By Luke Sumpter

Acapulco Gold shot to stardom following the landrace’s integration into the United States cannabis community in the 1960s. Today, almost every cannabis grower has heard of this strain. Even if you haven’t smoked her, chances are many of your favourite varieties are related to this superstar. Below, you’ll discover where Acapulco Gold came from, how she grows, and what she feels like to blaze.

The History of Acapulco Gold

Acapulco Gold first showed up in the United States back in 1964. Known for its stunning golden appearance and high levels of THC (for the time), this variety quickly ascended the ranks and became a highly prized cultivar across the world.

The variety started out as a landrace originally cultivated in the Guerrero Mountains of Mexico. Here, the famous smuggler Gary Tovar claimed that the unique colour of its buds occurred due to specific environmental factors, namely the manner in which the Pacific Ocean’s winds dried the buds on the branch. The precise lineage of the strain remains shrouded, but Acapulco Gold likely descended from other landrace varieties and eventually became genetically stabilised in isolated agricultural pockets.

Acapulco Gold Cannabis Strain
Acapulco Gold Cannabis Strain

Nowadays, many seed banks sell their own version of Acapulco Gold. Some of them can trace the genetics back to Mexican origins, whereas others have slapped the title on unrelated hybrids.

Either way, landraces arise as a plant becomes accustomed to its immediate surroundings. Thus, many breeders claim that the famed golden nuggets of Acapulco Gold are only available from plants exposed to the Acapulco sun and Gulf winds. Cannabis lovers that grow this strain elsewhere still experience great results, but fail more times than not to produce those quintessential flowers.

Acapulco Gold ranks as one of the most famous landrace cannabis strains of all time. However, specific environmental conditions are required to unlock what made her so special in the first place—her golden buds.

What Is Acapulco Gold Like to Grow?

Acapulco Gold features a tall and slender build; her long, thin leaflets add the final touch to her obvious sativa morphology. However, growers are able to tame this giant fairly easily with the right techniques, making her suitable for indoor cultivation. However, don’t expect to cram this cultivar into cupboards or boxes and expect things to go well.

Below are the main considerations you need to keep in mind in order to grow Acapulco Gold successfully, both indoors and outdoors.

Naturally, as a large sativa landrace, the Acapulco Gold strain requires a good amount of space. Indoors, you’ll need a medium-to-large grow tent, while outdoors, you’ll require a spot with good sun exposure (at least 8 hours) and decent shelter from harsh weather conditions.
Acapulco Gold’s large colas don’t take kindly to excess moisture and consistent heavy rainfall. Under these conditions, they’re very likely to develop mould. If you plan to grow Acapulco Gold outdoors in such conditions, consider raising plants in a ventilated greenhouse.
Acapulco Gold originated under the beating Mexican sun. She needs heat to unleash her full genetic potential. Place her in the sunniest spot in your garden, and keep her under cover at the start and end of the season in case of frost.
This towering strain needs plenty of nutrients to pack on size. Plant her in fertile soil rich in organic matter. Worm castings and chicken pellets are a great option at the start of the season to ensure long-lasting fertility. Treat plants to liquid feeds of worm tea, seaweed, and KNF preparations throughout the growing cycle.
If stealth ranks as one of your highest priorities when growing cannabis, then you won’t get on very well with this strain. Her tall and abundant growth can make her difficult to manage for novice growers; you’re better off opting for a shorter and stockier variety.

If you choose to grow Acapulco Gold indoors, employ topping, LST, and ScrOG to keep her relatively small while optimising productivity. Under strong lights, you can expect to harvest up to 500g/m² after a flowering time of 70–75 days.

Outdoors, you can leave Acapulco Gold to grow as she pleases. Under these conditions, she’ll develop a large, dense central cola flanked by smaller nugget-like buds. Prepare enough stash jars for a massive yield ready to harvest during the middle of October.

Acapulco Gold needs plenty of room to grow, but several training techniques can keep her small enough to cultivate indoors. Provide her with enough nutrients and good soil, and you’ll reap a very heavy reward.

Flavour and Aroma: What to Expect from Acapulco Gold

Acapulco Gold gained such an impressive reputation in part because of her delicious terpene profile. Collectively, these molecules converge to treat users to a blend of earth, chestnut, fruit, and spice. The principal molecules responsible for these flavours include:

  • Caryophyllene: This terpene and cannabinoid contributes spicy aromas and physically soothing properties.
  • Myrcene: Stoning in nature, this terpene also occurs in mango and hops, where it adds a fruity taste.
  • Limonene: This fruity and citrusy terpene adds a clear-headed element to Acapulco Gold.

Overall, Acapulco Gold serves up a pleasant sensory experience. Enjoy flavours of fruit, spice, and earth.

Acapulco Gold Cannabis Taste
Acapulco Gold Cannabis Taste and Effects

What Are the Effects of Acapulco Gold?

An average THC content of 19% made Acapulco Gold quite the cognitive wrecking ball back in the day. However, these levels are fairly modest by today’s standards. Still, many users revel in her more grounding and easygoing effects. Instead of catapulting your mind to the moon, this strain will keep you slightly elevated yet clear-headed—and deeply relaxed.

Acapulco Gold exerts a pleasant and relatively gentle high that stimulates the mind while relaxing the body.

Acapulco Gold Cannabis Effects
Acapulco Gold Cannabis Effects

Get to Know Acapulco Gold

You’re now aware of where Acapulco Gold comes from and what she’s like to grow. You’re also familiar with her effects, taste, and aroma. Now, all that’s left to do is try her for yourself! If you have the space and the freedom to grow, then you’ll quickly autumn in love with the productivity of this beloved landrace. Though you may be able to get your hands on true Acapulco Gold cannabis seeds, you can also consider growing descendants of this strain, including numerous Skunk, Haze, and Diesel varieties.

Shining Silver Haze
23_genetic background_1 Haze x (Skunk x Northern Light)
33_Yield indoors_1 600 - 650 gr/m2
31_plant height outdoor_1 80 - 120 cm
25_flowering time_1 9 - 11 weeks
29_THC_1 THC: 21%
28_Type Blend_1 Sativa 75% Indica 25%
34_yield outdoor_1 600 - 650 gr/plant
32_plant height outdoors_1 180 - 220 cm
27_harvest period_1 Late October
22_Effect_1 Heavy

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