Cannabis Strain Guides: Panama Red Strain Review

Cannabis Strain Guides: Panama Red Strain Review

Panama Red cannabis is a legendary old school weed strain from Central America. Named for its distinctive long red hairs it is a sweet tasting weed with a full on, psychedelic high. It is said to be very similar to Columbian Punta Roja but with a much more intense hit.

Panama Red belongs to a generation of strains that are on the brink of extinction, as newer, more potent breeds take its place. Its seeds are quite difficult to get hold of, but there are some seed banks that offer hybrids, most notably crosses of Panama Red with White Widow or Skunk. If you do manage to get some Panama Red seeds they will make an excellent breeding stock, bringing pure, old school Sativa genetics to modern hybrids.

Panama Red Seeds Information

Panama Red is a pure sativa strain with an amazing history that stretches all the way back to the 1960s and 70s, when hippies roamed the American continent. Back then, Panama Red was “the bomb”, as it had extremely potent effects, bordering on the hallucinogenic. With a reputation like that, it’s really a wonder no one seems to be growing it anymore.

However, there are reasons for this. First of all, Panama Red genetics are pretty much locked in the confines of a remote island of the coast of -you guessed it!- Panama. For those who don’t know, Panama is located right in the middle between North and South America and connects the Pacific with the Atlantic ocean. Let’s take a look at some of the history behind the fascinating story of Panama Red.

The Rise And Fall Of The Panama Red 

Being just above the equator, Panama has a tropical climate with the temperatures hovering around 25 to 30ºC year round. The weather patterns are quite different depending on the coast you are in, but hundreds of islands and coves make Panama a great tourist destination.

Right up until the 70s, Panama was a leading exporter of some of the best cannabis in the world. Most of its product ended up in the US and European markets. Panama Red was grown mostly on the Pacific coast, which has more fertile lands. The cannabis domination lasted until locals realized that cocaine trade was much more profitable and switched their “business model”. Cannabis crops were stripped to make room for labs, camps and hidden landing strips for the cartel planes.

However, some locals continued to grow marijuana, mostly for domestic use. The base of those growers was on a small island group of the south coast of Panama, called the Pearl islands. Nowadays a luxury retreat for wealthy jet-setters, back then the islands were a literal pirate have, where illegal activities could stay undisturbed. The climate was perfect for sativas, as the temperatures, soil and humidity were ideal for their development. Over the course of the years, the genetic pool of the Panama Red strain remained locked in the archipelago of the 200+ islands.

Acquiring Panama Red

Panama Red was one of the most sought after cannabis varieties in the world. Old school stoners still remember it fondly, while newer generations might have a chance to acquire a hybrid. The seeds of Panama Red are said to be available only from its original breeder, Reeferman. For the curious ones, the strain is now mostly found in Oregon, Washington, and Northern California.

Panama Red In Pop Culture

The Adventures of Panama Red was the title of a country rock album released in 1973 by the New Riders of the Purple Sage. We don’t know how close the band was to the weed strain, but the actual Panama Red song is not so bad!

Panama Red Seeds Strain Lineage

The downfall of strains like the Panama Red is also a reflection of how our preferences change throughout the years. Pure landrace strains are high quality, but not really strong by today’s standards. Breeders prefer to mix them and breed highly potent varieties, designed to wow the crowds with their insane amounts of THC.

The high from Panama Red weed is pure Sativa. The take off is instant and very strong. The effects are visual and trippy, setting both the pulse and the mind racing. Although this legendary high is sought by Sativa heads the world over, its intensity means it may be best avoided by those prone to paranoia or anxiety.

Growing Panama Red Seeds 

By modern standards, the Panama Red is not at all that potent: It produces about 10-15% of THC, which was great in the 70s, but kinda disappointing nowadays. However, potency is not the reason you should try growing this strain.

Like most Sativas, Panama Red marijuana is a vigorous plant that will grow tall, stretching during both the vegetative and the flowering phases. It will thrive in the grow room but is truly happiest outdoors, although you should only consider this if you live in a tropical or semi-tropical climate.

A typical pure sativa, this plant is rather slow, flowering at about 80 days from seed.

Growing Indoors

It is perfectly feasible to grow this strain in the grow room, however its flowering period will test your patience. Panama Red and its hybrids will flower at about 12 weeks from seed, while the yield is less than impressive.

Growing Outdoors

This plant will thrive outdoors if introduced to a suitable climate, but it will take even more time to flower! Expect to harvest a yield of about 400 gr (16 oz) per plant in late October.

Taste, Smell And Effects

This strain is what you would expect from a plant that comes straight from the hippie era: Mellow and cerebral, with some hints of bodily relaxation. Expect a burst in your creativity levels and a feeling of euphoria. On the downside, this strain is known to cause red eyes and dry mouth. Overall, it is a welcome change from the norm of “dank THC-filled strains”, and a great choice for those who want to experience a slight buzz.

The smell of Panama Red is earthy with fruity undertones. There are also slight hints of citrus there. Taste-wise, the Panama Red is delicious with herbal and spicy tastes overpowering the palate. 

Best Panama Red Strains

Reefermans Seeds – Panama Red

As beautiful to look at as it is hard to acquire, Panama Red is a mythical strain, distributed exclusively by Reefermans seed bank. This strain is certainly not the strongest one that you’ve ever tried, however invigorating high and great taste makes up for it.

  • Strain: Purely Sativa
  • Auto Flower Seeds Available: No
  • Feminized Seeds Available: No
  • Grow Indoors: Yes
  • Grow Outdoors: Yes, on warmer climates
  • Yield: Low/Medium
  • Height Indoors: Medium
  • Height Outdoors: Medium
  • Flowering Period: 11-13 Weeks
  • Grow Difficulty: Easy
  • THC Level: 15%

PanJam – Mass Medical Strains

Pan Jam by Mass Medical Strains is a blend of landrace genetics with a little something extra. A result from the crossing of Panama Powerhouse (Panama Red x G13 Black Widow F6) by Dman Seeds and Lamb’s Bread, this hybrid is a homage to a legendary strain. The Pan Jam has a heady, psychedelic buzz that promises to take you for a ride!

  • Strain: Indica/Sativa
  • Auto Flower Seeds Available: No
  • Feminized Seeds Available: No
  • Grow Indoors: Yes
  • Grow Outdoors: Yes
  • Yield: Medium
  • Height Indoors: Medium 
  • Height Outdoors: Medium
  • Flowering Period: 8-9 Weeks

Senor Garcia – Reefermans Seeds

Named after the legendary singer/songwriter Jerry Garcia, Senor Garcia is a hybrid cross between Oregon Purple Thai and Panama Red. Psychedelic and highly cerebral, this is a strain the Grateful Dead would be proud of. Purple twists and red hairs make this strain look as spacy as it feels! 

  • Strain: 90% Sativa
  • Auto Flower Seeds Available: No
  • Feminized Seeds Available: No
  • Grow Indoors: Yes
  • Grow Outdoors: Yes
  • Yield: Medium
  • Height Indoors: Medium
  • Height Outdoors: Medium
  • Flowering Period: 80-85 days
  • Grow Difficulty: Hard
  • THC Level: High
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About the author

George Mouratidis works as a full-time copywriter and journalist. He is the founder of, a bespoke content writing agency for the cannabis industry. George is a regular editor for many industry publications, as well as corporate blogs. He is also the co-writer of the book Ganja Hustle; a hit cannabis growing guide for the USA and Canada markets. When he is not writing, George likes to work out, trying new foods and playing with his cat. Currently, he lives in Greece.