Originally, marijuana came from the Eurasian Steppe — specifically, the high, dry areas of Mongolia and southern Siberia. Today, marijuana grows on six of seven continents, and almost everyone believes that their region produces the best in the world.
But — who is correct? Read on to learn a bit more about growing conditions, national regulations and other factors that combine to make the best weed in the entire world.
A History of Weed
Cannabis evolved in the Eurasian Steppe — specifically in the east, near present-day Mongolia and Southern Siberia. Weed flourished in the trash heaps that early hunter-gatherers in the region left behind. It quickly became one of the first cultivated plants thanks to its fast growth cycle and incredible utility as a lightweight, durable fiber and a source of nutrition.
Later, people around the world discovered that when smoked, cannabis offered delightful psychoactive effects that went on to have a significant impact on local cultures.
Many cultures that have a long, deep-seated history with weed tend to produce higher-quality stuff. Some of the places where marijuana has spent the most time (and made the most impact) include:
India. Cannabis has been so integral to Indian culture that it is honored as one of the five plants essential to human life due to its medicinal and spiritual use.
Ancient Hindu writings make some of the earliest mentions of the drug, and Europeans realized marijuana’s psychoactive abilities only through Indian culture.
However, modern-day India outlaws use of the drug, and what weed devout Hindus can smoke tends to be exceedingly low quality. Hash is much, much more potent, but a remarkably different cannabis experience.
Jamaica. Cannabis came to the New World with European settlers, who brought cash crops to grow and sell to bolster their new colonies.
One of the most important of those cash crops was hemp, incredibly valued at the time as a material for ships’ sails as well as clothing, house linens and more.
Hemp grew abundantly across the Caribbean, and even after the colony won liberation, Jamaica retained cannabis as essential to its culture.
In the 1970s, marijuana became even more closely tied to Jamaicans through the spread of Rastafarianism, which used weed as a spiritual tool. The cultivation of the strain Lamb’s Bread became exceedingly popular — especially as noteworthy Rastafarian Bob Marley used it openly.
Yet, Jamaica only made recreational weed legal in 2015, and there are many rules regarding partaking in the sacred herb, making it much more difficult for Jamaica to develop the world’s best weed.
Netherlands. The Netherlands was the first Western country to permit the recreational use of marijuana, and as a result, the weed culture in the country has flourished.
For decades since the 1970s, the Netherlands has been among the world’s only cannabis tourist destinations, as world travelers flocked to Amsterdam’s “coffeeshops.”
The Netherlands has also led the way in breeding efforts, collecting some of the best strains and developing newer and more potent ones.
Many of the genetics weed enthusiasts know and love come from Holland — strains like Northern Lights, Skunk and Super Lemon Haze.
Still, the Netherlands’ golden era of weed has largely passed, and many ganja innovators have moved to countries more forgiving of breeding, growing and possessing marijuana.
A Glorious Growing Climate
Though there have been countless generations of cannabis plants since those first crops were cultivated in the Eurasian Steppe, weed still prefers a climate similar to where it grew up: dry and temperate, with warm summers.
Massive grow operations today largely rely on greenhouses with automated systems for light, water and soil nutrition; this is especially true in places with a dominant weed culture but a poor growing climate, like Canada.
Still, an ideal growing climate makes growing and breeding much more accessible, meaning more marijuana enthusiasts can participate in the pursuit of the best weed.
It is also important that the political climate accept both growers and users alike. When growers can focus all their attention on the cultivation of new strains as opposed to keeping their operation secret from authorities, they are more likely to develop better and better weed.
So — where is the country with the best growing climate physically and politically?
United States. The U.S. encompasses a large territory in which there are many climates — and several of them are perfect for marijuana.
Specifically, the West Coast tends to be best for weed, with California, Oregon and Washington marijuana growers enjoying the perfect mix of dry air, fertile soil, cool temperatures and appropriate rainfall.
Even better, all three of these states boast recreational marijuana laws for use and cultivation; anyone over the age of 21 can have up to six plants in their home, as long as they don’t sell their product without a license.
Though these states have only enjoyed legal weed for a few years — and though marijuana remains illegal at the federal level — the culture of marijuana in the U.S. goes back at least to the 1960s, if not the 1920s when Mexican-Americans first introduced psychoactive cannabis to the states.
Over the years, American breeders have been integral in developing some of the most famous strains, including OG Kush, Blue Dream, Green Crack and Gorilla Glue.
The truth is that no one can say for certain where the best weed in the world is — because weed is so incredibly subjective.
Everyone has a strain they prefer, whether it be due to potency, flavor or personal connection, and that strain might come from Afghanistan, Mexico, Canada or Spain. The best weed in the world is whatever weed you love.