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The purity of these landraces is evident in their distinct aroma, flavor and effect. The psychoactive and medicinal properties of two different plants that grew in the same region will be notably similar.
Back in the 60s and 70s, landraces were pretty much the only plants available, and they were highly sought-after. Supply was limited and cost prohibitive. Cannabis growers would explore the ‘Hippie Trail’ through Turkey, Lebanon, Afghanistan and India to search for the highly-coveted landraces.
Why Landrace Strains Are Unique
Heirlooms are as close as one can get to landraces – the OG of cannabis strains. Their importance to the preservation of the species cannot be understated. Without heirlooms, some indigenous strains would have been lost forever. Due to wars, (especially Afghanistan), natural disasters, global warming, commercialization of land, and the destructiveness of the war on drugs, landraces have never been so endangered.
Heirlooms can trace their roots to the cannabis connoisseurs of the 60s and 70s who trekked through the Hippie Trail to get hold of landraces. They brought the seeds home, cultivating them under different growing conditions. Eventually, they started cross-pollinating the strains, giving birth to novel hybrids.
Landrace strains are cannabis plants indigenous to a specific geographical location. Over time, these plants have adapted to local conditions like soil, climate and the presence of other flora and fauna. Environmental changes cause the plants to evolve, resulting in variations in physical characteristics and genetic make-up: the phenotype and genotype. Every original landrace strain carries its history and geographical roots in its genome.
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, 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.