The Cannabis Origin: What is a Landrace Strain?

We welcome the neverending flow of new crossbred strains. Patients are able to enjoy a vast spectrum of medical benefits, and connoisseurs bask in the diversity of their complex flavor profiles. For those only accustomed to plastic bags of nameless herb, signature varieties like Blackberry Kush and Red Haze introduce a new world of cannabis. But where did all these “Kushes” and “Hazes” actually come from?

Historical documents from around the world, some dating as far back as 2900 B.C., tell us cannabis has lived alongside humans for thousands of years, cultivated for religious and medicinal purposes. Many growers believe the earliest cannabis strains sprouted in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan and Pakistan and eventually spread to other areas, including South America, Asia, Jamaica, Africa, and even Russia. We call these indigenous strains landraces.

A landrace refers to a local variety of cannabis that has adapted to the environment of its geographic location. This accounts for genetic variation between landrace strains, which have been crossbred to produce the cannabis variety we see today. Landrace strains are oftentimes named after their native region (e.g., Afghani, Thai,Hawaiian), and traces of these forefather strains are sometimes detectable in the names of their crossbred descendants. A combination of environmental conditions and selective breeding by native populations gave rise to these stable varieties, the forefathers of all modern strains. Until its prohibition, cannabis remained a cultural cornerstone in these areas of the world.

Read the full story right here. 

Strain Review – Afghani Pakistani

Recently we at Substance started carrying a new flower, known as Afghani Pakistani, or Afpak for short. A couple of the staff members here have gotten a chance to try this lovely flower, and we would be delighted to share our experiences and opinions on it with you all.

First things first…some basic Afghani Pakistani knowledge for your brains.

The Afpak…

  • is a heavy indica
  • comes from Aghani Landrace and Pakistani Landrace strains
  • is commonly used to help with insomnia, issues with appetite, and pain relief

My first impressions of the strain were very positive. It looks gorgeous, with beautiful purple coloration, prominent orange hairs and a decent bud structure. The Afghani Pakistani’s trichomes are abundant, making it look rather frosty and visually appealing. The smell is just as good, with a sweet candy-like aroma. In fact, I would best describe its appeal as being like “purple candy”.

The bud was clearly cured very well. The flowers are not dry, nor are they full of moisture which would suggest it was harvested too early. Rather, the process appears to have gone very well and provides the flower with a lovely consistency. The texture is sticky and balanced just right.

Now, moving on to the effect…

I loaded my pipe with the Afghani Pakistani flower as my day was winding down to an end. I was tucking in for the night, ready to relax and listen to some music. I was hoping that the strain would be perfect for such a setting, given that it is a heavy indica – and it was. The taste of the smoke was just as sweet, if not more so, than the flower itself. The resulting effect was a pleasant heady buzz that made me feel very relaxed and helped to ease my muscle tension.

My coworker made an excellent observation about the strain. He stated that while the Afghani Pakistani is a heavy indica, it nevertheless produced a very functional high that didn’t have the “couch-lock” effect that many indica strains tend to induce. I experienced a similar effect – body and muscle relaxation, pain relief, while still being able to stay up and do creative things like drawing or making music.

All in all, the Afghani Pakistani gets a rating of 9/10 from me. It’s a well formed flower with excellent appeal and a very pleasant effect. I would definitely recommend picking it up while we have it in the store, because it’s going fast.

 

Indica

Indica strains of cannabis have a multitude of health benefits, which include but are not limited to:

  • Relief from body pain
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Reduction of seizures
  • Migraine relief, and
  • Appetite stimulation

Examples: Afghan Kush, Blue Cheese, Blackberry Kush


Indica plants developed in central Asia between the 25th and 35th latitudes, where the weather is changeable. Drought one year may be followed by cloudy, rainy or sunny weather. For the population to continue, the plant group needed different individuals that survive and even thrive under those specific conditions. Thus, in any season, no matter what the weather, some plants will do better than others.

Indicas, including Kush varieties, have broad general characteristics: they mature early, have compact short branches and wide, short leaves which are dark green, sometimes tinged purple. Their buds are usually tight, heavy, wide, and thick, rather than long. They smell “stinky,” “skunky,” or “pungent,” and their smoke is thick – a small toke can induce coughing.

Indica plants were developed for resin content, which was removed from the flowers to make hashish. It is only after these varieties were introduced to the West that their buds were consumed. The best indicas have a relaxing “social high,” which allow you to sense and feel the environment, without analyzing the experience.


Indica at a Glance

Height: 2′ to 6′ (0.6 to 1.8m)

Shape: Conical to bushy

Branching: Lots of side branching, usually wider than its height

Nodes: Short stem length between leaves

Leaves: Wide short leaves, short wide blades

Color: Dark green to purple

Flowers: Wide, dense, bulky

Odor: Pungent, sticky, or fruity

High: Inertia, desensitizing

Flowering: 6 to 9 weeks