Could Shashamane Sativa be The Rare Lambs Bread?

Shashamane sativa from Ethiopia is really popular in East Africa. Some seasoned stoners even rank it at the same level as Malawi Gold. Well, is this strain a true landrace of Abyssinia or did the Jamaicans invited by Haile Selassie introduce it in East Africa?

What is Lamb’s Bread?

When Bob Marley released Ganja Gun in 1977, he was paying an ode to his favorite cannabis strain-Lamb’s Bread. Cannabis historians believe that it’s a landrace sativa from an undisclosed location in Jamaica. A true landrace known for its earthy and citrus flavors.

This strain got popular around the 70’s and 80’s but disappeared around the 90’s. Some people believe that the rise of heavy hitters such as Jamaican Dream and Marley’s Collie overshadowed its popularity.

How does it look like? It has dense midsize nugs that are light green in color. You’ll also notice red hairs covered with trichomes all over the buds. 


How did Jamaicans settle in Shashamane?

In 1955, Haile Selassie , a respected deity in the Rastafari religion invited Africans living in Carribean Islands to settle in Ethiopia. This was a form of repatriation from centuries of slavery in America. Droves of Jamaican Rastafari hopped on planes and eagerly relocated to the promised land.

Shashamane, located in central Ethiopia ended up being the perfect spot. Settling here made sense because the soil is really fertile and rainfall is sufficient. Also, the local communities helped these Rastafarians build new homes and till their farms. 

Is Weed Legal in Ethiopia?

Is Weed Legal in Ethiopia

Possession, cultivation, and consumption of marijuana is illegal in Ethiopia. Although, just like most East African countries, police won’t rush you to the station when they catch you smoking. You’ll just pay a “fine” and get away with a slap on the wrist.

Who Grows Weed in Ethiopia?

It’s believed that cannabis made its way into Ethiopia as early as 1320. This could be as a result of the Red Sea Trade with eastern nations that have the earliest history of marijuana use. During this period, people mixed ganja with tobacco in traditional smoking pipes.

Owing to the close relationship with Haile Selassie and goodwill of neighboring communities, the newly relocated Jamaicans cultivated their ganja without police interference. You’ll find weed cultivation taking place in eastern districts of Ethiopia but the Shashamane region consistently ranks in both quality and quantity.  

Are there similarities between Shashamane sativa and Lamb’s Bread?

Let’s compare four main characteristics of each strain.

THC Content

Ethiopia’s Shashamane sativa contains THC levels ranging from 10-15%. This characteristic puts it in the same category of daytime sativas as Lamb’s Bread that reaches up to 18% THC. 


Cannabis connoisseurs have noted that Lamb’s Bread has distinct herbal and citrus flavors. The terpenes are so strong that some people prefer smoking this strain using a bong. 

Shashamane sativa also features a combination of similar flavors. These flavors come out strongly after a week or two of curing the buds in an airtight glass jar. You can taste them by inhaling a joint before lighting it up.


Shashamane sativa comes in light green colored nugs that are quite dense. You’ll notice red hairs and shiny trichomes that make it quite appealing. Take a look at the pic below


It can be hard to distinguish a Shashamane nug from Lamb’s bread due to their similarities in color, shape, and red hairs.

Here’s a pic of Lamb’s Bread nugs for you to compare and make the judgment.

Lamb’s Bread nugs


Lamb’s Bread is a landrace strain from Jamaica. On the other hand, when comparing Ethiopia and Jamaica’s climate, you’ll notice similarities in average temperature and rainfall patterns. So, it could be highly possible that the Jamaican Rastafarians settling in Shashamane during 1955 carried some Lamb’s Bread seeds from home.

Since their arrival, these groups of Rastafians known for their ganja cultivation rarely experience police home invasions or drug busts. It’s also no secret that Shashamane district  is Ethiopia’s largest producer of cannabis since the 70’s. 

What’s the verdict?

Shashamane and Lamb’s Bread seem to share important aspects such as physical appearance, THC levels, and long history with Jamaicans. Could it be that the current Shashamane sativa growing in Ethiopia actually be the long lost Lamb’s Bread? You be the judge.

