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If you are a lover of ancient cannabis strains, perusing our top landrace strains from Africa will excite you. Africa is central to the rich history of marijuana as it is home to several treasured landrace strains, such as the popular Durban Poison strain.

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.

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.

1. Durban Poison

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.

2. Ethiopian

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.

3. Kwazulu

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 high and will have a THC that’s above 20%.

4. Kilimanjaro

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.

5. Malawi

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.

6. Sinai

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.

7. Swazi Gold

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.

8. Afrikaner

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.

9. Zamal Reunion

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.

10. Coffee Gold

Coffee Gold strain 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.

11. Moroccan

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.

12. Rooibaard

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.

13. Red Congolese

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.

14. Ketama

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.

15. Sotho Heights

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.

16. Apondo Mystic

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.

17. Mozambica

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.

18. Zimlicious

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.

Landrace Strains

Landrace cannabis strains are relatively rare with Sativa strains making their way around the world in the 1970s and Indica landrace strains staying local. The late 1970s is when people decided to start breeding these two types of landrace strains together. Cannabis strains used to be mostly landrace strains before this breeding as crossbreeding was not prevalent in the slightest.

The beauty of a landrace strain is that they are known as original weed strains. The consistency that a consumer will find in one of these strains will be remarkable. Below will be everything that you need to know about landrace cannabis strains.

Landrace Strains Gaining Popularity Again

Landrace strains are making a comeback even though new strains seem to be bred daily. Some consumers want to go back to the original strains that they smoked rather than new strains that have incredibly wild names. A great thing about landrace strains is that they have stood the test of time with heirloom strains making a comeback as well.

There are times where a drink or a smell brings someone back to a memory. Landrace strains are very similar as you might think back to a trip to Mexico where you smoked Acapulco Gold years ago. Marijuana is something that can bring back great memories of times when some people were younger.

The tough aspect about getting these types of strains is that they are not usually grown on a mass scale. Some growers are dedicating themselves to getting back to the origins that marijuana came from. Other growers use a landrace strain as their main hybrid strain but most growers are trying to create new exotic strains.

What Is So Special About Landrace Cannabis Strains?

Landrace strains are pure which makes them far different than strains that have been bred with multiple other strains. With this being said, not every landrace strain is of the highest quality as marijuana has come quite a long way in the last few decades. Landrace does not refer to the quality of the marijuana strains but rather their genetics which are pure.

Landrace plants are perfect for similar climates to where they were originally bred. A Thai landrace strain would likely thrive in warm temperatures with quite a bit of humidity. This is due to Thailand being extremely warm and humid for the majority of the year. For a strain like Afghan Kush, you’ll need temperatures a bit cooler due to this strain thriving in the mountains.

Why Are Landrace Cannabis Strains So Rare?

up close of cannabis plant, cannabis landrace

The rarity of landrace strains is due to the fact that these strains thrive in their natural environments which can be difficult to replicate. A person in Florida won’t be able to grow Afghan Kush outdoors due to the climate being so different from Afghanistan which is quite mountainous.

The different conditions can also lead to a very different experience in terms of taste, yield, and potency.

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Growing these strains indoors is possible but you will have to control quite a few variables. There are certain aspects of growing that you might not be able to replicate. This could include strains that do better at higher altitudes or temperatures lower than you can create indoors.

What Can You Expect From A Landrace Strain?

Landrace strains might be far more potent than you think. Durban Poison from South Africa holds the title as one of the strongest landrace strains on the market with up to 24 percent THC. These strains are usually quite popular to breed as they have unique features to their high.

You can expect the effects to align with pure Sativa/Indica effects. So you can use one landrace strain for the day that is a pure Sativa and settle down with a pure Indica later in the day. You can even add some CBD to a joint with one of these strains to provide you with even more relief. 

Growing Landrace Cannabis

Growing a crop of landrace strains can be quite a challenge as you won’t be able to put more than one strain in a grow tent. Some of these strains thrive in humid conditions while others need it to be a bit cooler and arid. If you do have a similar environment for one of these original gangsters of cannabis, you need to make sure you find quality seeds.

The advantage of growing these types of cannabis in the right environments is that they have a pure lineage. The durability of a number of these strains is quite amazing which is why they are so popular when people create hybrids. Some of the best hybrids around come from landrace strains or combinations of landrace strains.

Cannabis Training University has helped thousands of people learn to grow higher-quality marijuana from the comfort of home. Our courses cover every aspect of the cultivation process and even have courses on cooking with cannabis.

Our faculty has had success in nearly every area of the cannabis industry. Learning from our professionals can allow you to make a career switch to cannabis if you are considering it.

Gavin Kushman. Cannabis strain writer in a cannabis garden
Gavin Kushman

Gavin is a worldly adventurer and cannabis connoisseur, embarking on journeys that take him to the far corners of the globe to explore and document the varied effects, flavors, and histories of both renowned and lesser-known strains. From the misty high-altitude farms of the Hindu Kush highlands to the vibrant cannabis cafes of Amsterdam, Gavin's quest for knowledge spans continents. A recognized authority in the cannabis industry, he frequently lends his expertise to leading publications such as Cannabis Training University, where his captivating blog articles chronicle his unique experiences with different cannabis strains.

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