Should cannabis names include Green Crack and Girl Scout Cookies?

Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at

Who comes up with all these weed names? I’ve seen strains called Charlie Sheen, Green Crack and even Girl Scout Cookies.

—Blazed and Confused

It’s kinda like apples: A Pink Lady apple tastes way different than a Fuji or a Granny Smith, but they are still apples. It’s the same for pot: Trainwreck and Romulan are both marijuana, but they taste different, and they have different effects.

Back in the early days, cannabis mostly had a geographical designation. Think Acapulco Gold, Panama Red, Afghani, or Matanuska Thunderfuck. As the cannabis industry shifted from importing grass to growing it domestically, the nomenclature changed to a more colorful and descriptive style: Champagne, Lambsbread, and White Widow were all popular strains in the ’90s. These days, names mostly tell you what a strain tastes like: Blueberry, Tangerine Kush, Bubblegum.

Generally, naming a strain is left up to the grower. That’s how you get terrible names such as Green Crack. It’s a shame, because G.C. is one of my favorite strains to smoke, yet the names bug me to no end. Who in the world besides the Drug Enforcement Administration wants to compare marijuana to crack? That’s why a lot of clubs will call Green Crack something more innocuous, like Green Candy or just G.C.

As for Charlie Sheen—good grief! Naming a strain after a crackhead TV star makes no sense, except as a way to bring bad publicity to cannabis dispensaries. In fact, strains called “Charlie Sheen” started popping up in clubs a few days after the whole “Winning!” scandal broke. It takes at least seven weeks for a plant to grow to maturity, and a few more to trim and cure, so it was pretty clear that this was just unscrupulous club owners renaming a strain that wasn’t selling very well.

I’m on the fence about Girl Scout Cookies. It does taste like cookies, but, again, do we want to even give the hint of trying to associate weed with the Girl Scouts? (Insert some sort of brownie joke here.)

Help! My garden is full of caterpillars! What can I do?

—Frustrated Farmer

The first rule is always don’t panic. Pests this late in the harvest season present a particular challenge. You can’t firebomb the buggers with man-made chemicals, because no one wants to smoke cannabis that’s been dusted with junk like Avid (a super powerful bug killer linked to health issues in cannabis users). Using ladybugs and praying mantises would take too long, and plucking all the caterpillars by hand would be a herculean task.

There are a few organic pest-control options. Sprays such as Ed Rosenthal’s Zero Tolerance Herbal Pesticide are Organic Materials Review Institute certified ( and safe to use up until a few days before harvest.

When I talked to Ed about your problem, he said you could use Zero Tolerance, but you might want to look into the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, which you can find at any garden-supply center. It’s a naturally occurring bacterium that stops caterpillars in their tracks. When I asked Ed if there were any health concerns about Bacillus thuringiensis, he said, “Unless you are a caterpillar, Bacillus thuringiensis has no interest in you. You breathe in thousands of different bacterium in the span of a day, so you will be fine.”

Good luck, and if you need any help trimming, call me.