Southeast Asia

Southeast Asian landraces. Probably the most renowned traditional Cannabis cultivars are from Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand and Laos. These are tropical Sativa-type domesticates (“landraces”) cultivated for the production of ganja, meaning seedless or lightly seeded high-THC female inflorescences. The finest Thai stick ganja of the ’60s and ’70s came from northern Isan, an ethnically Lao region of Thailand, and neighbouring Central Laos.

The so-called “sinsemilla technique” for producing seedless ganja was already employed in fifteenth-century India. However, traveller accounts from the seventeenth century indicate ganja from Southeast Asia was a prized commodity among Indians, specifically exports from Aceh in Sumatra.

Authentic Southeast Asian ganja strains are at high risk of extinction due to the introduction of modern hybrid seed, particularly in Cambodia and Thailand.

Mainland Southeast Asia is also a crucial centre of biodiversity for hemp, especially the northern highlands bordering China. Some Thai and Lao ganja strains may be hybrids with Chinese hemp, perhaps including our ‘Highland Thai’ accession from the border region of Burma.

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