Old School Strains And Why You Should Love Them
There’s no love like your first love but sadly, those old school strains may also be a distant memory of the good ol’ days.
For every subset of society, there are heroes, villains, and NPCs. Some of my favorite heroes are green – like the Strain Hunters who work to keep old school strains alive.
The villains in the cannabis industry have long been the governments banning its use and ruining millions of lives through criminalization. The War on Drugs has left countless dead in North America. And many more locked up behind bars, some with lifelong sentences, for non-violent drug offences. It’s a travesty.
Old School Strains Can Be Landrace
The strain hunters have built their business around finding precious landrace cultivars of cannabis across the globe. As governments around the world continue their prosecution of the cannabis plant, the Strain Hunters put their effort into finding isolated varieties. These outlying landraces that have been genetically pure for hundreds —if not thousands—of years are the source of the bouquet of cultivars that are on the market today. The Strain Hunters have traveled to the highest mountains, the deepest jungles, and some of the most dangerous places on earth to ensure that precious landrace cultivars are preserved for the masses.
Cultivars Disappear Over Time – Sometimes Forever
Over the years, as world travel has improved and the general knowledge of cannabis has expanded, more and more people are hunting for landrace cultivars. Apparently it’s getting harder and harder to accomplish. Not only are landraces disappearing from seed banks, but they’re also disappearing from the world.
Landrace varieties of cannabis have had a tough time. One of the biggest reasons is due to the worldwide persecution of the cannabis plant. There’s no saying how many undiscovered landraces have been wiped out by the eradication efforts of government officials. There’s no way to count.
Colombian Gold Lives On
Colombia Gold is one famous strain of cannabis that hasn’t entirely disappeared, although it is hard to come by these days. Interestingly, it originates from a storied, anti-drug history. The Drug War in Colombia left the country bloody for decades as cartels from Bogota, Medellin, and Cali competed to dominate the trade.
When the government fought back, they fought against all drugs, including cannabis. That’s when Colombian Gold was at risk of being eradicated. Though it’s a closely guarded secret, Colombian Gold still lives. How much of it exists in the countryside of Colombia is hard to tell. It’s possible to buy seeds and clones for propagating, but many sources are unreliable and the genetics may not be right.
Many popular varieties of cannabis grow from the genetics of Colombian Gold. Skunk #1, for example, is a cross between Arghani, Acapulco Gold, and Colombian Gold. And this reliable parent creates beautiful, skunky progeny that are the cornerstone of many hybrid cultivars today.
Landraces Disappear From Their Point of Origin
You can also breed landraces out of existence. While their genetics disperse throughout the cannabis family tree, the originals are gone. Part of the reason is due to the change of climate. For example, a landrace variety taken from the Kush mountain range to the south of California is not going to respond to the environments in the same way. As a result, the cultivars deviate from their original genetics. Over time, the plant taken from the mountains is no longer the same variety of cannabis simply due to its evolution.
Sadly, however, landrace cultivars also seem to be disappearing at their point of origin. As ‘seed hunters’ have scoured the globe, they’ve also bred the landrace varieties with their own seeds. Whether on purpose or by accident, once you introduce an outside set of genetics to an area where a landrace exists, the landrace will inevitably alter genetically because of the newcomer. It will also disappear.
All of us have a couple old school strains that are our favorite. Just the mention of the name brings back memories of youth, new love, and carefree summer nights. But, do you know the genetic history of these old school strains? It is definitely worth a little research. Can you still find it anywhere?
It’s important to protect the seeds of the past so that we can maintain genetics of the future. So, if you have a landrace seed you may be sitting on a goldmine.