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History of Marijuana: The Origin of the Strains

Best marijuana seed banks

Have you ever wondered how the different awesome strains from the best marijuana seed banks came to be? How did marijuana start? How did the different strains evolve? Historians say that marijuana has been used as a natural treatment for a variety of medical conditions. The humble plant was also used for traditions, celebrations and for religious festivities. Because people loved what marijuana has to offer, it was taken to different parts of the globe where weed was planted, cultivated and crossbred to make different strains.

A brief history of marijuana

For many years humans have cultivated marijuana for practical and medicinal purposes. Historians think that cannabis was from Central Asia but the exact place where weed was first grown is still unknown. Some think that cannabis first appeared in the mountain ranges of the Altai, Hindu Kush, and the Tian Shan. There are also scholars who say that the plant was first grown along the sunny steep regions of Mongolia.

Archaeologists have evidence that marijuana growing started in Central Asia and dates back as far as 12,000 BC. The plant was regarded as a form of food and was also used as material to build and make a variety of things such as ropes, shoes, sails, paper, and garments. The practical uses of cannabis were so numerous that many growers cultivated cannabis more than other crops

Because of marijuana’s many uses, cultivation of the plant also spread around the globe by travel and trade. By the time when people learned how to use cannabis for recreational purposes, the plant has already changed from its original form.

The evolution of cannabis

Cannabis is from a genus of flowering plant that belongs to the Cannabaceae family. Although cannabis is known as a distinct genus of plant, the change from genus to species is a controversial topic. Some say that this happened before humans began to affect the growth and the evolution of cannabis. In the millions of years that cannabis was cultivated, the climate has heated and cooled the earth, causing the planet to cool down and then warm up. During warmer times the glacial ice melted and cannabis spread north. During colder times, glacial advances forced the plant to spread south towards warmer weather.

There is a huge possibility that the movements in glacial ice over hundreds of years have separated different cannabis strains. Isolated strains retained their natural form and characteristics while others evolved into different species we know and love today.

What are different cannabis strains?

Shop from the best marijuana seed banks and you will surely be amazed at the wide variety of cannabis strains you will find. Cannabis is said to have broken down into three different species as a result of years upon years of changes in climate, geography and as a result of breeding. The three general classifications of cannabis are the following

  • Sativa (Cannabis sativa)– this classification of cannabis is tall and thin branched plants, with narrow leaves. When grown in the wild, sativa species may grow up to 10-feet tall. Sativa cannabis species may have psychoactive effects but if these don’t possess these characteristics then these are called hemp.
  • Indica (Cannabis indica) – compared to sativa plants, indica are short, bushy and has broad leaves plants, this species has psychoactive properties. Usually, the leaves of Cannabis indica plants have a darker green color compared to Cannabis sativa. Several specimens of indica plants from India have led to the term indica.
  • Ruderalis (Cannabis ruderalis) – these plants are short, unbranched and are often called “roadside” plants. Ruderalis plants have weak psychoactive properties. The name ruderalis comes from the word ruderal which means plants that colonize lands that have been disturbed by fire, construction or war.

The best climate to grow different cannabis strains

You will find a wide variety of cannabis strains from temperate and tropical regions because this is the ideal climate to grow cannabis naturally. Feral or wild cannabis will likely grow elsewhere around the world. Wild cannabis is actually growing all over the American Midwest which is known as “ditch weed” or “feral cannabis.” These species of cannabis are descendants of the hemp and are commercially grown in the U.S.

Each of the marijuana plant’s buds and byproducts has specific properties that make these unique. The differences between strains aren’t always quantifiable and are usually a result of decades of selective breeding and marketing. When it comes to names, cannabis breeders are very creative. Usually, cannabis strain names tell a lot about the weed. The strain name could give you an idea where the strain was conceived, who its parents are, its creator or any specific or interesting qualities about a specific strain.

 Here are a few of the most popular marijuana strain names:

Abbot Kinney

Abbot Kinney is a strain name that is also known as the “Venice of America.” This was created in New Brunswick, New Jersey in 1850 and in Santa Monica in 1920. The Venice of America was a beach resort town. It was dredged by Abbot Kinney, a tobacco tycoon and this was where he built a system of canals navigated by gondoliers. This area became popular for stoners and hippies. The strain is indica dominant and is the result of more than three generations and years upon years of breeding.

OG Kush 

OG Kush is a strain with a unique history. It was said that the original grower of the strain was given a bowl to smoke by his friend. The friend told the grower that this strain is good and this is because it was mountain grown. But as the grower took his first exhale, he immediately recognized his own crop and corrected his friend. He said that this was his crop and it was Ocean Grown. Hence the name Ocean Grown or OG stuck. OG Kush offers a unique flavor with long-lasting pain relief. It is a hybrid strain that can also deal with stress and anxiety. This can also help with conditions like nausea, anorexia, migraines, and other side effects of chemotherapy. OG Kush is widely used for its stable genetics. It has roots in Afghanistan, Northern Pakistan, and North-Western India.

Jack Herer 

This strain is named after marijuana activist Jack Herer, who started his advocacy for marijuana when he moved to Los Angeles from New York in the 1960s. Jack was arrested in 1981 for trespassing on federal property as he petitioned for the legalization of weed. He moved to Oregon where he died from heart attack complications in 2010. The Jack Herer strain is spicy and flavorful. It grows well outdoors and is ready for harvest in the middle of September.


This is an indica-dominant hybrid which got its name from the unique foggy pressure it creates on the head that feels like a headband. This hybrid strain has a taste of Kush and pine with a tinge of sourness. Initially, this will come off strong and spacey but after a short while, you will feel an overwhelming feeling of euphoria with a surge of energy. You can use Headband as a daytime strain to help you focus and give you a clear mind for activities that need mental focus, critical thinking or decision-making.

Purple Urkle 

This is a very popular indica strain because of its recreational and medicinal effect yet its origins are still a mystery. Purple Urkle has been around since the 1980’s and was first cultivated in the Emerald Triangle area of northern California. It is also referred to as “Purple Urple” and “The Urkle”.

Sour Diesel 

Sour Diesel was made using the original Diesel strain. This was created by mixing an unknown skunk phenotype with the Diesel while some say that this was made by accidentally crossing with a DNL. There are also breeders that believe this was a different phenotype of Chemdawg and is more potent sativa than indica strain.


Harlequin is the name for a strain taken from a mischievous character from French plays. This was first attested in the 11th century, by the chronicler Orderic Vitalis, who narrates that a monk was pursued by demons when wandering on the coast of Normandy. Meanwhile, the strain Harlequin was made by Mr. Green from the House of David Collective. This is a mixture of 1970’s Colombian Gold and 3 landraces. The result is Harlequin which is 75 percent sativa with a THC between 5 and 10 percent. It has a cannabidiol (CBD) content that can reach as high as 11 percent by some lab tests. Harlequin is effective in the treatment of pain, arthritis, and anxiety.

Green Crack

Green Crack was originally named “Crush” but was later renamed by cannabis supporter and artist Snoop Dog. Snoop named it Green Crack because he needed to keep taking hits of the bud. This is mostly Sativa which originated from the SC Skunk#1 crossed with Indica strain. It offers a short and light high that has been described as “spacey.” It’s easy to understand the play on word “crack” once you experience with an energetic and bouncy feeling. It has a potent citrus smell that seems to transcend from the taste which produces a sweet and smooth flavor. Medical users will find Green Crack the ideal strain for depression, nausea and for migraines.

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