The average cannabis consumer is painfully well-familiar with the way weed obtained from the black market looks like: a nameless strain is typically packed in a plastic baggie. And so, you go back home keeping your fingers crossed that what you paid for won’t be some form of brick weed.
Fortunately, marijuana legalization is rapidly expanding its scope, and so is people’s understanding of the various cannabis varieties out there. Today, we invite you to become a part of our strain hunters’ team on a quest to scoring Equatorial Africa for unique weed strains.
In this article, we will look into what a landrace cannabis strain is, why do landrace strains matter, and ultimately, we will get you familiar with a one-of-a-kind strain hunting mission for a rare landrace Congolese strain which might turn out to carry secrets and benefits exceeding even your biggest expectations.
What is a Landrace Cannabis Strain?
Modern day cannabis connoisseurs, as well as patients who opt for cannabis in order to treat various medical conditions and disorders, are finally granted a wide, beautiful choice when it comes to picking the strains they find to work best.
Whether it comes to entering a dispensary to get readily available marijuana products or browsing the web in search for the most fantastic strains to grow in your garden, there are numerous strains that can prove to work wonders in addressing particular concerns, issues, needs, demands or preferences which are highly individual, and hence, vary from one person to another.
Thanks to the miracle of cannabis cross breeding and hybridization, we are now lucky to witness so many cannabis varieties peeking from the shelves of cannabis stores and from the screens of our smart devices when roaming the web for high quality marijuana seeds. Yet there is a very extensive history related to cannabis plants domestication by mankind which long preceded the hybridization of cannabis strains.
The truth is, many of these contemporary marijuana hybrid strains might have never been born, thus, becoming available to the public, if it wasn’t for landrace cannabis strains.
Quintessentially, just like the very name suggests, a landrace cannabis strain refers to a cannabis plant variety that is native and unique to a particular region such as a country or even a town, hence the term “landrace” combining the words “land” and “race.” In a sense that comes with a metaphorical twist, you can think of landrace strains as cannabis varieties that belong to a particular race which is native to a particular territory (land).
To illustrate the meaning of the very term landrace better, let’s look into an example of a plant that has nothing to do with cannabis: Rosa Damascena. In order to understand the how flower yield and essential oil content in the Rosa Damascena plants grown in only strictly limited regions in Bulgaria, India, Iran, and Turkey differ from each other, an extensive study titled Screening Rosa Damascena Mill. Landraces for flower yield and essential oil content in cold climates was compiled by Bayzid Yousufi from the Kurdistan Agriculture and Natural Resources Research Center. A total of 49 landraces were studied which is truly impressive.
Rosa Damascena (Damask rose) is a variety of a flower bearing plant from the Rosa genus used for the extraction of highest quality Rose Oil. Rose Oil has multiple implications in the food, perfume, and medicinal industries.
Rose Oil is often referred to as liquid gold because a kilogram of Rose Oil costs approximately the same money as a kilogram of gold.
About 80% of the Rose Oil produced on worldwide scale comes from a tiny region of land spanning across a quite modest territory known as the Valley of Roses, located in the country of Bulgaria, Eastern Europe.
It is the landrace Rosa Damascena plants grown in the Valley of Roses that are the most praised and treasured by experts all across the globe because of the unparalleled quality of Rose Oil they give birth to.
Ultimately, a landrace plant, including but not limited to a cannabis landrace strain, is a traditional plant variety that has been locally adapted and domesticated over time while being isolated from other populations of the same species in order to give rise to unique variety specific traits and qualities
What Makes the Unique Genetic Inheritance of Landrace Cannabis Varieties Invaluable?
All landrace varieties whether it comes to plants or animals possess unique value for the local farmers and breeders as they possess qualities which are simply one-of-a-kind.
When it comes to landrace cannabis strains, just some mere years ago, the ways we could make the best use of landrace marijuana varieties’ unique genetic inheritance was rather limited.
However, nowadays, with the availability of cut-edge technologies and the rapid development of science, landrace cannabis strains hide an unparalleled, untapped potential.
