Landrace Genetics 101

"Heirloom And Landrace Cannabis Strains"

by Rick Pfrommer, Director of Education, Harborside Health Center

Original landrace and other heirloom strains are often lost in today’s hyperkinetic world of breeding. ‘Landrace’ refers to strains that are indigenous to an area, such as Red Congolese. ‘Heirlooms’ are strains that were collected worldwide during the 1970s and propagated in Hawaii and Northern California. Our constant desire for new strains leads breeders to continually cross and re-cross existing strains looking for the next big thing. There is, however, a small but growing contingent of cultivators who’re returning to our cannabis roots and propagating old landrace and heirloom strains. Varieties range from pure African sativas to Afghani indicas, collected by world travelers on the infamous Hippie Trail (also referred to as the “Hashish Trail”).

All during the 1970s and early 1980s, cannabis aficionados of all stripes traveled the world smoking the finest cannabis and hashish available. From Nepalese temple balls to the famed Mazar-i-Sharif Afghani Black, the Hashish Trail was filled with exotic delights. The trail rolls on through Lebanese Red to Moroccan Kif, with stops in Bangkok for Chocolate Thai, and Columbia and Mexico for their infamous golden strains. Many of these intrepid souls also collected seeds during their travels. It was these landrace strains that became the basis for the nascent cultivation culture that eventually sprang forth in both Hawaii and Northern California.

Talk with any cannabis connoisseur old enough to remember these legendary strains and you’ll come away with tales of their epic strength. Equatorial sativas from Africa to Vietnam flourished in Hawaii’s tropical dreamscape of cannabis cultivation. Indicas from Afghanistan were more at home in Northern California’s cooler climate. I was fortunate enough to live on the Big Island of Hawaii from 1993 to 1997, and I can attest that the best cannabis I have EVER smoked was grown in volcanic soil on the slopes of the largest active volcano in the world, Mauna Loa. By the time I got there almost everything grown in Hawaii was some combination of genetics, no longer a landrace. Yet a few of the old-timers still had access to the classic ’70s strains, making for a wonderfully unique and diverse smoking experience.

From Nepalese temple balls to the famed Mazar-i-Sharif Afghani Black, the Hashish Trail was filled with exotic delights.

The scene in California at this time was slightly different. Northern California, as beautiful as it is, ain’t Hawaii. The Emerald Triangle rests approximately on the same parallel as Afghanistan and the Hindu Kush mountains. While Southern Californians could grow Columbian and Mexican sativas, their northern counterparts found the stocky indica plants much better adapted for their climate. Shorter flowering time allowed harvest to occur before the fall rains came with their mold-inducing downpours. These short and chunky plants produced the infamous skunkweed that became Northern California’s calling card. Again, anyone old enough to remember this cannabis will never forget the pungent, almost rancid, skunk-like aroma. I remember going to parties in the early ’80s with this herb double-bagged-and still being outed minutes after walking in. “Yo man, I know you’re holding, share the love!” Our own Steve DeAngelo also has memories of this era, saying that to this day he’s not seen cannabis like what he saw from Northen California in the late ’70s and early ’80s.

So what does all this nostalgia mean for modern patients and cannabis aficionados? Well, several breeders have also recognized the value in these old-school strains. Ace Seeds, CannaBioGenn, Reeferman Seeds and Tom Hill, as well as the one-and-only Neville, are all selling a wide variety of landrace and heirloom seeds. Look for some of these to be available at Harborside in the near future. Growers who’re looking for ways to stay ahead of the curve in an increasingly competitive environment are turning to these varieties. For patients, many of these strains offer powerful relief in a different fashion than some of the more modern varietals. It’s not that they’re necessarily better, just different, and perhaps more effective for some patients’ specific conditions or needs. In any case, they’re strains definitely worth checking out.
Re: land race genetics?

"Landraces: What They Mean To The Cannabis World"

By Liz Hearn,

In an industry so dominated by hybrid cannabis strains, one must stop and think about the plants that started this whole wondrous and prosperous world of marijuana that we know today.

The growth and success of cannabis is greatly attributed to its control of humans growing it for centuries. Marijuana’s ceremonial and medicinal use can be credited for its survival in horticulture since even before 2000 B.C. Lasting through wars and expeditions, the cannabis plant has traveled with humans from the continent of Asia, to Europe, to Africa, and then to the Americas.

The first recorded use of marijuana dates back to the legendary celestial Chinese emperor Shen Nung, around 2700 B.C. Emperor Shen Nung is credited as the father of Chinese medicine and pharmacology. He is known as the author of The Great Herb, where marijuana is recommended as treatment for over 100 aliments. Although 2700 B.C. is the first recorded use of marijuana, there is evidence that cannabis has played a role in our lives since 12,000 years ago, during the time of the hunters and gatherers. There have been discoveries of charred cannabis seeds throughout Siberia in kurgan burial mounds.

