What are Landrace Cultivars?
Every day, breeders are creating new cultivars (a.k.a. “strains”) of cannabis. However, some cultivars have been around for many years. “Landrace” is the term used to describe cannabis cultivars that originated in specific regions. Most of the cannabis cultivars we are familiar with today are hybrids developed from the original landrace cultivars, but not all. For example, our Panama Red is different from other cultivars because it is an “old school” landrace.
As humans started cultivating cannabis around the world, the different cultivars developed, shaped in part by local conditions and cultivation methods. Each new season, growers would use the seeds of the plants that grew well in the previous season. The influence of the local people and environment led to the development of different characteristics. Today, landrace cultivars often have names that reflect the region they originated from. A few examples are “Afghani” from Afghanistan, “Acapulco Gold” from Mexico, and “Kush” from the Hindu Kush mountain region.
The landrace cannabis cultivars were grown traditionally by people around the world before indoor growing and modern breeding. A great metaphor to understand the evolution of cannabis, is to compare it to the evolution of dogs. Dogs evolved from a wolf ancestor and over time, humans bred dogs for certain traits. As a result, there are now many breeds of dogs ranging from tiny Chihuahuas to giant Great Danes. Cannabis has also been bred for certain traits, and now there are thousands of different cultivars with varying characteristics. But since landrace cultivars have not been selectively bred for human controlled conditions, they remain wild like wolves.
More About Panama Red
Panama Red is a sativa landrace cultivar that originated in Central America. It has been popular in the United States since the 1960’s and it has been referenced in several song and movies. This cultivar has well known cerebral effects with uplifting and euphoric properties. It also has relaxing effects on the body that can be helpful for relieving pain. Many people enjoy Panama Red to enhance creativity, socialize with friends, or to unwind after a long day.
Like many sativa cultivars, Panama Red can grow to be very tall with long fan leaves. The flower of Panama Red is long and slender and is light green/ tan with reddish orange hairs. It has fluffy buds that are covered in trichomes. Occasionally, it produces non-viable seeds (ones that won’t grow into plant). The aroma of Panama Red is citrus, earthy, and herbal, with notes of green tea.
If you’re trying a landrace cultivar like Panama Red for the first time, it’s important to understand that you’re stepping back in time several decades. These unique “old-school” cultivars are often very different than the new cultivars that have been cross-bred many times to get desired characteristics. These landrace cultivars can also be cross bred with newer cultivars to get traits that may have been lost over time.
It is interesting to think about all the people that have used the same landrace cultivar, like Panama Red, and felt similar effects as you. Landrace cultivars are important to the history of cannabis cultivation and are the original parents of many great cultivars. If you ever get the opportunity to try a landrace cultivar, see if you notice the differences between it and modern cannabis cultivars. If one of our cultivars is a landrace, we will be sure to mention this in the flower description on our menu.