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Because Northern Lights is one of the most widely crossed strains of cannabis, NL crosses with 50% or less NL heritage are listed under the heading of the cross, i.e. NL x Haze is found under "Haze" not "Northern Lights".
Origins of Northern Lights
Northern Lights is a stabilized Cannabis sativa crossed cannabis Afghani hybrid variety developed in the late 1970's near Seattle, Washington. The northwest of America was the center of indoor sinsemilla (from the Spanish meaning "without seeds" , this begins the female clone technique that is commonplace technique now ) production and cannabis breeding. Due to the poor weather associated with this region, sinsemilla cultivators have long resorted to growing cannabis inside under lights long before growers in other more temperate regions of North America. Northern Lights has been highly regarded for many years throughout the northwest and was multiplied and distributed by Dutch Seed companies, starting with Nevil's Seed Bank then Sensi Seed and S.C.C.C.
The variety was inbred and selected for short early maturing plants with large floral clusters and resembles its cannabis afghanica parentage most closely. Northern Lights has been preserved much as it originally was through inbreeding without any marked improvements other than hybridization with other established varieties. Northern Lights is a dark green, fairly short variety with leafy but very resinous floral clusters and requires 8-10 weeks of a 12 hour photoperiod to mature completely. Conspicuous about Northern Lights is it has little smell. -High Times Cultivation Tips
Northern Lights came from the Seattle area, but I am convinced that the initial genetics came from California. Back in the late 60's and early 70's the principle sources of pot on the West Coast was Mexican, with some occasional Thai Stick and Nam weed thrown in for good measure. The Thai and Nam weed kicked the Mexican's butt, and the entry of Colombian into the market out here in say, oh, 1972 (first I saw) made us all disenchanted with Mexican. I remember Christmas of 1972 some friends brought up 100 or so pounds from SD and couldn't sell it for anything! No one wanted to smoke the crap. I took off for the holidays and came back to find them still squatting in the house trying to move the dope, when they had planned on spending a monied Christmas in the sun. They looked whipped!
Up to that time there was no real point in growing Mex. Oh sure, some tried, I had friends doing it all the time, but you know what they got. I grew two 8 footers in a closet in my flat in the University District (both male, haha). Besides, it was 0-130 per pound! Why go through the effort? The higher quality pots got expensive and scarce as the war was winding down, and Colombian was king at about 0-450 per pound.
Well, at that price more and more people started trying to grow. And getting nowhere; huge Christmas tree plants maturing in December, if they were lucky.
So, everyone knows what happened then, someone or some group, unknown to me, got hold of some indica seed and the rest was history. The first crystalled sativa/indica hybrid I saw was from Humboldt in 1976, but I believe the scene had been going on a bit before that. And it was a fricking monster of course. I remember being in San Diego visiting a friend and a grower from Humboldt brought some of this stuff down. We were huge pot smokers, I mean huge, but one small joint of this stuff didn't even get burned down. It went out, to our great embarrassment and shock. This couldn't be!
Anyway, Northern Lights didn't just pop up in Seattle. Obviously some seed from the California explosion got up here, and we started messing with it. The problem with Seattle of course is that our falls are too wet to grow outside past September, and the California weed was maturing in late October. The answer was to bring it inside, but then it needed to be short and quick. Some early results of the breeding activities I saw was a basement growing room, about 100 plants in soil buckets under fluorescent lights (and boxes of aluminum foil covering the wall). The plant would be recognizable today as essentially Northern Lights.
This was 1977, 78 These growers I know were connected to the California scene, no question about it, and I would bet my balls they got the seed and plants from there. The time frame is just right, for one of the group was going to college in Humboldt at the time. But it's also almost certainly true that this same story didn't happen only once. Plenty of stoners were growing around here at that time, and never connected with each other, naturally.
I've been growing the same plant from seed and from clones ever since, off and on, and a friend has never quit; same plant from that basement room. I have three distinct types, and have replaced them only recently when I was able to get "name" brands from Vancouver. So, for all intents and purposes, I guess I know where part of Northern Lights is, or at least a similar plant. But as to whom actually takes credit and the full lineage of the various types sold today, that is not known to me. I retain no pure strains, because I lost the male lineage about 8 years ago. I bred the three female types against several "name" strains to preserve some of the genetics, but it looks to me that the Dutch seed companies have the real thing, or close. -SCW
This state of the art Indica is the result of over 20 years of select inbreeding. Bred for vigorous growth, high yield, and superb high. A must for growers who prefer short bushy plants. The buds have an extremely frosted, resinous appearance and the yield is high.More
This is my first crop with a 1K light. All 8 plants were grown in 2.5 gal containers, organic super soil. Seven Aurora B females from a ten seed pack. Vegged for 50 days and all finished flowering within 50 days. The Aurora B came on strong in the last two weeks. I didn't really expect what I ended up with, but they really bulked up well during the last two weeks of flowering. I topped the three tallest ones and they produced slightly more than the untopped, but the ones that I didn't top turned out to have some really nice colas. One ended up being around 18 inches long and 3 inches in diameter, plus a cluster of smaller flowers around the base of the main shoot. Their scents ranged from pungent,(the big cola) to the lemon scent that I've heard some of these plants produced, and all of them were very frosty. The smaller plants were the ones that tended to smell like lemons. Overall, I ended up with just over 13.5 oz's, including 11 oz's of Aurora B, from 8 plants. A happy camper.More
The Northern Lights #1 (NL) is one of the most potent and famous indica varieties. Even though there are a lot of copies circulating around with variations on the name, there are only 3 pure types from the original development of Northern Lights, which Sensi was lucky to acquire.More
Strong sweet weed, much THC, with big buds and few leaves. Improvement on, and has a stronger taste than pure Northern Light. This is the # 1 in it's kind. Best for inside cultivation.
The one I know is the NL X Shiva cross from Aloha which I like and have grown continuously for years. It is very potent, wonderfully aromatic and complex. It is also pretty easy to grow and finishes fast despite the fact that it yields well! An all-around winner, IMO.- Moose
A pure Indica, won the Cannabis Cup in ?88, ?89, ?90. Much used for cross breeding for it?s strong and big buds. Famous throughout the world, everyone has heard of N.L. Sweet taste and very potent stone.More
One of the most popular varieties, Oasis is our Northern Lights #2 selection. A very strong plant, almost spider mite resistant. Good yield, excellent taste and excellent high.More
The offspring of Northern Lights #5 and Skunk #1, M-39 is a difficult crop to grow properly. However, when grown correctly, the M-39 marijuana strain has a fruity and lemon taste with many trichomes and very visible crystals. The buds are very compact, heavy, and dense. Flowering time is about 45 days, with the strain's THC content measuring up to 16.5%.More
After years of heartfelt requests for a Northern Lights strain, Sagarmatha has engineered a superior version of the NL legend. NL#9 delivers the finest qualities expected from that variety: a short plant with a voracious stone and minimal smell. The flowering time is acceptable and fat chunky nugs can be expected. Fantastic for gardens where smell is an unfavorable factor. Also fine for persons who desire a heavy, lethargic stone.More