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 While you may think they are outdated today, however, you can trace your favourite strain to one of the landrace strains.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. 

| Also Read: Indica vs. Sativa - What’s the Difference Between the Two Cannabis Plants? |

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. 

| Also Read: Hashish 101 - What is Hash And How is it Used? |

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 fruity 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. 

| Read More: What Are Cannabis Terpenes & How do they Affect Your Body? |


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.

Till then, keep toking with Olivastu!