Critical Kush (City Lights) by Organigram (Edison)7 min read

I’m fresh off writing the review for CannTrust’s Gold Kush. You should read it before reading this one, it is a respectable ‘kush’. After that, move into this Critical Kush review, it is going to be brutal, but I hope you find it rigourous.

Here are the points we’ll hit:

Barney’s Farm

Critical Varieties

Cup Winning Critical Kush

Flavour Review and Terpene Discussion

Final Thoughts and Other Choices

Critical Kush is a cup winning variety by Barney’s Farm. I grew up listening to hip-hop lyrics about Barney’s Farm, I thought they were cool. I’d look for their varieties, wanting to try them. When I became interested in the lineages behind the varieties, trolling reviews and message boards, I became aware that not everyone was positive about Barney’s, but those opinions only added up so far. With Barney’s latest release, the Shishkaberry, which is actually a Spice of Life variety and part of the fabric of Canadian cannabis, it is obvious to me what Barney’s has become or perhaps, always was. They’ve allegedly ripped off people before, but I suppose this is where I stand up and say something. I’ll never grow them again, this Critical Kush is the last variety of theirs I will ever spend my money on. You should absolutely not take my opinion here, I hope you go and look for yourself, the evidence is there, but I will not link their website.

Interestingly, there is also a Critical Kush by Royal Queen Seeds. I am not sure which one Organigram grows. And it really doesn’t matter, when it comes to being greasy, Organigram makes Barney’s Farm look like amateur hour.

I actually avoid buying critical varieties in general. They are not designed or marketed to benefit the consumer, they are designed to benefit the commercial producer. Critical/BigBud also has this ambiguously sweet flavour, which is fine, but I don’t want that taste everywhere, especially for someone’s bottom line. Realistically, there really isn’t much evidence to support what I’ve said above, I’ve seen critical varieties with above and below average cannabinoid levels (also true for Organigram’s Critical Kush). And, I wouldn’t assume every critical seed produces big volume. But given the choice, I’ll aways still avoid critical varieties and prefer something else that isn’t so obviously motivated by profit.

We arrive at the high point of this situation, Critical Kush won a High Times cannabis cup. To be honest, it doesn’t make me think more of the Critical Kush, just makes me even more skeptical of the cannabis cup.

The genetics for Critical Kush are OG Kush and Critical Mass (both RQS and BF have the same lineage). One can be overwhelmed by the amount of different OG Kush varieties. Neither breeder lists which OG is used and I don’t really care to go find out.

Alright, let’s take a break. This isn’t going very well, but we’re getting through it. And that was the good half.

Critical Kush Crop Shot

I’ve had Organigram only once before (Mongolian) and it was a class-act experience– meaning I purchased cannabis that was later recalled and the products spawned a class action lawsuit against Organigram. This will be my 2nd experience with them, hope it goes better. I am familiar with their tiered grade style, I didn’t pay $15 a gram for this, so I surmise I am getting lower parts of the plant here.

If you’re not familiar, buds grow along the cannabis plant at the nodes. The top nodes get more light and therefore, grow larger. The lower nodes do not get as much light and do not grow as well and typically produce less content (terpenes/cannabinoids/flavinoids). What Organigram does, is harvest those top nodes and separate them from the other lower nodes. The tops are called Edison, are given a number (Critical Kush is Edison #3) and they charge $15 per gram for that. The lower buds are what we are likely reviewing today, they re-brand that as Torbay ($9.00/gram) but I guess for the recreational market, they’ve called it City Lights ($10.26/gram). What’s worse, is Organigram has a third tier, the ‘premium’ blends, and I wouldn’t even want to know what level of quality goes into there.

In the vaporizer, the flavour profile here is actually pretty good at first, it leans OG and is less representative of the sweet critical note. There are fierce pines mixed to slight petrols, less earths and more of a skunk inflection towards the bottom of the profile. Pronunciation is gutless, the taste is gone almost immediately. I don’t know why I would choose this over any other OG or Kush variety if the option were available to me.

Would I recommend this to my Grandma? No, I love my Grandma.

What makes this all worse, is this Critical Kush is probably the best thing Organigram has/had on their menu. Yes, including their winner, Wabanaki, which has a fraction of the terpene content of Broken Coast’s (usually) least terpy variety, Texada (Super Lemon Haze).

Screenshot of wabanaki, 0.40% terpene content, best sativa winner

We just reviewed the Gold Kush clocking in over 3% terpene content. Across the entire offering displayed on Organigram’s website, there is not one variety that surpasses 1% terpene content, not one. Let that sink in. The Critical Kush is called Torbay on Organigram’s website, it has 0.54% terpene content, about a sixth of the terpene content of the Gold Kush, at the same price. I repeat, a sixth of the terpene content, for the the same price.

Screenshot of Torbay, Critical Kush, 0.54% terpene content
Some of the competition, 2.5% terpene content across the board.

If CannTrust’s Gold Kush is worth $10.79 per gram with 28% THC and 3% terpene content, all things being equal, something with 16% THC and 0.5% terpene content should land in the range of $1.71 – $5.84 per gram to compete properly. The price in the Alberta store for Organigram’s Critical Kush was $10.26 per gram. If I had to price this product, I’d list it at $3.75 per gram.

From a consumers perspective, Organigram is one of the highest priced providers with some of the most underperforming products, which is generous, their products are associated with multiple lawsuits. No longer are patients tied to one or two providers. You can buy the West Coast and South Ontario stuff on the East side now. Training wheels are off and we’re side by side doing the taste-test challenge. This might fly for a quarter second but it ain’t making the cut long term.

Alright, moving this train wreck into a silver-lined slump, when seeking a really good kush, you have a multitude of better choice out there. Look to CannTrust’s Gold Kush (Kinky Kush by LIIV) or MedReleaf’s Pink Kush (Pink Kush by San Rafael ’71). The Gold Kush is about double the cannabinoid content and six times the terpene content in a smoother flavour profile, for around the same price. Likewise, the Pink Kush offers less pines and a bit more spice, at a higher cannabinoid level, for around the same price.

I found this profile to be more representative of OG tones. For similar flavour, Broken Coast has a White OG which I suspect is Karma’s exceptional S1 variety, grown by the Wizard of the ACMPR, Kevin (@BrokenCoastKev). Broken has also grown Karma’s Headstash, an intoxicating composition of Cherry Pie OG, Biker Kush and Girl Scout Cookies. The Headstash is fairly new, is near the cutting edge of popularity right now and Broken has it available next to Organigram’s cash crop offering, possibly bred by one of the most plagiaristic breeders currently ripping off some of Canada’s finest ones. There was homework to be done, pretty obvious who actually did it.

Make good choices. That’s Organigram’s slogan, right? And it’s really good advice to follow. But it’s advice that will ultimately lead me away from buying anything else from Organigram.

1g of Critical Kush by Organigram 15.6% THC, I paid $10.26, ugh, seppuku