Northern Lights Strain — A Legendary High

northern lights strain

One of the most famous cannabis cultivars of all time, the Northern Lights strain has pretty much attained legendary status among seasoned weed lovers. This super popular, almost pure indica is a long-time favorite for its potency and powerful mix of mind-body effects.

Known for slamming users straight into a blissful, altered, and deeply relaxed state, Northern Lights is noted by many as a two-hit-quit strain. Its high THC content induces a near-immediate sedative effect accompanied by an uplifting, carefree euphoria that melts away stress and anxiety.

Smooth, earthy, hashy, and slightly sweet, Northern Lights has an old-school flavor profile that can be tough to find among today’s top-shelf strains. This well-loved bud has several potential benefits for medical patients, while recreational smokers turn to the strain to chill out and relax at the end of a long, stressful day.

Strain Table of Contents

Northern Lights Strain
10Expert Score
Northern Lights Flavor Scale

Notes of spicy pine, wood, hash, skunk, and a twinge of citrus imbue the Northern Lights strain with a complex blend of earthy sweetness and a widely appreciated top-shelf flavor profile.


      AVO Ratings



      15 -40%



      15% - 40%

      Northern Lights Strain Information

      The iconic and highly sought-after Northern Lights strain has a history shrouded in mystery. Legend has it that the strain was originally grown on an island near Seattle, Washington, in the 1970s by an unknown individual called “The Indian.”

      Supposedly, this guy grew several Afghani indica plants, naming them Northern Lights #1-11. He then compared the plants’ effects, qualities, and yields to find the standout phenotypes. As the story goes, the strain then traveled to Holland where it was perfected by the so-called “King of Cannabis,” Neville Schoenmaker.

      The breeding process wasn’t well documented, though, so no one really knows exactly how Northern Lights came to be. The strain first hit the market in Europe in the mid-1980s and made its way back to the U.S. in the early ’90s. Today, Sensi Seeds continues to propagate the Northern Lights family line.

      A cross between Afghani and Thai indicas, the Northern Lights strain is 95% indica and just 5% Sativa. Its THC content hovers between 16% and 21% while its CBD levels are practically nonexistent. Given its roots, Northern Lights produces all the typical effects of a strong indica: mind-body relaxation, a euphoric body high, heightened appetite, sedation, and an all-around, feel-good state.

      Definitely a nighttime strain, Northern Lights has several potential benefits for medical users. It’s commonly used for chronic pain relief, anxiety, insomnia, loss of appetite, stress, depression, and chronic headaches.

      Strain Effects

      Relaxed 71%
      Happy 74%
      Euphoric 73%
      Helps With
      Stress 73%
      Anxiety 83%
      Pain 73%
      Dry mouth
      Dry mouth 50%
      Dry eyes
      Dry eyes 50%
      Dizzy 50%

      Northern Lights Strain Pairings

      Pairs With Music
      Sigue Ros
      Sigue Ros 70%
      B-Side 93%
      Bob Marley
      Bob Marley 75%

      Sigur Ros — If the real Northern lights had a soundtrack, Sigur Ros would be all over it. Ethereal, calming, uplifting, and beautiful, these melodies paint a sublime backdrop for the Northern Lights experience.

      B-Side — Chill, uplifting, instrumental beats. Perfect for winding down the day with Northern Lights.

      Bob Marley — Get baked with Bob. Legendary smoke music for a legendary strain.

      Pairs With Food
      Roasted turkey
      Roasted turkey 50%
      Spaghetti and meatballs
      Spaghetti and meatballs 73%
      Surf and turf
      Surf and turf 75%

      Roasted turkey (with stuffing and mashed potatoes) — Don’t be surprised if Northern Lights gets your appetite raring before it knocks you out. Pair it with a super-satisfying turkey dinner and let the tryptophan do its thing. Best. Sleep. Ever.

      Spaghetti and meatballs — Rich, flavorful, relaxing, comfort food at its best. An excellent complement to Northern Lights’ piney, earthy flavors.

      Surf and turf — Get the best of all three worlds in one night. Treat your palate to a taste of land and sea while you get sky high on Northern Lights.

      Pairs With Spirits
      Green Chartreuse
      Green Chartreuse 77%
      Tom Collins
      Tom Collins 95%
      Pinot Noir
      Pinot Noir 81%

      Green Chartreuse — Distilled from 130 plants, herbs, and flowers, this kaleidoscope of botanical goodness is an excellent palate primer for Northern LIghts’ smooth, piney, earthy taste experience. Enjoy it neat.

      Tom Collins — Citrusy, herbal, and refreshing, enjoy this grown-up lemonade while you kick back and relax with a bowl of Northern Lights.

      Pinot Noir — Hard-core wine enthusiasts love Pinot Noir like devoted weed enthusiasts love Northern Lights. Coincidentally, complementary terpene profiles make these two a match made in heaven.

      Where The Northern Lights Strain Is Grown

      While the history of the Northern Lights strain is a bit muddy, the general consensus is that the strain originally grew near Seattle, Washington. Today, Amsterdam-based seed bank, Sensi Seeds, continues to propagate the strain.

      Strain Summary

      Highly sought-after and renowned for its wonderfully uplifting, euphoric, and relaxing effects on both the body and mind, the Northern Lights strain is truly a knockout indica. Its full-body effects are best enjoyed at night as it deeply relaxes users into intense couch-lock and ultimately, blissful sleep.

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      JJ Smoak

      Brooklyn native, accent-having, travel lover, wordsmith and bud enthusiast. Versed from the streets of NYC, mixed with some world influence, writer/editor and medical user extraordinaire, JJ is here to tell you like it is and guide you to the finest. Brooklyn's favorite feminine stoner, your neighborhood contributor, wrapping leaves like a bandage and bringing you along for the ride.

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      1. […] Northern Lights strain is a favorite of so many people that want to kick back after smoking a joint. The strain can have up to 23 percent THC and the strain has been around for years. You can deal with a lack of appetite or insomnia with this classic strain.  […]

      2. Reply
        Kenneth Ray Marshall April 25, 2022 at 2:38 am

        Northern Lights. My brother was in the military back in the early 80s. Anyway somehow when they were deployed over the sea. He got his hands on these seeds. After his enlistment was finest. And he returned home in Indiana we started planting these northern lights and ill tell you the buds were unreal some kick-ass stuff guys were given up to two hundred bucks an ounce. Very popular in our community. Certain guys, we trusted very much. we would sell to. The clientele was limited. People tend to get loose lips. Our names somehow were mentioned to the wrong. Individuals. Can not trust anyone. The department of natural resources. Was investigating our farm. Check out the potential of pot growing in our cornfield. Helicopters would be flying right above the corn and we would be standing in our barn and laughing our asses off. One with a little bit of common sense knows better than to put the pot in a patch. We were not that stupid. We were growing up right beside the county road my Zions road every year. I had a conversation office stop me on the roadway. and looked at me and said I know for a fact that you and your brother are growing marijuana. I said really until you catch me in a patch of marijuana with my hands on it .you don’t know anything, Bill Brown. And John Lucius. These two game wardens had a hardon for me and my brother. They tried everything possible to catch up. A day late and a dollar short. Bill Brown has been a conversation officers in our country for years. He made the remark to my oldest sister that me and my brother were the worst two outlaws to ever hit Fayette County Indiana

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