Acapulco Gold Strain Review

Acapulco Gold is a world-renowned sativa dominant hybrid (80% sativa and 20% indica), made famous by references in popular media, and the quality of its high. It is exceptionally potent and gives the user a cerebral, yet relaxing experience like no other.

History and Makeup

Acapulco Gold’s THC levels of 17% to 23% are considered rather high. Back in the day, finding cannabis over 15% was unusual, making Acapulco Gold highly sought after for being an extremely vigorous strain. It also has very low CBD content, and It has average cannabinoid and terpene content.

Acapulco Gold is, no surprise, from Acapulco. What its name doesn’t tell you is that it’s a landrace strain (meaning it developed naturally in the wild). We don’t know much about the history of Acapulco Gold other than the region of origin.

The sativa dominant strain, named after the city in Mexico, was first recorded in the United States in 1964. Due to its high THC content and relaxing, yet cerebral and uplifting high, Acapulco Gold was thought to be the absolute height of what cannabis was meant to be in the 60s and 70s. Users frequently claimed it had a body high unlike any other, a reputation that has continued to the present day.

Acapulco was referenced in 1975 on SNL and by people like John Lennon, Rush, and in Cheech and Chong’s 1978 movie, ‘Up in Smoke.’ Additionally, Acapulco Gold is the name of Edwin Corley’s novel about the corporate groundwork laid for the legalization of pot.

Growing Acapulco Gold

Think of Acapulco Gold as a medium boss level. It’s a tough beastie to go up against, but still possible. And, bonus, it has one heck of a payoff if you do it right.

Acapulco Gold hails from a tropical climate. Because of this, the temperature it craves is difficult to replicate in an indoor environment. Since Acapulco Gold is a landrace strain, it’s considered highly resistant to diseases and insects. This includes bacterial infections, mites, and molds. Because of this, it works well in outdoor environments, provided that the climate is similar to its origins. You’ll need hot temperatures and tropical weather the likes of California or Arizona if you’re going to try to cultivate Acapulco Gold.

Flowering time for the Acapulco Gold strain takes about eight to nine weeks before harvest (70-75 days when grown indoors) and has been reported to yield as much as 500 grams per square meter. Outdoor cultivation sees a harvest around the middle of October. It can grow up to 80 inches in height. The nuggets it produces have plenty of trichomes with orange hairs.

If you’re looking for Acapulco Gold seeds, you can usually find them on online seed banks that carry a range of international seeds.

Aesthetic and Flavor

Unsurprisingly, Acapulco Gold is known for its gold coloring. Some plants even have dark, reddish-brown highlights mixed in with the vibrant green of the leaves. Though the coloring is highly dependent on the phenotype, the user receives, likely there will be gold highlights in most bags.

This lovely gold coloring makes Acapulco Gold a joy to see growing. When the plants begin to bud, it can look like the whole cultivated stock has been dusted in gold dust. The plant itself is coated in crystalline resin and bright orange pistils. It is tacky and sticky in nature because of these crystals.

Walking into a room of growing Acapulco Gold often reminds one of dark, sweet candies and, of course, that unique (and lovely) cannabis skunk. Acapulco Gold has a distinct earthy flavor. It reminds many of an intense green tea. Others note hints of chestnut and other nutty tones.


Acapulco Gold is not an easy strain to find.

I got it in my head that I wanted to whip up an Acapulco Gold strain review (which was essentially an excuse to try the strain myself, oops). Of course, this meant that the universe conspired to empty out every dispensary within 100 miles and make my search extremely difficult.

I spent a rainy Thursday morning/afternoon driving from dispensary to dog park to dispensary to people park to look for the famous strain and to entertain my dog in equal measure. By the time I’d left the third dispensary, I had realized it might be a good idea to call ahead before making the trip. After the fourth, I gave up and decided to try some other strain I hadn’t reviewed yet either. Alas, at least my dog had fun!

This is when my friend (let’s call her Jane for anonymity’s sake) came to the rescue. I told her about the day that was entirely my own fault, and she announced that she knew a gal who knew a guy who knew a gal grower. A few hours later, Jane came to my door with a beautifully dusted baggie of Acapulco Gold. Jane, to the rescue! Thanks, buddy.

Together, we picked a scary movie, then packed a bowl to accompany Sigourney as she utterly destroyed some xenomorph scum.

I’m usually leery of hype when it comes to cannabis strains. My wariness to indulge in the idea of unearned hype around Acapulco Gold was dispelled like so much smoke in a well ventilated room. The side effects of Acapulco Gold are indeed cerebral and left me feeling uplifted. My brain was buzzing almost instantly, and I was soon hyper-focused on the clunky spaceship on the screen moving through the starry universe. I wasn’t feeling terribly melancholy that day. Regardless, Acapulco Gold sent my mood up, up, up until I was nearly giddy. The buzzy high faded after a bit into a melty, relaxing state.

Acapulco Gold is potent and therefore tends to last longer. It stayed with me until Sigourney was declared victorious against the xenomorphs.

Both me and my friend, Jane, experienced some mild dry mouth and dry eyes. Both were easily fixed. Other users have mentioned paranoia or anxiety with Acapulco Gold. Neither of us experienced this, but it might be something to look out for if you’re planning on trying the strain (especially if you are looking to alleviate symptoms of mental illness). I might not recommend this strain for first-time users since it may be a bit too intense.

Wrapping up on Acapulco Gold

Acapulco Gold is a famous strain, and for a good reason. The high is brainy and energetic upfront, then fades into a relaxed and happy state. This strain would be ideal for those looking for a pick-me-up during a melancholic period or those hoping to relieve chronic pain. If you’d like to dive into one of the most well known and oldest strains out there, think about giving Acapulco Gold a chance!

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Ed is a writer and marketer who has been involved with the cannabis industry since 2017. He is particularly passionate about helping small businesses succeed in the increasingly corporate-takeover environment of the cannabis industry, as well as helping people get started working with cannabis.

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