Northern Lights Cannabis: A Brief History.
Northern Lights cannabis: everything you need to know about Northern Lights cannabis seeds and the Northern Lights strain.
There are few varieties that can claim the same fame as the Northern Lights cannabis strain. It is at least as well-known as Skunk and White Widow, and with very good reason.
The originals were 100% indica but later acquired a little Thai sativa in their genetic make-up. Many people point to this influence as the reason for the slight trippiness in the high and the sweetness of the aroma. Most of the plants hence were selected towards indica, indeed, ‘Northern Lights cannabis indica’ became a stock phrase, but one or two phenotypes still express this sativa influence, evidence of the chequered genetic history of the Northern Lights strain.
Northern Lights cannabis seeds arrived in the Netherlands in 1985 from the USA, having being originally created by a breeder known as The Indian, a mysterious cannabis aficionado who reportedly lived on an island off Seattle. The Northern Lights strain fell into the hands of a certain Neville Schoenmaker in the form of eleven numbered plants, of which Northern Lights #5 was considered to be easily the finest of the selections.
Neville Schoenmaker was the proprietor of The Seed Bank, the first official cannabis seed company in the Netherlands and the same one that merged to become Sensi Seeds, under the stewardship of Ben Dronkers. The story goes that all the various Northern Lights plants given to Neville Schoenmaker at the Seed Bank were females. It wasn’t long before new strains began to appear on the Seed Bank list, many of which were Northern Light. The exact genesis of these new plants remains a mystery, but Neville Schoenmaker must have used the clones to create these new hybrids by crossing them with some stock, Afghani males.
The genetic lineage of the all the subsequent Northern Lights plants became rather blurred, although the Northern Lights #5 clone was, allegedly, never made available as a seed and must be the only unaltered version of Schoenmaker’s stock. This NL#5 was used to create a host of superior hybrids, and although the majority of these lines are now extinct, there are many still available, such as Northern Lights #5 x Haze, Shiva Skunk, Silver Pearl and the mighty Jack Herer, all from Sensi Seeds.
Today’s version of cannabis Northern Lights by Sensi is a cross of three of the pure variants included in The Indian’s original selection. Other breeders offer high-quality Northern Lights plants and hybrids, but all the evidence points to Sensi as having the strongest claim to the original.
There are rumours of a genuine, original Northern Lights cutting known as P91 (Poway Class of ’91). This plant, hailing from Poway, San Diego, is purported to be an inbred version of Northern Lights #5, but this has yet to be confirmed. If true, it will be one of the few genuinely pure Northern Lights plants left anywhere in the world.
The strains created from Northern Lights are as numerous as they are diverse. Most modern seedbanks sell their own versions, with some being closely related to the original, while others struggle to claim any sort of relation. It is undoubtedly one of the single most important cannabis strains the world has ever known, and continues to excite the imagination more than any other strain in history.