Skip to content

Acapulco Gold 101: The Legend Behind This Time-Tested Cannabis Strain

Acapulco Gold was the strain of choice in 1960s America. With a golden appearance and uplifting euphoria, this sativa still ranks among the all-time greats.
PixelCatchers via

Whether you’re new to cannabis or a veteran taste-maker, you should take the opportunity to try Acapulco Gold, also called Mexican sativa.

High Times in 2014 named this sativa one of the 25 Greatest Strains of All Time. It’s definitely considered top-shelf cannabis, and getting your hands on it isn’t easy. You may have to search far and wide for this rare sativa-dominant strain, which is in high demand the minute it’s available. Below is a look at the legend behind the strain and what makes it so popular.

A Legend

This connoisseur strain has humble beginnings. Its origins trace back to Acapulco, Mexico, where the warm and humid climate helps to create distinct flavours and effects.

Its native environment and the tropical conditions there played a role in raising the potency of Acapulco Gold past other sativas. And, unlike most strains today, this strain developed naturally in its environment, making it a true landrace strain.

A Rebel

The Acapulco Gold legend—that it’s one of the most potent strains ever—spread all over America during the 1960s. Plus, Cheech and Chong highlighted the strain in the cult classic film Up In Smoke in the famous “You wanna get high, man?” scene, cementing its popularity even further.

And, that exotic nature kept it in high demand, especially in American counterculture movement hotspots like college universities and cities. The strain flowed from Mexico’s Pacific coast into America, filling hippies’ joints in the 1960s and 70s.

LordHenriVoton via

The Gold Effect

The gold colouring in Acapulco Gold might come from the bud’s blend of gold with brownish-green hues. Its colouring creates a golden aura around the bud.

It's also known as one of the purest sativa highs—one that keeps you clear-headed and energetic. Cannabis users credit that feeling for an all-around euphoria that makes it a rare but popular cannabis option. People also use it to relieve several symptoms, including fatigue, lack of motivation, and general aches and pains, according to Way of Leaf.

Its aroma and taste, with rich and sweet notes that go beyond smell, also elevates its gold status. Users say it leaves a comforting toffee aroma that is also delicious after smoking. Either way, Acapulco Gold has outshined its rebellious past and has become the benchmark for top-tier strains.

A Grower’s Delight

Acapulco Gold originally grew in a coastal climate. Today, cannabis farmers grow it indoors and outdoors, with a flowering period between 60-70 days. It also does not require much maintenance, making it a fairly easy plant to grow.

CannaConnection estimates that it reaches a height of around 3.6 feet when grown indoors, with a yield of up to 500 grams, an average yield compared to other cannabis strains. However, growing it outdoors, where it has extra light and space, maximizes the yield. Some farmers report outdoor grows are double the size of indoor grows!

Ultimately, this historically significant sativa-dominant remains popular due to its alluring amber shine, clean and energizing high, and by its prestige as one of North America’s true landrace strains. Use this strain to help break out of a creative rut and feel a piece of history.

CPC-logoThis story was made possible by our Community Partners Program. Thank you Revive Cannabis for helping to expand local news coverage in Alberta. Learn more.