Top 8 Best Outdoor Strains for Pacific Northwest: 2021 Picks

Growing cannabis plants outdoors is one of the easiest ways to get large, beautiful plants with a high yield. Luckily for you, the Pacific Northwest is one of the most cannabis-friendly stretches of the continental United States. While you will have to contend with cold winters and wet summers, you won’t find anywhere more ideal for outdoor cannabis growth. The entire region receives warm, sunny summers, high humidity, and a 200-day growing season. Thereforegrowing cannabis outdoors in the Pacific Northwest can be enjoyable and rewarding. 

The Pacific Northwest stretches from San Francisco to Seattle. Additionally, it encompasses hardiness zones 7 through 9, and heat zones 1 through 6. Depending on where you are on the West Coast, you’ll face a range of different climates and challenges. For example, warm California sun can burn leaves. On the other hand, humid Oregon autumns can result in mildewing of buds with a slow-growing strain. Choosing the right strain, or planting in the right time, will ensure you get a big, beautiful crop.  

The table below gives a quick comparison of the best outdoor strains for pacific northwest: 

Strain  THC %   Indica/Sativa  Yield (Grams per square meter)  Flowering Time (weeks 
Blue Cheese   14-20%  Sativa dominant   500-600g  8-9 weeks  
White Widow   20-24%  Sativa dominant   400-500g  7-9 weeks 
AK 47   17-20%  Sativa dominant   300-400g  7 weeks  
Durban Poison   20%  Sativa   350-500g  8 weeks  
OG Kush   17-24%   Indica dominant   450-500g  8 weeks  
Super Silver Haze   18%  Sativa dominant   450-550g  10-11 weeks 
Super Skunk   19%  Sativa dominant   400-600g  8-9 weeks  
Sour Diesel   19%  Sativa dominant   400-600g  9-10 weeks  

Below we have outlined the details of each strain and why they may be the best strains to grow outside in the Pacific Northwest. Do note that strains are not ranked in any particular order. 

1. Blue Cheese 

As a strain bred in the Pacific Northwest, from a combination of British Cheese and Blueberry strains, Blue Cheese is ideal for growing across the U.S. In fact, the fast-growing strain, which flowers in as little as 8 weeks, is one of the best outdoor strains in most of the country. In a Pacific Northwest sunny summer, Blue Cheese can reach almost 5 feet in height. Plus, with an output as high as 600g per square meter, harvest will be bountiful. The big buds, with high trichome count, are ideal for anyone looking for fast, mellow highs. It’s also a great choice for edibles and hash extraction. While Blue Cheese is a fast and easy grower, it’s most-well-known for the taste, with intense flavors of berry, skunk, and cheese.  

  • 60% Sativa/40% Indica 
  • 1% CBD (Medium)  
  • 14-20% THC (High) 
  • Medium growing difficult  
  • Medium resistance to disease / Medium resistance to weather 
  • 500-600 g per square meter 
  • Typical Effects: Relaxed, Calm, Meditative, Creative 
  • Smell & Taste: Berry, Skunk, Cheese, Pungent 

2. White Widow 

White Widow is a beginner’s favorite and has been for decades. The strain was bred in less-than-sunny Dutch weather, but it’s a hardy, adaptable and fast-growing hybrid. The Sativa-dominant strain excels in sunny California but will continue to put off strong growth and big bud in the cloudiest Oregon summer.

That makes it ideal for the full stretch of the West Coast, and one of the best to grow outdoors in the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, with a high THC content, White Widow is a global favorite. The strain, which has won awards across Amsterdam since the late 90s, also has a high trichome count, perfect for making hash and edibles.  

  • 60% Sativa/40% Indica 
  • Up to 1% CBD (Low)  
  • 20-24% THC (High) 
  • Very easy to grow (Highly recommended for beginners)  
  • High resistance to disease / Very high resistance to weather 
  • 400-500 g per square meter 
  • Typical Effects:  Uplifting, Relaxation, Energy, Happy  
  • Smell & Taste: Fruit, Pine, Pungent, Sweet

3. AK-47 

AK-47 is a classic cannabis strain and an ideal choice for growing outdoors. Originally bred for high THC content, the AK-47 was one of the first strains to exceed 15%. Today, it averages at 17-20%. While heavy on THC, this strain is also easy to grow, relatively forgiving, and a fan favorite for relaxing highs. Plus, with a manageable outdoor growth of just over 3 feet, it’s relatively short and easier to keep away from neighbors.

