Girl Scout Cookies (GSC) has been an iconic favorite among cannabis connoisseurs for years. While there is some debate around the true lineage of GSC, and which phenotype is the “original” (a well-known California grower’s collective known as the Cookie Family have stated the true genetics of the strain as being a cross between OG Kush and F1 Durban (Durban Poison x F1) in a YouTube video, most will agree this classic strain is a cross between Durban Poison and OG Kush. One thing’s for certain, with its roots in the Bay Area of sunny California - the euphoric, stress-relieving high leaves you feeling like you’re on the beach soaking up the west coast waves and rays.

What's in a name?

While it may seem like there is no better pairing than cannabis and cookies, not everybody is on board with the name chosen to reflect this strain’s freshly-baked (no pun intended), sweet-smelling nose. Girl Scouts USA has issued cease and desist letters to multiple dispensaries, as the non-profit has exclusive rights to the name under trademark law. Because so much marijuana breeding stems from grey-market experimentation and development, the US Patent and Trademark Office continues to refuse to offer copyright protection to strain names, the true lineage, and provenance of even the most well-known varieties. Due to unregulated breeding and distribution, these details remain unclear in many cases and are frequently disputed. However, it doesn’t take more than a quick search through the #girlscoutcookies hashtag to find just as many nug shots and stoned selfies as there are pictures of cookies… maybe even more!

While the cookies themselves have little girls slanging as the key plug, don’t be fooled by this strain’s less-than-intimidating name - The THC content of any given GSC phenotype will typically range from 18% to a whopping 28%. Some breeders, like The Captain’s Connection, can get even higher. Their famous Blissful Wizard strain (a cross of Cherry Pie x Animal Cookies x 09 GSC) usually tests at around 30% THC! Despite its remarkable THC content, GSC usually contains less than 1% CBD. Some lab tests also show that GSC can have considerable levels of cannabigerol (CBG) - a non-intoxicating cannabinoid with neuroprotectant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial potential.

Photo Credit: @autistic_grower

The Science

GSC has quite the unique terpene profile, with caryophyllene, limonene, humulene as the most dominant. You can detect the classic earthy flavours of OG, along with hints of mint and a prominent skunky odor. GSC is well-known for its “bag appeal”, boasting dense and colourful buds. While some variations in appearance can occur between different growing conditions and phenotypes, these notoriously beautiful flowers are usually wrapped in purple leaves and fiery orange hairs, crowned with twisting green calyxes and covered in trichomes. The buds are noticeably darker in colour than other strains, leaning toward a dark green that is often flecked with purple hues.

GSC has a relatively low yield compared to other strains, but its high potency, resistance to disease and pests, and sturdy build makes it well worth waiting out the 9-10 week flowering cycle. It produces short to medium-sized plants that thrive best in a sunny, mild and relatively dry growing environment. It develops well in both soil and hydroponic environments and will usually harvest around mid-October when grown outdoors. Typically, the OG Kush genetics in GSC will enjoy more calcium and magnesium nutrients and lots of water. This strain is not usually recommended for novice growers, as it tends to be particularly sensitive to temperature changes.

The resilience of this strain’s genetics also makes it a great candidate for crossbreeding. There are many delicious phenotypes of GSC, including Platinum Cookies, Key Lime Pie, and Thin Mint Cookies. Some breeders have created mouth-watering cross-breeds such as Monster Cookies (GSC X Grandaddy Purple), Animal Cookies (GSC X Fire OG) and Blue Cookies (GSC X Blueberry). It’s not uncommon to find GSC being praised with awards and recognition, such as the 1st place Hybrid Flower winner of the 2018 High Times Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam: Biscotti by Connected Cannabis (GSC X Gelato #25 X Gorilla Glue #4), or the 1st place Hybrid concentrate winner of the 2017 High Times Cannabis Cup in Canada: Space Cookies by Diamond Concentrates (GSC X Afghan).

Consumers typically describe the effects of GSC as euphoric, uplifting, and great for social settings. It’s good for a case of the giggles, increased appetite, and guaranteed good vibes. Users often describe a more cerebral or “head-high” starting in the temples, which eventually washes over the whole body for a fully relaxed feeling with an improved sense of well-being. The above-average THC content is sure to leave an impression on even the most seasoned of smokers, so whether you’re a purist or an experimentalist at heart, you can be sure there’s a GSC phenotype for you.