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About Hindu Kush
One of the original landrace strains that precipitated the popularization of cannabis throughout the world, Hindu Kush is a potent pure indica. It is indigenous to the Hindu Kush mountain chain that forms the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The meaning of the word “Kush” is disputed, and has been traced back to a Persian term for “Hindu killer” (in reference to the danger of crossing the inhospitable mountains) as well as to Avestan words meaning simply “water mountain.” In any case, Kush has become a byword for weed and is often used a suffix in the names of different strains, regardless of whether those strains have Hindu Kush in their lineage.
Seeds of Hindu Kush — along with seeds of other Asian landrace varieties like Afghani — were brought to the U.S. in the 1960s and 70s by cannabis enthusiasts and explorers who traveled along a route that has come to be known as the “hippie trail.” In time, Hindu Kush has, perhaps inevitably, been crossed with other strains to allow for stability and adaptation to a radically different climate than its mountainous point of origin; as such, “true” Hindu Kush may not be widely available in the Western Hemisphere.
The purely indica lineage of Hindu Kush is evident in its stature. Indica plants are much shorter and stockier than their sativa counterparts, and the Hindu Kush strain epitomizes this, hardly ever growing taller than 5 feet. As such, it can be grown indoors, provided that multiple plants are spaced to allow for the strain’s wide lateral branches. Outdoor cultivation tends to be more difficult, as the strain’s native climate is highly variable. However, as noted, certain varieties of Hindu Kush have been stabilized through minor crossbreeding, so some phenotypes may grow well outdoors.