These facts make the AK-47 one of the most popular outdoor strains in the world and a top choice to grow outdoors on the West Coast. Plus, while its heavy Indica profile means AK-47 can grow late and endure cooling autumn weather, its Sativa profile makes it ideal for enduring hot, sunny summers.  

  • 65% Sativa / 35% Indica  
  • 0.7-1.5% CBD (Medium) 
  • 17-20% THC (Medium to High) 
  • Easy to grow  
  • Strong resistance to disease and weather  
  • 300-400g per square meter average yield  
  • Typical Effects: Relaxation, Creativity, Sleepiness, Decreased Anxiety  
  • Smell & Taste: Citrus, sugar, Pine wood, Skunky, spicy  

4. Durban Poison 

Durban Poison is a 100% Sativa landrace, bred to excel in sunny weather. The strain originates in South Africa. However, with a flowering period of just 8 weeks, it’s excellent for everywhere from California to a shorter summer.

Durban Poison is also one of the most popular pure Sativa’s on the market. Additionally, it has been since the 1970s. Outdoors, in the sun, the strain can reach heights over 7 feet. That yields an average of 350 grams per square meter, with an up-to-20% THC percentage. While Durban Poison isn’t as high yield as many of its hybrid cousins, it offers a happy, clear high and excels in strong sunny summers.  All of this makes it a top strain for growing outdoors on the West Coast. 

  • 100% Sativa  
  • Less than 1% CBD (Low) 
  • 20% THC (High) 
  • Moderately difficult to grow  
  • Medium resistance to disease and weather  
  • 350-500g per square meter average yield  
  • Typical Effects: Euphoria, Happy, Relaxed, Pain Relief, Sleepy, Uplifted  
  • Smell & Taste: Citrus, Earthy, Fruity, Skunky, Sweet, Cheese 

5. OG Kush 

As one of the most popular coffeeshop strains in the world, it’s hard to overlook OG Kush. The strain boasts Chemdawg and Hindu Kush parentage, with THC content up to 24%. OG Kush prefers warm summers and must be started early. If you can’t harvest before temperatures start to get cold, you risk losing the plant to powder mildew. That aside, with flowering in as little as 8 weeks, you have plenty of time to harvest a full crop before temperatures drop. Plus, with a good sunny summer, you can expect yields in excess of 500g per square meter.

The high yield from sunny summers make OG Kush a top choice for growing outdoors in the Pacific Northwest. OG Kush is well-known for the plant’s strong, spicy smell. Therefore, you shouldn’t grow it outdoors if you might have problems with neighbors.  

  • 75% Indica/25% Sativa 
  • Less than 1% CBD  
  • 17-24% THC 
  • Medium difficulty to grow (Ideal for warm, sunny summers)  
  • Low resistance to powdery mildew, low resistance to weather  
  • 450-500g per square meter 
  • Typical Effects: Euphoria, Happy, Relaxation, Uplifting  
  • Smell & Taste: Earthy, Lemon, Pine, Woody, Spicy

6. Super Silver Haze  

Super Silver Haze is a prize winner, and a fan favorite. The strain is the only back-to-back winner of the Cannabis Cup. It’s also one of the few strains consistently raved about in every magazine. And, most importantly, it’s one of the best outdoor strains for the Pacific Northwest’s warm, humid summers.

The strain boasts complex parentage of Northern Lights, Haze Sativa, and Skunk No. 1 Hybrid. Together, they created a powerhouse that’s won more awards than most three strains put together. At the same time, Super Silver Haze isn’t’ an ideal choice for beginners. It needs more light and is especially touchy about waiting for reducing light to flower. If you’re an experienced grower, this strong, mellow high is a favorite and well worth the extra effort to grow.  