It is speculated that the plant first appeared in the hunters and gatherer’s dumping fields of animal remains. These remains made the grounds very fertile, giving cannabis a rich and healthy soil to grow on. The original cannabis plants that the thousands of hybrids are related down the long line of lineage are called landraces. For marijuana growers and consumers alike, landrace strains can be thought of as the ‘Holy Grail’ of cannabis genetics. Whereas most of the cannabis you’ll find in dispensaries and even on the streets have been bred for many years to produce optimal yield and potency, landrace strains have been preserved by nature and isolated to remote regions around the world. These left-behind relics of the past have preserved their own unique qualities, interbreeding for hundreds or even thousands of years without genetic diversity.

Each species of a cannabis landrace can be found in similar regions. Cannabis sativa grows through Asia, Anatolia, and northern Africa. The climate throughout has long summers with intense sun exposure that the plants have evolved to mature to. Sativas will not be able to grow properly in milder climates like their cousin Indica can. Indicas are found in the mountains of Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan. An Indica’s flowering cycle is much shorter than a Sativa’s and the flowers give off a musty and earthy aroma compared to the fruity scent of Sativas.

The third region of a cannabis landrace is among Eastern Europe, the Himalayas, and Siberia. These locations are the home of Cannabis ruderalis, a smaller and lesser-known cousin of Indica and Sativa. Ruderalis properties are less psychoactive but they do flower without any change in light.The evolution of these traits allows ruderalis to survive in the harsh climate in which it grows. Breeders have taken the short flowering cycle of ruderalis and used it to decrease the cycle of their hybrids.

Landrace strains are easy to identify. They are usually 100% Sativa or Indica, and often will be named after the region they’re originated from. Each region that a strain grows in has affected the chemical makeup, leaving it with unique composition of cannabinoids like THC and CBD, terpenes, the oils that produce the plant’s smell, and flowering cycles. So how did these plants influence the countless strains and hybrids we know today?

The Hippie Trail

In the 1970s, cannabis enthusiasts traveled the hashish trail, a route starting from the most northern end of Europe all the way to South Asia. These travelers were collecting seeds from originating regions to bring back to their homeland to grow in climates like Northern California and Hawaii. The seeds collected along the journey to bring home and grow from are called Heirlooms.


While heirlooms come from the same plant that is known to be a Landrace, taken out of the environment it had evolved to survive in eliminates some of the unique characteristics.The grower will have the same plant, but will be missing some qualities, even if the strain was grown in a climate as close as possible to its original home. This is because the slightest differences in growing conditions will affect the plant as it tries to adapt itself to its new home. The removed plant will simply be a phenotype of the landrace strain it came from.

Landraces to know:
Moroccan Kif:

Moroccan Kif is found in the region of North Eastern Africa, in the country of Morocco. It is said that the Phoenicians, a group of traders, brought Kif to the Rif Mountain region. The Riffians, inhabitants of the mountains, were free to grow and harvest cannabis due to their rugged mountain landscape that the Phoenicians choose not to conquer. The Rifs cultivated cannabis for medicinal use and the plants remained in the Rif Mountains to breed among themselves. The environment of Moroccan Kif varies throughout the extremes. Dealing with extremely hot summers with droughts and fertile springs, Kif has adjusted itself to be smaller and shorter with a faster flowering period.

Malawi Gold:

Malawi Gold originates in Southeastern Africa on the shores of Lake Malawi, the third largest lake in Africa. The expanse area of land around Malawi Lake gives Malawi Gold different growing environments. The Malawi Gold evolved to adapt to its local conditions, which is the reason for the many phenotypes found in Malawi Gold. Aromas and flavors given off by terpenes distinguish phenotypes of Malawi Gold. Two distinguished phenotypes are found among the plant. One gives off a fruity smell, and the other is a woody one. The fruity plants are smaller than the woody ones.


Rooibaard’s history of a landrace begins in South Africa. Rooibaard was first found among the coastal area of the Transkei region. Historically the Transkei region was a segregated region to hold slaves and plantation workers. Not being considered a part of South Africa, the region developed into a gambling destination with access to great weed, with Rooibaard being the greatest of the sativas coming from that land.

Thai Sativa:

Located in Southeast Asia, Thai Sativa is not one of the most potent landraces but certainly delivers a stimulating high. Unlike many strains, the Thai Sativa is perfect for consumers who can’t afford to an afternoon of being couch-locked. Found in the northern part of the country, covered by a thick jungle, Thai Sativa can trace back its roots to the Hindu-Kush area. Even though its possible to grow year round due to the little differences of light between winter and summer, the area has an extremely long wet season so Thai Sativa is planted just at the end of the wet season. Thai Sativa’s growing rate is very slow. Before it begins to flower it reaches about 3 feet. By the time it flowers, it is approximately 13-15 feet high. The color of the leaves is lime green and the buds are long and skinny with very long hairs.

