Panama Red

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Panama Red, known as Panamanian Red, or P.R. is a pure cultivar of Cannabis sativa, popular among cannabis aficionados of the 1960s and 1970s, and renowned for its potency. The typically high THC levels associated with the variety are thought to be dependent on the particular cultivar, rather than the Panamanian climate.

In a limited test, an Auburn University researcher reported that "seed of a sample of Panama Red, grown in the very different climates of the Canal Zone, campus and northern New Hampshire, yielded marijuana with similar THC content."

Its name comes from its cultivation in the country of Panama, and its claylike red color. Production was common in Panama's sparsely populated Pearl Islands.

Cannabis culture died off in Panama with the rise of cocaine trafficking.

Popular culture


Mentioned in the 1971 film The Hard Ride.

Mentioned in the 1973 novel Gravity's Rainbow.

Mentioned in the 1979 film Apocalypse Now.

Mentioned in the 1999 film Detroit Rock City.

Mentioned in the 1999 horror T.V. miniseries Storm of the Century.

Mentioned in the 2000 film Meet the Parents.

Mentioned in the 2009 film "Taking Woodstock".

Title of a season 5 episode of The Mentalist.


Jalal Mansur Nuriddin aka Lightnin' Rod mentions "Panamanian Red" in his epic Hustlers Convention album. Track 5 "Coppin' some fronts for the set" and later just "red" in track 8 "The break was so loud, it hushed the crowd".

Gil Scott-Heron mentions "Panamanian Red" in his spoken word song, Small Talk at 125th & Lenox from the 1970 album of the same name.

Panama Red is the name of a song from the album The Yellow Balloon released in 1967 by the sunshine pop band The Yellow Balloon.

Panama Red is also a song written by the band New Riders of the Purple Sage which included Jerry Garcia and David Nelson.

A Toast to Panama Red is the name of an album released in 1972 by The Masters Apprentices .

Panama Red is the name of the lead-off song and single from the album The Adventures of Panama Red released in 1973 by country-rock band The New Riders of the Purple Sage. Peter Rowan, the writer of the song, later performed it with Old and in the Way.

Mentioned in the song Amsterdam released in 1995 by Van Halen, from the album Balance.