Lolab valley is situated at the northernmost part of the Indian Kashmir, in kupwara district. It’s adjacent to Neelum valley in Azad kashmir to it’s north at 34 degrees North and altitudes ranging from 4000 to 10000 ft.
The valley is known for producing one of the highest qualities fruits and herbs because of it’s exclusive wet-cold climate which will be further discussed.
This valley has been subjected to many war like situations due to being right at the line of control between India and Pakistan.
The climate found in the zone of the Middle Mountains and the valleys enclosed is of a particular type. Altitude determines the degree of coolness and elevation the form of precipitation and summer temperature. Winter is cold and of long duration. When the monsoons are strong, rain is caused. In higher mountains round the valley of Kashmir, winter is very cold and there is snowfall. Summer is very short and milder. The climate in the Valley of Kashmir has its own peculiarities. Winter is very cold. It lasts from November to March. During these months strong winds bring snow and rain from the Mediterranean depressions. These come over from Iran and Afghanistan. Spring begins after 15th of March when rain falls heavily. It causes landslides. But for sowing crops this rain is extremely useful. Rainfall in July and August is as high as 70% and with summer temperature, it causes discomfort. The lakes and waterways make the atmosphere damp and oppressive. The entire valley is covered with a haze that hides the surrounding mountains from view.
|Seasons in Lolab Valley|
|March 15 to May 15. Spring.|
|May 15 to July 15 Summer.|
|July 15 to Sept. 15 Rainy.|
|Sept. 15 to Nov. 15 Autumn.|
|Nov.15 to Jan 15. Winter|
|Jan. 15 to March 15. Ice Cold|
From December 24 to March 8 temperature is often below zero. Strong winds blow from south and southeast. It snows during winter and there are thick black clouds in the sky. Annual rainfall of the valley recorded is in the range of 600-1100 mm. It rains in March and April. June, July and August are the warmest months, temperature rises to 35.0 C. January and February are the coldest months; temperature falls down to -6.0 C, Longest sunshine hours are in September, October and November. December has 80% humidity which is the highest and May has 71% which is the lowest. Lolab valley has an exceptional climate compared to other parts of kashmir with tremendously high levels of precipitation during late summer (monsoons) and spring.
One of the most peculiar observations from the early veg period was the abundance of cystolithic hair on the leaf cuticle, petiole and stems. This trait can be seen across the board regardless of plant morphology. There are few other important qualitative traits which are extremely homogenised in this variety and will be discussed ahead.
It gives the seedling a very whitish appearance during seedling stage, it could be a response to marginal environment since the humidity never drops under 70% any month of the year it must create a sanctuary for pests and insects during spring time when these seedlings come out as well.
During the vegetative growth period it was observed that in most of the population leaves often contort in different directions and a very fast and aggressive phototropic response.
These plants grow mostly under shade in the pine and Fir jungles of Lolab valley, it is noted that plants respond to catch the streaks of sunlight penetrating through the forest canopy by not only a phototropic response of the stem bending towards a particular direction but also by contorting individual leaves in many directions to catch as much escaped light on the forest floor as possible.
As discussed in the climate study Lolab valley has an exceptional climate in regards to high humidity which never drops below 70% throughout the year and mostly stays in high 80%. It’s acts as a natural testing zone for cannabis varieties in terms of mold and mildew because of growing and flowering in a wet-damp and mostly cloudy weather.
However, the signs of adaptations can be seen in the bract structure (bud structure) which is very open like a pure narrow leaf equatorial variety and yet it finishes under 50 days with outstanding resin production. The open and airy bract structure becomes of central importance when mitigating risks such as tissue rot around floral bracts. Find illustrations below for type-I & II
Lolab valley, Landrace variety, is short season flowering plant that finishes under 50 days, with effects ranging from sedative to very cerebral.
There are 2 basic types of plants in the Lolab valley population –
Type I is a more thin leaved, taller and has wider inter-nodal space vs the Type II, which makes up for the part of the population with more compact structure, broader leaves and shorter inter-nodal distance.
The plant develops a deep intense red stem during the flower onset and around 18-20% population has colored sap (ranging from light pink/pink to clear red). Despite the morphological changes every plant seems to have a clear lemon smell complimented by either a sweet/floral lavender or pine. The lemon flavours develops upon drying curing and completely overwhelms the taste pallet.
The male plants in the Lolab valley population seem to flower much faster and with flowering onset as fast as 48-72 hours from the light cycle change. The pollen is of white colour instead of pale yellow to lime greenish taint as commonly observed in cannabis. Although white coloured pollen has also been observed in many other varieties, but not a common occurrence. The staminate bracts swell up fast and shed copious amounts of pollen within 2nd week of flowering, most of the male plants develop streaks of red/purple colours on the staminate bracts.
Male plants develop a very similar deep Redstem and both of the type-I & II can be observed through the morphological differences in male population as well, which makes it easier to perform selections.
The lemon smell is omnipresent in the chemo-type and highly suggestive of being one of the most homogenized traits amongst the Lolab valley population. Which can be used as a great tool for breeding lemon flavours into new or existing cultivars.
EFFECTS : The smoke induces a slow- creeping onset of high which gradually intensifies into full blown head and body high, with the effects leaning more towards sedative category and more defined in effects felt under the skin and on body. It will be a great choice for sleeping aid and for full body relaxation. The effects are very satisfying from a subjective point of view.