Northern Lights is one of the most purely indica strains, giving it a strong sedative effect. As one of the most popular strains of all time, Northern Lights brings a sense of positivity and ease to the mind, as well as a wave of relaxation to the body. It is useful for treating a wide array of medical conditions, from chronic pain to anxiety to insomnia.

Northern Lights is also fairly easy to grow. With its high yields, disease resistance, and ability to be grown in a variety of conditions, this strain lends itself well to growers of all experience levels. It’s also known to flower fairly quickly, especially if grown in a hydroponic setup.

Effects of Northern Lights

The most well known effect of this strain is its sedative quality. After even just a few hits, this potent strain will have you feeling mellow, a bit numb, and ready to sit on the couch or drift off to sleep. Northern Lights produces a strong body high, followed by waves of euphoria and a lighter, slower headspace. Those with a low tolerance, beware! Too much of this strain can lead to couch-lock and an intense case of the munchies.

Often recommended as a good bed-time or nighttime strain, Northern Lights can help you create a calming space for yourself to drift off to sleep. If you struggle with insomnia, this strain can definitely help you quiet your mind and get a good night’s rest. Although this strain allows for you to focus and maintain a sense of creativity, it’s still recommended that you ingest it at a time where you won’t be needing to leave the couch or attend to anything that requires a ton of attention. Northern Lights may not be super conducive to being productive, but rather helps the user decompress and let go of stress at the end of the day.

As mentioned before, a common side effect of Northern Lights is its abilities as an appetite stimulant. Depending on your circumstances, this could be helpful or a nuisance. This strain is oftentimes recommended to those suffering from eating disorders such as anorexia. It is able to create a drive to eat, as well as soothe any pain related to indigestion or fullness. Regardless of your reason for choosing Northern Lights, make sure you have some snacks handy!

Flavor and Aroma

When being ground up, the earthy, piney aroma will begin to fill your room. It is rather pungent, and has a traditional herbal ganja scent. Once lit, you will be able to taste its spicy, earthy flavor profile. Upon exhale, you’ll be able to sense its sweet undertones.

The main terpenes in this strain are myrcene, beta-caryophyllene, and pinene. The beta-caryophyllene brings its spicy, peppery flavors into play, also bringing anti-inflammatory properties to the table. Myrcene is the reason for its sweet undertones and also plays a big part in creating the sedative effect of this strain. Lastly, the pinene content is responsible for the earthy, piney smell and flavor of Northern Lights. This terpene also helps combat inflammation and anxiety. 


The buds of this strain are a dark olive in color, dense and coated with frosty trichomes. When grown right, sometimes this strain can also have streaks of purple and blue, reminiscent of the actual Northern Lights it was named after. The plants themselves don’t grow to be very tall, like most indicas. At their full height, they’ll grow to be about five feet tall. 

Origin of The Strain

Northern Lights was created by crossing Afghan with Thai. The strain was popularized by a man named Nevil Schoenmakers in the 80s when he founded the Seed Bank of Holland. Although the effects of this strain mostly line up with its Afghan lineage, the Thai element in its ancestry helps bring forth a wave of euphoria and creativity. Even with the sativa of the Thai present, Northern Lights remains very indica dominant, a strong sedative like Afghani. 

Growing Northern Lights

Northern Lights is a fairly easy strain to grow, so growers of all experience levels can succeed and get fairly high yields out of these plants. They can be grown indoors or outdoors, but the most ideal setup for this strain would be a hydroponic growing system. The flowering period is relatively short at around 8 weeks, but if you were to use a hydroponic setup, it could shorten it to around 6 weeks.

Northern Lights is naturally pretty resistant to mold, disease, and pests, so it won’t be too hard to keep your plants safe and healthy. With an indoor yield of 18 ounces per square meter and outdoor yield of 22+ ounces per plant, you can get a pretty good amount of bud out of this strain. If growing outdoors, Northern Lights prefers a fairly dry, warm climate and is usually harvested around mid October. 

Medical Benefits

Like most indica dominant strains, Northern Lights lends itself well to those who struggle with anxiety, pain management, and insomnia. With the mental aspect of the high, this strain can promote a sense of relaxation and peace, allowing for the user to let go of negative thoughts and anxiety. This element can also help ease depression and elevate your mood as you begin to feel the gentle waves of euphoria.

Physically, the body high can also act as a source of comfort and way to help alleviate anxiety and stress. This state of deep relaxation is known for helping users drift peacefully off to sleep, aiding with racing thoughts and other causes of insomnia. Northern Lights also is able to help relieve pain, and is often used by those suffering from fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and migraines.

This strain is also known to induce an appetite, so it can be very helpful to those suffering from an eating disorder like anorexia. On top of creating a drive to eat, its anti inflammatory properties help soothe the process of digestion and manage any pain or discomfort that may come from it. Overall, this strain lends itself well to those looking to decompress and enter a clear, relaxed, pain-free state of being.

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