In the 21st century, the distinct genetics of landrace marijuana strains can be utilized not merely for the purpose of breeding new strains with the desired effects upon consumption but also for the purpose of revolutionizing the immense medical potential of marijuana treatment by working with active compounds which are found in very high amounts in particular landrace strains.
Anyway, if it wasn’t for the visionary cannabis growers across the globe who started massively collecting the seeds from various cannabis landrace strains in the glorious 1960s and 1970s for the sake of cultivating these in their own gardens locally, many landrace strains might have been doomed to total oblivion and what’s even worse, to extinction.
Interestingly, based on a study paper compiled in 2010 and published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences, from 1993 to 2008, the concentration of THC in cannabis strains (THC being greatly charge of a strain’s potency) has been steadily increasing. This increase in THC content has nothing to do with traditional landrace strains, as they are not known or cherished because of their out-of-this-world potency but because of their uniqueness.
African Landrace Strain Discovered to Possess High THCV Content
During a strain hunting expedition in Equatorial Africa, cannabis experts were hopeful to discover landrace cannabis strains that have developed in their unique, local, natural environment for many years without being inbred with other cannabis varieties.
While there are some examples of pure landrace strains that are not impossible to find and try out such as Acapulco Gold and the Hindu Kush, many landrace strains remain embraced in mystery. Discovering a new variety of a cannabis landrace is a blessing from above for anyone who is fond of cannabis breeding for landrace strains possess very stable genetics.
The strain hunting mission across the jungles of Equatorial Africa promised very high chances for finding landrace cannabis strains that still remain unknown to the masses. The strain hunting mission was not an easy one, though, for the country of Africa is still scattered by conflicts, poverty, lack of public roads, etc.
However, the ambiguous term “Equatorial Africa” shelters the unique culture of the peoples from Kenya, Congo, and Uganda, is among the few places on Earth where the beauty and power of the living nature can be seen and experienced in its raw, uncut, and untamed glory. Within the period between 1910 and 1959, French Equatorial Africa was the term used to describe the total of four territories in central Africa ruled by the French.
Despite the French influence in the region, certain areas of Central Africa have remained unspoiled by the touch of human activity, mainly due to the rough, arduous, and ultimately, inaccessible terrain covered by dense jungles where local tribes continue to be the only bearers of their ancestors’ wisdom and understanding of the way of life in these regions.
Regardless of the obstacles and challenges, such as having to travel down the Congo River in a hollowed out canoe for 2 days and 2 nights while fighting with malaria mosquitoes, the team of cannabis experts did manage to lay their hands on a landrace Central African marijuana strain which they, by the time, decided to refer to as Congolese because of their travel down the Congo river.
A full year after returning back to the USA, the team of experts finally laid their hands on the long dreamed, in depth scientific review of the active cannabinoids found in the pure Sativa landrace cannabis strains found in Congo.
As it turned out, the strain was the highest one the experts ever got to witness in a particularly rare and still little known cannabis compound: THCV (or Tetrahydrocannabivarin).
The rare landrace strain was shown to possess 1% of THCV. And while such a percent might seem quite insufficient considering the towering 15%+ of THC in many strains, it is important to understand that similarly to other active cannabinoids such as CBC, CBD, and CBG, THCV content in marijuana strains is naturally low (typically less than 0.2%). This is where science, technology, and the miracle of cross breeding can step in, paving the path towards isolating the genetics of THCV in order to create strains that are high in THCV in a similar way in which high CBD strains emerged.
What are the Benefits of THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin)?
It really seems as if not a month goes by without a just recently discovered active cannabinoid ends up in the news feed. But indeed, scientists are learning something brand new about the incredible active cannabinoids present in cannabis plants (which, by the way, exceed 500 in number even though we dare to state we know better as little as about 5 active cannabinoids such as THC, CBD, CBG, and CBC, to name a few) literally every week.
And so, just recently, Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) got all the attention for it has sent waves of euphoria and intrigue through the global cannabis community. But what is that makes the benefits of THCV so desired to reap off and nonetheless, to tame in order to exploit better for the treatment of particular concerns?