Afghan Indica:

Afgan Indica is a legendary landrace strain and is often claimed as the one that started it all. Experts say that the Afghan Indica’s travels involved the Silk Road, known to be the first trade route from Asia to the West. Afghan Cannabis is grown in the mountains of the region between Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, North India and South China. In these conditions, Afghan Cannabis has evolved itself into a short and thick bush to thrive in the harsh mountain climates of extremely hot day temperatures to cold nights with strong winds throughout. The color of Afghan Cannabis is dark green, and the flowering time is only about 8 or 9 weeks with harvest at the end of the summer.

Pananama Red:

Panama Red is a very rare landrace, only grown for local consumption in the islands after the cocaine industry took over Panama’s farm fields on the main land. Still in high demand among cannabis users who were lucky enough to experience it, Panama Red has turned into a legend. Grown in the jungle like forest in Panama, the tall trees surrounding the weed increases its growth as the weed strives to find the sun. The stems and leaves are dark brown transitioning into dark red, and the buds are covered with long red hairs. It has a 3-month flowering time with high yields. The sativa high of Panama Red sends the user’s mind on a trip.
Re: land race genetics?

"Strains of Yesteryear"

by DJ Short, Cannabis Culture


Colombian Gold

Colombian Gold came from the highland Colombian valleys near the equator, as well as on the coast (the Caribbean and the Pacific).

This was specialty pot offered commercially in the mid-70's, for about $60 to $100 per ounce. It was seeded, but most of the seeds were undeveloped, white and useless. A few rare, viable seeds were found that were dark, small-sized and roundish. The buds were leafy and the most beautiful golden blond color. Legend has it that upon maturity the plants were girdled, then left standing to die and cure in the mountain sun and mist.

The color and cure were unique, and the aroma, flavor and high were equally so. The smell was that of sandalwood incense, almost like frankincense. The flavor was that of a peppery cedar. It was some of the most unique tasting herb in the world, and the high was just as exciting. It was truly psychedelic, powerful and long lasting.

First came the great flavor, then the stupefying awe of the shift in consciousness followed by a giddy excitement and bursts of joyous laughter. Smile-lock and red-eye made it painfully obvious who was under the influence of this great psychedelic herb.

The plants from the seeds of the Gold were primarily of Sativa origin. They grew a medium to tall size outdoors at 45?N (Seattle), and were mostly symmetrical. On occasion the symmetry was interrupted by one side outgrowing the other, causing a rounded and bulging tipped bush look. The leaves were long and slender.

When grown in Washington state, the finished product was a sweet, spicy Sativa bud that matured around mid-November. The high was adequate but not as good as the Oaxaca Highland grown at the same latitude. The plants were also slightly hermaphroditic.

Colombian Red

Colombian Red was the near polar opposite of Colombian Gold. This lowland jungle pot (possibly from Brazil) was made up of dark red, almost black, chunky little nuggets of what appeared to be hash, stems, leaf and seed. The aroma was that of cedar and hash.

In the early 1980's, the Red cost only $30 to $60 an ounce due to its appearance, making it one of the best deals going. This pot was a narcotic, knock-you-down-and-out, super munchie, red-eye express. The joints would only burn half way before drowning in their own resin! The smoke was very expansive in the lungs with a powerful pine/hash flavor.

Before subjecting its victim to fits of gorging and deep snoozing, the experience usually included ridiculously long spasms of uncontrollable laughter. The silliest little image could induce hilarity beyond belief. This was the main herb around when the Cheech and Chong movies first came out.

The plants from the Red were among the first grown out by Americans. There were many seeds, medium-sized and dark grey, that sprouted and grew easily into a finished product that was more than adequate. The plants grew low, dark, and bushy, with uneven and somewhat scraggly branches that were easily broken from wind damage. The locally grown varieties rarely budded very much, so it is not certain when they would have finished. It would have been relatively late in November at the earliest.


Highland Oaxaca

Highland Gold, somewhat similar to the Colombian Gold, lacked bright gold color but sported purple and red calyx tips on its blondish-brownish-green buds. It had larger buds surrounded by long, skinny leaves.

I smoked this variety during brief periods in the early 70's and again in the late 70's, paying anywhere between $40 and $120 per ounce. It was some of my all-time favorite because the aroma and flavor were of a super-spicy cedar incense with a slight fermented berry taste, in a very comfortable yet powerfully psychedelic pot. This herb contributed to many great parties, concerts and events of the era because it produced a very socially-conscious experience and mixed well with other psychedelics.

