Trulieve x Sunshine Cannabis TruFlower Review: Northern Lights (Indica)

Trulieve and Sunshine Cannabis have been partnered for quite some time now. They first released flower strains from their collaboration back in April of 2020, with nearly a dozen new strains dropping at that time – the biggest expansion of strains that Trulieve had seen to date.

One of the original strains released during the first couple years of their collaboration is Northern Lights, which is one of the most well-known strains in cannabis markets around the world. It is said to be the cross of Afghani and Thai landrace cannabis strains.

Northern Lights has long been popular for having heavy indica effects. It is not a flashy “bag appeal” strain like many of the ones of the past couple decades, but makes up for it with heavy and relaxing effects.

Quick Facts:

Northern Lights

Price at time of review: $48/eighth 

Lineage: Afghani x Thai

Lab Report

Appearance/Cure

I know I just mentioned that Northern Lights was not bred with the intent of having high bag appeal, but I feel this batch could have been done so much better.

The buds are dry with almost zero stickiness, and some are at the point of crumbling apart when touched.

As you can see in the images above, several sugar leaves and general larf were left all over the buds.

The trichomes also look to be premature, indicated the grow was rushed or harvested too early.

At $48/eighth, this is simply unacceptable.

Appearance/Cure Rating: 2.00/10.00

Smell/Taste

Again, Northern Lights is a relatively older strain that was bred from a couple of landraces – not to be skunky, fruity, sweet, loud, or any particular target like many strains today. What I can find online says the strain should be piney and sweet, like a northern spruce or fir forest.

There is almost no smell when smelling this flower in the jar. What I can pick up is very mild, sweet earthy and piney notes.

Breaking apart/grinding up the flower does not do much for the smell, either. It becomes a little more noticeable, but no other smells come through. This is what many people refer to on social media as “smelling like hay”. I cannot believe the lab report above that indicates this is over 2% terpenes. If that is truly the case, then either terpenes aren’t a reliable indicator of how strong the smell will be, or something happened to this flower in between testing and distribution.

The taste when smoked is a little harsh, but is also earthy and piney with a roasted and slightly sweet backend.

If you really depend on the smell and taste of flower to enjoy it, I don’t recommend this strain. Maybe I just got a bad batch, but I can’t recommend it based off this eighth.

Smell/Taste Rating: 2.50/10.00

Effects/Medical Use

Where Northern Lights does make up for the other categories, is in its effects. For everything I described as being the target intention of this strain, it meets it. Effects are heavy indica, full body relaxation, laziness to sleepiness, and overall feelings of being “slow”. This is certainly an evening to bedtime strain for me.

I will say that I expected this to be even heavier than it was, however. Northern Lights is a heavy indica, but it isn’t the heaviest indica I have found. In fact, a strain that has Northern Lights as a parent did a better job of helping me sleep easier. That was Trulieve’s Northern Hash Plant, which I don’t believe has been around for a few years.

The bottom line is that this batch of Northern Lights is nice. It is heavy, and it is definitely an indica. It does help me sleep.

However, I don’t think the strain was done full justice here, so don’t let this review be an indicator of the overall strain. I think this is just a subpar batch.

Possibly good for treating:

  • Anxiety 
  • Moderate aches and pains
  • Moderate nausea/gastrointestinal issues
  • General Relaxation 
  • Insomnia (especially in higher doses)

I’m definitely no medical doctor, so please take the preceding conditions only as my own personal observations from using this strain and having experience with a multitude of different cannabis strains. Everybody is different, and every body reacts differently to various medications. 

Effects Rating: 6.90/10.00

Overall Rating: 3.80/10.00

Overall, I would best describe Northern Lights as a “below average” indica strain from Trulieve and Sunshine Cannabis.

Hopefully, other batches of this strain are better and I just got unlucky with this one. I do feel that if this if the quality that Northern Lights always is, it should not be $48 at all – more like $20 to $25.

If you had a different experience, please let us know in the comments!

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to all of you from FLMCC! I have really enjoyed writing these reviews and posts for the past 4 years, and I look forward to another great year with all of you in 2023.

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