Is pineapple express indica or sativa? Strain information

Learn the basics of the pineapple express strain, including whether it’s an indica or sativa strain. 

Is pineapple express indica or sativa? Strain information
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Medically Reviewed byDr. Caley Scott, ND

The cannabis industry has gained popularity in recent years, and as cannabis products become more commonplace, it’s a great time to learn more about different strains. Both indica-dominant and sativa-dominant strains are available, but you should also consider THC levels and desired effects before choosing your next product.

Today, let’s take a closer look at pineapple express, one of the most well-known strains available.

What is pineapple express?

Pineapple express is a strain of cannabis. It’s the child strain of Trainwreck and Hawaiian. 

The “pineapple” part of the name comes from the strain’s limonene content. Limonene is a citrusy terpene that can taste a little bit like pineapple when combined with sour and earthy terpenes. 

Pineapple express is rich in a sour, earthy terpene called myrcene that some people find soothing. It also has notes of pinene (which tastes and smells similar to pine trees) and spicy warmth from caryophyllene, a terpene found in cloves and black pepper. 

How does pineapple express make you feel?

Cannabis strains often have quirky, unusual names. It’s sometimes difficult to tell how a strain might make you feel based on the name alone. Strain names like Blue Dream, Amnesia, and Green Crack give a little bit away in name—it’s not difficult to imagine how they might make you feel.

The name “Pineapple Express” doesn’t suggest particular effects. While many people share a common experience when using a particular strain of cannabis, experience is often subjective. You and your best friend could share the same batch of cannabis and have different experiences when you use it. 

Many people feel that the Pineapple Express strain makes them feel energized, euphoric, giggly, talkative, and happy. Other people might feel that the energizing push of Pineapple Express can make them feel anxious or overwhelmed.

If you don’t know how a particular strain of cannabis makes you feel, look at the plant’s genetics. You may have experience with similar or related strains, and you can use that experience to get a better idea of what to expect. 

If you don’t have experience with anything similar, use a very small amount of a new strain the first time you try it. You can always use more later if the experience is positive for you, but you can’t reverse the effects of cannabis once you’ve already used it.

Is pineapple express indica or sativa?

There are very few strains that are true indica or true sativa. Cannabis is bred to favor certain traits, produce more or less of certain cannabinoids, or cultivate a specific effect profile. Over time, this selective breeding has introduced indica to sativa lines and sativa to indica lines. It’s very rare to find a plant that’s only one or the other. 

Pineapple Express is a sativa-dominant hybrid strain, which means it’s technically both sativa and indica with a little more sativa.

What are hybrid strains?

Hybrid strains are specially bred cannabis strains that have both indica and sativa in their lineage. Cannabis geneticists take two strains with desirable properties and effect profiles and breed them together to create a strain that showcases the best of both worlds. 

Pineapple Express is a combination of Trainwreck and Hawaiian, two beloved cannabis strains. Trainwreck is a combination of landrace strains from Thailand, Mexico, and Afghanistan, and Hawaiian is a native landrace strain from Hawaii. When you combine two great parent strains, you wind up with a great child strain like Pineapple Express.

How does the cannabinoid profile of pineapple express differ from other strains?

Every strain has a unique profile of cannabinoids and terpenes. There are always minor variations from harvest to harvest. Pineapple Express may not come out the same way every time because small factors can impact the total cannabinoid content of every plant.

Generally speaking, Pineapple Express is a higher THC strain. Pineapple Express will contain about 20% THC on average. Medium THC strains like Pre-98 Bubba Kush contain about 15% THC, and low THC strains like Harlequin contain about 5% THC.

Pineapple Express tends to produce more of a minor cannabinoid called CBG, or cannabigerolic acid. CBG is usually only found in small amounts, and Pineapple Express contains about 1% CBG. CBG has non-psychoactive therapeutic potential, but greater concentrations are needed to produce benefits.

