Indica-type landraces. In the vernacular taxonomy, Indicas are short, early maturing, and have broad leaflets. Indicas most likely originate from the Hindu Kush, though landraces that closely conform to the Indica stereotype are widespread in and around the Middle East. In reality, even a highly stereotypical Indica-type landrace will exhibit a spectrum of variation, with traits such as leaflet width varying from broad to narrow within a population. The stereotypical Indica of Western preconceptions is based on selecting extreme variants. Notoriously, Richard Evans Schultes argued such plants merit recognition as a species, Cannabis indica, by using a single specimen from Kandahar. Similarly, since the ’70s, breeders have consciously selected Hindu Kush strains for Indica-type traits. In fact, narrow-leafleted variants were commonplace in ‘pure Indicas’ then as now, as demonstrated in early photos of Afghani #1 by Mel Frank. Likewise, authentic Indica-type landraces produce a variety of effects, from stereotypical Indica sedation to Sativa-type stimulation. Recent taxonomies that recognize broad-leafleted variants from the Hindu Kush as the taxon var. afghanica ignore that increased leaf area in Cannabis is an adaptive trait produced by domestication.

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