Made famous by the James Franco and Seth Rogen stoner comedy of the same name, Pineapple Express is a popular sativa-leaning hybrid. Contrary to its depiction in film as a government-created experimental drug with military applications, Pineapple Express is a cross between landrace sativa Hawaiian and hybrid Trainwreck, which is itself a cross between far-flung landraces from Mexico, Thailand, and Afghanistan. Although there’s no consensus on whether or not the Pineapple Express strain lent the 2008 movie its name or vice versa, there’s no doubting the appeal of this well-balanced hybrid. Its THC content can clock in anywhere between 15% and a staggering 26%; certain phenotypes also contain small amounts of the pain-relieving cannabinoid CBD.
Pineapple Express has thick and lumpy buds that show off the strain’s hybridized genetics: they are densely packed like indica flowers, but have the long and tapered shape characteristic of many sativa varieties. The deep green leaves are sometimes tinged with shades of red (the result of pigments activated by cold weather during the grow process) and are accented by deep orange to red pistils. This is a very resinous strain, and the sticky flowers can be very hard to break up without a grinder; the residue left behind may be difficult to clean off of surface and fingertips. The predominant smell of Pineapple Express flowers is, unsurprisingly, pineapple -- but there are other, less tropical scents present like a hint of musk and some dank earthiness.
When inhaled, the smooth smoke from this strain tastes earthy and a little bit piney. On the exhale, users will detect a sugary sweetness that lingers in the mouth, although not unpleasantly.
Pineapple Express offers what can be described as a creeper of a high -- smokers may have long since finished savoring the smoke’s unique taste before they notice the effects. They begin in the head, with a change in perception. Many have reported some initial psychedelic distortions like a sharpened focus on colors and sounds. As such, Pineapple Express can be a great strain to accompany a scenic walk. This alert head high is soon accompanied by a tingling relaxation in the extremities that helps users feel at ease, whatever their surroundings. The combination of cerebral focus and mellow relaxation makes Pineapple Express a versatile strain, good for chatty get-togethers or getting through a to-do list. Medically, this strain’s feeling of mental calm can be very effective in treating mood and anxiety disorders, helping patients to be more fully present and energetic. And although this strain isn’t as good as some more indica-dominant hybrids in treating physical pain, its head high can actually be useful in distraction users from the acute perception of chronic pain. The high from Pineapple Express is said to last longer than usual, providing a more economically efficient high for many consumers.
Pineapple Express can be cultivated from clone clippings, but due to its wide name recognition, many companies have made packaged seeds available online. Depending on phenotypes, plants can be relatively short and bushy or slightly taller and spindly, making them as easily grown indoors as out. Success outdoor cultivation requires a climate as close to tropical as possible, with consistently warm and semi-humid conditions. Pineapple Express plants are ready for harvest in mid to late October when grown outdoors and within 7 to 8 weeks when grown indoors. This strain has a moderate yield -- growers can expect about 37 grams (or 1.3 ounces) per square foot of plant. This is also an especially pungent strain in both the vegetative and flowering stages, so growers concerned with maintaining discretion should put odor control measures in place, like ionized and carbon air filters or exhaust fans.
Although Pineapple Express may not be as overpowering as the eponymous movie implies -- it won’t turn you into a rambling, beat-boxing Bill Hader -- it’s an excellent middle-of-the-road strain for daytime or nighttime use. With its pleasant fruity smell and its upbeat, chatty vibe -- to say nothing of its Hollywood credentials -- Pineapple Express is an especially good strain in lively social settings, where it can attract some friendly attention and serve as a great ice-breaker.