4. Copyright issues
Gorilla Glue #4 (GG4) is almost a classic despite being a relatively recent event in the history of Cannabis. It came about as a result of a failure in a crop that produced an elite clone that went on to win numerous awards, including the 2015 Jamaican World Cup organised by High Timess.
Its name (Gorilla Glue Company is a company that makes industrial adhesives) is attributed by some to the stickiness of the buds, by others to the way the scissors look after manicuring, and by others to the way you get stuck to the couch after consuming it. Regardless of what sticks to what, it's all about the THC levels, which can be as high as 30%.
The story of Gorilla Glue #4 is the story of how what could have been an unforgivable failure ended up being one of the great milestones in marijuana strains. This story was told by Joesy Whales (aka Don Peabody, deceased 2020) and Lone Watty (Ross Johnson, deceased 2021), founders of GG Strains.
At the end of the first decade of the 21st century, Joesy got a Chem's Sister hermaphrodite in one of his grows, they were flowering next to some Sour Dubb (and maybe some Chocolate Diesel too) and by the time he realised it was too late. Almost the whole crop ended up full of seeds, especially the Sour Dubb. He kept testing them to see if he could use them to continue growing with them, but he always ended up with hermaphroditism problems. So, bored with harvesting seeds instead of buds, he got rid of everything. Fortunately, a friend of his kept a few of the seeds that came in the buds: Mardogg.
A few years went by and Mardogg decided to try these seeds. In a joint cultivation with Joesy, he germinated 6 of these seeds and they grew them with the others. Joesy was worried that they would inherit Chem's Sister's predisposition to hermaphroditism that he had suffered from before, but the 4 females that came out of these seeds gave no problems. They observed 4 different phenotypes, all very promising, of which number 4 turned out to be the undisputed winner (3 was called the runt of the litter). The name started as a joke between them, because of how the scissors ended up sticking together during the manicure. After drying and curing it, they discovered that it also left you glued to the sofa after a good session. To this day, the first phenotype is still stored in the GG Strains facilities and the second has been lost track of, with the third one probably discarded.
GG4 was a success from the start, its cultivation in the form of clones quickly spread to the legal states and everyone started asking about it: Colorado, Washington, Oregon, California, ...
Joesy Whales and Lone Watty, co-founders of GG Strains.
Gorilla Glue #4 is an Indica dominant hybrid that will be ready to harvest after about 9 weeks of flowering. Yields are generous, although not as abundant as with other strains. The flowers are incredibly resinous and the dark green colour contrasts with the bright orange hairs. The trichome production is huge and is responsible for the 27 - 30% THC that the plant can reach.
Gorilla Glue #4 is cherished in both the medicinal and recreational communities alike, with the potential to alleviate almost any ailment: stress, anxiety, insomnia or muscle problems. After consumption, what starts out as a sort of grin-like grimace on the face soon turns into a very relaxing physical high. It is not only a powerful high, but also a long-lasting one. It's not one of those herbs that you smoke between activities.
The most frequent terpenes in GG4 are myrcene and pinene, which give it that earthy, piney aroma. We can also find sweet chocolate and Diesel notes due to its parentals.
Mature Gorilla Glue #4 bud.
The names of the different cannabis strains have always had a bit of an inside joke, puns, sometimes a reference to literature or films, sometimes simply inherited the names of their ancestors. But with the regulation of the plant's use in more and more countries, problems with the names have also begun.
Do you remember where the name of this strain comes from? Well, lawyers for Gorilla Glue Co. sued Joesy Whales' company on copyright grounds. In 2017 they agreed that the strains known as Gorilla Glue would drop that name, any image and any similarity to the glue company by 2018. Gorilla Girl #4 has now been renamed Original Glue (OG4).
The same happened with Girl Scout Cookies, when the Colorado Girl Scout chapter began pushing in 2015 for Girl Scout biscuits to be disassociated from the cannabis cross of the same name. This extends to other names that have been given to other strains, such as Thin Mint (one of the types of biscuits made by the Girl Scouts). So far, they have already managed to get the Girl Scout Cookies strain renamed GSC in several cases.
Perhaps the first problem between a strain name and a registered name dates back to when the T.H. Seeds seed bank released a mould and pest resistant Sativa dominant, perfect for guerrilla growing, which they called Rambo. It seems that all it took was a cease and desist from the registrar for the T.H. Seeds team to change the name to Lambo. Interestingly, George Lucas never filed a lawsuit regarding Dutch Passion's Skywalker.
Another Gorilla Glue #4 bud ready for cutting.
Now that the creators of GG4 have passed away, with their genetics present in countless seed banks that incorporate the full name or part of it in their strains and the name Gorilla Glue forming part of the cannabis ideology, it is almost impossible for lawyers to limit it.
Given the repercussions of the different cannabis strains, one might think that there will come a time when the name of the plant will carry more media weight than the original name, as has come to be the case with Mohan Ram. The Indian teacher was the author of a study on how to get a genetically female plant to produce male flowers, which is ultimately a common way to produce feminised seeds. The Sweet Seeds seed bank wanted to pay tribute to him by naming one of their seeds after him. Years later, no information about the professor can be found in Spanish search engines and Sweet Seeds has deleted the information about him.
So sometimes unintentionally (as an inside joke), or sometimes with good intentions (as a tribute), the names of plants can carry more weight than the original names. Will the same thing happen with Bruce Banner and the Hulk? Time will tell.
Sources: 2fast4buds.com, potguide.com, ggstrains.com, weedist.com