A sample of Larry OG from MMJ America (Ry Prichard, The Cannabist)

Larry OG review (Cannabis Cup edition)

To continue my series of strain reviews of this year’s Cannabis Cup winners, I decided to check out the Larry OG from MMJ America, which took home the 1st Place Medical Indica trophy. The strain has seen success in the past, winning 1st Place Hybrid in the Bay Area Cup back in 2012 (entered by Cali Connection Seed Company) and 2nd Place Medical Indica in Denver for 2013 (entered by MMJ America), but I haven’t personally had a lot of experience with it. I opted for this sample because the nug was beautiful looking in the jar and I wanted to see if the smoking experience lived up to the appearance — plus I love me some OG and am always trying to scratch that itch whenever possible.

Larry OG by the numbers: $8/gram, $23/eighth (medical), $15.69/gram, $50.36/eighth (recreational) at MMJ America LoDo, 2042 Arapahoe St., Denver

Larry OG is a hybrid consisting of the Lemon Larry OG mother plant and a SFV OG Kush F3 male that was created by The Cali Connection Seed Company. The Lemon Larry cut is a famed Southern California OG clone which is known for having more of a sativa effect than many OGs as well as a very citrus-heavy flavor palate. This particular sample consisted of a single nug that I eyeballed as weighing somewhere near five grams, which is somewhat unusual for an OG variety, as they normally produce smaller, compact, dense flowers. This nug was pretty gorgeous and seemed well-grown; there was a generous coating of well-preserved trichomes all over the minty green surface, and it also had a wonderful texture with the appropriate amount of moisture.

Opening the glass Mason jar, the smell of Pine Sol-style OG blended with a light lemony sweetness was very apparent. The aroma was outstanding in terms of meeting my personal preference, but it disappointed me with its lack of pungency when I ground it up. Normally, really top-notch cannabis will get much more aromatic when broken apart or otherwise handled; this, however, seemed to almost get less pungent as I agitated it, especially compared to how the jar smelled. Even with that, if I were to stop and judge this sample on appearance and aroma alone, it would possibly dethrone the Green Man Ghost Train Haze as my favorite of the three Cannabis Cup winners that I’ve reviewed thus far. Unfortunately, I had to smoke it, and it didn’t seem to hold up nearly as well in that area.

All things Cannabis Cup 2014: Recaps from Day I and II of the Cup, and some words from punk rock’s Henry Rollins: “America will survive the legalization of cannabis” (video)

I broke off and rolled up about a gram of the nug into an organic RAW paper and sparked it. The first couple of hits had a quality citrusy flavor which reminded me of the non-skunky elements of a Sour Diesel (floor cleaner, lemons, spice); but it eventually faded away into an unremarkable, slightly bitter flavor which only had hints of what was there at first. Despite the ash color being solid (mottled gray with a soft texture), the flavor really seemed to indicate the presence of some residual nutrients, which should be flushed out with pure water prior to harvest. The bitter qualities present in the smoke got stronger and stronger as the joint burned down, eventually getting to the point that I hardly wanted to smoke it. It also was fairly harsh on the throat compared to the other two samples I’ve had so far; I wasn’t hacking my lungs out with each puff or anything, but it definitely had a sting to it, which I generally don’t want to deal with in my cannabis.

After finishing the joint, I began to feel the first effects of the Larry OG about 10 minutes into the duration. Instead of the usual body-centric, mentally uplifting OG effect, this one seemed to hit me almost entirely as a sativa. I felt myself getting a little jittery, noticed my overall awareness raised, and felt my mind becoming rather flighty and prone to wandering. Random scraps of songs filled my head, seemingly all stuck on repeat at once, as I tried to push the randomness out of my mind and continue the photo editing work that I was trying to complete. I soldiered on for an hour or so, attempting to focus on the rather dull and repetitive task at hand, but the allure of random Internetting kept pulling me away.

This strain really reminded me of a Diesel variety more than an OG, both because of the flavor as well as the effect – those expecting a typical OG experience may want to look elsewhere, as this one was on the rushy sativa side (at least for me in this case … remember that everyone’s body chemistry is slightly different). If you have anxiety issues, you may be careful with this variety, as it had me feeling a little uncomfortable due to the heart and mind-racing which seemed to last much of the time. Though I was active and alert, it was almost alert to a fault, as the energy level overrode my brain’s internal dialog, which mainly consisted of, “GET BACK TO WORK!” Overall, the effect was on the stronger side, but not the most enjoyable for me personally. If I had smoked it in a different setting (maybe an outdoor activity, playing video games, conversing with friends, etc.) perhaps the scatterbrained energy it gave me would have been more useful.

For me, this sample shows that looks aren’t everything when it comes to judging cannabis. Some of the most spectacular looking flowers which appear well-grown and of the highest quality can severely disappoint when it comes to the smoking experience. Part of the reason for this is that certain nutrient regimens bring out the plant’s appearance characteristics (greater trichome development, high bract-to-leaf ratio and bigger, denser flowers) while often sacrificing the way that they taste and smoke, especially if not carefully flushed.

For me, the most important part of my experience with any strain is always the flavor and way the smoke feels on my throat: nothing can dampen my day more quickly than a bitter, harsh joint that I was very excited to smoke a minute earlier. While I wouldn’t call this sample bad by any means, it just fell short in those more important areas and I was left imagining how flavorful it could have been had it been flushed properly or grown under slightly different conditions. If Cannabis Cups were awarded by looks alone, this one makes a lot of sense as a winner, but I have to believe there were other Medical Indicas which smoked quite a bit better than this one did (while also feeling more like an actual Indica).