Acapulco Gold: From Hippie Gold to World-Renowned Legend
Acapulco Gold is a legendary strain that has been around for decades. Originating from the lush coastal city of Acapulco on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, this sativa-dominant hybrid is considered a classic of cannabis folklore. Long believed to be a favourite of the hippies of the 60s and 70s, Acapulco Gold even got a mention in Cheech and Chong’s classic Up In Smoke in 1978. While it’s a lot more scarce now than back in the hippie’s heyday, Acapulco Gold remains revered as a true treasure by anyone lucky enough to try it.
Genetic Background of Acapulco Gold: Mexican Roots
Acapulco Gold (sometimes called Mexican sativa) has a rich history steeped in rumours and legend. While some sources claim that Acapulco Gold is a cross between Mexican sativa and Afghani landraces, many more believe it to be a landrace native to the Sierra Madre del Sur mountains that surround the city of Acapulco. Legend has it that the strain developed its unique physical traits, aromas, flavours, and cannabinoid concentrations over centuries as it adapted to conditions in the Sierra Madre del Sur mountain range (which is home to tropical dry forests, pine-oak forests, and a large variety of endemic plant and animal species).
Flowing over the Mexico–US border in the 1960s and 1970s, Acapulco Gold became an instant favourite among hippies and other members of the counterculture. Today, Acapulco Gold is a lot scarcer, though it occasionally finds its way onto dispensary shelves. When it does, it usually doesn’t last very long, as its legendary status and scarcity keep Acapulco Gold in very high demand among recreational and medical users alike. Legend has it that Acapulco Gold became so popular among students of Columbia University in the 1970s that some students organised a dedicated smuggling route from Acapulco to New York City.
After rising to fame among smokers in the 60s and 70s, Acapulco Gold was listed by High Times as #5 on its 1977 Top 40 strain selection. Years later, in 2010, Acapulco Gold also won a High Times Cannabis Cup.
Aroma and Flavour of Acapulco Gold: Sweetness and Spice
Acapulco Gold has a complex and unique aroma and flavour profile that sets it apart from other strains. Its pungent scent is dominated by earthy overtones mixed with hints of spice, citrus, and rich toffee/honey-like sweetness. The strain's flavour is similar, with a sweet, earthy taste and a hint of spice.
The terpene profile of Acapulco Gold is dominated by caryophyllene, a spicy terpene found in black pepper and other dark spices. Myrcene is another dominant terpene found in Acapulco Gold that may contribute to the musky, earthy aroma of the strain. Limonene is the third most prominent terpene in Acapulco Gold. With a fresh, vibrant citrus aroma, limonene likely contributes to Acapulco Gold’s light lemon aroma/flavour.
Potency and Effects of Acapulco Gold: Pure Bliss
Since its heyday half a century ago, Acapulco Gold has been revered for its potency and uplifting effects. While the exact potency of Acapulco Gold varies from one batch to another, samples generally contain around 18–20% THC. Both its high levels of THC and vibrant terpenes grant Acapulco Gold effects that are energising, creative, and uplifting. These effects make the strain ideal for daytime use or an early wake and bake.
Acapulco Gold’s uplifting, energising, and creative effects make it a perfect strain for whenever you want to enjoy a boost in energy or mood. Exercise, outdoor activities such as surfing or hiking, and gardening may all be enhanced by the uplifting high of Acapulco Gold. Some people may also feel more social and less inhibited by this strain’s effects, making it a great strain to share with friends at parties and other social events.
Acapulco Gold is also known for its ability to enhance creativity, making it a great choice for artists, musicians, and writers who want to explore their craft while enjoying the effects of cannabis. Similarly, Acapulco Gold may also help heighten your senses and appreciation of works of art, be it music, a movie, visual arts, or literature.
While Acapulco Gold started off as a recreational strain fuelling counterculture, it is now also commonly used by medical marijuana patients. Thanks to its uplifting effects, it's a great strain for MMJ patients who need to medicate during the day while remaining productive and focused. Thanks to its positive effects on mood and energy, Acapulco Gold is reportedly commonly used by patients dealing with depression, anxiety, and stress. While it might have some subtle physical effects, Acapulco Gold is generally considered a fairly cerebral strain, and not so commonly used by patients with physical ailments or symptoms.
