Many of the current Cannabis strains have their origins in imports to North America during the 1960s and 1970s (and even earlier). The earliest strains of Cannabis that were used in North America (the United States section of North America), most likely originated in the southern section of North America (Mexico). Cannabis was originally tagged with the pejorative term “Marijuana” as part of the propaganda campaign of the US Federal system of xenophobia and purposeful targeting of minorities for persecution (specifically, in this case, Hispanic and African-American people). The term “Marijuana” was given to Cannabis because many Hispanic people used it, and also the underground Jazz (and other African-American music genres of the time) musicians used it (more than whites). Stick with me, I am leading to the fact that most of the early weed came from Mexico. There were various '“brands” of weed back t hen, mostly denoting geographic location of its origin. There was “Panama Red”, “Acapulco Gold”, “Oaxacan”, among others, and the common “Brick Weed” which can still be found in some locations. By the way, I would love to get my hand on some brick-weed seeds. Why? Because here in Hawaii the early weed was grown from brick-weed seeds, or perhaps Acapulco or other Brands that commonly had seeds. The “Sin-Semilla” (literally, “seedless”, in Spanish) that emerged to cater to the US market was developed as the suppliers realized that they could make more money for seedless weed. Of the various strains of Maui-Wowee that were available in the 1970s, one strain that I used to grow was developed from Mexican original land-race (brick-weed), Thai, and finally merged with Afghani. There were many other combinations of land-race strains that the early pot-farmers on Maui created. Hence, it is inaccurate to claim that there is a single strain called “Maui Wowee”.

I also am aware that the same principle applies to other areas in Hawaii. The original “Kauai Electric” was most likely from brick-weed, given its sativa-like qualities. The “Kona Gold” (at least one of them) is purported to have its roots in the Acapulco region. I know the some of the so-called “Puna Butter” (or, “Puna buddah”) came from Maui and was combined with additional Thai and Colombian land races.

Of course, in the East coast of the US, and midwest, there were many strains of hemp grown. When the anti-immigrant hysteria, and concomitant persecution of pot-smokers phase of history was happening there was a massive destruction of hemp fields across the country. Many of these established fields had adjacent areas populated by seeds in the irrigation ditches. Hence, when desperate pot-addicted kids (mostly white, by the way) saw all that weed growing in the ditches they harvested it illegally and called it “Ditch-Weed”. No, it would not get you stoned, but just being a rebellious teen and getting an illegal thing was worth it for many uppity adolescents.

I would love to go into the spread of Colombian, Thai Sticks, and the various kinds of hash (Nepalese Temple Balls, Afghani Pancake Hash, and the Moroccan blonde hash, among other), but I have made enough of a blog for today.

I will end by saying that I have really enjoyed researching strains, and being (almost) scientific about it.

Written by Matthew Brittain, LCSW

Matthew Brittain

Matthew Brittain, LCSW, DCSW is a mental health and substance abuse professional living on the Big Island of Hawaii, state of Hawaii. Specializing in the coordination of medical marijuana certification services since 2003, more that 4,000 patients have been certified over the years.