The Best Landrace Seeds
The popularity of indoor-grown weed makes it hard to imagine that marijuana grows wild outdoors like any other plant.
Before marijuana cultivation ever became a thing, landrace cannabis strains were natively growing all around the world in places like the Himalayas, Jamaican fields, and Thai jungles. In fact, landrace varieties still grow wild in those places.
What’s a landrace strain? Simply put, it’s a non-hybrid cannabis strain that’s native to a specific region. Strictly speaking, all of today’s hybrids are derived from landrace strains.
Follow this guide as it covers the best of the best landrace strains for you to grow at home easily.
How to Choose the Best Landrace Strains
There are crazy amounts of hybrid marijuana strains to choose from. You might be surprised to find out there are just as many — if not more — landrace strains out there too.
The difficulty in selecting them is that many of them haven’t been stabilized into seed form, and those that have are often so exotic they can be hard to find.
We’ve done the heavy lifting for you by assembling the best landrace strains on Earth into one comprehensive list. If you want to whittle the endless selection of landrace strains down to the very best, you must use strict criteria.
When choosing the creme de la creme of Earth’s original marijuana plants, use the following categories.
The concept of terroir is borrowed from viticulture but applies very well to landrace strains. Terroir is French for land — used in this context, it refers to where the cannabis variety is from, and how that place influences everything about it.
Appearance, flavor, aroma, and plant traits derive from a landrace strain’s terroir, making the selection of a strain based on its denomination fundamental.
Consider a landrace strain’s history before making a selection. Most of them have been used as backbone strains for today’s massive industry of hybrid cannabis genetics.
Wouldn’t it be cool to grow the original strains behind your favorite hybrids? The lemon rind, strawberry, and blueberry aromas found in certain hybrids come from landrace lineage.
Connecting with the history of marijuana by growing landrace seeds is a valuable lesson, indeed.
Rare Landrace Strains
Afghani and Hindu Kush are two landrace strains found in an overwhelming majority of indica hybrids. However, what about trying something new?
Many rare landrace strains haven’t been popularized in hybrids but make for exciting cultivation experiences nonetheless. Going off the beaten path is often a good thing, and will make for some interesting conversation as you pass to the left.
If you’re growing landrace seeds to try something different, it’s important to pull down enough during harvest for a long-lasting head stash.
Pure landrace cannabis plants often deliver high yields to reproduce in nature successfully. Varieties from harsh environments, however, don’t yield as much and might disappoint you.
Make sure to select a plant with a yield that matches your expectations.
The differences between indica landrace strains and sativas is enormous. On the indica side, strains like Mazar-I-Sharif contain narcotic physical effects. A sativa like Oaxacan Gold, on the other hand, is very racy.
Which effects are you after? Use the answer to that question to guide your selection.
Not all landrace strains are created equal — and thus, some are much harder to grow than others.
Align your selection with your skill level. Are you experienced? Then spring for landrace seeds that require your skillset. If you’re a novice, go with one of the many easy to grow varieties.
Value for Money and Effort
Growing out a rare landrace strain is great and all, but what if the difficulty and yield aren’t worth your time?
Choose a strain that rewards your efforts. Going based on rarity alone might lead to frustration if the plant doesn’t yield well, or is too time-consuming to grow.
The 10 Best Landrace Seeds to Grow At Home
The criteria mentioned above will help you choose the best landrace seeds to grow at home. But, just to give you a helping hand, we’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of the best landrace strains for at-home cultivation.
These strains strike a balance between effects, appearance, yield, grow difficulty, and origins. You’ll find that many landrace strains come from Afghanistan and Pakistan. That’s for a good reason, of course, but what about the rest of the world?
Every continent and island on the map has a history of cannabis plants native to the area. With the list below, you’ll discover an entire globe’s worth of fantastic landrace genetics right at your fingertips.
#10 Maui Wowi
If you want to mentally teleport yourself to a tropical paradise using only your imagination’s strength, smoke a bowl of Maui Wowi.
This landrace sativa strain hails from Hawaii, where it was discovered and cultivated by natives for centuries. By the time the hippies made it to the islands during the 1960s, this particular landrace had already been cultivated to perfection.
Anyone looking for an energetic strain giving pure euphoria, happiness, and a get it done state of mind will find that growing Maui Wowi truly delivers.
Originating from deep in northern reaches of Afghanistan, Mazar-I-Sharif is a stone indica landrace strain famous for its potency.
While Mazar is itself a phenotype descended from Afghani, it truly shines in producing an unmitigated full-body high akin to another one of Afghanistan’s famous exports.
Additionally, growers love this strain for its resin production, which allows you to create great bubble hash with ease.
