Mountains around a bay in Acapulco, Mexico

Mexican Landrace Strains: Acapulco Gold and More

Mexico’s landrace cannabis strains are 100% pure sativas that grow natively throughout this beautiful country. These heirloom strains have been shaped by the unique characteristics of Mexico’s diverse climates and landscapes, becoming almost legendary within the cannabis community.

Curious to know more about these famous landrace strains? In this guide, we will explain:

  • What is a Mexican Landrace Strain?
  • How Are Mexican Landrace Strains Different From Others?
  • Top 5 Mexican Landrace Strains
  • Frequently Asked Questions  

What Is a Mexican Landrace Strain? 

Mexican landrace strains are pure sativa cannabis plants that naturally evolved within Mexico’s distinct ecosystems. They closely resemble the original wild cannabis plants.

As explained in our detailed landrace strains guide, these strains have grown indigenously in a particular geographic region and have adapted to the unique characteristics of that environment. Landrace strains are often named after their place of origin and are genetically pure, since landrace strains haven’t been crossbred with other varieties.

How Are Mexican Landrace Strains Different from Others? 

Mexican landrace strains stand apart because of their untouched, pure genetics. Their characteristics can be attributed to the environments in which they grow. Here are some reasons why a pure Mexican landrace strain is different from others:

Pure Sativa

All landrace strains are characterized by their chemical phenotype. They can be either 100% sativa or 100% indica marijuana strains. Mexican landrace strains are pure sativa since these thrive in warmer climates near the equator.


Mexican landrace cannabis plants are usually tall with narrow, fluffy leaves, reflecting their sativa genetics.1 The leaves are a vibrant green and often streaked with gold, while the cannabis flower is less dense than those of indica varieties.2 The buds are more elongated with a high calyx-to-leaf ratio3 and are spindly, while indica-dominant cannabis flowers are more nugget-like.

Flavors & Aromas

The landrace cannabis strains from Mexico generally have a complex aroma profile characterized by earthy tones mixed with spicy, sweet notes. For example, Acapulco Gold is renowned for its exotic aroma combined with a flavor profile that hints at coffee and citrus.

Top 5 Mexican Landrace Strains

There are many popular Mexican landrace strains, but let’s look at the top five:

Acapulco Gold


Acapulco Gold, also called Mexican Sativa, hails from the regions around Acapulco, Mexico. It has a golden-bronze appearance, and its distinctive coloration and rarity make it a sought-after variety among cannabis enthusiasts. The strain has moderate THC levels, ranging from 19-24%.

The most abundant terpenes found in Acapulco Gold are caryophyllene, myrcene, and limonene, giving the strain its burnt, citrusy toffee flavor and aroma. Acapulco Gold has even been named one of the 25 Greatest Strains by High Times.4

Oaxaca Highland


The Oaxacan Highland strain is known for its impressive height, light green fern-like buds, and skinny, long leaves. It has an average THC content of 15-23%. The strain has a strong nutty and fruity flavor reminiscent of plums, with hints of lavender and vanilla, thanks to the humulene and linalool-rich terpene profile. Oaxaca Highland has been crossbred to create Purple Thai and Montel’s Pride.

Jarilla Sinaloa


Jarilla Sinaloa, also called Mexican Jarilla Sinaloa, is native to the Sinaloa region. The strain has a 12-15% THC content. The flavor and aroma of the cannabis flower will remind you of a bowl of citrus fruits. It tastes like a sour, spicy orange and smells earthy, fruity, woody, and tart.

Primera Dama


Primera Dama means “first lady” in Spanish.5 This pure sativa strain has a moderate 15-20% THC level and an earthy, sweet, citrusy flavor and smell with hints of wood, herbaceousness, and spice.

Astur Mexica


Astur Mexica has average THC levels of 17-18%. The cannabis flower has lime nugs with golden undertones and a flowery, spicy berry flavor and aroma. You’ll also get hints of herbal earth and fresh woods.

Frequently Asked Questions

The pure Mexican marijuana strains are fascinating, so if you want to know more, here are some frequently asked questions:

Are all Mexican strains sativa?
Most traditional Mexican landrace strains are pure sativa or sativa-dominant, due to the growing conditions and climate. These plants grow best in Mexico’s geographical and climatic conditions: northern Mexico has a typical desert climate and terrain with high temperature fluctuations; central Mexico is more temperate; and southern Mexico boasts tropical conditions. The northern Pacific Coast is dry, while the south is tropical.6

Is Acapulco Gold hard to find?
While Acapulco Gold is famous and a favorite in the cannabis community, over the years, the landrace strain has become harder and harder to find.7 It’s challenging to acquire seeds and to grow the plant outside its native environment–especially since cannabis cannot cross the border from Mexico.

Why is Acapulco Gold so popular?
Acapulco Gold is legendary because of its historical significance and unique golden appearance. The strain became popular in the United States in the 1960s and it has been featured in countless films that touch on cannabis culture.

Learn More About Mexican Strains

Landrace strains are a cornerstone of cannabis because they are the OGs of marijuana. Mexican heirloom strains are no different. Pure Mexican sativa strains are difficult to find and sell out quickly when available. Check with your local dispensary to see if they have any of these unique cannabis strains. Want to try one and find out why these strains are so popular? Your budtender can help you select a strain to try.


1. “Cannabis Strains Native to Mexico,” Pharmacology University,

2. “Mexican,” WikiLeaf,

3. “Landrace Cannabis Strains of Latin America,” Brian D. Colwell, April 9, 2019,

4. “Cannabeginners: The History of Acapulco Gold,” High Times, August 31, 2023,

5. “Primera Dama Marijuana Strain,” All Bud,

6. “The Climate in Mexico,” 

7. “Acapulco Gold,” Leafly,


Recreational cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Ohio and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and certified patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.