‘Mythical’ Marijuana: Sampling Pot's Most Fabled Strains

KINDLAND Confidential, Volume One.

The KIND has teamed up with veteran Melrose Avenue dispensary LA Confidential Caregivers and vape extraordinaire G Pen for a series that dips behind the LA Confidential counter to investigate the weed world's hottest strains and byproducts. We'll also talk to the growers and industry big shots responsible for supplying California's current perma-high.

Full Disclosure: All flower testing will be through the new G Pen Elite vaporizer. I've had mine a little over a month. It's changed my life in that I'm now secretly getting stoned at all times: in the liquor aisle of Gelson's; merging onto the 101 (terrified); between buffet trips at the Ojai Valley Inn Mother's Day brunch...

G Pen's New York design team did a beautiful job. The pen holds a gram, has a wonderful weight to it, LED display, temperature control and battery life indicator, and heats to 330 degrees in seconds, allowing you to truly taste the strain you're consuming in a way I'd never experienced.

Pete Pietrangeli, owner of LA Confidential, a beacon of trust nestled among the street-wear pop ups and acai bowl vendors of Melrose Avenue since 2008, will serve as our guide. He's been in the marijuana industry long enough to know cool things like, "If you smoke a joint and the ash turns black, the weed probably hasn't been flushed out properly."

For the initial installment, Pietrangeli gave us three samples of his favorite OG strains at the club right now: King's Reserve, XXX OG, and OG GLUE.

We'll start with the King's Reserve, a highly sought strain evolved from OG Kush. "The Kings Reserve is a really high quality indica," explains an LA Confidential budtender. "It's one of the best we carry. It has a heavy body high. A lot of people prefer it because it helps with pain, and tranquilizes as well."

"This person's been growing over ten years out of Southern California, supplying a lot of big dispensaries," Pietrangeli adds.

Upon hitting the King's Reserve, expect a strong lemon pine wash over, settling into a heavy, earthy, misty forest feel. King's Reserve is a gorgeous weed with an intensely warm and languid high.

Next up, the XXX OG, is "a new staple at LA Con," says Pietrangeli. This indica is a more airy hybrid than the King's Reserve. While the OG flavor held its base, a light floral overtone, almost menthol, rushed in. On second thought, maybe I tasted a pinch of Fruity Pebbles. An extremely euphoric feeling ensued. Giggling, I remember thinking, I'm moving in an upward motion. Very fun.

The final tester of the session, OG Glue, is an indica-dominant hybrid strain, a cross between OG Kush and Gorilla Glue #4, the latter of which LA Confidential is proud to grow exclusively. "Right now this is the only strain we're growing," Pietrangeli says. "This particular cut of Gorilla Glue #4 came from some growers out of Colorado that have been growing well before recreational was a thing out there. When we heard about the Gorilla Glue, we thought it might be just a fad or a trend. I tried different phenotypes of it, until we came across this one from one of our growers. We fell in love with it. The market has been demanding it; so we keep growing it."

"Years ago, you'd see these strains on a coffee table book. They seemed like a myth, like they were photoshopped. Then you get here, and you know it's real."

The OG GLUE's flavor is similar to the King's Reserve in its piney misty forest sense, but with a more cutting, pungent bite. It hit hard, and delivered an intensely pleasurable body high. Honestly, though, at this point I'd vaped three grams and no longer had a handle on clarity.

OG is a finicky strain to grow, prone to powdery mildew and low-yield stigma, making the three we sampled all the more stunning. Pietrangeli's dedication to preserving and evolving strains is integral to an industry that at times seems to be moving too fast for its own good.

"Years ago, you'd see these strains on a coffee table book. They seemed like a myth, like they were photoshopped. Then you get here, and you know it's real," says Pietrangeli. "Southern California loves OG Kush. Once the strain came here, it could never leave. We're just willing to pay so much for it."