Southeast Asia

Southeast Asian landraces. Probably the most renowned traditional Cannabis cultivars are from Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand and Laos. These are stereotypical Sativa-type landraces domesticated for the production of ganja, meaning seedless or lightly seeded high-THC female inflorescences. The finest ganja of the ’60s and ’70s, including Thai stick, came from northern Isan, an ethnically Lao region of Thailand, and neighbouring Central Laos. It’s widely believed that the ganja (‘sinsemilla’) technique originated in India. However, traveller accounts from sixteenth- and seventeenth-century India suggest ganja landraces may have first been domesticated in Southeast Asia, specifically in Sumatra, Indonesia. Southeast Asian landraces are at high risk of extinction due to the introduction of modern hybrid seed, particularly in Cambodia. Mainland Southeast Asia is also a crucial centre of biodiversity for hemp landraces, especially the northern highlands bordering China. Some Thai and Lao ganja domesticates appear to be hybrids with Chinese hemp landraces.

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