If you sit down with your father or grandfather and ask them what kind of pot they were smoking while they were growing up, you may not recognize a lot of the names you hear. Some of them, like Maui Wowie, are still around today but most would sound completely different: Acapulco Gold, Thai Stick, or Panama Red. No OG Kush or Lemon Haze.
Cannabis Genetics: Original Strains and Hybrids
First, a little lesson in genetics. The OG strains your father and grandfather smoked were what were called “landrace” strains – they came straight out of the ground as is. Landrace strains are the “original” cannabis strains, without any crossbreeding or selective breeding from humans at all. A popular landrace strain still around today is Afghani, generally considered the grandfather of many Indica strains, however, most Afghani strains today aren’t true Afghani: they are Afghani cross-bred with another strain. Why?
The name of the game is “hybridization.” Once Cheech and Chong blew up and everyone wanted to chief some reefer, people started toying with it to figure out ways to make it stronger. Some of these advances include the invention of sinsemilla, the more potent seedless weed like what we have today. Another phenomenon from this era is hybridization, where people crossbred two different strains of weed in order to create a new, distinct strain.
What Happened To The Original Strains?
So why don’t we see our grandaddy’s weed on the shelves today? The short answer is that all the strains have been hybridized; basically, the strains have been crossed and crossed with each other so many times that almost every strain is a hybrid, bearing almost no resemblance to the landraces from which they came.
If you’re still rocking bell-bottom jeans and never got rid of your lava lamp, fret not – there is still good news. Landrace seeds are widely available for purchase. Also, some dispensaries in the Pacific Northwest and parts of California still grow and stock these old strains, if you know the right person to ask. Whether you’re old or new school, it shouldn’t be too hard to find your groove.
This story was originally published on and appears courtesy of The Mane Media Network.