Genetics: Ruderal Himalayan Cannabis
Sourcing: Landrace Genetics, Hazara, 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
Kaghan Valley lies at approximately 2500 metres in the northern district of Pakistan known as Hazara. To its east is Kashmir, to its west is the Indus River, and to the north is the Hindu Kush. Until the mid-twentieth century, Hazara was a significant route for smugglers bringing untaxed charas from Xinjiang and Afghanistan to the markets of India.
These seeds are from ruderal stands in Kaghan Valley. ‘Wild’ or weedy plants such as this 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 Kaghan Valley 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 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.