For as long as most people can remember, we’ve all heard that Jamaica has the best ganja in the world. Rastafarians have long praised its spiritual aura that allows them to tap into other dimensions during meditation.
Fisherfolk have made claims of improved night vision after smoking the weed, and this allows them to better catch their prey. And Jamaican grandmothers are reputed for creating home-made remedies with ganja and other herbs for everything from colds to arthritis.
But what is it exactly about the island that creates these super strains of ganja?
Jamaica’s soil, climate and topography all influence the genetic expression of not only ganja, but a number of plants. The Cockpit Country has approximately 70 plant species endemic to that region, and a unique species of bromeliad (wild pine) has been discovered in the Dolphin Head Mountains in Hanover.
To better understand how the environment impacts the plant kingdom on a cellular level, you have to look deeper than just the perceptible environs.
“We have physical, chemical and climatic conditions that are conducive to the formation of certain genotypes and the way they express themselves or phenotypes,” said Dr Conrad Douglas.
“The soil type, in combination with the microclimate, lend themselves to produce strains that could be unique to Jamaica,” added Douglas.