Pineapple Express Strain Review

Pineapple Express is probably one of the most well known marijuana strains out there today.

It became notorious after the film of the same name, starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, syndicated the strain into what it is known today. Since 2008 this strain has remained popular and is on the selves in most head shops across the US.

There is some debate and mystery around the actual origins of the strain, but inspired by the film or created purely in the name of Mary Jane, this bud is one that you will want to try for sure.

Smokers should remember that the strain Pineapple Express and the film Pineapple Express are not of the same origin.

Seth Rogan, in a series of tweets, cleared up the matter suggesting that there was no strain called Pineapple Express when the film was created, claiming ‘if one day people are out there selling weed called Pineapple Express, it [the film] worked’.

The strain in the movie is actually referring to a Hawaiian weather system that sometimes hits the Pacific Northwest, where the film’s creators originate.

Pineapple Express Strain

So, Pineapple Express, the real strain, doesn’t have anything to do with the film.

While there is some mystery around whether the strain was named after the film or not, it certainly didn’t exist when the film came out, but is widely enjoyed for its independent quality as a strain.

The strain is a classic sativa hybrid and is enjoyed by both medical and recreational users, and is syndicated for its perfect high where the express runs right through the middle of sativa and indica providing a train journey that goes straight up the Hana Highway!

Strain History


G13 Labs claim they originated the strain by mixing Trainwreck and Hawaiian genetics to create this sativa dominant hybrid.

This perhaps shines some light on the name, not related to the film, as the Hawaiian parent name forms the ‘Pineapple’ part, and the Trainwreck parent name forms the ‘Express’ part. 


According to Rogen, he believes that the Pineapple Express strain was made in response to the movie. Inspired by the box office hit, growers took to their labs to create a strain that seemed appropriately similar to the strain in the film.

Rogen himself made a claim that muddied the water somewhat: “There’s… Pineapple Express weed that’s named after our movie,” he told Dener’s ‘Everyday Show’. “We created it.

There was no Pineapple Express weed before the movie.” While some people think he literally created the strain, I personally believe that we are taking him too literally.

When Rogen says he ‘created’ the weed I think that he means that he created it in the sense that he thought of it first, and people made the weed based on the film, rather than him claiming he literally invented the specific strain we are referring to.

Although Franco and Rogen do have their own strains together that they helped design, so who knows.

G13 Labs claim they were the first to originate the strain in the mid 2000s around the time that the film came out but didn’t choose to shine a light on if there is a relation between the film and the strain.

However, many seed banks and growers seek to create their own take on the strain in the film, so as a result there are quite a few variations and twists on what is recognised as the ‘Pineapple Express’ strain.

Strain Profile

Strain Appearance

The Pineapple Express strain has pale colored buds that boast fluffy, curly, and lean flowers that have a lime and yellow hue among the amber hairs.

Certain horticultural conditions will produce a bud that has a slightly purple hue, but this isn’t consistent throughout the strain. Expect usual resin and stickiness from your regular sativa plant. The strain looks dense and has a coating of trichomes indicating its THC quality.

Strain Flavor

Expect hints of the Hawaiian coast with this one as it’s parent strain is the Hawaiian strain, straight from the volcanic earth of the Islands. Tropical and pineapple notes should be expected, sourced from the plant terpenes.

Moreover, you can expect a diesel-y taste too, due to this strain being a 60/40 hybrid the Indica genetics are still recognisable. While the strain does have the normal flavor profile of an indica, sour and sweet.

Strain Aroma

In the film, Rogen’s character claims he ‘wishes he could stick up his nose and smell it all day’, we wouldn’t disagree.

The aroma of a pineapple is pretty common in marijuana plants, due to the terpene limonene, which is high in this strain, and this aroma is certainly abundant in the real Pineapple Express strain – the flower smells like a fresh pina colada. 

Strain Cannabinoids

The Pineapple Express strain is a 60/40 sativa dominant hybrid that has become quite popular in modern weed genetics. This is because the heavy sativa high can be mellowed out by the indica genetics.

While the strain in the film is super strong and near psychedelic in its effects, the real strain is on the lower end of the THC market. Pineapple Express can vary from anywhere as low as 12% THC to 27% THC depending on the conditions in which the plant was grown as well as its genetic makeup.

For it’s low potential in the THC department it is particularly favoured among beginner smokers.

Strain Terpenes

For those who enjoy a medicinal side to their flowers will be glad to know that Pineapple Express is rich in the terpene Beta Caryophyllene which is the most sought after medicinal terpene.

Terpenes such as Limonene and Myrcene give the plant its piney and citrusy scent and taste. The terpene profile of this plant is what allows its medicinal features and why the plant is so sought after by the veteran smokers and the beginners who want to dip in their feet.

Side Effects

Smokers should expect the usual side effects that come with sativa dominant strains, namely potential risks of anxiety and stress caused by pre-existing issues. Always make sure you have an empty head before you smoke, as if something is on your mind you might end up over thinking it while baked.

Expect usual smoking side effects such as dry mouth, dry eyes, and dizziness.

Many suggest that Pineapple Express is great as its effects are often light for the veteran smoker, while still enjoyable, and pretty easy to navigate for the beginner.

Forget couch potato body highs and brain cluttering sativa anxiety, this strain boasts one of the most middle of the road highs that makes it perfect for daily smoking during the afternoon, allowing you to get on with your day, the sun will be shining in your mind even if it isn’t outside.

Medicinal Effects

Due to its unique medicinal qualities, Beta Caryophyllene has great anti-inflammatory, anti microbial, and antioxidant properties which are desirable to the medicinal user.

It’s unique ability to bind with CB2 receptors helps the terpene relieve anxiety and pain, reduce cholesterol, prevent Osteoporosis, as well as treating seizures.

Strain Review

This strain is a tropical delight, described as ‘the dopest of all the dopes’ by James Franco’s character in its namesake film, the Pineapple Express strain isn’t one to be missed.

This strain is great for beginner smokers due to its easy to handle THC content which means dosing isn’t too much of an issue and if you want to be higher than you can simply smoke more.

The strain produces a desirable and euphoric head high that is great for pushing through creative blocks and puts you in a thoughtful mental space that is recognisable with most sativa dominant strains.

The perfect 60/40 ratio means that any anxiety that could be caused by the sativa thoughts are easily counteracted with the numbing and relaxing body high the Indica genetics allow for. 

If you wanted to recommend a strain to someone curious about marijuana, Pineapple Express is both tasty, smells great, has all the aesthetic qualities you want in weed, and is a pretty easy going smoke that all levellers of smokers can enjoy.

Moreover, the medicinal qualities are abundant in this strain, so it’s a hard one to turn down.

Strain Grow Information


Expect feminised cannabis seeds from the flower, that will appear around 60 days after planting once the flower is mature it should auto flower.

Flowering Time

The usual flowering time for Pineapple Express is between 7-8 weeks indoors, whereas outside they should flower during late September, early October. Increase temperature to around 82 degrees as the plant flowers, if growing indoors.

Strain Yield

Use 500W lights in order to ‘super crop’ your plants and get the highest yield and potency from them, curing them respectively. For an indoor grow expect around 18 oz per square foot.

Whereas outdoors you should expect 18-20 ounces per plant. As Pineapple Express is a sativa dominant phenotype the yield will be less than you would expect from an indica grows yield.

Dave Roberts
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