With a long lasting, creeper high that kept coming on in waves over the hours, this stuff had no ceiling. One phenomenon consistently reported from the Highland Oaxaca experience was that of peripheral visual distortions of primarily cartoon color images. This tended to increase the visual distortions caused by other psychedelics such as mushrooms or LSD.

The Oaxaca Highland Gold was a nearly pure Sativa which grew tall at 45?N, outdoors. It was also one of the most symmetrical Sativas I have encountered. The plants grew long side branches toward the bottom, and the even growth made these productive beauties look like Christmas trees when mature.

The finished product was a very sweet and spicy herb of the highest quality, with a hint of fruity pine aroma. The seeds for this variety were small, dark and round, and the plants exhibited slight signs of hermaphroditism and required surveillance to maintain seedlessness.


This strain from Mexico's coastal mountains came in famed green, seeded spears and cost $60 to $120 per ounce in 1977. It had a spicy, almost wintergreen fragrance compared to the other Mexicans with a very clear head high and a most pleasant smoke. It was not as strong as most, but this herb still had a way of satisfying all its own.

There was a legend about a group of entrepreneurs who imported seed from Lebanon to Guerrero and grew the famed Lebanese Upper Mountain (LUM) from the late 1970's to 1980. The LUM was electric, psychedelic and slightly sedative as well. A unique herb that I wish there would have been more of.

The seeds from the Guerrero were medium to large in size and grey to green in color. The plants from these seeds grew similarly to other Mexican and Colombian strains: a medium to tall, bushy, productive plant. The Guerrero Green, however, is where some of the famed onion and garlic flavored bud of the Pacific Northwest originated.

Michoacan Brown Spears

From the high valleys of Michoacan, this strain was very similar in shape and texture to the Guerrero, but dark brown, and with a more peppery, spicy, woody aroma. $40 to $60 bought a seeded ounce in 1975. Although it was somewhat more bland tasting than the Guerrero , this semi-commercial pot was by far better than the commercial Mexican that was all too available. It had a more distinct, spicy flavor than the regular Mexican, as well as a brighter high that was not as susceptible to tolerance or burnout.

The plants from the Michoacan Spears were nothing great. They were thick and bushy and matured earlier than the Colombians. Some were ready in late October, but most were ready in early November. The seeds were medium grey and plentiful. Like the Guerrero, they produced some unique spicy flavors when grown outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.


Highland Thai

Highland Thai was among the absolute sweetest and fruitiest herb on the planet. The delicate, sticky Sativa buds so efficiently tied to the little sticks were among the finest of herb.

The Highland Thai, I believe, is at least partially where the Haze variety originated. It was one of the finest Sativa plants grown for its finished product at 45?N.

It is from this variety that Juicy Fruit Thai came. Juicy Fruit Thai was one of the original (and very successful) P1's of my breed stock. Juicy Fruit Thai grew fast, long and very unevenly. Every week or so another side branch would erupt in a growth spurt, compete with and conquer any existing meristem (main stem), and become the temporary meristem until another faster shoot overtook it. The leaves were very long and slender, containing as many as 13 leaflets, and deeply contoured.

The Juicy Fruit Thai took anywhere from one to 19 weeks in the indoor bud cycle to finish. Outdoors, the Juicy fruit was smokable, but undeveloped and leafy, by late September. Small buds developed during October and would ripen and swell during November. The longest I was ever capable of growing Juicy Fruit outdoors was until mid-December, in a greenhouse, and the plant could have gone on longer.

The primary drawback to growing the Highland Thai, after its leafiness, was its hermaphroditism. Though few seeds were found, and plants grown from the seeds produced only minor quantities of seed, all of the product was hermaphroditic. Also, many of the male flowers were sterile on some of the plants, or on certain parts of certain plants.

Out of all of the varieties that I have worked with at 45?N, this Thai produced some of the most powerful herb. This stuff was purely cerebral, yet mentally devastating in quantity, with absolutely no ceiling. Once, a seasoned smoker friend and I tested how far we could go with the homegrown Juicy Fruit. I recall making it to the 14th bong hit and being completely incapable of continuing. My coordination and depth perception were so skewed that I was unable to physically conquer the bong! The experience rivaled that of taking too much LSD, causing an incapacitation of the psychedelic kind. Yet, it was also uniquely enjoyable, entertaining and educational at the same time. I had sparkly eyes for a day or two afterward.

The aroma was a super-sweet fruity tropical punch and the flavor expressed itself both in the bud and the smoke.

Chocolate Thai

The Chocolate Thai was another being entirely. Chocolate Thai came in larger wrapped sticks of a deep, rich, roasted coffee color and a coffee-chocolate aroma that was heavenly. It is my uncertain estimation that the Chocolate Thai was a lowland variety.

