Orlando Based Cannabis Training University is a leading marijuana educational institution
CTU has mailing offices across North America and maintains a strong presence in the cannabis community on both U.S. coasts and Canada.
The CIU’s Fred Hernandez put this report on Africa’s top 18 Landrace strains together.
This article first appeared in the CIU’s website on 17 July 2021.
What Is A Landrace Strain?
In today’s cannabis markets, landrace strains are rare. They are the original cannabis strains that grew naturally in the wild. Strains that are sold today are all derived from a few varieties of landrace strains. These landrace strains have evolved over centuries to grow in their natural environment and adapted to grow in a variety of regions across the world.
A landrace strain is one of the varieties of marijuana strains that has pure genetics because it has not been diluted with other marijuana strains. When marijuana strains are crossbred, the resulting strains are called hybrids. Landrace strains have not undergone crossbreeding but can be crossbred to produce hybrid strains.
Landrace strains were the first marijuana strains that grew wildly in different parts of the globe. As marijuana became more popular for religious, therapeutic, and recreational use, growers began to practice selective breeding of marijuana strains. This gave rise to the marijuana hybrid strains that we now know, such as White Tahoe Cookies, Purple Kush, Chemdawg, and White Widow, among other hundreds of marijuana hybrid strains.
Landrace Strains From Africa
Landrace strains are usually indigenous to a particular geographical location. Consequently, they also bear the name of that particular geographical location in their strain name. For example, you might have heard of Hindu Kush, Pakistani Kush, or Panama Red. This is not a rule of thumb as some landrace strains bear different names unrelated to any particular geographical location, such as Durban Poison.
African landrace strains are the marijuana strains that are indigenous to the continent of Africa. These landrace strains have some striking similarities, such as having a hardy nature and being resilient to fluctuating weather conditions.
They also have similar physical characteristics, such as having an elongated shape, sturdy stems, and widely-spaced buds. Most of the African landrace strains are sativas which produce a potent cerebral buzz and uplifting effects.
Recent research has also shown that African landrace strains are also rich in a newly identified THC homologue that is known as THCV. THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin) has many therapeutic benefits, including the regulation of blood sugar and appetite suppression.
Common African landrace strains include Durban Poison, Malawi Gold, Kilimanjaro, Ethiopian, Red Congolese, and Kwazulu strains. Below is a breakdown of some of these popular strains.
Popular African Landrace Strains
These are landrace marijuana strains that trace their origins back to the continent of Africa.
Durban Poison is a popular landrace marijuana strain that originates from the city of Durban as far back as the 14th-century. Originally it was cultivated by the Khoikhoi and San community tribes. It has a sweet, fruity flavor and causes instant mental stimulation and blissful effects.
Ethiopian is a third-generation African sativa strain originating in Ethiopia. Like most sativas, the plants grow tall and have long branches with cone-shaped buds. This strain is highly resistant to moisture and heat. When combusted, it gives off an earthy and woody aroma and produces an energizing burst of euphoria.
Kwazulu is a pure sativa landrace strain that originates from the slopes of Drakensberg ridge in South Africa. It is a good strain for dealing with physical and mental conditions as the effects are hardly ever overwhelming.
Being a pure sativa strain, it is best taken a couple of hours before bedtime. Kwa-Zulu does well both indoors and outdoors and flowers within eight weeks when grown indoors. When grown outdoors, you should expect to harvest in October. The yields from this strain are highand will have a THC that’s above 20%.
Kilimanjaro is a sativa landrace strain commonly referred to as the “elephant stomper” because of its hyper-energizing effects. It traces its roots back to the Kilimanjaro Mountains and was originally cultivated for religious practices and ceremonies.
Kilimanjaro buds are heavily coated with resinous trichomes that are packed with THC-18%. Like other sativas, the plants grow tall and slender while the nugs are packed with phytocannabinoids. The effects are stimulating and may become psychedelic in high doses.
Malawi is a landrace strain that originates from the Salima region of Malawi. It also goes by the name “Malawi Gold.” Although it is a sativa, the buds produced are usually dense and highly resinous. The THC may get as high as 27%. When grown indoors, you will expect to harvest in 13 weeks while outdoors you need to wait until the end month.
Sinai is a landrace strain that was first cultivated in the Desert Mountains of Egypt. It can withstand very extreme conditions in hot climates such as ~100°F. The effects are intense and mind-numbing; this strain is best taken in the evenings after a hectic day at work.