Acapulco Gold is a potent strain that can cause some side effects. Commonly reported side effects include dry mouth and dry eyes, which are relatively harmless and easy to deal with by drinking water and using eye drops.
More uncomfortable symptoms of Acapulco Gold include paranoia and anxiety, which can be somewhat common in highly uplifting/energising sativa strains. If you have a low tolerance to THC or are used to more relaxing strains, use Acapulco Gold in small doses at first.
Growing Acapulco Gold: Tall, Majestic Plants
Acapulco Gold seeds are sold by a number of cannabis seed banks. And while each bank’s take on Acapulco Gold may be a little different, these plants are typically fairly easy to grow, boasting vigorous growth, a large size, and heavy yields, as well as moderate resistance to stress, pests, and pathogens.
Indoor Growing Tips
Like other natural sativas, Acapulco Gold typically grows best outdoors. However, many growers successfully cultivate Acapulco Gold indoors in tents or rooms. Given her tall stature, this strain may require some training or a shorter vegetative period in order to not grow out of control. Proper ventilation and low humidity are also important when growing Acapulco Gold, especially during her flowering phase, which can last up to 10 weeks or more.
Outdoor Growing Tips
Being a natural sativa, Acapulco Gold tends to perform best in large outdoor spaces where she can stretch and soak up as much sun as possible. Some growers also suggest that she grows best in coastal regions similar to her original habitat, but the strain is fairly hardy and can grow well in all sorts of climates.
Planted in large pots or directly in the ground in a sunny spot, Acapulco Gold can grow over 2m tall and produce very big yields. After harvesting, drying, and curing, Acapulco Gold buds take on a lovely golden sheen that contributes to the strain’s name.
Should You Try Acapulco Gold?
Acapulco Gold is a great strain for recreational users, medical marijuana patients, and growers of all walks of life, especially if you’re interested in enjoying a legendary strain with a long, rich history.
Acapulco Gold is a solid strain for both indoor and outdoor growers, though outdoor growers may be able to grow larger plants and therefore enjoy larger yields. Nonetheless, Acapulco Gold is hardy and can also grow well indoors. However, in this setting, you may need to use training or a shorter veg phase to control the stretch of these majestic specimens.
For Recreational Users
Recreational users who are fans of uplifting, energising strains should definitely try Acapulco Gold. With its high THC content and invigorating terpene profile, Acapulco Gold produces upbeat effects that are great for daytime use. Plus, its creative effects make it a great choice for artists, musicians, and writers.
For Medical Users
While Acapulco Gold is most commonly used as a recreational strain, medical cannabis patients may also benefit from this strain's uplifting effects. Most notably, medical patients report using Acapulco Gold to address symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. If you’re considering using Acapulco Gold therapeutically, make sure to talk this idea over with your doctor.
The Legendary Acapulco Gold
Acapulco Gold is a legendary strain with a fascinating history. From its prime in the 60s, Acapulco Gold continues to blow the minds of cannabis lovers everywhere with its uplifting high. If you have the chance to try this classic strain, make sure you do, as Acapulco Gold is hardly as easy to find as it once was.
Acapulco Gold Strain: FAQ
Q: What kind of high does Acapulco Gold provide?
A: Acapulco Gold produces a classic cerebral sativa high that’s uplifting, energising, and creative, making it an ideal daytime strain.
Q: Is Acapulco Gold 100% sativa?
A: Yes, Acapulco Gold is considered a pure landrace sativa.
Q: What is the Acapulco Gold strain?
A: Acapulco Gold is a landrace sativa strain originating from the Sierra Madre del Sur mountains along the Pacific Coast of Mexico. It became highly sought after by hippies and other members of counterculture in the 60s and 70s and has remained a popular smoke ever since.
Q: How much THC does Acapulco Gold have?
A: Acapulco Gold is a potent strain with 18–20% THC, though different batches may be more or less potent.
Q: What does the Acapulco Gold strain yield?
A: Acapulco Gold is considered a high-yielding strain. Exact yields for this strain may vary from one plant to another, and depend on your setup and skill as a grower. Being a tall, stretchy sativa, Acapulco Gold produces the best yields outdoors in large pots or in the ground.
Grow your own Acapulco Gold
- Grow difficulty
- Flowering type
- Flowering time
- 9-10 weeks
- Harvest time (outdoor)
- Mid/end October
- Yield (indoor)
- Yield (outdoor)
- Height (indoor)
- Height (outdoor)