GMO strain – a feast for the senses

gmo strain garlic and buds

When people imagine the aroma of cannabis, they typically think of gas, fruit, or skunk. But when the GMO strain hit the scene a few years ago, the standard flavor profiles flew out the window.

Short for “garlic, mushroom, onion,” GMO (sometimes called GMO Cookies) is a savory delight that conjures images of an Italian feast. And just like an epic 10-course meal, the cannabis strain is likely to put you down for the count.

If you’ve been searching for the recipe for GMO cannabis, look no further. 

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gmo strain garlic and cannabis plant
The GMO strain (short for garlic, mushroom onion) is a funky feast for the senses. Photo: Canva and GreenState

GMO strain genetics are the perfect recipe for weed greatness

GMO was originally created by Mamiko Seeds, who crossed Girl Scout Cookies (GSC) with Chemdawg. The funky weed variety was a surprise hit, especially given the dessert strain renaissance of the moment. GMO’s child, Garlic Breath, is a love child of the strain and Mendo Breath.


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GSC is a descendant of several landrace strains, including Durban Poison and Hindu Kush. It also apparently has Chemdawg as a grandparent, seeing the diesel-forward variety make an appearance on both sides of the GMO family tree.

The Chemdawg lineage is more mysterious, with its exact lineage unknown. According to lore, the first Chemdawg plant in the early 1990s came from a seed the grower found in a bag of alleged NorCal bud he scored at a Grateful Dead show in Colorado. It wasn’t long before the genetics made their way across the country, becoming one of the most revered strains of the time.

The GMO flavor profile – everything but the kitchen sink

GMO has a distinct aroma and taste unlike anything else in the weed world, with an almost overpowering garlic bouquet followed by a waft of dank. Most GSC crosses are cream and dough forward, but GMO somehow inherited unique traits not smelled in its army of siblings.

The dominant terpenes in the GMO strain are peppery caryophyllene, citrusy limonene, and earthy myrcene. When mixed together with secondary terps like pinene and nerolidol, the result is a literal lasagna of layered flavors.

GMO strain effects – a blissed out food coma of a smoke

Having a few puffs of GMO is a lot like indulging in an all-you-can-eat buffet. You’ll likely feel content, satisfied—and ready to hit the hay. The indica-dominant hybrid is a potent strain touted for its full body high and stoney mental effects so definitely wait to consume until it’s almost time for bed.

The GreenState team first experienced GMO Cookies at an MJBizCon after-party. Known for bringing together thousands of cannabis professionals from around the world, the Las Vegas trade show is often a place where the latest and greatest weed innovations are displayed.

However, smoking GMO at a buzzy soiree was likely not the best choice. Instead of wanting to rage all night, the strain left us yearning for our hotel beds. Thankfully, after a day of networking, it was a welcome respite.

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passing a joint of gmo strain
Passing a joint of GMO will likely lead to a stoned group consciousness. Photo: Canva and GreenState

What’s it like to grow the GMO strain?

There are differing opinions online regarding the ease of growing GMO Cookies. The team at North Atlantic Seed Co. believes GMO is somewhat easy to grow, finishing the flower period within about eight to ten weeks. However, if you ask OG Seeds, they say the indica strain is “very difficult” to grow, likely due to the need for consistently warm temperatures.

Producing olive green buds drenched in trichomes, the GMO strain is popular for concentrate producers who end up with big yields of high-THC oil from the resinous plants. Home growers also like the plant because of its bountiful yields when cultivated carefully.

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GMO strain – a menu-worthy main course

Reminiscent of a visit to an opulent Italian restaurant, the GMO strain is a pungent and funky cannabis variety. With heavy hitting effects similar to that overly satiated feeling you get when you finish your feast, this indica variety promises to put you down for the count.

If savory isn’t your thing, you may want to go for one of GMO’s many dessert strain cousins. Lava Cake or Cereal Milk could be good options. But if you love garlic (and a potent, stoney buzz), GMO could be your new go-to.

Rachelle Gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a cannabis journalist and Editor of She began her weed writing journey in 2015 and has been featured in High Times, CannabisNow, Beard Bros, MG, Skunk, Cannabis and Tech Today, and many others. Rachelle currently splits her time between Minneapolis and Oakland; her favorite cannabis cultivars include Silver Haze and Tangie. Follow Rachelle on Instagram @rachellethewriter