The origins of cannabis cultivation in Lebanon date back several centuries ago, being a major trading
good already in Ottoman times. Indeed, the Ottoman Empire was in constant need of cannabis fibre to
supply its Navy, thus developing a huge hemp industry throughout its territories. Traditionally, cannabis
has been grown in Lebanon in different areas, although it is doubtless that the Beqaa Valley is the one that
stands out for both the quality and quantity of their product.
Lebanon has been supplying both the European and Asian cannabis markets for centuries, from the
Mediterranean coast to India, and it is considered one of the most important hashish-producing
countries in history (actually, most of the hashish found in USA and Canada in 1970’s and 1980’s came from Lebanon).
As a matter of fact, and according to 2019 UNODC drug report, it was the third
major supplier of cannabis – hashish actually – in the world in 2018, with only Afghanistan and Morocco
ahead of Lebanon. Without a doubt, cannabis cultivation has spread since the beginning of the Syrian
conflict (2011-2012), just as happened from 1975 to 1990 during the civil war.
But this is nothing new; since the end of WWI (1918) several countries in the Middle East drastically
reduced cannabis/hashish production, which left Lebanon as the major producer of this area. Even
during the ban in the decade of 1920 (and a second ban from the UN in 1946), Lebanon remained as the
top hashish producer in the Middle East. It was not until the decade of 1990 when production decreased,
just to increase again a few years later.
Lebanese hashish is well known worldwide; no matter where you go, there’s always someone who has
heard about or even tried “Red Lebanese” hash. Indeed, the quality of Lebanon’s dry-sieved resin is
legendary, being considered one of the best in the world and, along with Afghanistan, one of the oldest
hashish-producing areas in history, especially if we talk about dry-sieving. It is not strange that it soon
became a mandatory stop for the pilgrims of the Hippy Hashish Trail back in the late 60’s and early 70’s!
After the first visits from these westerners, a smuggling ring connecting the fields of the Beqaa Valley
and the big cities of the USA was soon created, highly increasing demand from the western market. In
this way, more and more fields were used for cannabis cultivation, even during the Lebanese civil war
from 1975 to 1990. Red and Blonde Lebanese hashish became a trend in those days, with a legion of
westerners willing to try it.
Today, things have changed a little bit, especially with the legalisation of cannabis for medical use.
Indeed, in April 2020 and with the aim to beat the economic crisis, the Lebanese Government became the
first Arab country to ever legalize cannabis farming for medical use, which will hopefully change the
situation of plenty of families from the producing regions of the country.
Beqaa Valley, a cannabis paradise
Located around 30km east of Beirut, Beqaa Valley (also spelled Bekaa or Becaa) is a fertile area
surrounded by the Lebanon Mountains (west) and the Anti-Lebanon Mountains (east). Its elongated
plateau is known for its hot, dry summers, being ideal for cannabis cultivation, as well as some of the
mountain ranges that enclose it. Cannabis has been grown in this region for centuries, being the home of
some of the most famous products derived from cannabis, Red Lebanese hashish.
During our travels through this wonderful region, we’ve met a lot of farmers from different areas, from
the Valley itself to the mountain slopes that surround it, and have had the chance to pick up the seeds for
ourselves, only from the best individuals we could find. We were also gifted seeds from “mutant” plants, that’s the word the farmers used for these plants, displaying red and purple hues in a field of green and blonde plants.
The kindness of the people is simply amazing, only comparable to the beautiful landscape and the quality of their hash!
In this way, we could visit some of the best fields and gather a priceless collection of seeds, including
both the “Red Lebanese” found and cultivated in one particular village and the green and blonde lines.
According to local farmers, the best plants for hashish production were found in the rocky slopes of the mountain ranges, where we found some really interesting individuals with the classic features of Lebanese landraces.
Thus, we could collect seeds from some of the best plants of Beqaa’s 2018 harvest, a true honour for us.
Growing TLT Lebanese seeds
Two main phenotypes can be found in these seeds, although they both share the distinctive organoleptic
features that one expects from Lebanese cannabis plants, with incense, earth, lemon, apple, cedar and
pine nuances. With regards to shape and growth pattern, there’s a columnar phenotype with very few side
branches (the classic lebanese hashplant) and usually shorter and another one more bushy and tall.
The effect is balanced and intense, body relaxing and leaving you in a cheerful and peaceful state of mind.
Lebanese landraces do not need high amounts of nutrients, so a moderate and balanced feeding program
will be enough for them to thrive. In a similar way, they’re not used to large amounts of water, so keep
that in mind especially if you’re planning to grow them in hydroponic systems. Obviously, they’re more
used to outdoor environments, although results in indoor crops are also outstanding.
Pruning techniques should also be used with the bushy phenotypes, since the final size of the columnar
ones could be compromised if these techniques are applied. Lebanese plants are naturally resistant to
pests and molds, although we always recommend to follow a preventive program in order to avoid
problems in the future. They can be grown in almost any climate outdoors, they are early finishers and are usually harvested in the first ten days of September in Lebanon. Just keep in mind that they just love direct sunlight and hate waterlogged soil.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you have further doubts on our Lebanese cannabis seeds, either about
their origins or just to request some growing tips…we’ll be pleased to help in any way we can!