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Alana Rossi
August 19, 2023

Landrace cannabis strains refer to heritage varietals directly descended from wild or early cultivated populations uniquely adapted to specific regional growing conditions and environments where they originally developed. Having never undergone purposeful commercial hybridization, landraces represent original indigenous genotypes containing pure indica, sativa, or occasionally ruderalis genetics reflective of their endemic habitats. Historically, before the recent surge in targeted Cannabis sativa breeding hybridized modern high-THC strains, hardy localized landraces of cannabis grew wild or were cultivated in traditional ways to produce hemp across various continents. These landrace varietals evolved distinct physical traits and cannabinoid expressions uniquely adapted to the local climate stresses, daylight cycles, soils, predators, and indigenous cultivation practices of their isolated environments over centuries or millennia. Seeking out the rare remaining handful of surviving equatorial and mountain landrace seed lines offers intrepid cannabis breeders immense untapped genetic diversity and novel chemotypes waiting to be discovered and bred into future adapted strains. At the same time, these living relics give humankind a glimpse back in time into cannabis' origins and regional cultural history.

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