The imported product itself was unique not only in its aroma and flavor but in its strength as well. This was a dreamy, sleepy, narcotic high that was long lasting and consistent. The aroma possessed a deep, rich chocolate, appeal.

The seeds, many of which were pure black, were extremely small and round. They were few in numbers and only a few would sprout. The plants that did survive were terribly difficult to grow, and all were hermaphroditic. The leaves were long, dark and slender, with most sprouting trichomes early on. This strain was successfully crossed with the Oaxaca Highland to create what came to be known as Purple Thai.


There was a bit of the Vietnamese herb around in the 70's, primarily early harvest which was mostly badly-cured leaf. Nonetheless, it had a quality all its own with a spicy, tangy flavor and crisp high. It was great joint pot, but I never grew any.

I heard rumors that a Vietnamese strain was cultivated in the Emerald Triangle in the 70's and early 80's.

Opium Soaked Herb

An element was added to certain shipments of Thai herb in the 70's: "early water." A by-product of the heroin trade, early water was the leftover water used to create the heroin from the raw opium. It contained all of the constituents of opium except most of the heroin.

The curing Thai herb was soaked in the water and redried to absorb the opiate alkaloids. The result was a high that was sought out by some, but more than most bargained for. A good wash was an enjoyable thing, but some were over-laced, which caused a dilemma for those who would start spinning after a few hits on a joint.


Black Magic African

This herb is the strongest ever. Although I have only smoked the Black Magic a very limited number of times, and I've never had more than a joint of my own, I feel it needs mention. I did once get to see a bag of this herb that belonged to someone else. It looked like rotted, black leaf, some leaves intact but crumpled, plus a powdery black shake. It had no particular odor other than sweet spicy moldy hay, and rolled best into thin pinjoints.

The smoke was slightly harsh, but with a very deep, rich flavor. I also recall that it produced lots of white smoke. Anyhow, this stuff was dangerous! I often questioned if it was truly pure herb. I have, however, sampled the same product from different sources at different times, all with the same story.

It was equatorial Black African, the supposed herb of some tribe, Pygmy group, or another equally incredible origin! It was likely an indigenous Central African herb. One pinjoint between three or four people was more than adequate. This was truly the most devastating and consciously inebriating herb I have ever smoked.

I do not recall ever passing out or losing consciousness, but I did have to let go in order to come back . This stuff alone could cause one to reach 3.5 pluses on the Shulgin psychedelic rating scale!

I never was able to acquire seeds from the Black African, though I have tried. It is one of the few indigenous strains that I am interested in working with.

Durban Poison

Durban herb has reached semi-commercial levels in the past. All of the South African herb that has made it to market that I have tried has been a bit too powerful and speedy. I always get that heart racing effect similar to the Jamaican. There are, however, very many people who enjoy a good carnival ride herb, and Durban is a very powerful choice, indeed.

The seeds of Durban that I grew during the early to mid-80's produced medium/tall Sativas with spear shaped buds ? uniform plants in both structure and finished product. Although production was good, the flavor was a sharp, astringent, chemical odor that burned the nose and sinuses.

The high was intense and strong but not notably enjoyable, so the Durban was dropped from any further breeding work.


There was some fine Venezuelan herb available briefly in the mid-1970's for between $50 to $70 an ounce. It was sort of like the better commercial Colombian or Mexican of the day, but it was a bright yellowish color and not as tightly bricked, making the buds fluffier than most other bricked shipments.

The smoke was sweet, then spicy on the exhale ? evidence of a good cure. The head was also a bit more pleasant than the more commercial varieties.

Unfortunately, I was never able to grow any of the many seeds available from the Venezuelan. I remain curious as to how they would fare both indoor and out.

Indian Elephant & Buddha Stick

There was a small supply of Indian tied stick pot available at the end of the 70's and the beginning of the 80's. These sticks were characterized by their large size compared to the smaller Thai Stick.

The Buddha stick was lighter colored and sweeter with a distinct juniper flavor. It was very stimulating to the palate. The Elephant stick was the largest tied sticks, some up to an ounce each, and darker. Of the two, I preferred the Buddha due to its being more cerebral and heady, but the Elephant stick was a fine and powerful product as well.

I was able to grow some of the seeds from the Buddha stick. It produced a pungent smelling herb of the juniper/licorice flavor. Most of the plants grew medium bushy, and most, but not all, were hermaphroditic. The harvest time was medium as well, 10 to 12 weeks indoors, very late October to November outdoors at 45?N.

I called the product Gin Blossom and grew a bit of her in the late 70's and early 80's. It was not until I replicated the flavor in the Blueberry lines that I retired the Gin Blossom strain.

