Cannabis has been around for thousands of years, thanks to its resilient genetic history.
Human cannabis use began thousands of years ago and wasn’t grown for its euphoric effects by most ancient cultures. Instead, ancient cultures took advantage of cannabis as a natural remedy and for consumption as early as 2730 BC -- possibly even before all recorded history.
If you want to know more about the origin of the plant and its future in our ecosystems, read on!
Classic Crop: Cannabis’ 10,000 Year History
With the “true” origins of cannabis extending beyond pre-recorded history, three possible origins lead to the vast variety of cannabis genetics we get to enjoy today.
Three possible origins of cannabis include:
- China, along the Yangtze River's banks
- Central Asia's TaklaMakan desert
- The lush valleys of South Asia's Himalayan and Hindu Kush mountain ranges
For now, science does not have the necessary tools to trace back the origin of the first Cannabis plant with precise accuracy.
Yet, we know that the first cannabis plants and genetics arrived on the planet and grew wild somewhere in Asia before spreading to other parts of the world.
Cannabis was originally known as a medicine since the early 2730s BC, thus explaining the extensive cultivation reaching back to 8,000 BC.
More recently, In the 17th century, hemp was instrumental in the prosperous founding of the first American colonies.
Classic Cannabis Strains: Origin Of Haze
Haze is perhaps the most well-known Sativa-dominant hybrid on the planet, beginning in the Santa Cruz area with the 'Haze Brothers’ in the 1960s.
The word "Haze" is now typically meant to refer to high-quality Cannabis Sativa hybrids, even if they don't contain Haze genetics.
In the cannabis world, Haze has become the norm for high-quality Sativa Hybrid hybrids, with numerous varieties of the strains available on the market -- and each containing different terpenes to suit each consumers’ palette.
The best Haze strains have an intense, uplifting, and psychoactive effect that is simple, energizing, and long-lasting.
"Purple Haze" is one of the most well-known, potent, and visually appealing Haze strains on the market -- however, it can be more costly.
The "Haze Brothers'' found, developed, crossed, and cultivated different cannabis sativa strain seeds.
In 1976, the Haze Brothers' seeds were brought to the Netherlands, including the Original Haze.
This strain has a heavy spice fragrance and sandalwood undertones, making it one of the most coveted plants.
A particularly unique variety of Haze is known as Northern Lights #5 x Haze has won several prestigious awards within the cannabis industry and was one of the first winners of the High Times Cannabis Cup.
Cannabis Cultivation Conundrums: Zamal From Reunion Island
Zamal is a cannabis strain that entered Reunion Island and was acclimatized to evolve spontaneously as a pure landrace for more than two centuries.
The climate and the photoperiod made it ideal for flowering all year round.
There are different popular strains of Zamal on the island, namely the Kality Poiw, Zamal Mango Carrot, and Zamal Fil Rouge.
Each variety of Zamal has distinct aromas and flavours based on the terpenes profiles found in the plants.
Today's cannabis market provides several varieties of Zamal in the form of seeds.
These range from 100% Sativa varieties to hybrids that are easy to develop thanks to their shortened flowering time and vegetative vigour.
The climate and the photoperiod made it ideal for Zamal to flower all year round.
Depending on the various areas of the island, researchers have identified genetic lines that could be traced back to their origin.
There is still more to understand about how the cannabis plants adapted to the microclimate and the other lineages with which they were crossed.
Zamal has a flowering photoperiod due to the lack of a vegetative phase of robust growth.
When this strain receives plenty of light, water, and nutrients, it grows quite large in more than sufficient dimensions.
In Europe, the outdoor cultivation of Zamal can be a little more complex, as it requires 3 to 4 months of flowering to mature.
Currently, the cannabis industry sells various strains of Zamal in the form of seeds and is rapidly becoming a must-have varietal.
Continuous Evolution Of Cannabis Genetics
In 1753, Carl Linnaeus described the taxonomic genus and species of cannabis, officially naming his discoveries - Cannabis Sativa L.
Nowadays, the biotechnology industry and its researchers are straying away from traditional seed production methods and are aiming to use genetically modified microorganisms to produce CBD and THC without cannabis plants.
The primary reason why researchers are looking for new methods of producing cannabinoids is to engineer a less expensive, more effective, and more consistent procedure.
Rare cannabinoids are often found in trace quantities in specific strains of cannabis plants.
Producing large quantities of rare cannabinoids is one of the biggest advantages of microbial synthesis.
There are more than 18 companies that are vying for the right to make cannabinoids using microorganisms such as yeast, E.Coli bacteria, and algae.
Every cannabis company in the industry has its unique strategies for how they believe the best way to serve the market’s market needs.
Jay Keasling, a synthetic biologist at the University of California, Berkeley, outlined the basic playbook.
This playbook outlined by biotech engineers states that significant improvements are needed in the efficiency of cannabinoids from yeast and the fermentation protocol.
These changes are important for the biosynthetic approach to be less expensive than plant-extracted cannabinoids.
In A Nutshell: What Cannabis Genetic History Can Tell Us About The Future
Cannabis is a sun-loving annual that grows best in open, nitrogen-rich environments -- making the southern hemisphere a perfectly balanced location to cultivate quality cannabis.
It’s expected that once the legalization has reached the entirety of the globe, countries like Brazil and Mexico may be one of the more prominent exporters of cannabis.
The domestication of cannabis is expected to reach new highs.
Cannabis quickly acclimates to new environments.
Due to the ability of cannabis to quickly acclimate to new environments, Its historical track record of rapid domestication continues to allow the production of high yields with increasing ease of cultivation.
With trends slowly steering away from straight flower consumption, the potential vast majority of flower production might have the cannabinoids extracted for use in edible and vaporized delivery systems.
In all conventional cannabis-producing countries, pure Narrow-Leaved Drug (NLD) landraces continue to become more and more scarce.
Collecting landrace are the building blocks on which future breeders can depend to create improved cultivars is critical.
However, clones could lead to inbreeding, depression, and inherent evolutionary stagnation.
The use of clones encourages the reproduction of only one genetic character that can be eradicated by a new disease for which the clone is vulnerable.
Therefore, we believe that growing from seeds will be the best way to ensure the long-term security of healthy cannabis cultivation.
About the author: Joe Powers
After an incident in the military, in 2011, Joe Powers began investigating cannabis by talking with industry leaders. In 2016, Joe launched Hemp Writer with its first publication in clarifying disinformation on specific updates to certain federal CBD laws.
Upon calling out a leading cannabis law firm spreading dis-info, Hemp Writer established itself as an authority in clarifying updated information emerging from the cannabis industry. Joe continues charging forwards with increasing momentum to continue fulfilling his vision of SHARING ACCURATE CANNABIS INFORMATION.