Banana flavoring has never been my favorite — we’ve been over this before: Banana-flavored treats aren’t worth the cellophane they’re wrapped in — but it does have its place in the cannabis world. The overripe-banana flavors in Banana Kush and Strawberry Banana pair exquisitely with the skunky, earthy notes of cannabis, and those strains deliver mellow highs that are perfect for relaxing after work. Unfortunately, it’s hard for Denverites to get past anything more than flirtation with banana-inspired strains, as those two are about the only ones you’ll find in the local dispensary market — but there is a third, albeit scarce, option: Banana OG.
This indica-dominant hybrid is said to have originated with a cross between OG Kush and Banana Kush, but it seems to have taken after one parent much more than the other. Some growers affectionately call it “Nana OG” or simply “Nana,” but that sounds like a geriatric gangster’s nickname and conjures flashbacks of Big Momma’s House (or, even worse, Big Momma’s House 2 and 3). Instead, Banana OG could be a tough guy in Veggie Tales — a character much easier to visualize while baked off your gourd from the strain’s formidable THC content, whose percentage usually ranges in the mid- to high 20s.
Banana OG is an easy choice for anyone who likes banana Runts, taffy and all that other dull, chalky candy crap, but hints of sour acidity, tropical fruit and dry earthiness in the smoke make the banana flavor very palatable. Regular and occasional users alike should enjoy the relaxing, giggly high that allows you at least an hour or two to cook or do something useful before melting your decisiveness and energy.
Although yet to be peeled off shelves — as Banana Kush currently is — Banana OG maintains a quiet presence in Denver. Herbal Remedies, House of Dankness and Sacred Seed have recently carried the strain, with House of Dankness offering the sweetest (and cheapest) so far. Sacred Seed’s juicy cut would make any stoner ape blush, too.
Looks: Spiky and oval-shaped with flaming calyxes, Banana OG’s buds have modest density and are typically the shade of a green pear; they’re enhanced by a snowy blanket of trichomes, sporadic purple spots and rusty pistils.
Smell: Overly ripe but with a mellow back end, Banana OG’s aroma is dominated by the smell of mushy bananas, with hints of a tropical, savory fruit like papaya and a subtle, sour aftertaste. Earthy OG Kush notes limp around at the end, but the overall scent is like banana-dominated tropical fruit juice with pineapple.
Flavor: The thick, ripe flavor of mushy bananas isn’t quite as strong as the smell indicates — weed is weed, and nothing can be that fruity — but the strain’s profile is still heavy with a sickly-sweet flavor. The earthiness of the OG Kush gets a little payback here, with a dry, grainy soil flavor attacking the sides of your tongue.
Effects: Banana OG’s fruity morning smell might fool you into a wake-and-bake, but don’t fall for it. While some high-tolerance users can handle the strain’s relaxing effects throughout the day, they’re probably not very active, and Banana OG’s potent THC levels will quickly knock out most rookies. Those calming effects aren’t overly sedating if you take it slow, though, and can make for a relaxing night out or an entertaining movie experience at home.
Commercial grower’s take: “First saw this in California, at an outdoor operation. The buds were so chunky, and covered in resin; it looked like snow had just fallen on these beautiful, alien plants. Still a predominantly coastal strain, though. It sticks to Cali and the [Pacific Northwest], but if one or two big stores decide to grow it, it could take hold. You can harvest Banana OG within eight weeks and be confident the buds have peaked, and it packs a mean hit.”
Is there a strain you’d like to see profiled? Email email@example.com.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.