A Brief History of
Cannabis has grown naturally on the Earth for millions of years beginning in what is
modern day China. Recent studies of fossil pollen place cannabis in the northwest region of
China 19.6 million years ago. The studies of fossil pollen also contain evidence that cannabis
spread from the Tibetan Plateau to Europe around 6 million years ago. Human interference
helped spread cannabis around the world. Evidence, dating back many thousands of years,
shows that humans were actually cultivating cannabis for more than hemp fibers. Molecular
remnants of THC molecules were found in bowls once used to burn plant matter, at an ancient
Chinese burial ground.
Over time, humans have bred and manipulated the cannabis plant to produce flowers
that have a desirable bud structure, a particular flavor or aroma, a certain environmental
resilience, or a sought after medicinal/psychotropic value. Selective breeding by humans,
combined with variable environmental conditions resulted in the parent strains of the vast
array of hybridized strains we have to choose from today.
There are three landrace cannabis strain types, Indica, Sativa, and Ruderalis, that are the result of feral cannabis being selectively bred by humans, and then adapting to new environments over time. Ruderalis is an exotic, finicky strain, that originated in the rugged, most northern regions of the world and is almost never seen in the modern cannabis industry. The cannabis strains we consume today are hybridized varieties of landrace Sativa and Indica strains. Most Indica varieties come from Central Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Northern India, Tibet, and Nepal. Sativa varieties generally come from the equatorial regions of Africa, North America and South America.