Introduced to the public through songs by artists like Wiz Khalifa - and popularized by the cannabis connoisseurs throughout the marijuana smoking community - Girl Scout Cookies has become the most famous of a new wave of modern classic strains with high THC content and a complex, unique, and appealing aroma. The strain manages to transcend the bounds of what we would normally expect for the differences between indica and sativa traits by bring together the best of both worlds.
A relative newcomer to the roster of world-famous strains, Girl Scout Cookies (GSC) was born in the Bay Area (San Francisco / Oakland area) as a product of a local, formerly underground, growing collective called “The Cookie Family”. The Cookie Family - whose impact began to spread throughout the country with the growing recreational and medical marijuana markets - says they won't reveal their full genetic recipe for the famous GSC. This, and the fact that the group doesn’t enter their strains into Cannabis Cups, lead to years of confusion over what qualifies as “real Girl Scout Cookies” and over the real genetic makeup of this mysterious strain (many believe GSC to be a cross between OG Kush and Durban Poison). For the most part the matter has been settled as the creators have finally come out of the woodwork - although the GSC name can be misused and misleading as some vendors and growers will attach the name to all sorts of different strains as a selling point.
The story of this new-school strain reflects the story of cannabis rising out of the shadows and into the legitimate economy. The Cookie Family growing collective emerged from the underground cannabis world to give birth to a legitimate business, now selling a street wear line and cannabis accessories, with Bay Area rapper Berner at the helm. Berner opened a Cookies brand store on Haight Street to a warm reception, selling hoodies, shirts, and other gear, in May of 2015 (not be confused with the official Cookies dispensary across town, which actually sells medical cannabis). The Cookie Family includes Berner, as well as members Jigga, Flux, Pieguy, Sherbinsky, Mike Mike, and a number of non-public members, according to Berner. Berner also credits the Cookie Family with creating a range of other strains including Cherry Pie, Snowman, Sunset Sherbet, Gelato, Pink Panties, F1, F1 Durban, and Cherry Kush.
The name Cookies started to become a “household name” in the cannabis world after a mention by rapper Wiz Khalifa. Though he is from Pittsburgh, Khalifa and Berner already had a longstanding musical relationship, which probably had something to with him adopting GSC early on. The track, Cookies and Pounds (featuring Berner), was released in 2012. A few years after the meteoric rise in popularity for the strain, dispensaries selling Girl Scout Cookies began to receive cease and desist letters from the actual Girl Scouts of America (ironic, as many smokers may most likely be some of the conglomerates best customers. Just ask girl scout Danielle Lei who sold 117 boxes of cookies in just two hours after setting up shop outside a marijuana dispensary). This is why you may be more likely to see the strain listed as ‘GSC’ these days. The mere fact that the phenomenon even made it onto the radar of the Girl Scouts people reflects how much more ‘out in the open’ the cannabis scene has become in the last decade.
In terms of the the quality of the strain,Girl Scout Cookies truly lives up to its substantial hype as a high end commodity. GSC’s famous aroma really does set it apart from other strains right from the start. The strain itself is spicy, earthy, and minty, creating a pleasant and delicious aroma unlike the sour or pungent aromas other strains are known for. GSC strains run especially high when it comes to the peppery caryophyllene terpene and sweet, mango-like myrcene. The result is an aroma that is universally likeable and unmistakable – unlike the fleetingly “offensive” (as some would say) aromas of strains like Cheese or Chemdawg. The buds are striking, but also give a muted impression. The pale-ish green calyxes are covered in purple leaves and bold orange hairs. The real Girl Scout Cookies is a hybrid of OG Kush with Cookie Family’s F1 Durban. The effect is known to offer the best of both worlds when it comes to indica and sativa traits. It is cerebral and euphoric while also producing a rich and relaxing body effect. Though considered an indica-dominant hybrid, I found the sativa buzz to be the more noticeable of the traits. The hybrid traits make Girl Scout Cookies something of a Swiss-Army-weed, good for all purposes. It is effective for pain and insomnia like an indica, but also great for stress and depression. Considering the sativa leaning cerebral buzz, GSC wasn’t too bad for me when it comes to anxiety and paranoia. However, with THC percentages well into the mid-twenties, GSC is often considered a poor choice for beginners.
In addition to knock-offs, there are now a variety of legitimate cookies phenotypes out there, including Platinum GSC, Thin Mint, and others. Cookies has become a big name nationally, and is said to be used to refer to cannabis in general in some prohibition states. The strain, and the phenomenon surrounding it, are indicative of what we can expect for the future of cannabis as it continues to come out of the shadows and into the light for scientists and professional growers.