Check out what’s available in the Pure African Strains collection

Is Africa’s Weed Trash?

As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Western nations have compensated unfavorable climatic conditions for growing outdoor weed with science. Advanced genetics makes it possible to develop strains possessing THC levels almost double what you’d find in Africa. Does this mean Africa is smoking reggie?

What defines good weed?

1. THC content

Gorilla Glue 4 is a strain that’s been around for more than 5 years. It’s a heavy hitter thanks to it’s staggering 27% THC levels. Girl Scout Cookies from Berner also belongs in the same league because it contains 20%THC. 

Africa has awesome weed but you never hear much about it because cultivation is still old school. You’ll never come across a ganja farmer in Africa taking their buds to the lab for analysis. The lack of cannabis related technology makes it impossible to analyse landrace strains from different countries. 

Isibanya Sativa seedlings from Western Kenya at 1 week

Science also shows that strains have unique mental effects due to their individual compositions of THC and accompanying cannabinoids. A strain containing THC 14% might feel less potent if it has a significant amount of cannabidiol compared to a similar one with zero CBD. Especially where growing conditions vary. 

In most African countries, the sun shines 8-9 months annually. The sun’s ultraviolet rays make it possible for cannabinoids to flourish optimally in landrace strains. GoIP Global Inc has already taken advantage of East Africa’s brilliant climate by applying for a cannabis cultivation permit in Kenya

2. Flavors. 

Wedding Cake is an Indica dominant hybrid popular for its tasty flavors. Berner, the man behind Girl Scout Cookies also launched Lemon Cookies sativa. This strain contains 21% THC and has a distinct flavor of honey mixed with lemon. 

East Africa has a diversity of soils ranging from red volcanic found in highlands to black cotton variety found near lakes. When you combine this with varied climates, you’ll notice that African strains have rare earthy flavors you can’t replicate in a laboratory. It’s amazing how the Shashamane sativa from Ethiopia tastes like green mangoes yet there’s no record of grafting. 

3. Appearance

You only get one chance to make a first impression. When you walk into a cannabis dispensary, you’ll notice fat green nugs that are manicured so beautifully that it tempts you to buy everything. Some commercial growers even use special LED lights to stimulate growth of trichomes.

Top Shelf Weed in A Dispensary

In a continent where cannabis is illegal and neighbors consider it taboo, marijuana farmers resort to guerilla cultivation. Growing weed in confined spaces makes it difficult to control pollination and that’s why most buds from Africa you see on Duby or Instagram have seeds in plenty. 

Also, most growers don’t cure their weed using mason jars stored in the dark. After harvest, weed growers just lay out the yield in the sun to dry. Sometimes the strong heat and constant wind end up destroying trichomes.

4. Growing duration

The longer a plant takes to mature, the more resources you need to grow it. That’s why indoor growing is popular with cannabis sellers because it makes plants grow at twice the speed it would take outdoors. A strain that takes 6 months under the sun will only require 8-10 weeks under intense LED grow lights and a hydroponic setup.

In Africa, the sun shines 8-9 months consistently and this makes growing weed easy. It takes about 6-7 months for most sativas to mature. While this duration doesn’t compare with indoor growing, the yields you get are definitely worth the wait. Plus, you get to enjoy the strain’s fully developed cannabinoids thanks to solar ultraviolet rays. 

5. Variety

What’s you favorite sativa strain? You might come across a group of friends that love sativa but each individual has a personal favorite strain. Where there’s plenty of weed, consumers have the freedom to try out a variety of flavors and cannabinoids.

East Africa’s climate provides conducive environments for sativas to flourish. On the other hand, countries at the southern part of Africa have a variety of landrace indica strains. 

Explore landrace strains

We’ve covered the main factors that define what good weed is and it’s clear that African landrace strains match expectations. Are you planning to visit Africa soon? Make sure you sample as much weed as you can!

Check Out Our African Sativas seed bank

How to Buy Weed in East Africa

East African countries have great internet but you won’t find local dispensaries on your weed apps. That’s because it’s still illegal and prominent brands such as WeedMaps don’t want to get in trouble with international laws. Is it possible to smoke weed and enjoy your stay?

Here’s how to do it the smart way.

