Hindu Kush

Hindu Kush cannabis landraces. The Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan are an ancient centre of Cannabis cultivation. The range lies within the wider Central Asian region in which the charismatic plants popularly known as ‘Indicas’ were probably domesticated. Historically, Indica-type strains were also cultivated for charas (hashish) around ‘Silk Road’ cities such as Bukhara and Yengisar, with Xinjiang – i.e., eastern Central Asia – plausibly being their most ancient centre of origin.

In the ‘countercultural taxonomy’, Indicas are understood to be compact and early maturing, with broad leaflets, ‘skunky’ aromas, and sedative effects. In formal taxonomy, Indicas can be classified as C. sativa subsp. indica var. afghanica. Formally, their South Asian counterparts – Sativas – can be classifed as var. indica.

Central Asian Cannabis populations – i.e., Indicas and their wild-growing relatives – interface with South Asian populations along the southern Hindu Kush in regions such as Tirah Valley and Chitral. Here, wild-growing Cannabis can be classified as one of the two formal wild-type varieties of subsp. indica, namely South Asian (var. himalayensis) or Central Asian (var. asperrima), or as hybrids between them. Similarly, most landraces in the southern Hindu Kush and Karakoram could be considered to have originated as hybrids between South and Central Asian varieties.

A classification of endangered high-THC cannabis (Cannabis sativa subsp. indica) domesticates and their wild relatives provides more detail. Note that there’s plenty of nuance to the overall picture of Central versus South Asia, as evident from large landraces that are famed among Afghans themselves such as the strain charas farmers know as ‘Mazari’.

For potent Indicas, there are intensively selected ‘heirlooms’ such as ‘Deep Chunk’, ‘X18’, and ‘Afghaan 90’ available along with resurrected ’90s classics in this Heirloom section together with stealth shipping for the complete catalogue of The Real Seed Company.

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