Panama Red

From what I've gathered, Panama Red comes from any number of brash entrepreneurs who have damned the tides of oppression and grown copious amounts of primarily good old Colombian Red seeds in the wonderfully situated country of Panama, or any of her many isles.

Located a mere eight or nine degrees north of the equator, this tropical paradise has a coast on both the Pacific or the Caribbean Sea, without much distance between them, but a lot of elevation. The Panama Red that I am accustomed to was similar to the Colombian Red, but airier ? not as compressed. It had a unique island flavor to it, with a spicy/sweet Sativa rush. Some called it the Tequila of herb, as it produced a high that greatly lowered inhibitions, creating a desire to consume more until it was too late!

For some drinkers, the Panama Red did not mix too well with alcohol, but for most it was a pleasant party high.

I did grow some seeds of Panama Red on more than one occasion. The plants were of the medium bushy character of the Colombian Red, with a little more hermaphroditism, and very long flower cycle (12 weeks indoor, late November outdoors). Unfortunately, however, this was at the same time that I was also growing the famed Highland Thai and new Afghan plants that were so unique, new and powerful, and the Panama Red became neglected.



Moroccan hash is the North African staple. It appears anywhere from deep brown to golden yellow and has a spicy leather flavor to it. Almost all Moroccan hash is screened and pressed. Though lower in potency than most black hash, this commercial offering costs less and tends to be more readily available through the years.

Moroccan plants are shorter and designed to grow tightly together, producing a single hemp-like stalk and a fat and dense single cola at the top. It is an apparent Sativa/Indica cross.

Lebanese Red and Blonde

Lebanese is another Sativa/Indica cross of short stature and density. A bit shorter and bushier than the Moroccan, it had a dark reddish hue.

The legendary Red Lebanese hash holds its own place. Red Leb had the distinct pine/juniper flavor and aroma, with a tangy spice leather to the exhaled smoke. It was sharp on the sinuses and nasal passages.

Most Red Leb hash was screened and pressed, except for the legendary Red Lebanese Honey Oil. The famed oil, only available to me from 1973-77, was in a class all of its own. The oil had a sharp juniper/cedar smell to it. It was the most powerful, lung expansive cannabis product that I had ever encountered. We would buy these glass oil pipes simply to find them useless, as no one could hold even the smallest toke of this stuff.

The oil had to be smeared onto a rolling paper or the side of a cigarette, or it had to be chased into a pile of herb with a flame from below. It was truly some of the finest. The home-grown isomerized oils of the 80's were pale in comparison to the great Red Leb.

Lebanese Blonde, the "working person's hash," was a lower grade of hash than the Red, and quantities were less expensive as well. It was less dense, making grams appear larger and giving the illusion of economy. Good Blonde had character, a spicy/woody flavor and aroma, plus a clean, woody taste. The high was a bit more than the Red, furthering the appeal to working people.

Nepalese temple balls

The Buddhists have a saying: "May all beings be happy." They also have a hash to back it up with: black finger rubbings from high in the Himalayas. This was some of my all-time favorite.

Nepalese is among the most cerebral of hashish. A strong yet pleasant head journey packed in every puff. This is some of the happiest hash I have experienced. The taste is spicy/fruity/earthen and among the most enjoyable of hash flavors. Most Nepalese hash is from rubbings, although I have heard from travelers to the area that screened and pressed varieties are available.

Simply put: Nepalese Temple Ball is some of the happiest, fruitiest and most pleasantly flavorful, highest quality hash that I have ever experienced.

Afghanistan & Hindu Kush

Rolling off the great crest of the Himalayas to the west and to the north are an apex of mountainous zones that define the northern borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Squished among these is the little region of Kashmir and the Hindu Kush mountains. This area may well be the oldest hashish producing area in the world, perhaps the birthplace of hash!

The plants of the area, the Indica variety, have been manipulated and bred by humans since antiquity. Short, dense and stout, with wide, dark leaves, these plants make the best of their high mountain, short-seasoned environment. They were bred to produce large amounts of easily detachable glandular resin heads, ideal for hashish production. These areas incorporate both rubbed, screened and pressed methods of hashish production.

Afghan hash, and the Indica strain for that matter, possess a much more sedative, dreamy, narcotic effect compared to the Sativa. This is true of the Afghan and Hindu Kush plants grown in the Pacific Northwest since 1978.

I believe more Indicas should be made into hashish, which is where the finer qualities of the Indica appear.

A quantity of Afghan seed was smuggled to the Emerald Triangle in 1978. Commercial production of the strain began shortly after that. There may have been earlier trials with Afghan seed in the region prior to 1978, but none ever made it to commercial production quantities or to public market.



