Panama Red

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For the musician, see Panama Red (musician).

Panama Red, known as Panamanian Red,[1] or P.R.[2] is a pure cultivar of Cannabis sativa, popular among cannabis users of the 1960s and 1970s, and renowned for its potency.[3][4][5] The typically high THC levels associated with the variety are thought to be dependent on the particular cultivar, rather than the Panamanian climate.[6][7]

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."[7]

Its name comes from its cultivation in the country of Panama, and its claylike red color.[8] Production was common in Panama's sparsely populated Pearl Islands.[9]

Cannabis cultivation 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.[10]

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.[11]

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[12] 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.

Mentioned at the beginning of "Nine Daze of Christmas" (a drug-laced parody of The Twelve Days of Christmas) by the Canadian music-comedy duo Maclean and Maclean on their 1974 album Toilet Rock.


Mentioned in the 2011 book by Bill Maher, "The New New Rules".

Mentioned in the novel "It" by Stephen King.


  1. Dalzell, Tom and Terry Victor. (2005). The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, Volume II: J–Z. Taylor & Francis, p. 1439. Retrieved on 2007-10-02.
  2. Campbell, Reginald L., R. Everett Langford. (1995). "Substance Abuse in the Workplace". CRC Press, p. 185. Retrieved on 2007-10-02.
  3. Keays, Jim. (1999). "His Master's Voice", Allen & Unwin, p. 164. Retrieved on 2007-10-02.
  4. House Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control. (1989). "Legalization of Illicit Drugs: Impact and Feasibility, part I; Hearings before the Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control, House of Representatives". U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, D.C., p. 398. Y 4.N16:100-2-10, GPO shipping list no.: 89-266-P (pts. I–II). Retrieved on 2007-10-02.
  5. Geller, Allen, Maxwell Boas. (1969). "The Drug Beat". Cowles Book Co., p. xx. Retrieved on 2007-10-02.
  6. U.S. Department of Health Education and Welfare (1971). "Marihuana and Health: A Report to Congress from the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health Education and Welfare". U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, D.C., p. 14. Retrieved on 2007-10-02.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Doorenbos, Norman J. (April 2004.) "Botanical Note". Economic Botany, vol. 58, no. 2, doi:10.1663/0013-0001(2004)058[0172:BN]2.0.CO;2.
  8. Girdano, Daniel A., Dorothy Dusek. (1980). [Drugs: A Factual Account." Addison-Wesley Longman, Limited, ISBN 0-201-02962-6, p. 75. Retrieved on 2007-10-02.
  9. Pardey, Lin and Larry Pardey. (1992). "Cruising in Seraffyn". Sheridan House, Inc., p. 82. Retrieved on 2007-10-02.
  10. Apocalypse Now
  12. The Yellow Balloon (band)