Northern Lights Strain Review

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Northern Lights buds in a bowl with a joint
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Year after year, cultivators experiment by crossing new breeds with the hopes of stumbling upon an amazing genetic combo. While some cannabis strains rise and fall in popularity, a few withstand the test of time. The award-winning Northern Lights strain is one such beauty.

Like most stoner lore, the origin of the Northern Lights strain is shrouded in mystery, though the earliest records place it around the early 1980s. Some say it was first created on an island off of Seattle, Washington by someone called “The Indian.” Though others believe he wasn’t the original breeder and instead found the legendary strain in California or Oregon and brought it back to his home. The story goes that “The Indian” bred 11 varieties of Northern Lights and selected the very best to propagate, which were Northern Lights #5 and #1. However, it’s Nevil Schoenmakers, the “King of Cannabis” himself who is credited for the classic indica strain’s fame. The Dutch cultivator found the strain while travelling the U.S. and brought clones back to the Netherlands where he was experimenting with cross breeding strains from around the globe. Schoenmakers opened the first seed bank in Holland and launched Northern Lights #1, which skyrocketed in popularity and the rest is history.

Northern Lights strain review

Is Northern Lights an indica or sativa?

Northern Lights is one of the purest indica strains available with around 90%-95% indica and just 5%-10% sativa genetics. Bred from crossing the potent indica Afghan strain and Thai (sativa), Northern Lights effects are pure indica.

Is the Northern Lights strain strong?

The legendary cannabis strain is considered to be extremely potent with some harvests testing at a whopping 33% THC level! The average Northern Lights strain you’ll get at the dispensary will probably range from 18% to 28% THC, which is still very potent. Northern Lights effects include sleepiness, relaxation, extreme calmness, and an uplifted, euphoric feeling. This is definitely a strain to unwind in the evening and not one for daytime use. New pot smokers are warned to start out very slow because Northern Lights will hit you hard.

What is the best Northern Lights strain?

Because of its popularity, it’s not surprising that Northern Lights has been experimented with and cross bred by countless cannabis cultivators. The Northern Lights strain has five very popular phenotypes and many more that aren’t as well known.

Northern Lights strain FAQ

  • Names: Northern Lights, NL
  • Breeder: Sensi Seeds
  • Lineage: Afghan and Thai
  • Hybrid: 95% indica, 5% sativa
  • Potency: 18%-33% THC
  • Flavor and aroma: Sweet flavor with a strong earthy, pine-like tone
  • Dominant terpene: Myrcene
  • Effects: Relaxation, calmness, sleepiness
  • Medical benefits: Sleep issues, pain relief, stress disorders, muscle relaxation

Northern Lights strain reviews from users

The following Northern Lights strain reviews are from Leafly users who describe their personal experience with this popular indica strain.


“Me and my friend hit this out of a bong one night in a hurry; what occurred next was legendary to us. We sat in my car, in a parking lot for 4 hours straight, unable to move, and staring at the stars. After that time we drove (with great difficulty) to a restaurant where we stared at our food for 2 hours before we came down. We have never even come close to being this high again, it was the strongest stuff I've ever come into contact with.”


“Hands down the best weed I've smoked. This tree really releases all of your blocks. On your mind and your body. Your thoughts just flow to you effortlessly. And the relief of my back pain almost made tears of joy come up. I couldn't feel any pain whatsoever (chronic back pain from injury).”

“You want to melt into your furniture and chill for a while? Haven't slept in days and need to count those sheep? Fam, this strain is the bees fuckin knees. I can say with 100% CERTAINTY that this strain will be part of my nightly bowl so I can go to freakin sleep!”

“A great indica for sex. As a strain for sex, Northern Lights does what the best indicas do: reduces anxiety, relaxes, and lowers inhibitions but without numbing or making you overly sleepy. It enhances sensations and slows things down to let you take your time enjoying each other.”

“As soon as I hit this, I knew it was an amazing strain. It was like it shut all thought processes down, putting me into a very happy and relaxed state. A genuine stress melter.”

Taste and aroma

“Great taste, sweet but piney.”

“Awesome strain. It's not loud or pungent in flavor or aroma. Like most indicas this was a slow groove high that kinda crept up on you.”

“The taste was that of sweet smooth earth. If that makes sense. As for effects, the vibrating body buzz from this stuff was real. Multiple nights it knocked me out with the lights on. Very powerful stuff, enjoyable as hell but potent!”

Stock up on 420 Accessories

Before you run to the dispensary for an eighth of Northern Lights, visit our online smoke shop and stock up on rolling paper, lighters, blunt wraps, herb grinders, rolling trays, weed storage containers, water bongs, dry herb vapes, dab rigs, and more!

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