Hawaiian a true classic. There is something special about a good island herb, and Hawaiian is among the best. When properly grown outdoors it has a wonderful and unique bouquet of fruity spice, similar to the sweetness of the fine Thai, but with a kind of tangy taste.

Good Hawaiian herb has always been a devastatingly powerful experience for me. It is very psychedelic and internally focused, contemplative and overpoweringly meditative. A Walk with the King, a Dance with the Queen, and a sunset on the beach! Aah... Hawaiian!

I have tried to equal the Hawaiian experience outdoor on the mainland, and indoors, with no success. Everything I have grown from Hawaiian stock turned out to be nowhere near the quality of the parent stock. This is true for three generations of trials. The product from Hawaiian seed was equal to the best plants grown from mid-quality Colombian stock!

This led me to a hypothesis about Hawaii: that just about any stock grown in Hawaii will turn out to be of unique and relatively high quality. Hawaii just happens to be one of those special places, I suppose.

All breeding attempts with Hawaiian stock were dumped from my garden by 1983. It was a pretty and robust plant though, and also quite productive. Just not all that impressive when grown outside its homeland.

Jamaican Lion's Herb

It has been on rare occasion that I have sampled truly enjoyable Jamaican herb. These rare samples came directly from friends who knew growers there. It was similar to the Hawaiian experience, but with more of a take-your-breath-away feeling of excitement.

The problem I have encountered with the commercial Jamaican is that it is too damned strong and speedy! Jamaican is renowned for its lively herb, for which I can vouch. It is a heartlifting herb and I have a sensitive heart. So I am careful with the samples of the commercial Jamaican ganja that I try.

Much like Hawaiian, the Jamaican strains are perhaps best expressed in their homeland, because I have had little success in producing an adequate example. Both indoors and out, the Jamaican behaves and ends up much the same as mid-level Colombian. Perhaps all Island herb is unique in this fashion.

Philippine Thrilla from Manilla.

The Philippines are another Island chain renowned for producing great herb. I once possessed a small quantity of what was supposed to be Philippine herb in the late 1970's. It had a strong citrus aroma that produced a spicy smoke and a heady high. I never grew the strain, so I have nothing to report on the plants. The herb was a light green Sativa and seeded, so hopefully someone has had experience with this strain.
Re: Land Race genetics?

Conradino, thank you for this. What a resource, and I'll be studying it thoroughly.

I wanted to alert you to a journal I think might interest you. Cy is growing a strain his father developed over 25 years and then had to stop growing because of family moving back home. Bummer. Anyway, as soon as I came across it I thought of you. I thought at the very least you'd enjoy the read of the history of a family strain. Not one you come across that often. Here's the link.

Cy's Organic Grow From Seed
Re: Land Race genetics?


So, if any single strain is grown in any different climate under any different treatment, it could smell/taste/smoke different? Such a spectrum. We are artists.

Someone awesome once said: So many strains, so little time.

I get lost sometimes just looking at pure satvas...

Thanks for everything, Conradino!
Re: Land Race genetics?

Conradino, thank you for this. What a resource, and I'll be studying it thoroughly.

I wanted to alert you to a journal I think might interest you. Cy is growing a strain his father developed over 25 years and then had to stop growing because of family moving back home. Bummer. Anyway, as soon as I came across it I thought of you. I thought at the very least you'd enjoy the read of the history of a family strain. Not one you come across that often. Here's the link.

Cy's Organic Grow From Seed

Thx Sue! I checked it out, and it looks cool :thumb:


So, if any single strain is grown in any different climate under any different treatment, it could smell/taste/smoke different? Such a spectrum. We are artists.

Someone awesome once said: So many strains, so little time.

I get lost sometimes just looking at pure satvas...

Thanks for everything, Conradino!

Yeah, you put a strain that's been growing for hundreds of years in a totally different soil, give her different light spectrum, and even change the photoperiod, and she'll look nothing like she used to! Terpene profile will change too!

Yeah thanks man. Wow!
I see you're not just a pretty face after all!

I'm happy that my inner ugliness can shine after all :rofl::tokin:

Please contribute with pics (old and new ones), links to the journals, stories, comments and smoke reports! We need a solid 101 thread here on 420! To be honest I'm surprised there wasn't one, but we can definitely make one with so many people who had firsthand experience with all these strains mentioned in articles I pasted :passitleft:
Re: Land Race genetics?

Mostly vintage pics I found. Some were very hard to find. Enjoy, guys :tokin:

Modern Thai Stick

Thai Stick from the 70s

Santa Marta Gold / 70s

Red Lebanon / 70s

Panama Red / 70s

Oaxacan Highland / 70s

Nigerian sativa / 70s

Lambsbread or Jamaican sativa / 70s

Colombian Gold / 70s

Colombian Black / modern bud

Cambodian landrace sativa / 70s

Acapulco Gold / 70s

Re: Land Race genetics?

