Acapulco Gold is a pure sativa that is extremely potent if grown correctly. Gold traces its lineage to Acapulco Mexico, but some of the best strains were actually developed in Colombia. Early writings by Ed Rosenthal said Colombian Gold strains could be as much as twice as potent as their Mexican brethren. Over the years Colombian Gold and Acapulco Gold were cross-bred a lot so over time the difference became negligible unless you bought your Gold locally in either Acapulco or Colombia.
The original Gold lines were pure sativa, but along the way some indica strains were bred into the line so most Acapulco Gold one buys today is a hybrid, but the strong euphoric features it is known for still dominate.
The color of the hairs that cover the flowers and the very high price the buds fetched led to the "Gold" brand. Gold's THC content (in the teens and sometimes approaching 20%) was almost unheard of in the 70s and 80s. This, of course, led to the myth of Acapulco Gold and drove its popularity.
Many long-time smokers long for the days when they could find a 100% pure sativa Acapulco Gold strain, but there are many reasons why these are very difficult to find. Most relate to the fact that growers realized they could harvest earlier if they mixed Gold with an indica since indica flowering times are less than sativas. The pure-bred sativa plants tended to take a very long time to mature and grew very tall, which made them hard to manage.
Think of Acapulco Gold effects as the Ivy League of sativas. A very quick, intense euphoric and uplifting high that lasts for hours. The true Gold strains will give you anything but couch lock. If anything you’ll want to clean the house or write a book.