Tree-covered mountains in Jamaica against blue sky

Jamaican Landrace Strains

While tourism may have you believing that Jamaica has been a hub of progressive cannabis policies, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Marijuana in Jamaica has been outlawed until recently, and the Jamaican landrace strains were almost completely eradicated because of it. Fortunately, the tides are turning for these unique, indigenous strains. 

In this guide, we’ll share more about Jamaican landraces, including: 

  • What is a Jamaican Landrace Strain?
  • What is the History of Jamaican Landrace Strains?
  • How are Jamaican Landrace Strains Different From Others?
  • What are the Popular Types of Jamaican Landrace Strains?

What is a Jamaican Landrace Strain?

We already know from our guide on landrace strains that landraces are the cannabis plants that are indigenous to a region of the world. A Jamaican landrace strain is one that hails specifically from the small island of Jamaica. Jamaican landrace strains are notoriously hard to find in dispensaries, due to their history and near extinction. So if you’re interested in trying one, and you have the good fortune of finding it near you, don’t hesitate to pick up some premium flower.

What is the History of Jamaican Landrace Strains?

Many of the landrace strains of Jamaica owe their proliferation on the island to indentured servants from India. This is because Jamaica was a British colony known for its rich soil and ability to produce goods like sugar and cotton. To manage these fields, workers from India were brought over by the thousands, and they brought cannabis seeds with them. This Indian heritage is also why we sometimes use the term “ganja” for cannabis. Ganja is a Sanskrit word used to describe the flower of a plant, and it was adopted by the Rastafari culture and used as slang for cannabis. 

Though cannabis became deeply ingrained in Jamaican culture, it was also strictly outlawed for over 100 years. It is only recently that marijuana in Jamaica has become legal for religious—thanks to the Rastafari—and medicinal purposes. 

How are Jamaican Landrace Strains Different From Others?

Jamaican landrace strains are unique to other strains because they were almost eradicated. This was due to a few reasons, including strict cannabis prohibition and simple grower economics—growers who were illegally cultivating the landraces were more likely to get caught and have their crop destroyed due to the slow grow time. Fortunately, thanks to cannabis reform and the hard work and campaigning done by the Rastafari community, the landrace strains of Jamaica can be preserved. 

What are the Popular Types of Jamaican Landrace Strains?

There are certain landraces that are top of mind for cannabis connoisseurs who are familiar with Jamaican cannabis. Here are just a couple of the more popular Jamaican strains:

Lamb’s Bread or Lamb’s Breath

Sativa-Dominant Hybrid

Some cannabis connoisseurs might see this strain on our list and call foul, but the truth is, we’re not exactly sure where it comes from. Some suggest it’s a Jamaican-grown hybrid. Others suggest it’s definitely one of the landrace strains originating in Jamaica. Here’s what we do know: The Lamb’s Breath strain has a sweet and spicy flavor with a thick, cheese-like aroma. Plenty of cannabis enthusiasts claim its effects, including its 19% THC and 1% CBD, contribute to an experience that feels more like a landrace than a hybrid. That being said, every experience is unique, so you’ll never know until you give this unique strain a try. 

King’s Bread or King’s Breath


Lamb’s Breath had to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is King’s Breath. Unlike the first strain on our list, there’s no controversy here—this is a pure sativa landrace strain that produces long buds that are reminiscent of fingers. Hailing from the Blue Mountains in Jamaica, this strain has a pungent aroma that seems like a mix between citrus, mint, and cheese. It tends to be moderately high in THC, anywhere from 18-21%, and contain a small amount (1%) of CBD. 



Jamaican is less of a strain unto itself, and more of a name to represent the landrace strains that hail from the island of Jamaica. The Jamaican landrace varieties do have a lot of similarities though, all of them offering an experience that can be distinct from person to person. Depending on the variety of Jamaican you get, it can have anywhere from 13-21% THC and moderately high levels of CBD at 10%. While Jamaican used to be hard to find on the island itself, the reforms developing on the island will likely see a resurgence of this landrace strain. 

Purchasing Jamaican Landrace Strains

Purchasing landrace strains, whether they’re Jamaican landrace strains, Mexican landrace strains, or another region of the world, can sometimes be a little challenging. This is because landrace strains aren’t produced as abundantly as hybrid strains. If you’re interested in trying Jamaican landrace, make a visit to your local dispensary. The budtenders there will be able to point you to any landrace strains they have available or, if nothing else, some of the hybrids that come from these OG strains. 

Recreational cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Ohio and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and certified patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.