  • 10% Indica/90% Sativa 
  • Up to 1% CBD (Low) 
  • Up to 18% THC (Medium) (users report it feels stronger)  
  • Medium difficulty to grow (Not a good choice for beginners)  
  • High resistance to disease, medium resistance to weather  
  • 450-550 g per square meter 
  • Typical Effects: Creativity, Energy, Euphoria, Happiness, Uplifted  
  • Smell & Taste: Earthy, Herbal, Lemon, Skunk

7. Super Skunk  

Super Skunk crosses the legendary Afghani and Skunk #1, bringing two of the world’s most popular strains together. This Sativa heavy cross packs a powerful flavor and THC punch. It’s also a top strain for growing outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

While Super Skunk does well across the U.S., it responds to the sun with increased bud output. That’s why most of the U.S. sees output of 400g per square meter and Californian residents see up to 600g. Plus, with a short flowering period and high-temperature tolerance, Super Skunk is an ideal choice for later planting.

Additionally, if you’re looking for a strain that helps with anxiety and stress, Super Skunk packs up to 2.4% CBD, among the highest of any non-CBD-bred strain.  

  • 80% Sativa/20% Indica 
  • Up to 2.4% CBD (High)  
  • 19% THC (High) 
  • Very easy to grow (Top choice for beginners)  
  • High resistance to disease / Very high resistance to weather 
  • 400-600 g per square meter 
  • Typical Effects: Body Buzz, Relaxation, Calming, Happy  
  • Smell & Taste: Sweet, Pungent, Spicy 

8. Sour Diesel 

Sour Diesel was bred in and for the Pacific Northwest’s climate. The hybrid, which originates from Shiva, Hawaiian, Northern Lights, and Diesel, is well-adapted to most climates. But, the fact that it’s popular across the world doesn’t change that it excels in sunny summers and cool falls of the west coast.

Sour Diesel is well-loved for its flavor, high CBD and THC content, and moderate highs that deliver relaxation and focus. The plant is also tall growing, should be pruned back, and will smell (a lot) thanks to its Skunk heritage.  

  • 60% Sativa/40% Indica 
  • 3% CBD (The highest on this list)  
  • 19% THC (High) 
  • Medium growing difficult  
  • Medium resistance to disease / Medium resistance to weather 
  • 400-600g per square meter  
  • Typical Effects: Relaxed, Cerebral, Focused, Energetic 
  • Smell & Taste: Diesel, Bitter, Sour, Herbal 

The Pacific Northwest Climate 

The Pacific Northwest ranges from San Francisco up to Oregon. This encompasses several hardiness zones (7-9) and several temperature zones. However, you will see warm, sunny summers across the region. In most cases, those summers will also be wet, so powder mildew and mold can be problems, especially in the end of summer and early autumn, or if you start early in spring. However, with most varieties on this list flowering in 10 weeks or less, you can normally start later. Therefore, buds appear during the driest part of summer, reducing your risk of mildew. Plus with many popular strains boasting high resistance to mold and mildew, most growers won’t have any problems.  

With such a large diversity of temperature zones, it’s also important to check what local weather is like. If you’re in the mountains, days and summers will be shorter. If you’re nearer to the beach, make sure you pick a sun-resistant strain.  

With a long growing season, some growers choose to grow two crops. However, you’ll want to be careful with the first. Choose an autoflower variety of your strain if you want to grow two. Autoflowering cannabis plants automatically flower, without waiting for light shifts. This means you can start in April, at the end of the last frost and harvest as early as July. That gives you plenty of time to start a second, for a late September/early October harvest.  

Summary  

Growing outdoors allows plants to get big, providing a wonderful yield, with minimal cost and expense to yourself. However, it’s important to choose the strains which are optimal for outdoor growth for the Pacific Northwest region. You’ll also want to pay close attention to what local weather is like. Either way, the Pacific Northwest is one of the best places to grow cannabis outdoors in the United States. In fact, with a 200-day growing season, long-sunny summers, and high humidity, most growers have no trouble raising large, beautiful plants.