Hindu Kush

Hindu Kush landraces. The Hindu Kush range of Afghanistan and Pakistan is believed to be an ancient centre of domestication for the charismatic Cannabis plants popularly known as Indicas.

In the vernacular taxonomy, Indicas are compact and early maturing, with broad leaflets, ‘skunky’ aromas, and sedative effects. Historically, Indica-type strains were also cultivated for hashish in regions of Central Asia such as Xinjiang and Bukhara. Formally, such plants can be classified as C. sativa subsp. indica var. afghanica.

The Hindu Kush appears to be where wild Central and South Asian populations of subsp. indica intersect, namely var. himalayensis and var. asperrima. From these come the two main domesticated types, respectively var. indica (Sativas) and var. afghanica (Indicas). The informal terms Indica and Sativa can be accurately used for some Asian domesticates (“landraces”).

In contemporary Afghanistan and northern Pakistan, cultivated and wild-growing populations often exhibit a spectrum of variation. In Chitral and Tirah, for example, traits can vary from Indica to Sativa within a population, suggesting crops are hybrids of var. afghanica with southern varieties. Around the peripheries of Central Asia, hybridization between formal botanical varieties likely long predates the Hippie Trail era.

Intensively selected heirloom Indicas such as ‘Deep Chunk’, ‘X18’, and ‘Afghaan 90’ are available here together with stealth shipping for the complete catalogue of The Real Seed Company.

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