Acapulco Gold. What a strain indeed.

Very few of the older sticky icky cultivars come anywhere near the absolute legendary status of Acapulco Gold. Often referred to as 'the gold', this Sativa-dominant hybrid is a true icon of the Mexican weed scene, gracing the papers and bowls of North American stoners since the mid-1960s, and gaining true global cult status during the first few years of the 1970s.

Originating from the Sierra Madre del Sur mountains along the Pacific Coast of Mexico, while many strains claim to be landraces, a true landrace is one that has not been genetically modified or crossbred with any other strain. Does Acapulco Gold, with its pungent aroma, its golden hue, and its psychedelic effects, meet the criteria for being considered a true landrace?

Let's dive into the history of this mythical strain and find out.

Acapulco Gold strain info, history, and genetics

Now, unlike all of our favorite new-school cultivars (and many of the older bangers) such as Girl Scout Cookies, Tropicana Cookies, or Gorilla Glue #4, Acapulco Gold is not a strain that has been blended in the lab by master breeders looking to create the 'ultimate buzz' for recreational and medical users alike.

But that doesn't mean the history is straightforward, either.

The first seeds to arrive in the US were credited to the surfing counter-culture that was exploding in popularity up and down the Californian coastline. No longer satisfied with the waves available stateside, or the weed that could be found in their home state, surfers started making their way down the coast of Mexico in search of pumping swell and better buds.

While most cannabis historians do not debate this story, there is some discrepancy about whether it is a true landrace strain. But, what is a landrace exactly?

THC %20%-24%
Flowering Time8-10 Weeks
Outdoor harvestOctober
Indica/SativaSativa Dominant
HeightTall: 180cm-220cm
CBD Content<1%
ClimateTemperate, Arid, Mediterranean
Medical ConditionsAnxiety, Pain, PTSD, Stress
Seed TypeFeminized
GeneticsCentral American
EffectsCalming, Creative, Relaxing, Uplifting
TastePine, Sweet, Citrus
TerpeneMyrcene, Camphene, Carene

What is a landrace strain?

A landrace strain is one that is indigenous to a specific region and has not been altered or crossbred with any other strains, and allowed to naturally evolve over time. It is a strain that has adapted to the specific environment it grows in and often has unique characteristics that make it stand out from other strains.

So, is Acapulco Gold a true landrace?

Well, not all Acapulco Gold seeds advertised will be the genuine landrace genetics, the ones we have over here at MSNL are the true authentic seeds. They have been sourced from the original landrace strain that has been grown in the Sierra Madre mountains for decades.

So, while there may be some debate about whether Acapulco Gold is a true landrace, the fact remains that this strain has been grown and enjoyed by generations of stoners worldwide. And with its unique characteristics and legendary status, it's no surprise that it continues to be a top choice for bud enthusiasts.

Is Acapulco Gold Indica or Sativa?

Acapulco Gold is a heavily Sativa-dominant hybrid. It sits at around 80% Sativa/20% Indica.

How strong is the Acapulco Gold strain?

Most AG phenos test out at anywhere between 18% to plus 27% THC, with the final potency outcome being based on the skill of the grower, as well as environmental factors. Indoor-cultivated plants will have a higher chance of reaching the plus 25% THC mark, but it can be achieved outdoors also, weather-dependent.

Is Acapulco Gold a rare strain?

AG seeds can be sourced through a bunch of seed banks, but are you getting the real deal?

Maybe, maybe not.

The true landrace seeds that we offer here at MSNL are only available in small batches and are sourced from the Sierra Madre Mountain range, with our network of in-country growers.

So yes, true landrace Acapulco Gold seeds, and especially feminized options, are about as rare as they come for cannabis strains in the modern age.

What does Acapulco Gold weed taste and smell like?

One of the main reasons behind this strain's meteoric rise in popularity almost 60 years ago was the unique taste and aroma that Acapulco Gold offers. Weed was different back in the early 1960s to what it is today, and the majority of strains were less punchy in the smell and taste department, and exuded a far earthier taste.

Acapulco Gold offers smokers an entrancing and super distinctive aroma and flavor profile that distinguishes it from other strains. The overall fragrance is a gorgeous blend of earthy notes intertwined with hints of peppiness, lemon, and a luxuriously smooth base of caramel and treacle sugariness. The strain's taste mirrors this delightful complexity, offering a combination of sweet earthiness with a subtle touch of spice.

When looking at the terpene profile, we find it is dominated by caryophyllene, a spicy terpene found in black pepper and other dark spices. Myrcene is the next most dominant terpene, which definitely contributes to the musky aroma of the strain. Then we have limonene bringing up the rear, offering its fresh, vibrant citrus punch.

What else is Acapulco Gold good for?

Acapulco Gold is predominantly Sativa, delivering a balanced high that combines stimulation with relaxation. It's perfect for social occasions, and creative endeavors, and there are endless anecdotal reports of this strain assisting with anxiety, depression, and chronic fatigue.

Is Acapulco Gold a good marijuana strain for beginners?

Yes, but like most plus 25% THC strains, it should be approached with caution. If you are a true novice, then definitely do not dive straight in and smoke a massive joint. This bud should be treated with the respect and consideration it truly deserves. It sits at number 25 on the High Times magazine’s Greatest Strains of All Time list for a reason…

How to grow your own Acapulco Gold plant

Sativa-dominant cultivars have a reputation for being a little tougher to grow than their Indica counterparts, but Acapulco Gold is, at least somewhat, an exception to this rule. With a shorter than average flowering period (8 to 10 weeks) for a Sativa, indoor growers can bang through up to 500-600gr/m² of fresh buds, with outdoor growers yielding around a pound and a half per plant.

One thing to remember is that this strain loves a warm and balmy climate. If you're located outside of the southern states, Amnesia Haze is better suited to your region. If you're blessed with warm weather zones (Southern California, Texas, Florida, or in the warmer areas of Europe and Australia), then Acapulco Gold can do well outdoors. Just make sure it gets all those beautiful rays the sun has to give.

She can grow well above 2 meters (that's 6.5 feet), so we always recommend tying this plant down during the vegetative growth stage. She is a hardy strain that can take a bit of punishment, so any and all HST techniques such as topping and fimming are on the table. This can help her stay a little more compact, with stronger branches and denser flower production.


Indoor growers will see the best results if the lights off temperatures stay above 70F or 21C Acapulco Gold will thrive in both organic soil or hydroponic setups, and the plant has a high resistance to pests and diseases. This makes it a good choice for beginners too. And yes, we are speaking from experience!


If growing Acapulco Gold outdoors, just remember that this strain prefers a warmer climate and is susceptible to mold in high humidity levels. Especially during the flowering period when the colas become huge. Keep an eye out for fungus or bud rot with outdoor grows, as if left unchecked it can destroy your entire crop.