Northern lights over a snow-covered pine tree forest

Strain Spotlight: Northern Lights

In the world of cannabis, certain strains have achieved legendary status, captivating marijuana enthusiasts with their unique characteristics and effects. One strain that belongs on the legendary list is Northern Lights. In this strain spotlight, we’re going to give you all the details on this landrace-hybrid strain and explore its origins, aroma, flavor, and various sub-strains.

What is Northern Lights?

Northern Lights is a highly acclaimed cannabis strain and three-time Cannabis Cup winner renowned for its potent effects and mesmerizing beauty. It is technically an indica-dominant hybrid, but it descends from two indica landrace strainsAfghani and Thai—making it an incredibly unique pure indica hybrid strain that comes from landraces but isn’t a landrace itself.

Where Did Northern Lights Come From?

The exact origins of Northern Lights are shrouded in mystery with various tales surrounding its lineage (maybe it’s a cross between Afghani and Thai landraces?). We also aren’t entirely sure where it first came into existence. The generally accepted story is that it emerged in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States in the 1970s and then made its way to the Netherlands. There, it gained popularity during the 1980s, with several phenotypes being created. That popularity never waned. In fact, even today, it remains a staple in the cannabis community.

What Does Northern Lights Smell Like?

Northern Lights has a distinctive and alluring aroma. Its scent is often described as pungent, earthy, and a slightly sweet cannabis smell. If you decide to indulge in Northern Lights, you’ll likely be able to note a blend of spice, pine, and hints of citrus, making it a pleasantly aromatic experience.

What Does Northern Lights Taste Like?

When it comes to flavor, Northern Lights does not disappoint. Its taste profile reflects its distinct aroma and showcases a combination of sweet, earthy notes with subtle undertones of citrus and spice.

What Other Types of Northern Lights Strains Are There?

The popularity of Northern Lights cannabis has led to the creation of several notable sub-strains. Here are a few of our most favorite Northern Lights-related strains.

Shiva Skunk

Indica-Dominant Hybrid

Shiva Skunk is a crossbreed between Northern Lights #5 and Skunk #1. This strain retains the indica characteristics of Northern Lights while incorporating Skunk genetics, resulting in a potent and aromatic hybrid. Like its parent strain, Shiva Skunk has a range of THC that starts at a moderate 13% and stretches to a high 20%.

Northern Lights Haze (aka NL Haze or NLH)

Sativa-Dominant Hybrid

The Northern Lights Haze strain is a sativa-dominant hybrid that came from a cross of Northern Lights #5 and Haze—giving it some truly legendary genetics. NLH is popular among both recreational consumers and medical marijuana patients for its moderate to sky-high levels of THC that range from 16-26%. Like Northern Lights itself, this strain is sweet, spicy, and herbal in both flavor and fragrance.

Blue Lights

Indica-Dominant Hybrid

Blue Lights is a crossbreed of Northern Lights and Blueberry that is sometimes also called Blue Northern. This strain inherits the sweet, earthy flavors of Northern Lights and combines them with a fruity taste and aroma, somewhat similar to strawberries. While it is indica-dominant, it has a healthy amount of sativa in it at 30%. Blue Lights has very little range to its THC levels—they’re straight up high at 26%. That said, there is a small amount of CBD at 3%.

Answering Northern Lights FAQs

There’s very little we love talking about more than our strain spotlights. Here are a few answers that you may need about Northern Lights:

Is Northern Lights an indica?
Yes, Northern Lights is primarily considered an indica-dominant hybrid strain. It likely descends from two separate landraces.

How strong is Northern Lights?
Northern Lights is known for its potency, typically boasting THC levels ranging from 16% to 21%. Because of this, it can be quite strong.

Is Northern Lights good for beginners?
Northern Lights can be a suitable choice for beginners because its THC levels do start in the moderate range. That said, with any strain, you should start slow and with a low dose until you know its effects on you.

What strain is like Northern Lights?
If you walk into a dispensary and discover they don’t have Northern Lights in stock, look for Blue Dream or Azure Haze. While not directly related to Northern Lights, Blue Dream has gained popularity alongside it in the cannabis community. Blue Dream is a crossbreed between Blueberry and Haze, creating a sativa-leaning hybrid. Although distinct from Northern Lights, it shares some characteristics that make it a worthy companion strain.

Purchasing Northern Lights

Because of its popularity, it’s pretty easy to walk into most dispensaries and find Northern Lights in stock. That said, if you don’t see it where you love to shop, talk to your budtender. They’ll be able to either find you the Northern Lights products they have available or point you to a similar strain.

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.