As someone who was not smoking weed in the 70's and 80's since I did not exist, how frosty was this stuff?

The pics Conradino posted are what I am familiar with as far as cannabis from that era goes. IE it all loos like it was rubbed before hand and poorly dried. Did it really smoke that well? I have a bag of the worst weed I have ever smoked sitting in my desk right now that looks like this stuff. Never even dried just bricked, probably cut too early, and probably pre-rubbed.
Re: Land Race genetics?

Now I cannot tell you how frosty it was cause I have the same problem as you, I wasn't even born :cheesygrinsmiley: So you're gonna have to wait for someone who is old enough to remember. But from my growing experience landrace sativas will put out very little stalked glandular trichomes, and they are sparse. Opposite will be true for landrace indicas from Afghanistan, Pakistan, China or Mongolia which have been bred for hash production, and they produce them in abundance. It's how all these frosty hybrids have been created, by finding an exceptional hash producer and crossing it to another plant, pure sativa or sativa-dominant. It's the only reason why you can get AK-47 for example with uplifting high but still have a lot of resin going on and big buds.

Some of my landrace sativa buds to show you how little resin these plants really produce!

This is Nanda Devi from northern India very similar to Nepalese Highland or Malana charas plant:


And this is Malawi Gold from Africa, a little bit more resin here, also more compact buds:


Still, some will produce less and some will produce more. With landrace it depends a lot on the pheno you get. For example I have this Colombian Punto Rojo growing now which is absolutely amazing resin producer, almost like an indica.

Re: Land Race genetics?

Thanks for putting the info and pics up. I've been wanting to get into land races and old school strains for a few years now. I just, literally this morning, placed an order with Herbies which includes 10 Afghani and 10 Skunk #1 regular seeds. Will be line breeding and boosting my seed count on them, then getting into creating my own line as well as having fun with F1's. Over time I hope to collect some of the other true greats you have listed ....Punta.... Columbian, Panama Red, Malawi etc.

I'm not called heirloom for nothing ;)

Re: Land Race genetics?

I want to contribute to this thread, but the problem is that I don't know the name of anything I smoked during my years (most of the 90's up until 2004) working in Venezuela, Angola, Nigeria and Brazil. I didn't even know the terms Sativa and Indica until last year :bigblush::oops:

The smoke was always great; euphoric, giggly, appetite stimulating and great for dancing and socialising. It always had seeds in it (wish I had saved some)

When I returned to live in the UK, the smoke one used to get was not too bad especially from the West Indian guys. Suddenly, from around 2008, it seemed one couldn't get good smoke from anywhere except Amsterdam.....Also I had never felt 'couch locked' until I started to buy smoke in Europe. My brother in law smokes also and even he now laments that some of the 'strange' available out there now is terrible.

Now that I grow and understand what this plant is about, it is clear to me that I was smoking landrace Sativas in my time in the aforementioned countries. Can't wait to try my Portela.

Great thread! :nicethread:
Re: Land Race genetics?

When I started smoking in the early 80s in southern BC we didn't hear of much local herb. It was mostly Thai and Jamaican. I missed smoking Thai Stick on many occasions. Everyone loved Thai stick. It's funny when I look back on it. I just assumed I'd wander out someday and get some because it seemed to be around. It was always just around the corner, 'we smoked one 2 minutes ago ya just missed it and it's all gone'. This happened constantly for a couple years and then by the mid 80s it was suddenly vanished, along with the other sativas.
'Redhair' skunk, became the ubiquitous smoke on the street, followed by a whole bunch of other increasing stronger couch lock strains through the late 80s and early 90s- like Chemo. The indica strains totally disagree with me and it took me half a lifetime to figure out what the heck happened and why I suddenly couldn't smoke anymore. I thought something had changed in my brain or something. (Things are always changing in my brain so it was a safe bet, ha ha)
I smoked my way all over SEA, India, and Central America through the rest of the 80s and 90s. Thai smoke was and is one of my favorites. A lot of it was quite mild, but once in a while we'd get some that seemed five times as strong as the rest. It would have us hallucinating. It was all full of seeds. i can't believe I didn't save some!!!!! and am always kicking myself now. I want to go back to Thailand someday to some of the exact places I lived and see if I can find those strains. What a fun quest that would be.
Like Bapple I'm realizing the indica/sativa thing in hindsight. I had no idea. The indica invasion in BC turned me off of smoking herb. I eventually all but quit for many years, and would just smoke hash, when it was available.
I want those seeds! Sob!
Great, mods changed the name of the the thread and made it sticky as I asked. Thx :thumb:
Top Bottom