What’s the difference between Mazar and Afghani? Mazar tends to be slightly more potent and leans much heavier on the side of sedative indica effects.
#8 Lamb’s Bread aka Lamb’s Breath
Bob Marley always went around puffing on a joint. Do you know what he was smoking? Yes, that’s right — Lamb’s Bread.
Lamb’s Bread is a landrace strain from Marley’s native Jamaica. As a potent sativa, Jamaican musicians have long relied on Lamb’s Bread to give a creative boost to the jamming process. It also goes a long way in explaining reggae’s good vibes — Lamb’s Bread makes you feel like everything’s gonna be alright.
Now that you know which strain powers the deepest dub, you’ll want to get your hands on some of these easy to grow landrace seeds.
#7 Acapulco Gold
Of all the landrace strains in the world, Acapulco Gold is one of the most famous. The reason why has everything to do with how it helped popularize cannabis in the US between the 1960s and 1980s.
As the first heavily imported cannabis strain to the US, Acapulco Gold’s name became ubiquitous, and, over time, synonymous with cannabis itself. Actors, politicians, college kids — people of all stripes tasted and loved Acapulco Gold.
People have loved Acapulco Gold for decades precisely for its uplifting qualities that also carry over to cultivation. This strain grows like a champion and boasts huge buds throughout the flowering process.
Besides its powerful sativa effects, which make it the perfect daytime strain, Acapulco Gold is also beloved for its resinous beauty and toffee flavor.
#6 Durban Poison
South Africa may not be the first country on the tip of your tongue when thinking of cannabis cultivars. Nevertheless, Durban Poison hails from the South African port city of Durban, where it was cultivated from an unknown African landrace strain.
Anyone searching for the ultimate good vibe will jive with Durban Poison. Amongst landrace varieties, none bring on the energy, hilarity, and positive perspective quite like Durban.
Moreover, extract artists love it for the massive amounts of sugar produced on the harvested buds, which is why Durban Poison is often found in concentrate form.
If a rare landrace strain with incredible terroir and effects is what you seek, Aceh surely delivers.
Descended from the tropical volcanic islands of Indonesia, Aceh is a sativa landrace unlike any other. Rather than boost your energy levels and mood as most sativas do, Aceh brings on big surges of relaxed creativity, making it a must for artists, thinkers, and explorers.
While other landrace sativas tend to be about pure energy, Aceh delivers a good focus that is at once mellow and lively. Travelers in Indonesia have plenty of stories about coming across bricks of Aceh weed that, despite their compressed looks, provided some of the most chilled out experiences a traveler could ask for.
Interestingly, Aceh is a lower THC strain than many other landrace varieties, making it a great entry-level strain for novice smokers. Finding Aceh seeds can be challenging, but when you do, buy them on sight.
#4 Alien Technology
While the strain name Alien Technology is simply awesome, its qualities as a cannabis cultivar are even better. Alien Technology is a secret indica landrace strain from Afghanistan that made its way into the hands of Obsoul33t, a famous breeder, by curious means.
A US soldier returning from a tour of duty in Afghanistan collected the seeds, then passed them off to his close friend Obsoul33t. The only certainty about Alien Technology seeds is their Afghan mountain denomination, leading many to speculate they are likely a superior Afghani pheno.
As a top-tier indica, Alien Technology is for anyone who loves hashy bud with a deep, meditative indica body stone. Obsoul33t’s genetics have won at Cannabis Cup competitions and are extremely prized by industry titans like the Jungle Boys.
Knowing that Alien Technology forms the basis of all of Obsoul33t’s elite genetics should genuinely make a case for getting this plant in your garden right away.
#3 Hindu Kush
When it comes to backbone strains for the entire marijuana cultivation industry, few can contend with Hindu Kush. Hailing from deep in the Hindu Kush mountain range’s valleys and majestic peaks, this landrace indica is an essential strain for any cannabis lover.
What makes Hindu Kush such a beloved strain? It delivers an incredibly well-rounded profile of relaxing effects. Happiness, blissful relaxation, euphoria, and deep pain relief are all on the menu when you load a bowl of Hindu Kush.
What’s more, growing Hindu Kush is none too difficult, even in small spaces, owing to the plant’s compact stature and robust characteristics.
#2 Thai aka Thai Stick
Did your dad ever tell you about the time he smoked weed? Maybe he was on leave in a Vietnamese village during the war, or passing a J around with friends in the 70s.
If you asked him the strain name, he’d more than likely tell you they smoked Thai Sticks. Sometimes referred to as just Thai, Thai Stick is an incredibly famous sativa landrace strain whose genetics have found their way into legendary strains like Blueberry, Northern Lights, and Trainwreck.
