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Saturday November 23, 2019

By Paul Barach


Gorilla Glue #4 (or as it is now known GG4 or Original Glue). Much like Oreo cookies or Pizza, it’s ok if you don’t like it, but expect some questions from your friends when you tell them that you don’t. Since Nevada-based GG Strains premiered their signature bud in 2014, it’s grown to be one of the more popular strains around the world. GG4 can be found from the menus of Amsterdam’s hash bars to the menus of Ontario’s Recreational shops, and in plenty more locations (whether sold legally or otherwise.) Let’s learn a little more about this classic strain.

Gorilla Glue’s Stellar Accolades

GG4’s stellar reputation has also been backed up by cannabis judges across the world. So far the GG4 strain has racked up a Michael Phelps amount of awards, including:

GG4 Awards:

  • 1st Place - 2018 Spannabis Cannabis Championship Cup
  • 1st Place - 2015 World Cannabis Cup
  • 1st Place - 2015 Patient’s Choice Award
  • Best Hybrid - 2015 Hempcon Cup
  • 1st Place - 2014 LA Medical/Cannabis Cup
  • 1st Place 2014 LA Top 10 Hybrid
  • 1st Place 2014 Michigan Medical/Cannabis Cup
  • 1st Place 2014 Jamaica World Cup

An indica-dominant hybrid, GG4’s euphoric effects start deep inside your dome before gravity draws them down. What begins as a goopy smile develops into a relaxed body high that can end with its consumers glued to their couch, as if held there by a strong epoxy or by the arms of a strong ape. GG4’s effects come straight from its parentage, which is also where GG4’s story truly begins.

The Origin of Gorilla Glue #4

According to GG Strain’s Founders, Joesy Whales and Lone Watty, the origins of GG4 happened when some Chem Sister that Joesy was growing hermed (became both male and female) out, pollinating its neighboring plant, a Sour Dubb and Chem Diesel mix.

Josey then lost all the originals that he had planted. However, his friend Marrdog had kept some of the seeds, which he planted the next year during a joint grow. While all but one of the resulting four phenotypes that sprouted were reportedly outstanding (#3 was the “runt of the litter”) #4 was the clear winner. 

Incredibly resinous with dark green flowers and bright orange hairs, GG4’s namesake comes from its sappy, over-productive trichomes. They are notorious for clogging up their trimmer’s scissors, gluing them together much like a popular brand of epoxy. GG4’s dense and potent trichomes also give GG4 its average 27-30% THC range.

GG4’s distinctive smell and flavor come from the bud’s high levels of the terpenes myrcene and pinene. Piney and earthy, the smoke also provides hints of sweet chocolate and diesel courtesy of its parentage. 

GG4 was pretty much a hit from the get go. From the strain’s humble (and fortuitous) beginnings, GG4 spread out to the legal states, becoming one of the most popular strains in every place that it was introduced. Coloradans loved it, Washingtonians adored it, Oregonians couldn’t get enough of it, Californians craved it, and so it went.

According to GG Strains’ website, GG4 was the most searched for strain of the 21st century. While there’s no real way to verify this, there is no doubt that the strain is asked about all over.

Gorilla Glue #4 is one of the most popular strains on the market worldwide.

Gorilla Glue #4 is equally popular in the medical user community as it is recreationally. Patients have touted its potential for beneficial effects on pretty much every ailment. It’s especially well regarded for treating pain, stress, anxiety, PTSD, and insomnia, but it also goes to work on relaxing sore or cramped muscles.

Legal Issues Over ‘Gorilla Glue’ Naming Conventions

While it’s still commonly known as Gorilla Glue, the official shift from Gorilla Glue #4 to GG4 (and GG5 and GG1) came about when the makers of the adhesive Gorilla Glue noticed a new strain with a very familiar name rising in popularity. The epoxy company’s lawyers sent a strongly worded missive from their headquarters in Ohio demanding that GG Strains give up all rights to the name Gorilla Glue, which rightfully belonged to the twenty year-old Gorilla Glue Co. 

The epoxy brand also demanded that all profits from the sales of the GG strains be handed over to Gorilla Glue Co. 

Gorilla Glue has been using this trademark for about two decades and has invested a lot in building the brand,” Gorilla Glue Co’s attorney Thomas Hankinson wrote in a statement, adding that this family-owned company owed it to their stakeholders, customers, and employees to protect their brand from association with marijuana or anything else untoward (or widely loved by a large swath of consumers.) 

Whales and Watty originally responded to this by pledging to stand up to Gorilla Glue Co. They feared that a win for Gorilla Glue Co would open the floodgates for any corporation looking to sue or shut down small producers for trademark infringement. As they saw it, Dove Soap and Dove Chocolates could co-exist without lawsuits or one brand worrying that the other’s name would lower their value to their shareholders. Since consumers could tell the difference between chocolate and soap, it stands to reason that they’d be able to keep a construction-grade epoxy and a marijuana strain separate in their minds.

Due to legal issues, the producers of Gorilla Glue #4 had to change the name to GG4. photo credit

Whales and Watty were also probably wary of the results of a similar lawsuit against the Girl Scout Cookies strain. After receiving cease-and-desist letters from the Girl Scouts of America’s lawyers, dispensaries simply removed it from their shelves rather than risk financial penalties. While the founders of GG Strains threatened to defend their name to the very end against this corporate bullying, in the end the issue was settled out of court with little fanfare. There were no monetary penalties owed to Gorilla Glue Co and GG Strains remained in business.

GG4 Moving Forward After Legal Settlement

According to the details of the 2018 settlement, GG Strains had two years maximum to shutter its website as well as remove the word “gorilla” and any image of the lowland forest ape from its packaging. Any purveyor of GG Strain’s products must also do the same. 

They are also required to include “formerly known as” when describing any of their products using “Gorilla” in the name. Thus, (the strain formerly known as) Gorilla Glue #4 became GG4 or Original Glue, GG5 became New Glue, and GG1 became Sister Glue. 

According to GG Strain’s founders, the costs of the legal action, settlement, and rebranding totaled around $250,000. However, in a lesson to producers everywhere, the company is still going strong thanks to the quality of their product. The future of GG Strains still looks good, with their strains as popular as ever among marijuana consumers in every state or country where it’s on the shelves. GG Strains has also added new strains to their roster, such as Gluechee, Purple Glue, and I Do Glue.

While the legal side of Gorilla Glue’s story does sound like a case of a lame larger company beating down on a cool, upstart brand, there is a silver lining to this legal action; this episode proves that the industry is continuing to grow up. Producers may no longer have the freedom to name their strains with free-wheeling satire, as the makers of Gorilla Glue and Girl Scout Cookies have learned. However, the cannabis industry itself is now established enough that it has to take more responsibility for its products, like a traditional business. While that sounds much less fun, it’s still a big leap forward towards the ultimate goal: federal legalization.

What are your thoughts on GG4’s tumultuous history? Do you enjoy the strain GG4? Share your thoughts and comments below!


Paul Barach Paul Barach

Paul Barach is a Seattle-based freelance writer, editor, and author with experience creating well-researched, edited web articles covering cannabis news, culture, history and science. Paul is a regular contributor to PotGuide and has also contributed to publications such as, SlabMechanix, Litro, and The Trek. He prefers to spend his free time outdoors and most recently hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. So far he has only fallen into the La Brea Tarpits once. You can follow him on Instagram @BarachOutdoors and stay up to date professionally through his LinkedIn page.

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