybrids now emerging onto top-shelves, what exactly is the importance of landrace and heirloom strains? They’re an example of refined, pure and natural versions of original cannabis genetics. This produces more reliable and vigorous growth overall. While also producing a more accurate level of THC cannabinoid content. Unlike most hybrids that boast maximum potency. These factors also allow cannabis connoisseurs to enjoy the pure, unadulterated joys of classic marijuana, like its original version.
For breeders, and cultivators – heirloom and landrace strains also serve as a more stable option for mother plants and cross-breeding. Meaning, you can use the trustworthy genetics to continue breeding fresh genes that are beneficial for specific effects, aromas, etc. You’re more likely to produce a high quality hybrid, with original landrace or heirloom strains, versus overly genetically modified species.
A throwback to classic cannabis roots
Now that you know more about heirloom strains and landrace strains, you can have a deeper appreciation for the cannabis plant overall. These strains are to thank for our thriving industry today, and should be held with the ‘highest’ honors. When you’re ready to begin growing premium versions of many landrace or heirloom strains, look no further than 420 Seeds . We offer the widest selection of cannabis seed types, for your growing pleasure and pride
Heirloom: This category is for landraces that have undergone several generations of selection in the West. Typically, this results in higher THC levels than would be normal for true traditional domesticates (i.e., real landraces), which are maintained by less intensive methods of selection and cultivation. For example, an heirloom such as ‘Deep Chunk’, which was inbred by Tom Hill for four decades, has markedly lower CBD and much higher THC than the actual hashish domesticates employed in Afghanistan. To the best of our knowledge, none of the heirloom cultivars offered here have been outcrossed.
Cannabis strains whose seeds or genetics have been preserved and passed down for generations. Heirloom strains differ from landraces in that they have been brought from their place of origin and cultivated by humans in a new environment.
“I prefer the genetics of an old school heirloom strain to a modern hybrid any day.”
What is an heirloom strain?
An heirloom strain is a cannabis strain that is cultivated in a geographically distinct location from where it originated, and has genetics that have been preserved over an extended period of time, often for generations or longer.
Heirloom strains have not been crossbred and usually display characteristics of pure indica or sativa plants rather than a hybrid of both. Heirloom strains have not been genetically manipulated and are meant to be pollinated openly without direct human interference.
Are heirloom and landrace strains the same?
No; landraces are wild cannabis strains that grow throughout the world free of contact with humans, so they retain their genetics and characteristics specific to that environment. Heirloom strains have not been genetically crossed or pollinated in a specific way, but have been brought from their place of origin and cultivated by humans in a new environment, which may alter it. Heirlooms are landraces grown in a non-native enviroment.