Buying Weed in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania

1. What Should I expect?

90% of the weed you’ll come across is in the form of pre rolled joints. In Nairobi, price varies from 10 to 100 shillings. You’ll come across strains from central or western Kenya within an affordable range of 10-40 shillings. Dealers roll them in regular size papers.

If you’re paying 50 shillings or more for a joint, that’s because it’s a premium variety. There’s plenty of Ethiopian Shashamane, Malawian Gold, and South Africa highlands strains if you know the right people. These top-tier dealers often have edibles, ounces and can get you Backwoods in Kenya.

Uganda has great local sativas but most people in Kampala prefer smoking weed from Ethiopia. Just like Kenya, 9 out of 10 dealers will offer you pre rolls.

2. How do I get a genuine dealer that won’t rip me off?

Before your arrival

Getting a good dealer before you touch down reduces the chances of getting ripped off. Does this mean you can ask your travel agency to score an ounce of bud? Absolutely not! Here’s how to do it the right way….

Connect on Duby

Duby is a great social media app for ganja lovers. Just like MassRoots (which is currently in limbo), it uses GPS to display a member’s current location. Once you sign up, search for members who come from the country you’re visiting. 

Facebook groups

Facebook has made it way easier to get weed than it was a decade ago. All you have to do is search for cannabis groups or pages related to your destination. For instance, when you search “weed in kenya” here’s what you’ll get

Buying Weed in Kenya

A word of advice

Make sure your connect sends you pictures of the bud you’re about to buy. Also, don’t send the full amount you’ve agreed upon until the transaction is complete. Be smart and buy your green in total privacy, ideally in your hotel room. 

After your arrival

Let’s assume you got so excited visiting East Africa for the first time that you forgot to get a good connect using Duby or Facebook. The good news is you still have a good chance of scoring weed. On the other hand, you might encounter language barriers especially if your vacation is somewhere remote. 

Another thing is you won’t have a chance to compare the product and prices. This might make you feel like you’re getting a bad deal and in most cases it is because you’ll have to rely on a middleman. 

Who can get you some weed in this situation?

  1. Hotel security

Approximately 70% of East Africa’s population is below 35 years of age. That’s why you’ll notice plenty of young faces everywhere. Also, people here are very friendly and hotel security guards won’t frown if you ask them to score some weed for you. 

  1. Beach boys

When you’re visiting Kenya or Tanzania’s ocean beaches, you’ll spot several young men selling beaded jewelry. You can distinguish them by their dreadlocks and flashy style. These guys will sell you jewelry as well as supply the best coconut wine and weed. 

  1. Escorts

Nowadays, you can get escorts to your apartment or hotel room by going online. Online escorts in East Africa are well mannered compared to street hookers. You can just ask them to get you some weed while on the way to your place and it won’t be an issue. 

3. Where can I smoke without constantly looking over my shoulder?

While possession and consumption of marijuana is illegal, you can puff away in certain areas without worrying about cops or snitches. 

Short stay apartments

Short stay apartments are usually situated in affluent areas of major cities. Here, security guards give you lots of privacy and respect. You can smoke in your private balcony or at the rooftop as long as you tip the guard.

Hotel rooms

Just like short stay apartments, you’ll enjoy VIP treatment from hotel security and staff. However, smoking in a hotel room requires a degree of caution. Smoking in the morning is risky because guests walking to the dining area can catch a whiff and report you. Also, you don’t want the housekeeper to catch you red handed.

The best time to smoke is usually in the afternoon and late night. Most of the guests are out and about so you won’t worry about snitches. Also, housekeeping won’t pop up in your room after morning cleanup. 

Rental Cars

People here are friendly but most taxi drivers don’t like customers smoking weed in their cars. The best alternative is getting a rental so you can smoke at your own convenience. 

6  Risky Places to Get Caught Smoking

The following areas in this list are always packed with undercover police. 

1. Central business district 

2. In the Uber  

3. In the club  

4. When stuck in traffic 

5. Public parks

6. At the beach 

 Buying weed in East Africa is easy

Now you know how to buy weed in East Africa without getting ripped off. Follow these rules and you’ll have a memorable stay in this beautiful region.