For millenials who dread the thought of having to carve turkey and avoid arguments with their crotchety relatives every year (that is most of us), Friendsgiving is the new Thanksgiving. The alternative seasonal gathering of friends over a potluck feast that may or may not adhere to Thanksgiving meal traditions has become a bigger deal in recent years.
And why not? Friendsgiving is a great excuse to kick off the holidays with good food and a smoke sesh with your buddies.
In preparation for my own Friendsgiving with neighbors, I visited my local dispensary and asked the budtender for something vibrant, but not frenetic or overly energizing. For social gatherings, I usually prefer to toke on something that keeps me engaged while slowing things down just enough to curb social anxieties and help me listen more in conversation. He recommended Cookie Pucker by OutCo — a lean, clean sativa-like hybrid that ended up facilitating a great Friendsgiving.
The OutCo Mantra: ‘Beautifully. Crafted. Science.’
OutCo — short for Outliers Collective, a name inspired by Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers” — is a vertically-integrated San Diego cannabis company with a clear focus on clean science and growing techniques. OutCo CEO Lincoln Fish and his team opened the first licensed medical marijuana dispensary in San Diego County, California, in 2014. They currently operate two Outliers Collective storefronts in El Cajon and Escondido in addition to cultivating, extracting, and distributing their own cannabis flower and extracts from their grow facilities in San Diego and Mendocino.
— outco (@outcosd) March 15, 2018
Allison Justice, vice president of cultivation, came to OutCo with a Ph.D. in plant and environmental science and a background in greenhouse management and integrated pest management. Justice said she is fulfilling the company’s promise to “use an organic-only-approach” in its growing process by replacing synthetic pesticides with beneficial insects called nematodes to protect the cannabis plant’s routes, and predator mites to protect the leaves. It’s one of several growing techniques that Justice hopes to expand upon as OutCo continues to seek company growth.
“Our small San Diego facility has been used as a true R&D facility with the goal of taking our extensive updates, upgrades, and optimizations to our larger expansion facilities,” Justice told The Analytical Scientist in August 2018. “Some examples of these transformations are double-stacked rolling benches lit by LEDs, customized fertility programs, optimized scheduling, and a standard integrated pest management program.”
Friendsgiving Appetizer: ‘The Further You Break Down Cookie Pucker, The Sweeter it Gets’
OutCo’s Cookie Pucker has geometrically striking, light- and forest-green buds with cola shapes and swirls that almost gives it a succulent-like visual quality. Cookie Pucker is at the mid range of THC potency in the bud you find at most California dispensaries.
My first few whiffs from the Cookie Pucker jar revealed an equally sweet and herbal scent that seemed perfectly in line with OutCo’s brand of organic wellness rooted in precise science. Putting a few nugs through the grinder opened up the strain’s sweeter side further, overpowering its herbal tones with a delightful berries-and-cream scent.
Our Friendsgiving was laid out so each couple would host one course of the meal in their own apartment. The traditional Thanksgiving meal as a whole was replaced by whatever each couple felt like making. My wife and I were assigned the appetizer round, for which we were happy to accommodate with some deviled eggs, wine, a cheese board, some David Bowie records in the background, and a few nugs of Cookie Pucker.
Not everyone in our Friendsgiving group would be consuming, so I decided to minimize the smoke by packing some Cookie Pucker in a dry-herb vaporizer for those who would be. But before our guests arrived, I treated myself to a couple of hits of Cookie Pucker from my bong to get a fuller sense of the flavor. The first thing I noticed was the continued prominence of berries and cream. It seems the further you break down Cookie Pucker, whether it be through a grinder or actual combustion, the sweeter it gets. Cookie Pucker also offers a considerably smooth, airy smoke that only got harsh when I ashed out what was left in my bong hours later.
Brain Strain: ‘Uplifting, Forward Propelling Head Rush’
Minutes later, our guests arrived and I was already feeling Cookie Pucker’s effects. Cookie Pucker is advertised as a sativa hybrid, and it certainly delivers sativa-like effects.
In other words: This strain is all about the brain.
Though I felt some light, tingly body high sensations in my shoulders and at the base of my neck, the strain’s uplifting, forward-propelling head rush and deep, breezy haze provided a clear path to fully enjoying a warm social gathering. There were some moments throughout the night where I found myself getting a little lost in thought and losing my place in the conversation, but, for the most part, Cookie Pucker’s calming yet elevating effect delivered bright, wholesome vibes that carried me happily through the night.
By the time we made it to the second apartment for the delicious main course of pasta and roasted veggies, I found myself flowing comfortably in and out of the conversation while getting temporarily lost in the fresh, zesty flavors of our meal. The tastes and textures from dinner began to meld with the head buzz and communal laughter in the room, and the hyper-sensory joy of it all was every bit as warm and electric as I had hoped it would be.
If you’re looking for a vibrant strain to boost the fun of your Friendsgiving this year, you could do a whole lot worse than the loose, tempered sativa-like buzz of OutCo’s beautifully crafted Cookie Pucker.