I like to think of myself as worldly enough to appreciate all kinds of music, but I draw the line at heavy metal. Not all of it — Heavy Metal magazine is a sci-fi institution, and ’80s hair metal and spandexed goons should be cherished — but definitely the guttural, headbanging shit. No offense to the fans of thrash metal, folk metal, death metal, gothic metal, doom metal, industrial metal, grindcore, power metal, speed metal and, of course, the German wave of Neue Deutsche Härte: My stoner ears just aren’t that hard-core. But my lungs are darker than any music could be, so what are a few nugs of a strain named Hardcore OG going to do?

After smoking a joint of Hardcore OG on an empty stomach, I’ve learned that when it comes to weed, as with music, toilet paper and porn, I’m more of a soft-core guy. Named as a clear warning for those about to partake, Hardcore OG (occasionally known simply as Hardcore) is one of the few strains that takes dabbers for a magic carpet ride without being extracted into hash. My first experience wasn’t exactly out-of-body, but my consciousness had one foot out for thirty minutes before eating a sugary snack cleared the fog, and then several hours of slow, steady and happily baked focus took hold.

It’s always fun to see the classics make a triumphant return, like when George Foreman won a heavyweight belt at 45. He was fatter, slower and already transitioning from boxer to grill icon. But then he came back! Just like Hardcore OG, a mix of two Netherlands haymakers that were born and peaked decades ago. Big Bud, allegedly a War on Drugs refugee shipped from the U.S. to the Netherlands in the ’80s, was mixed with DJ Short’s Blueberry, a more perennial Amsterdam delicacy, giving Hardcore OG a little sweetness to counteract all that resin and a brute exterior.

Despite Hardcore OG’s stiff rights and lefts on my lungs, I gained the knockout and finished my eighth in a few days thanks to a functionable, cheerful high with a reasonably light comedown. I could see more irregular users not handling that up-front, disorienting flurry as well, however, and my friends who’ve smoked it move slower than I do afterward. All of us agreed that it transitioned into more of a body high in the second half, and that can debilitate some consumers faster than others.

Hardcore OG has more of a following in California, but it’s been floating around Denver lately courtesy of Snaxland, a popular wholesale cultivation. So far, we’ve seen it at A Cut Above, Affinity, Colorado Harvest Company, Pig n’ Whistle and RiNo Supply Co., all of which sell Snaxland weed. I’m always in favor of more options, but Snaxland’s rendition is also why I became a fan of the strain in the first place.

Looks: Hardcore OG’s nugs are usually dense, oblong and shamrock-green, with gnarled leaves and calyxes that can be difficult to separate — not that it matters, since they’re all coated in layers of trichomes.

Smell: A balance of earth, spice and everything nice, Hardcore OG carries sweet hints of honey and berries with sniffs of cardamom and lavender, followed up by fumy notes of pine needles and skunky rubber.

Flavor: This is where the “OG” suffix makes more sense, because joints of Hardcore OG showcased sticky pine flavors with spicy, floral hints of juniper and lavender. Those sweeter notes of blueberries and honey came in later and were more subdued but stuck around longer.

Effects: Initially intense but not uncomfortable for veteran tolerances, Hardcore OG’s formidable high can make me zone for short periods of time, and such relaxing effects inevitably decelerate the pace. My decision-making and priorities stayed unchanged, though, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much energy remained while I stayed so loose and easy.

Is there a strain you’d like to see profiled? Email [email protected].

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