This article was originally published on Weedmaps and appears here with permission.
Lorena Cupcake, voted “best budtender in Chicago” in 2019, has answered hundreds of questions from cannabis shoppers and patients during their time as a budtender. And now they're turning that experience into a monthly advice column, Ask a Budtender. Got a question for Cupcake? Submit your questions to [email protected]
I've always preferred savory flower like Garlic Cookies over sweet, citrusy, and dessert-like strains. What causes those funky flavors? What other strains should I look for?
While it can seem off-putting to some, I share your love for garlic strains. When a breeder hits on a cultivar that combines the right notes of skunk, gasoline, and parmesan cheese, it's eagerly embraced by those looking for wilder thrills than the berry-scented bud they're used to. One of my favorite live resins is a particular jar of sauce that smells like a roast chicken when I open the lid.
In some ways, these savory strains represent a puzzle for the curious cannabis mind. There are terpenes that easily explain why bud smells like pine, lemon zest, or lavender. While garlic strains are usually heavy on myrcene — an earthy, spicy terpene that may explain some of its powerful, heavy-hitting effects — that's not unusual, with myrcene dominant in plenty of strains with a completely different palate. After tracking down exactly where the sharp, stinky funk we love comes from, I've gained a deeper appreciation for these unusual strains, and I think you will too, Garlic Head.
The origins of garlic strains
The story begins in early 2013, when Spanish breeder Mamiko Seeds crossbred a new cultivar. “Chemdawg D and Forum Cookies were the two cuts involved. The Cookies clone was not even known as Forum [Cookies] yet, but just as Girl Scout Cookies,” a representative for Mamiko Seeds told me. “The original name was D-Cookies, but we renamed it Chem Cookies soon afterward to reflect that, among the different Cookies crosses from our collection, including members of the Chem family, this one represented the best of those traits that are generally associated with the Chem character.”
Later that year, a handful of those seeds labeled as …