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OG18 never becomes too much


  • Brandon Soderberg

The best way to begin to think about this OG Kush phenotype known as OG18 — and sometimes called Private Reserve — is that it is, well, soft. Breaking apart its sweet and beer-y buds is like nervously pulling apart the paper wrapper on a plastic straw — a low-stakes, satisfying act of destruction — and there’s no density to the buds, all billow, as if they might float out of your bowl and up to the ceiling. And the taste — around your lips, in the inside of your mouth — is creamy, like the echoes of sensation that menthol brings with it but malty instead. And chasing that is a tease of a just awful smell — one of the rare times, I think, where folks saying “skunk” or “gas” are accurate. The high itself is delicate too, a mitigated mindrip, a lot of those face-pulling feelings you get from really strong strains just kinder and gentler. OG18 plays nice.

And it never becomes too much. Smoke a little and you’ll be good to go, but smoke more — even a lot — and the high keeps contorting. This is not just more head squashing the more you use, but a complicated buzz with glimpses of what you get out of the many variations on OG Kush out there (a whole bunch have been reviewed here, including Berry OG, Cough OG, Dogwalker OG, Goji OG, Larry OG, OGiesel, Phantom OG, San Fernando Valley OG, Venom OG and Virgin OG) one after another that makes the immediate — so, whatever’s in front of your slightly stretched-out-feeling face — truly fascinating.
There’s that Elizabeth Bishop poem “Sandpiper,” where a bird, “preoccupied,” is “looking for something, something, something./ Poor bird, he is obsessed!/ The millions of grains are black, white, tan, and gray,/ mixed with quartz grains, rose and amethyst.” That’s me on this OG18 stuff, I’m the bird, only with a bud between my thumb and index finger, staring at this icky-looking bricolage of all the ways weed can look that seems to contain so much: caked in trichomes so that it is a hazy polluted skyline green with dark and gnarled leaves climbing around burnt-orange hairs and still, under all of that, the curled and almost pine-cone-pattern pile-up of plant held together by a stem that here seems a little ridiculous, offering the illusion of cohesion where there just isn’t any.

You can look into an OG18 and see so many things and also be disturbed by how it doesn’t really parse, a goofball’s version of the uncanny — less Elizabeth Bishop’s bird poem to be honest and more like that scene in manic, post-machismo masterpiece Uncut Gems where NBA star Kevin Garnett sees past, present and future in the colors of a smuggled black opal and he just knows it will move him through the 2012 NBA semi-finals.

Strength: 9
Nose: Hash and cream soda and cut grass
Euphoria: 8
Existential dread: 2
Freaking out when a crazy person approaches you: 2
Drink pairing: Dr. Brown’s Cream Soda
Music pairing: Gigi D’Agostino’s “L’Amour Toujours”
Rating: 8

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