OG 18 from Preferred Organic Therapy. (Jake Browne, The Cannabist)

OG 18 (marijuana review)

Back when I was still budtending, people who shopped for potency alone drove me insane, because it distilled the entire experience down to a number.

The next time you’re out on a dinner date, ask your server for the heaviest dish on the menu and bask in the confusion that washes over their face. It’s a terrible way to shop for just about anything, and it came to a head in 2014 when OG 18 was named the third-strongest strain in the world by High Times and I was behind the counter at pot shop Denver Relief.

Lord, did I meet some yokels.

By the numbers: $13/gram, $235/ounce at Preferred Organic Therapy, 1569 S. Colorado Blvd. in Denver.

The most distinguishing aspect of DNA‘s OG 18 (a.k.a. R-18 or The OG #18) is how little it resembles a traditional OG Kush, eschewing the small, dense nugs for a more sativa-like structure and light green appearance with flourishes of peach, flesh-colored hairs. It’s the fraternal twin that wasn’t resorbed in utero. Take a whiff and it’s unmistakable, however, with those literal dank and fetid smells of low-tide washing over old tires heaved off of a pier.

Again, people could not get enough of this.

Ideally, this is a strain you consume for its medical benefits, chiefly pain relief. Unfortunately, cannabis cannot cure the common sunburn, my current affliction after I insisted “I’m good” on a recent trip to the beaches of Wilmington, North Carolina.

(I have no idea why I approach sunscreen with a leeriness usually reserved for “free” cruises or dollar fish tacos, but I’m now the human embodiment of a fire emoji.)

Catching up with an ex-industry friend, she immediately spies the nug as I load the bowl and insists it isn’t OG. After showing her a sample of Island Sweet Skunk erroneously (and egregiously) identified as Grape Ape earlier in the month, I can’t blame her for being suspicious. Deep earthy notes of fresh soil on the first hit put all of that to rest, however, and we trade a couple more before settling in.

Having spent nearly a week sans flower, I’m expecting this to hit me in the face, but the high instead creeps in over the first 10 minutes, focusing mostly on my back and shoulders. A flight on Frontier Airlines is never great for my body at 6-foot-3 and being one of those humans with a spine, but nothing is loosening up or relaxing as I’d expect. I slouch harder in my adirondack chair in silent protest.

After a mini-gripefest about our parents, which consisted mostly of me being a 33-year-old brat, I’m still not getting any of the heaviness a strain like OG 18 should deliver. I’d recommended this strain for sleep countless times, yet found myself alert and engaged as she broke down a fairly non-descript call she had with her mom earlier in the week.

If I was one of those THC-obsessed shoppers, the “brotency” of this OG 18 would have let me down.

I suppose this narrative is self-serving, as there’s no need for pot critics in a world where we blindly order the strongest strain without regard for terpenes, curing or trim. That being said, I’ve had strong pot that was a pleasure to smoke, but it’s my last criteria when making a purchase — in the same way I’ve never asked a restaurant for their bulkiest entree.