If you enjoy foraging for indigenous herbs or flowers, you may be wondering where marijuana grows in the wild. Most experts agree that cannabis originates from south-central Asia and that through human intervention marijuana plants spread to virtually every corner of the habitable world. Over time, strains that took root in various regions (known as “landrace” strains) acclimated to be able to thrive in different climate zones.
To this day there are dozens of marijuana strains that grow wild across nearly every climate, but it's important to remember that even though cannabis is a sun-loving plant, each variety has a a preference in regards to latitude, altitude, and humidity levels. To help you better understand the kinds of environments cannabis can thrive in, here we talk about the different climates where marijuana grows in the wild.
- Tropical Regions
The heat, humidity, and regularity of rainfall in tropical climates (which include rainforests and savannahs) are perfect for many types of marijuana to grow in the wild. The intense sunlight and mild winters offer strains like Lamb's Bread (Jamaica landrace) and Malawi (Malawi landrace) ideal conditions for a long growing season.
- Temperate Regions
Temperate zones (also known as mesothermal, subtropical, middle latitude, or marine climates) are where you'll find cannabis strains that need more moderate weather to thrive in the wild. Strains like Lebanese Red (Lebanon landrace) and Swazi Gold (Swaziland landrace) thrive in moderate regions with a warm (but not too hot) Mediterranean climate.
- Dry Regions
The deserts and steppes of dry climate regions have given rise to hardy cannabis strains such as Afghani (Afghanistan landrace) and Sinai (Egypt landrace) that thrive in arid, often windy conditions. Marijuana strains growing wild in dry regions must also contend with extreme temperature changes from day to night.
- Continental Regions
Continental regions are characterized by generally hot, wet summers and cold, dry winters, and they are further defined by the fact that large bodies of water (oceans and seas) don't moderate the temperature as in other environments. Cannabis strains that grow wild in these areas, such as Nepalese (Nepalese landrace) and Swiss Sativa (Switzerland landrace), have adapted to tolerate the different conditions throughout the year.