Hindu Kush

Hindu Kush landraces. The Hindu Kush range of Afghanistan and Pakistan is widely believed to be the origin of the charismatic Cannabis plants popularly known as Indicas. In the vernacular taxonomy, Indicas are short, compact, early maturing, and have broad leaflets, ‘skunky’ aromas, and sedative effects. Historically, Indica-type strains were also cultivated for hashish in regions of Turkestan such as Xinjiang, Bukhara, and Samarkand. Populations that resemble the Indica stereotype are likewise widespread in and around the Middle East.

After extensive study of herbarium specimens, McPartland and Small have concluded that there is a pattern of diversity in subsp. indica that is created by natural selection, not humans. There are two main populations of wild-type subsp. indica, namely South Asian (var. himalayensis) and Central Asian (var. asperrima). These intersect around northern Pakistan. They correspond to the two main domesticated types of subsp. indica, namely var. indica (Sativas) and var. afghanica (Indicas). In this sense, the terms Indica and Sativa can be used accurately to refer to some original Asian domesticates, though not to describe modern hybrid slop.

Traditional domesticates (“landraces”) in contemporary Afghanistan and Pakistan often exhibit a spectrum of variation, with traits such as central fan-leaflet width varying from broad to narrow within a population. Many appear to be hybrids of var. indica and var. afghanica. Across much of Eurasia, hybridization between these formal botanical varieties long predates even the Hippie Trail era. Intensively selected heirloom Indicas such as Deep Chunk, X18, and Afgaan 90 are available here together with stealth shipping for the complete catalogue of The Real Seed Company.

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