Heirloom v. Landrace. What’s the Difference?

I’ve been a big fan of Durban Poison and OG Kush since I could remember. There was something about these strains that made my body feel like it was receiving something that was supposed to be there but wasn’t. Later did I realize that those flowers I preferred were landrace and heirloom strains.

What are they?

Landrace Strains Are –

Cannabis strains tended to be what today we call Landrace strains. Broadly speaking, a Landrace is a pure cannabis strain cultivated in its natural environment which has never been crossbred with another variety.

Landrace strains, having grown wild and indigenously over the years throughout various regions in the world with virtually no variations from one plant to another, these strains maintain remarkable consistency. You won’t find hybrid ‘landrace’ strains — generally, they are either 100% Indica or Saiva.

From What Are Landrace Strains and Why Are Some So Rare? by Jeremy Kossen at ClearChoice

While Heirloom Strains Are –

Heirloom strains are the result of the cultivation and crossbreeding, especially in the “New World” by humans, and are the basis of all those OGs that SoCal can’t get enough of.

From Landrace Strains by M. Collamer at The Emerald Magazine

Most of the popular strains that we smoke today are, in some form, a variation of a landrace strain. Blue Dream, Goji OG, Super Silver Haze, etc. are mostly made up of landraces. While GSC (fka Girl Scout Cookies), Cherry Pie, Sunset Sherbet are a mix of both landrace and heirloom strains. And then there’s Maui Wawi, OG Kush, etc. – strains that have been introduced to a part of the world and were allowed to thrive and take root in the soil’s culture for years and years.

Cannabis is a wonderful thing, when you look at its definitions and journey. It’s like looking at a part of our history and acknowledging that marijuana evolved alongside us.

Credits: Image from

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Written by Dominique


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