Northern Lights Strain | Updated Review

Northern Lights is one of the most well-known indicas in the world, and for a good reason. Not only is it named after one of the world’s most stunning natural wonders, but the strain is, itself, a stunning example of a nearly side-effect-free cannabis strain.

History and Makeup

Northern Lights Plant Genetics

Northern Lights has a THC content ranging from 15% to 22%. It is a pure indica (however, some phenotypes measure 10% sativa), with unclear CBD levels. Most agree, however, that the conditions that respond to CBD do not seem to respond to Northern Lights, which indicates a low level.

Murky origin stories are extremely common in the cannabis scene. Northern Lights is no exception. There are two prevailing theories, with the second being the most common.

Theory one: the strain was cultivated in Seattle, Washington.

Theory two: Northern Lights is a landrace strain originating from Holland.

Regardless of the specific origin, most cannabis academics agree that it was created through the combination and hybridization of a Thai landrace strain and an Afghani landrace strain. Landrace, in case you aren’t up on your weed lingo, means a marijuana strain that evolved in nature sans human intervention. These strains tend to be heartier than grow-room cultivated plants — survival of the fittest and all that.

Northern Lights is extremely famous and has won award upon award. Its five most common phenotypes are especially popular with those seeking to relieve stress and chronic pain. This is largely due to its relaxing body high. Northern Lights is particularly common on the west coast, but can also be found in places like Colorado.

Growing Northern Lights

Northern Lights is one of those strains that seems like it can’t get any better, and then goes ahead and does so anyway.

One of the ways it does this is by boasting a strong resistance to mold, pests, and diseases. This means that those looking to grow the strain likely won’t have to invest as much time, energy, or money into bug proofing their operation as opposed to cultivating other less resistant strains. Additionally, Northern Lights is good for those without expansive space to grow in, as it reaches what most consider a medium height. It also has a relatively short flowering time period of 7 to 9 weeks till harvest. The positives just keep adding up!

Outdoor growing requires balmy, Mediterranean weather, and sunny conditions. Because of this, Northern Lights does exceptionally well in specific sections of California and some southern states. Harvest for outdoor cultivation tends to be around the middle of October, and yield averages out around 20 to 22 ounces per plant.

Indoor cultivation needs dedicated climate control in order to reach those Mediterranean conditions. Growers report hydroponics and soil working well for Northern Lights. The yield for indoor growing – around 18 to 20 ounces per square meter – tends to be a bit lower than what outdoor growing produces.


Aesthetic and Flavor

The aesthetic and flavor of Northern Lights go hand in hand.

Dark green leaves with deep blue undertones frame the densely packed buds of Northern Lights. The dark-green of the plant makes one think of deep forest and shadowed evening light on tall trees. Highly sugared leaves and vibrant orange crystal-coated pistils make this strain look delicious and sweet. The buds tend to be sticky and sweet and mouthwateringly dense.

Just as the aesthetic of this strain brings forests and nature to mind, so does the flavor. Northern Lights is definitely potent in smell, with a dank kick and a pine undertone. The taste is particularly piney, with pungent earthy undertones. Users will often note a sweet, almost citrus aftertaste that lingers after each inhale.

Both the aesthetic and flavor seem to suggest that the opportune time to toke up some Northern Lights is on a camping trip, with a campfire blazing and marshmallows roasting.


I’ve been thinking about trying Northern Lights for a few months now, and finally decided that it was time. Happily, my decision lined up with a little weekend camping trip at a local state park. It was fitting, considering the strong nature vibes Northern Lights has going on.

All in all, I was extremely lucky to get my hands on some Northern Lights. It all but flies off the shelves due to its popularity, making it difficult to find if you don’t already have a hookup with a local budtender. It also requires a specific sort of outdoor environment, and climate-controlled indoor environment, which might limit the available supply. Thankfully, I do have a hookup that got me some of that sweet, piney Northern Lights for my weekend getaway. Being a reviewer has its perks, dontcha know.

I set up at a lovely site with lake access, lots of trees, and a large fire ring. It took a few hours to get my bearings (and to explore a bit), but after that, I set my sights on the most important part of camping: a campfire dinner. Once my tummy was full, I sat at a crackling fire and lit up.

Northern Lights has a reputation for coming over the user quickly. I’m pleased to say that its reputation is well deserved. A dreamy sensation came over me basically immediately. This was quickly followed by a euphoric uptick. I’m not a fan of indicas that are heavy on the dreamy, lazy aspect, with little impact on the positivity level of my mood. Northern Lights has an excellent balance between the two. I found myself cheerful yet chilled out – almost boneless in my relaxation.

I partook later in the day. Since Northern Lights has a full body relaxing impact that fades into general tiredness, a lot of people choose to do the same. I’d recommend setting aside time in the late afternoon or evening unless you have a lazy day planned. My head eventually began dipping, and my eyes started closing on their own. That was enough of a hint for me! I snuggled into my sleeping bag and conked right out. I woke up bright and early, feeling ready for a hike (after some coffee, of course).

I didn’t notice any side effects for Northern Lights – not even any dry eyes or cottonmouth. This isn’t the case with all users; however, so still be on the lookout for dry mouth.

Medical Benefits of Northern Lights

Northern Lights is extremely popular for medicinal purposes. Because Northern Lights is wonderfully relaxing, it is often useful for those seeking to relieve stress, anxiety, and insomnia. Additionally, it has pain-relieving abilities that are useful for dealing with chronic pain, migraines, and arthritis. The euphoric mood that comes with Northern Lights is excellent for those looking to manage depression and other mood disorders.

Northern Lights Strain Review Wrap up 

Northern Lights is a widely known (but sometimes rare) cannabis strain that has certainly earned its stripes. Not only does it put the user into a happy mood, but it relaxes the entire body, making it useful for those seeking medicinal benefits.

If you’re looking to try one of the ultimate greats of the cannabis scene, and one of the most famous strains of all time, add Northern Lights to your list! You can find it at virtually any local dispensary.

+ posts

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.

Scroll to Top