As a critical backbone strain to some of the most influential hybrids of all time, Thai has been relied upon for bringing relaxed focus, smooth energy, and exotic terpene profiles.
#1 Afghani aka Afghani Kush
The one and only Afghani, sometimes called Afghani Kush. Afghani represents landrace strain genetics at their very finest — pure, potent, and incredibly stable.
In your bowl, Afghani burns mellow, smooth, and hashy. Its effects are an unmatched balance of narcotic body stone, mental clarity, and mood-boosting euphoria on an order that few strains can match.
More importantly, growing Afghani is accessible to everyone because of the plant’s ability to grow big buds in compact spaces without technical challenges. No crazy nutrient mixes and feeding schedules required — Afghani is a very straightforward plant, making it the perfect intro to cultivating landrace seeds.
Growing landrace strains is uber important for attaining a deeper understanding of cannabis culture and the plant itself.
It’s easy to be amused by the increasingly creative names of cannabis strains. However, they also take people further away from the origins of cannabis by obscuring a plant’s roots.
While strains like Wedding Cake taste, smell, and look incredible, few can answer which landrace strains reside in its distant lineage. Interestingly enough, hyped hybrids being sold in Los Angeles dispensaries are mainly phenotypes of plants that grow, to this day, in the wilds of Afghan hillsides.
As proponents of the cannabis plant, it is of the utmost importance to not only remember where strains come from but to continue cultivating original heirloom genetics. Doing so protects them from disappearing due to over-selection, hybridization, and climate change.
Beyond being a goodwill gesture, choosing and growing landrace seeds for your garden helps sharpen your eyes, nose, and taste buds, elevating your abilities as a cannabis connoisseur. After cultivating your fair share of landraces, you’ll begin to recognize them in amazing hybrids like Tangie, Jack Herrer, and Gorilla Glue.
Lastly, landrace strains are very resilient to changing conditions. They’ve had to adapt over eons in harsh, wild environments. As a cultivator, these adaptations will make your life much more comfortable as landrace plants tend to be more forgiving of mistakes, temperature shifts, and other less than ideal conditions.
Whatever your reasons for growing landrace seeds are, make sure to enjoy the journey.
Discover the backbone of almost all modern day strains. Learn where they come from, how to grow them & where to buy the best landrace seeds.
Landrace Strains: The Complete Guide To These Rare Strains
When it comes to cannabis, variety really is the spice of life. From Fruity Pebbles to Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies, there always seems to be a strain for every occasion. But did you know that all the strains we have today trace back to a handful of original cannabis plant types known as landrace strains?
It’s true. In fact, botanists can trace the entire cannabis lineage back to an original landrace strain in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan and Pakistan. We know — mind blown, right?
So what is a landrace strain, specifically? What makes them unique? And should you drop everything, sell your car, and trek to the back of beyond just to try one?
In this article, the experts at Honest Marijuana will answer those questions and tell you everything you need to know about the rare landrace strains.
An Extremely Brief History Of Cannabis
Historical documents from as far back as 2900 B.C.E. (before common era) and archaeological evidence from various regions indicate that cannabis was already in use during the Neolithic period in China.
That means humans could have been smoking weed as far back as 10,000 B.C.E.!
Actually, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Our ancient stoner ancestors probably consumed cannabis as an edible or as a weed tea. It probably wasn’t until later that some ganja genius got it in his or her head to inhale the smoke of a burning pot plant.
We really don’t know for sure about cannabis use, though, because Wikipedia didn’t exist back then and no one wrote anything down (they probably forgot because they were stoned off their weed tea).
Cannabis genetics are a different thing entirely. Botanists don’t need written records to do some pretty amazing things, like trace all the cannabis strains that we know about today back to single plant variety that first developed in the Hindu Kush region of what is now Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Keep in mind that this area was a no-man’s land between Indian and Chinese civilizations way back then. But it’s not hard to imagine an intrepid Chinese explorer stumbling upon a crop of wild cannabis in this region, eating it, burning it, or just using the fibers for something, thereby kicking off our current marijuana revolution.
From that earliest discovery, mankind took cannabis wherever they went and the plant spread outside the Kush and China to Russia, Africa, South America, the Caribbean, and even parts of North America.
Through the intervening years, ganja growers have combined strain after strain of cannabis plants in order to produce different results.
Some growers wanted the plant to grow in cooler climates. Some growers wanted the plant to grow in warmer climates. Some growers wanted to isolate a particular flavor. That led to the production of the myriad strains we have now.
But everything can be traced back to that one original strain and the handful of landrace strains that followed.
What Is A Landrace Strain?
A landrace strain is a variety of cannabis plant that has less diluted DNA than other strains of cannabis. That means landrace strains have not been crossbred with another variety of cannabis.
