Middle East

Middle Eastern landraces. Typical traditional ‘drug-type’ domesticates (“landraces”) from the Middle East conform quite closely to the Indica stereotype. They’re often early maturing dwarf or semi-dwarf. Their architecture tends toward either being single-stem or heavily branched. Central fan-leaflet width ranges from narrow to broad, though more usually to the medium-to-narrow end of the spectrum. The Middle East comprises a distinct zone, roughly from Iran westward to the Mediterranean, including Turkey and Egypt. It’s overlooked in popular and academic understanding of Cannabis botany. In its widest sense, it encompasses the traditional Cannabis domesticates of the Balkans and North Africa, including Greece and Morocco. Their shared traits could be explained by the historic diffusion of hashish culture out of Central Asia in the early thirteenth century. Following the Mongol conquests, hashish rapidly went from relative obscurity across the Middle East to mass popularity as far westward as Islamic Spain. Additionally, by the nineteenth century, Levantine smuggling networks were supplying seed and techniques to hashish farmers around the Eastern Mediterranean. The Middle East appears to have long been a zone of hybridization between the two formal domesticated varieties of subsp. indica, namely var. indica (Sativas) and var. afghanica (Indicas).

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