In a nutshell, quite opposite to the munchies-inducing effect of THC, THCV has shown to act as a potential appetite suppressant that possesses the ability to combat obesity naturally. What’s even more, scientists share great hopes that what they have managed to discover the benefits of THCV for the management of diabetes in animal studies could be successfully applied to treat and manage diabetes in humans, too.
THCV is an extremely close relative of the most well known cannabinoid up-to-date. Yes, we are talking about THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Despite deservedly being referred to as cousins, there are significant differences between THC and THCV.
For a start, the chemical structure of THCV is identical to that of THC, however, these two active cannabinoids are formed in cannabis plants in a completely different way which results in the difference of the effects THCV ingestion triggers.
While THC is an agonist (a chemical substance that induces a pharmacological or physiological response in individuals) THCV is an antagonist (a chemical substance that interferes or inhibits with the pharmacological or physiological responses caused by other chemical substances).
It is no secret for cannabis experts any more that sativa strains native to both South and Central Africa, as well as certain parts of Asia, are known to be the most abundant in THCV. In fact, one of the most famous hybrid strains out there Durban Poison was intentionally bred to possess a higher percentage of THCV.
When it comes to the psychoactive effects of THC vs. THCV, both of these close active cannabinoids work on the very same receptors in the ECS (the endocannabinoid system), as well as on the very same receptors in the brain. However, you will need far higher doses of THCV to experience the same sense of high as with THC.
Nonetheless, the high from THCV is quite different from the high of THC. THCV is estimated to lead to a rather clear, euphoric sense of high. As of now, scientists also believe that THCV has the ability to speed up the way the effects of THC hit on your mind and body, which results in an energizing, quick rush while the THC high is encouraged to fade away faster.
The medicinal and therapeutic benefits of THCV are priceless since a towering 39% of the world’s adult population globally suffers from obesity based on reports from the WHO (World Health Organization).
Researchers are extremely excited to dig deeper into the potential of THCV to suppress the munchies induced by THC which can help to breed strains with the desired effects for the consumers, greatly helping those who suffer from conditions causing weight gain.
Not the least, although still limited in scope, research has confirmed that THCV can significantly help in the regulation of blood sugar levels. The antioxidant, anti-anxiety, and bone growth promoting properties of THCV are further intriguing researchers.
Finally, experts believe that THCV might possess the invaluable ability to reduce seizures, reduce tremors, and improve motor control thanks to its anticonvulsant properties which give bright hopes for the treatment of conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. Ultimately, we won’t be surprised if the CBD fever gets replaced with a THCV fever in the foreseeable future.
Scouring Equatorial Africa for Unique Weed Strains: Final Thoughts
Next time you happen to hold in your hands a tiny marijuana seed, take a very close look at it.
But, do not look at the fragile cannabis seed like a scientist trying to define whether the surface of the seed is smooth enough, therefore, possibly indicating something about your potential yields; do not look at the seed just to check out if the patterns on its tender outer layer are the same as described in that ultimate guide to picking the best cannabis seeds out there that literally flood the web, also, do not look at the seed perceiving it only through a physical perspective. Instead, take the time to embrace a more subtle, spiritual, mental and emotional approach to that tiny marijuana seed in your hands, and you will understand that what you are holding might be tiny in size but is actually something huge when it comes to the unlimited potential it carries.
Just a single marijuana seed is what can make thousands of cannabis connoisseurs fly high. Just a single marijuana seed is what can bring the much-needed relief for medical marijuana patients for months to come. Just a single marijuana seed is what gives rise to an endless, absolutely limitless number of stories, experiences, pleasures, insights, love, and laughter.
The truth is, not all of us have the opportunity or desire to go strain hunting across little known destinations in search for long lost landrace cannabis strains. In fact, there is little to no guarantee that hunting for landrace cannabis strain will even prove to be successful. But on the bright side, we do have the extraordinary benefits of living in the 21st century when you don’t have to score Equatorial Africa in order to lay your hands on amazing weed strains.