To take the distinction even further, landrace strains are usually indigenous to a certain part of the world (meaning they have adapted to the environment of a specific geographic location). And since these landrace strains are the original cannabis plant from that area, descendants from those strains often bear part of the region’s name (e.g., Kandy Kush, Durban Thai, Super Lemon Haze).
Let’s think of it this way for clarification: The original strain that developed in the Hindu Kush so many thousands of years ago was a wild species.
Caveman potheads took seeds from that wild species and planted them in various parts of the world in the thousands of years between then and now. Those plants that were directly descended from the original species are now known as landrace strains.
From there (in, say, the past 100-200 years), mankind continued to practice selective breeding of the cannabis plant for genetic improvement. That produced the modern hybrid strains we enjoy today.
6 Landrace Strains From Around The World
Here, for your pleasure, is a brief list of six landrace strains from around the world. This is by no means an exhaustive list. It’s just to give you an idea of where that Chem Dog you’re smoking came from:
Hindu Kush, Pakistan
Pure Afghan, Afghanistan
Lamb’s Bread, Jamaica
Acapulco Gold, Mexico
Durban Poison, Africa
Panama Red, Central America
Are Landrace Strains Unique In Some Way?
It’s important to understand that the landrace classification only describes the strain’s genetic purity and indigenous upbringing.
It does not mean that landrace strains will get you higher than a good batch of Blue Dream or cut your anxiety quicker than a high-CBD strain.
In fact, modern strains are much better than landrace strains at generating the effects we’re all looking for (be they recreational or medicinal). That’s because growers have bred the plants for those specific effects.
Landrace strains are not “better” than modern strains, or even really unique in any way. They just have less diluted DNA. They’re closer to the original wild species than anything else we have available today.
To put it in perspective, it’s like comparing the very first car (let’s say it was the Model T for simplicity’s sake) with the newest BMW.
You’re going to enjoy cruising around in the BMW more than you would the Model T — the BMW is comfier, rides better, is easier to start, and goes faster (just to name a few) — but it’s still good to know where that BMW originally came from.
That’s how you can look at landrace strains today. They’re really only useful to historians, scientists, and pot purists.
The one benefit from trying a landrace strain would be experiencing more genuine effects that are closer to those produced by the original cannabis strain. Maybe the high or the medicinal effects were completely different. We just don’t know.
Where Have All The Pure Landrace Strains Gone?
You may be wondering why you haven’t heard about landrace strains before. Where have they all gone?
To answer both questions at the same time: the original landrace strains have been taken out of their native environment and endlessly crossbred with other varieties to produce something new.
When a landrace strain is removed from its indigenous environment (say, Pakistan) and forced to grow elsewhere (say, Mexico), it has to mature in different growing conditions. In response to those new growing conditions, the plant will exhibit new characteristics (e.g., smaller flowers, longer grow time, higher THC).
During that transition from indigenous environment to new growing conditions, some of the characteristics of the original plant will be lost. To get those characteristics back, you’d have to return the plant to its native environment.
Even then, the “purity” would be in question because you’ve grown a plant in a different location (Mexico) — producing slightly different characteristics — and then tried to return the seed to the place where its grandparent plant came from (Pakistan).
See how quickly things can get murky and diluted? It’s enough to make your head swim and your eyes go googly (even without taking a toke). That’s why we recommend not thinking about it too deeply.
It’s enough just to know that landrace strains exist. You don’t have to get intimate with the subject. Just give a polite ‘sup nod as you pass by on your way to the local dispensary for a dime bag of Yoda OG.
Should You Try A Landrace Strain?
Our answer to questions like these is usually a resounding, “Yes!”
There are a few times when we have to say no — like, should you make your own THC-O-Acetate or CO2 cannabis oil — but, for the most part, it never hurts to try.
That said, don’t cash in your life savings for the chance to puff a landrace strain. You’ll probably be disappointed. Modern strains are often better at producing the recreational or medicinal effects that you’re looking for.
Remember, landrace strains aren’t stronger, more potent, or better in some way. They’re just less diluted (genetically speaking) than other strains.
And, honestly, even that’s debatable given how much time has passed since the discovery of the original landrace strain and man’s tendency to crossbreed plants to make them grow “better.”
It’s good to know about landrace strains, but we seriously doubt they’re going to be the next big thing in cannabis consumption unless scientists find something in their DNA that cures cancer better than Rick Simpson oil or completely cures anxiety and depression.
You’re better off using organic, pesticide-free marijuana than spending your hard-earned money on something that claims to be a landrace strain.
Fun fact: all of the cannabis we have today traces back to a handful of landrace strains. Honest Marijuana’s experts tell you all about these rare strains.