Area 51 is a sativa-dominant hybrid favored for pain relief and its relatively mellow effect. Although Leafly describes the strain as having “unknown origins,” others claim that Area 51 resulted from an accidental cross of Cannatonic and Alien Abduction in Las Vegas around 2010. Unlike many sativa-dominant strains, Area 51 has yielded few reports of causing anxiety and paranoia among Leafly users, and it is an ideal pain reliever and a great alternative to opioid medications. At the same time, it offers more focus and energy than the indica strains that are often favored for pain relief.
In addition to its well-balanced and versatile effects, Area 51 is a stunner when it comes to visual impression and aroma. The mid-sized, pale chartreuse/lime-green nugs are coated in such a thick layer or trichomes that they look fuzzy or even moldy until closer inspection. There might be orange hairs under there somewhere, but if there are, they’re buried under that thick layer of trichomes. These really stick out of a lineup of strains under glass at a dispensary; it’s immediately clear that Area 51 is going to pack a punch, and with THC percentages consistently in the 20s, this is not an unreasonable expectation.
The aroma is no less captivating, with a powerfully clean, lemon citrus aroma emerging from the jar. It’s the kind of scent that immediately fills the room and draws attention towards it – so don’t plan on remaining discreet while opening up a bag of Area 51, at least not indoors. Unlike similar sativa strains, there isn’t any overwhelming pineyness with Area 51, which is a refreshing change of pace.
The taste of the first, green hit is as fresh and crisp as you would expect from the initial aroma, with an even sharper sour lemon note that overshadows a much subtler earthiness. The overall sourness persists even after the green hits are finished, without the more nuanced lemon and earthy notes.
You’ll likely notice the effects of Area 51 within just a few moments, with a mood lifting, laughter-inducing, and mildly energetic experience taking hold. Often, this sativa-style motivation can walk a fine line with anxiety and paranoia, but instead, Area 51 offers a mood boost and upbeat creative energy that gradually winds down into a lazy, almost couchlocked, state of relaxation. This is a great late afternoon smoke, for when you need to get a few more things done for the day before you start winding down. Like other mellower sativa hybrids such as Blue Dream, this is a great choice for creative pursuits like music and visual art. It is stoney enough to inspire new thoughts and ideas, but focused and energetic enough to allow you to pick a task and stick with it.
While I didn’t use Area 51 to treat pain, the strain also has a great reputation for pain relief, notable for an uplifting sativa-heavy strain. This could be a great choice to mitigate pain and even replace opioid medications without the heavy sedation and zombie-like state that can result from these drugs, and to a lesser extent, from heavy indica strains as well.