A sativa-dominant hybrid with a distinctive color and odor, Golden Goat was created largely by chance. Unidentified breeders in Topeka, Kansas -- an area not usually thought of as a cannabis hot spot -- found that a male plant of hybrid Hawaiian/Romulan had fertilized a female plant of sativa Island Sweet Skunk. The result was a strain with colorful flowers and high trichome production that’s come to be known as Golden Goat. This happy accident is valued for its strong and well-balanced high and its soothing analgesic properties. Golden Goat has 1% of pain-relieving CBD in its genes, as well as THC composition that averages about 16% but can test as high as 23%.
Golden Goat has dense and medium-sized buds that have a solidly indica appearance, with heavy and tightly-packed leaves. Its leaves are a bright green with some hints of pink or red in certain phenotypes -- these varied hues are the result of pigments called anthocyanins being activated by unusually cold weather during the plants’ vegetative state. The flowers are also very resinous and coated in amber-colored trichomes that give the cured buds the golden glow that’s referenced in this strain’s name. When grown and cured properly, buds are very sticky and when handled will leave behind a good amount of residue. Adding to Golden Goat’s bag appeal is a strong and complex scent. The initial impression is fruity and tropical, as is typical of Hawaiian landrace-descended strains like Mango. This citrus profile exists alongside a more sour tinge, likely the result of the Island Sweet Skunk parent strain. To round this all out, buds can smell spicy and earthy when burned. All of these notes come together in a strong and acrid smoke that can sting the eyes and tickle the throat, causing users to cough. Although some find it pleasant, others have described Golden Goat’s scent and taste as a clash of incompatible flavors, leading to some conjecture that the “goat” in its name is actually meant to describe this strain’s taste. This is an especially pungent variety, so smokers looking to maintain discretion should plan accordingly.
Golden Goat has a high that creeps up gradually instead of hitting users right away. It begins as a buzzy sativa-like high marked by altered perception; users may sense a magnification of their surroundings with sharper sounds and enhanced colors. In a short amount of time, though, this sensory distortion mellows out into physical relaxation. Users feel a kind of calm radiating from the neck down through the limbs, which allows for a grounding that stops the sativa side of the high from becoming too disorienting. Although relaxing, the body stone from Golden Goat isn’t so heavy that it will induce couchlock -- smokers can still be as mobile as they’d like, making this a great strain for daytime or nighttime use. Golden Goat has some medical benefits as well, conferred by small amounts of the cannabinoid CBD as well as by the sedative indica effects. The simultaneous feelings of emotional uplift and physical relaxation can be helpful in regulating the symptoms of anxiety, depression, or even PTSD. Its mildly painkilling effects can also be useful for relieving chronic aches and pains. Finally, if consumed in large enough doses, Golden Goat can provide the full sedative effects necessary to put users into a restful sleep, thus tempering the difficult symptoms of insomnia. Although its high tends to be shorter than average, lasting between 1.5 to 2.5 hours, Golden Goat’s high THC content may lead some to moderate their dosage -- a little bit can go a long way.
Golden Goat is a clone-only strain, meaning that in order to cultivate it, growers can’t purchase packaged seeds, but instead need to obtain and transplant clippings from mature Golden Goat plants. While it can be successfully grown outdoors or indoors, the characteristically sativa height of its plants may make outdoor growing a more appealing option. That said, those looking to grow this or any other cannabis strain outdoors will need to ensure consistent sunlight and temperatures between 72 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Because they are tall and wispy with widely-spaced flowering nodes, Golden Goat plants may not require growers to trim broad fan leaves during the vegetative stage. As with many other sativas, the flowering period can be long, happening within 9 to 11 weeks.
Very popular in West Coast dispensaries, Golden Goat maintains a consistent appeal for its balance between clearheaded thoughtfulness and physical calm. Its versatility makes it as welcome in conversational social situations as it is in more quiet, introspective settings. We can thank Golden Goat’s many landrace ancestors -- Hawaiian and North American on one side, Afghani, Colombian, and Mexican on the other -- for such a fun and productive high, even if they’ve produced some clashing and stinky goat-like odors.