What is a Landrace Cultivar?

Find out what a landrace cannabis cultivar is and how to find them.


What does “Landrace” mean?

In a broad non-cannabis specific sense landrace is a domesticated, endemic, traditional variety of cannabis that has not been interfered with through selective breeding or crossing with other varietals of cannabis. In other words, landrace cultivars* retain much of their OG chemical and physiological profile.

The chemical profiles of plants are often adapted to their environment; many of the cannabinoids, terpenes, thiols, esters, etc. found in cannabis play a role in helping that plant thrive in a specific region. As a result, landrace cultivars retain many of the unique chemical features that originally helped these plants survive and thrive in their native locations.

*I have taken the liberty of using the word “cultivar” for naturally selected plants while “strain” is typically used for plants that have been selected for by humans.


Where can you find Landrace cultivars?

Cannabis originated in a harsh environment in the steppes of Central Asia. Since then, it has travelled all over the world, settling in different geographic regions and adapting to the specific environment. Once a cultivar has established itself with adaptions to a specific environment and remained relatively unchanged for a long period it may become a landrace cultivar, as such these cultivars can be found all over the world.

More than 100 landrace cultivars have been identified and classified all over the world, often originating in places where they are able to remain relatively undisturbed over many generations. Landrace cannabis has been found in Africa, Central America, India, Jamaica, Mexico, and the Hindu Kush regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.


What Are Examples of Landrace Cultivars?

Here are some examples of popular landrace cultivars that you may have encountered and where they originated.

While we’re finding out  that the Sativa and Indica dichotomy isn’t necessarily indicative of effects it is certainly correlated with physiological features and growing region so these landrace strains have been appropriately categorized for your viewing pleasure – See if you can spot any trends in the environments Indica’s vs. Sativa’s grow in.

Indica Landrace Strains

Afhani - Pure Afghan (Afghanistan)

Hindu Kush (Pakistan)

Tashkurgan (China)

Sheberghan (Afghanistan)

Pakistani Chitral Kush (Pakistan)

Sativa Landrace Strains

Acapulco Gold (Mexico)

Lamb’s Bread (Jamaica)

Durban Poison (Africa)

Kilimanjaro (Africa)

Panama Red (Panama)

Colombian Gold (Columbia)

Thai and Chocolate Thai (Thailand)


How to buy Landrace Cultivars

The question you’ve probably been scanning this blog to find answers to…

You can absolutely still purchase landrace cultivars and they can be popular.

These cultivars have retained much of their natural features rather than being bred for taste, terpene, and cannabinoid profiles so they may not be as in-your-face as many of the anthropogenically selected strains that you may be used to. Typically, landrace cultivars retain a more herbal/earthy profile although this will vary depending on the geographic origins of the plant.

THANK YOU for reading, cannabis is a wonderfully dynamic plant and, in my eyes, a transformative plant. The more we learn, the more empowered we are.

If you have any questions or comments drop em below 👇

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