Today, there are thousands of marijuana strains listed by seed banks. With so many genetics to choose from, how can a single strain achieve so much popularity in just a few years, becoming a staple in the global marijuana market? Is it branding? A clever name? Celebrity endorsement? Other strains have those things and don’t reach the level of recognition that Girl Scout Cookies has achieved in such a short time. So what is its secret?
Just as “Ocean Grown” strains like OG Kush dominated the market in the past decade, Girl Scout Cookies introduced marijuana lovers to a new genetic that seemed destined to endure because of its super-sweet flavours and potent effects. However, both Girl Scout Cookies and the Cookies family that came from it had humble beginnings; and it wasn’t until just a few years ago that they gained widespread appeal.
Girl Scout Cookies arrived on the cannabis scene in the late 2000s, thanks to a breeder who worked under the pseudonym “Jigga”. Jai “Jigga” Chang was actually the head of genetics and development for the Cookie Fam, a San Francisco-based underground breeding group also known as the Cookie Collective, which included such household names as Mario “Mr. Sherbinski” Guzman. They experimented with different strains to create the first phenotypes of Girl Scout Cookies.
Coming from the San Francisco Bay Area, Girl Scout Cookies soon spread to California and other states such as Arizona, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. But it wasn’t until 2010 when hip hop superstar Berner teamed up with the Cookie Fam to give these genetics a shot at stardom that the name really exploded.
A marketing and social media whiz, Berner vowed to take Girl Scout Cookies to the top of the cannabis industry; and helped turn the concept from an obscure West Coast collective to an international brand, thanks to a studied combination of music and culture to dominate the cannabis industry.
The success of Girl Scout Cookies had to clear a hurdle in 2014 after the scouting youth organization ‘Girls Scouts of America’ issued a cease and desist order to anyone using its name to market marijuana.
Then, in late 2016, the Oregon Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission also banned the sale of Girl Scout Cookies and 20 other strains such as Candyland, Charlotte’s Web, Grape Ape or Cinderella, whose names could potentially make them appealing to children.
As a result of these measures taken against the Girl Scout Cookies name, many dispensaries in legal marijuana states began shortening it to the acronym GSC or, simply, ‘Cookies’, which allowed it to continue to be sold on their shelves without attracting attention.
Over the next three or four years, Cookies became the leading name in cannabis on the West Coast, attracting the attention of other hip-hop superstars like Wiz Khalifa, B-Real or Snoop Dogg, who not only smoked it, but even named it in their songs.
With cannabis finally achieving legal status in California, the Cookies concept began to spread around the world, with other subsidiary genetics being launched alongside its main Cookies label.
One of the main reasons for Girl Scout Cookies’ best-selling status is the parents it combines.
There has been a lot of speculation about the original cross and, although the Cookie Fam doesn’t want to reveal the whole recipe, it has been explained as a Durban Poison x OG Kush mix; but some sources also claim it could be an OG Kush x Cherry Pie (Grandaddy Purp x Durban Poison) mix. Regardless of the exact genetics, this union of Indica and sativa traits gives it a list of traits to fall in love with.
If you’ve ever been in a kitchen when a cookie sheet comes out of the oven, you’ll probably know why the aroma is the first thing that stands out on your list of powers.
Even before you get your hands on it, the aroma is very similar to freshly baked pastries, with an earthy hint of nutmeg accented by light notes of mild vanilla and spice. A distinctive aroma resulting from its intricate terpene profile dominated by high levels of beta-caryophyllene, with a mix of secondary terpenes such as limonene, humulene, myrcene and linalool all working together to create grassy and floral aromas.
These aromas undoubtedly carries over to its superb flavour palette, because when you taste Cookies it has an earthy Kush flavour with hints of sweet cherries and lemon that is irresistible. In fact, the smoke is like a dessert, with a hint of caramel mixed with a bit of skunk mint, but with that distinctive citrus and earthy background of the two revealed parents, Durban Poison and OG Kush.
The physical characteristics of Cookies are marked by its Indica dominance, so the plants are medium-sized and very leafy, with a tight internodal structure; but with a growth that benefits from an environment in which it can develop without stress, with enough space to branch out.
It is visually characterized by its compact spearhead-shaped buds full of trichomes, with purple veins, orange pistils and bright olive green leaves that can present purplish tones in colder environments.
The effect is as sweet as its taste, with balanced overtones that start with a euphoric cerebral high that instantly improves your mood, and is accompanied by a long-lasting body effect that instills a feeling of deep relaxation; and in some cases is accompanied by an insatiable hunger.
These effects and its average THC level of 24% make Cookies perfect for treating ailments such as stress or anxiety, loss of appetite, depression, nausea or chronic pain.
It is a genetic that grows well in sunny and pleasant climates like the Mediterranean, at a humidity not exceeding 60%, and with a temperature around 25ºC. Its genetic base OG Kush contributes to a fast and productive flowering phase, but in more northern latitudes it will need the shelter of a greenhouse to show its true potential.
In the last weeks of flowering, the plants may need external help to support the weight of the buds, such as stakes or support nets. The best way to take advantage of its morphology, especially in indoor cultivation, is to use different pruning techniques to make the plants open in the form of a bush, thus increasing the final production.
It is also a plant very resistant to mold and pests; and it is not very greedy with food (although it certainly performs better with a medium-high nutrient regime), so it does not require great knowledge to exploit its potential.
This strain has now become ubiquitous and has evolved into multiple phenotypes, offering a wide lineage of offspring with its coveted qualities. Its high THC content and sweet combination of flavours have made it an obvious choice for hybridizing new and potent strains, including some multiple award winners.
If you head to Seedstockers’ catalogue you will find a wide range of options that fall under the Cookies family, some of them quickly becoming the best-selling strains in our stock. Such as:
Each of these varieties is unique in its own way. Some have a fruitier taste, others are more fizzy, and some are even spicier at times.
So if you’re looking to get stoned, relaxed and in a superlative mood, we recommend each and every one of them. Although if you need a couple of options to make up your mind, you can’t miss these two:
Of course, in our catalogue you can find the mother of them all: Girl Scout Cookies, a version of the myth that we have brought from California, home of birth of its lineage, to obtain a plant whose maturation ends after about 63 days of flowering, producing compact and conical buds, with few leaves, which makes them very easy to manicure.
It produces a huge amount of resin, which added to its high terpene load, offers sweet aromas of creamy caramel and exotic, an absolutely delicious mixture that is even enhanced when inhaled in a vaporizer. And with an effect as relaxing as pleasant, which causes an intense feeling of well-being and joy that illuminates body and soul.
This is another hybrid that masterfully embodies the properties that have made Cookies the fashionable name.
It has been created from a selection of Girl Scout Cookies with another Starfighter (another monster in resin production from Lemon Alien Dawg x Tahoe Alien) with the intention of getting the highest possible percentage of THC, which makes it an ideal strain for lovers of extractions.