Why Colorado Tokers Love San Fernando Valley OG

Valley girl: SFV OG.
Valley girl: SFV OG. Herbert Fuego
A lot of hybrids, especially the earlier ones, were bred to build upon a parent strain’s good qualities while minimizing its undesirable traits. I remember how exciting it was to see “Jamaican Sativa” or “Purple Thai” on coffeeshop menus in Amsterdam, and how disappointing it was to find that these old-timers hadn’t evolved like the potent strains they’ve birthed. San Fernando Valley OG isn’t as old or crusty as Jamaican and Thai landraces, but it’s produced its fair share of wunderkinds while getting unfairly pushed back in the shadows.

Not to be confused with SFV OG Kush, one of SFV OG’s many children, SFV OG is an OG Kush phenotype known for lighter, more sativa-like highs and qualities, such as brighter color and more citrus and diesel flavors.
As one of the original OG’s closest relatives, SFV OG’s genetics have helped breed strains like Aspen OG, a version of Ghost Train Haze, SFV OG Kush and Tahoe OG. SFV OG isn’t quite as popular as its aforementioned kids, but you can thank it for their citrus, piney flavors and well-balanced highs.

SFV OG’s genetics are heavily present in Denver dispensaries, and the strain itself can be found intermittently around town. Diego Pellicer, the Health Center, the Kind Room and Natural Selections all currently carry the strain, while Ballpark Holistic, Good Meds Lakewood and Lightshade have it in concentrate form. The city’s most popular cut comes from the Pink House, a medical-only dispensary that won a medal for it at the 2012 High Times Cannabis Cup in Denver — though that was for an indica-leaning version, which I’ve rarely come across.

Although I’ve never been able to get my hands on the Pink House’s cut without a medical card, the Health Center’s take is definitely Stoner-worthy, especially at $10 a gram and $30 an eighth out the door. Prices like that should bring SFV OG’s citrus twist and friendly effects back into the limelight.

Looks: Nothing atypical here: Expect classic OG nug structure — round, moderately dense buds with limited pistil coverage — but smaller, and in a brighter shade of wintergreen.

Smell: Like its OG family, SFV OG has piney, tart notes with a sweet citrus kick at the end, like a subdued lemon balm leaf — less dank and earthy than an OG, but not quite as sour and pungent as Jet Fuel.

Flavor: Although smoking and vaping it can be a little harsh on the throat, SFV OG’s calming pine and citrus flavors are simple and satisfying. The taste doesn’t penetrate your tastebuds the way the smell hits your nostrils, but the sweet, sodded flavors are reminiscent of lemongrass or a Tom Collins.

Effects: SFV OG provides a flexible sativa-leaning high, making it appropriate for all hours of the day. Although it can be a little heavy on the eyes, it typically increases creativity, with little loss of focus. I’d highly recommend it to anyone looking for a sativa without anxiety or jitters.

Home grower’s take:
“Thirsty gal. Seriously, this strain needs water and nutrients, and lots of them. And don’t get discouraged if the buds don’t start packing on weight immediately, because they don’t really start swelling until week six or seven. If you like OG flavor with a less stoney high, it’s totally worth it if you have a few harvests under your belt. Not the easiest, but not the hardest, either. Just be patient.”

Commercial grower’s take:
“Underrated strain, in my opinion, especially for all those people who claim to love OGs so much. It’s got all your favorite OG qualities — albeit a slightly calmer taste and smell — without the heavy effects. And no one wants those heavy OG effects all the time, right? It can be a little difficult in the grow sometimes, because of how much feeding it requires and the relatively high amount of topping it needs.”

Is there a strain you’d like to see profiled? E-mail [email protected]

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Herbert Fuego is the resident stoner at Westword, ready to answer all your marijuana questions.
Contact: Herbert Fuego