The Swazi Gold is an African landrace strain that is also known as the Nguni. Swazi Gold produces dense mango-smelling buds and has high THC amounts that range from 18% to 27%. It has high amounts of THCV and can be used to sort out medical conditions such as attention deficit disorders, stress, and depression.
This strain will require less TLC during the growth period but will produce strong cerebral effects once consumed.
Afrikaner, grown by Cannabaal and Waldo Botha, is a South African landrace strain with a high THC concentration. This strain has about 20% THC and a high concentration of THCV. According to the grower, it has a “sweet picante weed stench” flavor. Experience a euphoria that can energize your mind and body. It’s the perfect wake-and-bake strain.
Zamal Reunion by Seeds of Africa is grown on Reunion Island (east of Madagascar) on fertile, volcanic soil. Zumal has some of the most extraordinary sativa properties and is incredibly hardy.
It grows bushy with tons of branches and huge, orange-colored buds with red hairs. This strain has a relatively long flowering period and prefers outdoor environments. Expect a rush of energy that can catch low tolerance users off guard. It has an earthy, hashy, and woody aroma.
Coffee Gold by Seeds of Africa is grown near Coffee Bay on the South African “Wild Coast,” a region that grows hundreds of coffee trees. Coffee Gold has huge and dense buds with purple coloration. It has an aroma of sour fruits, such as grape, gooseberry, and greengage. This strain produces a relaxing and blissful high.
The Moroccan landrace strain originated in the North African Rif Mountains in northeast Morocco.
Moroccan strains have high amounts of resin and were originally grown for hash dating back to the 15th century. These plants grow short and have minimal branching with big main colas.
It has moderate THC levels ranging between 10 and 15%. Experience a relaxing and sedating high with the Moroccan strain.
Rooibaard, also known as Swazi Red, is a South African landrace strain with origins in Transkei. It is named Swazi Red for its striking red hairs found on its buds. It has a high concentration of THC and a distinctive South African cannabis aroma that has earthy, woody, and coffee notes.This strain can produce euphoric and calming effects.
Red Congolese, also known as Red Congo, is a landrace strain originating in tropical environments in Africa. As a sativa, this strain produces energizing effects leaving users focused and clear-headed. It has a spicy, fruity, and berry-like aroma. When growing this indoors, make sure you have enough room since it can grow up to six feet tall.
Ketama is a Moroccan landrace strain grown in the Ketama Valley. Ketama is known as Morocco’s Hash Capital. This strain is grown in arid environments with rocky soil. It has an aroma of wood and mint. Its effects are invigorating and uplifting. The effects can transition into a relaxing and calming feeling.
Sotho Heights, locally known as “Matekoane,” is a strain that is grown in the high mountains of Lesotho. The cannabis trade dates back as far as 1550 in Lesotho. It is commonly used by locals for high blood pressure, asthma, and childbirth. They have also been known to use it to remove parasites from animals.
Since it is grown in the highlands, it is used to cold weather, unlike other African landrace strains. Sotho Heights does not grow as high as other sativas but does have the thin stems and leaves. It has an aroma of lemon and coffee with a hint of sweetness. It produces energizing and relaxing effects.
Apondo Mystic grows in a subtropical climate in the forests of Pondoland, North Eastern Cape. Apondo Mystic has a light green color and slender sativa buds.
As a sativa, it produces energizing effects that can make users feel focused and connected to their environment. Enjoy Apondo Mystic during the daytime to enjoy its uplifting effects with minimal to no sedation. It has a fresh and tart smell of citrus and an earthy undertone.
Mozambica is grown in the forest near the coast. The plant produces heavy and trichome-rich buds that can sometimes have a striking blue tint. They generally grow in a tropical climate. Usually, the buds can emit a pungent aroma of tropical fruit and spices that are grown nearby.
It can produce a meditative and energizing high. Locally, it is known as “nbaje” or “soruma” and has been used by tribe healers in teas for blood poisoning, fevers, and childbirth.
Zimlicious is a landrace sativa strain grown on the foothills of the Botswana border. It prefers subtropical environments but can handle most conditions. These plants grow medium-tall in height with a high yield of light green nugs with a musky and kush-like aroma. The high is intense and euphoric, leaving users giggly and at peace.
There are a couple of other top landrace strains that have not been mentioned in this article. However, these can provide you with a starting point as you explore similar robust marijuana strains.