Most strains of cannabis don’t contain significant amounts of CBG. CBG is most often found in strains that are cultivated specifically for increased CBG production. These plants are usually hemp plants because they contain 0.3% THC or less. A proprietary strain called White CBG contains 0% THC and 10% CBG.

Pineapple express doesn’t contain a significant amount of CBD. It’s cultivated primarily for its psychoactive effects rather than its therapeutic potential. Most high CBD strains are technically hemp flower, but cannabis strains like Stephen Hawking Kush and ACDC naturally contain a lot of CBD.

What does pineapple express taste like?

A lot of strains claim to taste like specific things—for example, names like Wedding Cake, Runtz, Fruity Pebbles, and Gelato suggest a specific flavor. These flavors don’t occur in nature, and it would be unusual for cannabis to taste exactly like its namesake without artificial flavors. Cannabis flower is almost never treated with artificial flavoring, but the practice is somewhat common with cannabis vape products. 

The pineapple flavor of Pineapple Express is very subtle—don’t expect to feel like you’re eating pineapple candy. When you use Pineapple Express, you may taste notes of sour or tangy citrus as a result of the strain’s unique terpenes. You’re more likely to taste these flavors when you use a product like live resin or live rosin, where the terpenes have been preserved and aren’t overwhelmed by the taste of burning cannabis flower. 

What does pineapple express smell like?

Most cannabis smells very similar when you use cannabis flower. The smell of burning plant material is very distinct and somewhat skunky. When you vape a strain like Pineapple Express, you’re eliminating the smoke smell from the equation. The vapor may smell slightly sour and zesty, like lemon-scented wood polish. 

How can you identify high-quality pineapple express?

It’s not possible to identify a strain just by looking at it. The only exception is strains that have the words “purple” or “grape” in the name. These strains may have purple tendrils on the flowers, which is where the name originates. 

High-quality Pineapple Express will look just like any other high-quality cannabis. The flower buds should be vibrant, green, and very fragrant. Fresh cannabis will have a powerful aroma that can quickly fill a room. If you can’t smell it from a distance, this could mean that the flower is old or was cured improperly. It won’t be as potent if it’s been sitting around for a long time.

High-quality cannabis should have visible crystals on the outside. These crystals, called trichomes, look similar to grains of sugar. They glisten on the outside and give the cannabis flower a frosty, icy-looking exterior. These trichomes contain the majority of the active compounds in cannabis. If you don’t see any, they’ve all broken off and taken their potency with them.

The only way to know for sure that you’re getting high-quality, lab-tested cannabis is to purchase it from a legal dispensary. The dispensary keeps things organized and stores them properly. You’ll know that you’re always getting a fresh batch of cannabis and that the label matches the strain.

The bottom line

If you’re new to cannabis, you might be surprised by how much there is to learn. You’ll likely go through a bit of trial and error attempting to find strains of cannabis that perfectly suit your needs. Once you understand the cannabinoids and terpenes that work best with your body and the ideal concentrations that will produce the desired effects, it’s easier to select strains that will work well for you.

If you’ve never tried cannabinoids, hemp may be a better place to start. Hemp is cannabis with nearly undetectable levels of THC. You’ll be able to experience the benefits of cannabinoids without the psychoactive effects of THC. It may be easier to determine which cannabinoids work best to support your wellness when you’re able to be present and mindful during the experience. 

Sunmed makes it easy to find cannabinoid wellness products that will promote the effects and benefits you’re seeking. Take our CBD quiz to learn which products may work for you.



Myrcene—What Are the Potential Health Benefits of This Flavouring and Aroma Agent? | Frontiers in Nutrition

Potentials and Challenges of Genomics for Breeding Cannabis Cultivars | Frontiers in Plant Science

15 terpenes in cannabis explained [Updated 2023] | CannaCon

Cannabis Glandular Trichomes: A Cellular Metabolite Factory | Frontiers in Plant Science

Dosage, Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol Administration in Adults: A Systematic Review of Human Trials | PMC

Cannabis and Its Different Strains | NCBI