The modern domestication of cannabis has created a great diversity of strains that are currently available with desired characteristics; among them, strains that produce larger yields, have specific aromas, specific amounts of cannabinoids, resistance to pests, greater quantity and quality of resin; and all this has been the result of artificial selection. This type of selection by the human seeks to improve specific characteristics of the plant, something similar to what nature does when choosing the most suitable individual to survive in a certain environment.
Natural selection has also contributed to differentiating cannabis plants around the world into plants we now know as landraces. Landraces are varieties of cannabis native to different parts of the planet, which are very well adapted to their environment because they have been selected by the most efficient grower: nature.
Landraces varieties are known for their rusticity, these plants are highly resistant to environmental factors in the areas where they are found. On the other hand, these types of strains are genetically very unstable if we compare them with the modern strains that we find on the market; the fact that they are genetically unstable plants means that the variability of their offspring will be quite high.
Landraces are scattered throughout the world from Morocco to Mexico. In Mexico, as in other parts of the world, landraces were baptized according to their place of origin: Michoacana, Acapulco Gold, Guerreran are names that became quite common in this region at the beginning of the 60s.
These strains native to Mexico are considered quite tall plants, which have thin leaflets, a long flowering period, and produce a more cerebral psychoactive effect compared to landraces from Colombia or Thailand.
Now that we know how these plants originated, it is time to emphasize their importance. Landraces strains, being plants very well adapted to their environment and quite resistant, serve as “blank canvases” to cross them with other strains and add characteristics without losing their resistance and easy adaptability. This is a plus for modern growers who are constantly looking to improve their strains.
On the other hand, landraces, as they are considered native plants, play an important ecological role, as do other species of native plants; these types of plants, have adapted very well to a certain geographic location, have developed mutually beneficial relationships with other species such as insects and birds, depending on each other for their survival.
Conserving the native Mexican strains, as well as the native strains of each region, can bring benefits to users, but also the environment; by maintaining these relationships with the biotic and abiotic environment that plants have been slowly establishing for years.
There’s yet so much to learn about the possibilities that cannabis has to offer us, educating yourself about the plant has become indispensable in recent years. To begin your education along with experts with years of industry experience, visit: www.pharmacologyuniversityonline.com
Dinafem. (2017). ¿Cuáles son las principales Landrace de la marihuana?. Retrieved from: https://www.dinafem.org
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