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Strain review: San Fernando Valley OG


SFVOG’s buds resemble pine cones with lustrous leaves and deep orange hairs. - BRANDON SODERBERG
  • Brandon Soderberg
  • SFVOG’s buds resemble pine cones with lustrous leaves and deep orange hairs.
Thinking, talking, arguing, hanging out, just plain ol’ living is really pretty hard isn’t it? The best way I can think to describe this whole existence is it’s like you’re a walking, talking exposed tooth broken open at an oblique angle and throbbing, super-sensitive to the whole whatever that’s out there, never not hurting, though at times that pain really puffs up.

San Fernando Valley OG generates the kind of full-bodied, high-minded anxiety described above but then this woolly hybrid, which tilts toward Sativa, soothes that very same anxiety. Compulsion gives way to focus, mania turns into mindfulness, and a clouds-parting or “oh shit” key-change-in-a-song sort of feeling takes over. And as your mind moves all around, SFVOG’s working the rest of you too, generating a taut body high. Your eyes hum all sensitive to light, the tip of your nose tingles, your legs vibrate as if you’re going through turbulence or something. It’s a fairly aggro form of pain relief but you ride it out and then soon all is well, back down to earth, the ride is over.

There’s something totally 2018 about SFVOG and the way it creates a problem and then fixes that problem so you feel relieved and appreciative, upping your anxiety and then squashing it. The same hustle happens when pharmaceutical companies pushing pills for years get into the drug treatment game or when our president torpedoes our trade options and then creates a new trade agreement to fix said torpedoed trade and is like, “hey look, we’re improving as a nation this is very good,” when it is either still not good, never was good, or was just fine before. Not sure what to make of that very contemporary “feel,” but with SFVOG (which, just so we’re clear, is not the same as San Fernando Valley OG Kush, which is more of an Indica and kinda knocks you out) at least, it is adventurous and useful. To put a better though no less grim spin on the thing, this circuitous high makes me think of a few lines from Philip Larkin’s “Aubade”: “Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape/ It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know/ Have always known, know that we can’t escape/ Yet can’t accept. One side will have to go.”

Really, all of SFVOG’s qualities jump back and forth, giving and taking, evening out in the most dramatic fashion possible. There’s SFVOG’s cheap cinnamon scent that becomes a chocolate Necco Wafer flavor on the exhale then ends as an acrimonious orange juice aftertaste leaving a coat of bitter slime in your mouth. And the bud itself even looks a bit scary or mysterious, urchin-like with long crystal-covered leaves in a pine cone pattern, though that burns beautifully, a sight to behold: Its lustrous leaves and fiber-optic-esque deep orange hairs shoot up, quiver, and bend when a flame hits them... and post-smoke you’re left with a strange tapestry of worm-like ash, like a little space creature corpse curled up and spent in your bowl, dead and pretty.

Strength: 8
Nose: A Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tart
Euphoria: 7
Existential dread: 7
Freaking out when a crazy person approaches you: 5
Drink pairing: Cucumber water
Music pairing: Robert Wyatt’s covers of “I’m a Believer” and “At Last I Am Free”
Rating: 8

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