Genetics: Ruderal Hindu Kush Cannabis
Sourcing: Landrace Genetics, Lower Dir District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, 2019
Latitude: 35° N
Harvest: Early August to September
Height: 2–5 meters
Characteristics: Early maturing, day-neutral (‘autoflowering’)
Grow Type: Outdoors, greenhouse
The Panjkora is a significant river that drains the Hindu Kush into the Kabul and Indus rivers, like its sister the Kunar. These seeds were picked from ruderal stands in Lower Dir District,the western edge of which borders Afghanistan, not far from the areas of Kunar Valley where Nikolai Vavilov led his 1924 expedition.
Ruderal (ie., ‘wild’ or weedy) plants such as these are popularly referred to as ‘Ruderalis’. It’s often mistakenly claimed that they constitute a distinct species of Cannabis. In fact, they’re most accurately classified as a variety, in the strict taxonomic sense. Like most of the accessions offered at this site, this population from Lower Dir is a ruderal ‘drug’ type. Hence, it can be classified as Cannabis sativa ssp. indica var. kafiristanica (Small & Cronquist). By contrast, the fully domesticated strain cultivated to the north in Chitral belongs to Cannabis sativa ssp. indica var. indica (Small & Cronquist).
Ruderal Cannabis is a crucial resource for crop breeders. These populations are highly biodiverse and are likely to have developed numerous adaptations to disease, pests, and extremes of climate. As yet, no significant efforts have been made by public or private gene banks to create adequate long-term stores of ssp. indica germplasm.
NOTE: Seeds of ruderal Cannabis exhibit variable germiation rates.