Gary Payton Strain Information & Review

Sophia Delphi August 05, 2022 - 6 min read
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Gary Payton Strain

Gary “The Glove” Payton was a nine-time NBA All-Star. The strain named after him is, fittingly, an All-Star in the weed world. This is a well-balanced 50-50 sativa/indica strain that hits hard, starting with its extremely-euphoric head high that is soaring, energetic and sociable, followed by a powerfully-relaxing body stone.

Gary Payton (also known as Cookies Gary Payton) doesn’t deliver a sedating experience, but the cerebral effects can be so overwhelming that many people feel they’re best off enjoying it while anchored somewhere safe.

The aroma and flavor are pungent; this isn’t a good choice for “secret smokers.” Sour diesel, herbs, and spice predominate, with a little sweetness and fruit mixed in. Medical patients love Gary Payton for its ability to erase stress and boost relaxation.

The Effects and Side Effects

With an average THC content of 21% (which may be much higher in the flower you buy) and powerhouse sativa effects, Gary Payton isn’t a strain that most wake-and-bakers can easily handle. It’s also not an ideal choice for bedtime, either, since its effects are primarily energizing.

The high starts almost immediately after the first toke and hits like a sledgehammer. Huge waves of euphoria are felt first and quickly accompanied by increases in energy levels, focus, and motivation. Creativity is often enhanced as well, as negative thoughts are banished and mental stress disappears. Many users find that the happiness can turn into outright giddiness.

Full-body relaxation is next on the agenda. It won’t bring on tiredness, but it will ease muscle stress and soreness while contributing to the overall feel-good effects of Gary Payton.

Some people are able to put the strain’s cerebral motivation to good use by getting chores or work done, but many find that they’d rather just relax with friends and enjoy the long-lasting high.

Gary Payton isn’t a good strain for newbies because of its hard-hitting effects. It’s easy for them to overdo it and experience anxiety, panic, or paranoia; that can even happen to more-experienced users prone to anxiety issues. Those folks should consider microdosing or simply choosing a different strain.

Experienced users who overindulge can also experience those issues, so it’s important to be careful with this strain. Dry mouth, dry eyes, and dehydration are the most common effects for veteran smokers, however, and the munchies will almost certainly hit.

Positive Effects:

  • Energy: 5/5
  • Creative: 4/5
  • Pain: 3/5
  • Stress: 4/5
  • Sleep: 2/5
  • Mood: 5/5

Negative Effects:

  • Paranoid: 2/5
  • Dry Mouth: 4/5
  • Dry Eyes: 4/5
  • Lethargy: 2/5
  • Cough: 3/5

Bottom Line: Gary Payton is a heavyweight strain that delivers a powerful cerebral high that’s euphoric, motivational, and creative, to go with its calming body stone.

Benefits to Medical Conditions

The effects of this strain would probably be enough to convince most medical marijuana patients to seek it out, but there’s an interesting twist to Gary Payton. The strain can have as much as 5% CBD content, depending on the phenotype and grower. That’s why this weed is valued even more highly by patients.

Many believe that the uplifting euphoria of Gary Payton helps with depression, stress, anxiety (if they don’t react poorly to its THC), PTSD, and other mental health issues. Others say the increased focus provided by the head high is a potent ally against ADD and ADHD.

There are also patients who count on the strain’s combined THC/CBD content to help with chronic pain, migraines, and nausea, and it’s been used to combat appetite loss as well.

Flavor and Aroma

Gary Payton, more than anything else, smells very much like marijuana. Of course, by that we mean it’s extremely pungent. Your upstairs neighbors (or family) will have no doubt about what you’re doing as soon as you open your stash jar.

The most noticeable scents are diesel, spice, earth, and herbs. You may also detect some pine, nuts, floral, or berry notes in the aroma as well, but this is a sour and — in a good way for most users — smelly strain.

The flavor of Gary Payton is similar to its scent: a mix of sweet, spicy, and sour tastes with a strong diesel presence. The smoke is smooth and leaves an aftertaste of pine, spice, earth, and berry. It’s an intriguing mix that can be addictive.

Flavor and Aroma Ratings:

  • Earthy: 4/5
  • Citrus: 3/5
  • Fruity: 3/5
  • Spice: 3/5
  • Wood: 3/5

Cannabinoids and Terpenes

We’ve already mentioned Gary Payton’s average 21% THC level; depending on the grower and phenotype, it may be as high as 25% in some batches. That explains why the cerebral effects of this strain are so powerful and long-lasting. We’ve also mentioned that CBD levels can also be high, anywhere from 1-5%. That’s much more CBD than you’ll find in most high-THC strains.

The effects of the terpenes caryophyllene, myrcene, limonene, linalool, valencene, phellandrene, and humulene are all noticeable in the complex aroma and flavor of Gary Payton, and they also contribute their own unique health benefits.

The Lineage

This strain was the product of collaboration between the famed Cookies Fam and Powerzzz Genetics, crossing Snowman (a phenotype of GSC that’s an energizing sativa with high THC levels) and The Y (a Cookies descendent that’s also an uplifting high-THC sativa). The effects of crossing those two strains are obvious in Gary Payton’s powerful high.

Where did the name come from? The breeders created many phenotypes, and #20 stood out. 20 was also the number the NBA player wore on the court when he played in Seattle, so “Gary Payton” was a natural choice. In fact, Payton has worked with the Cookies Fam to market his namesake strain.

Similar Strains to Gary Payton

You shouldn’t expect to find many high-THC strains with the same level of CBD content and the same effects as Gary Payton, but some alternatives provide much of the same experience. They include Super Cali Haze, Wet Dream, Sundae Driver, Tire Fire, and Space Cookies.

Gary Payton Strain Review: FAQ

Q: Is this strain easy to find?
A: Not really. Finding Gary Payton in your area is really a hit-or-miss proposition, as the strain is considered somewhat rare. Supply has increased in recent years, but mostly because other breeders have tried to create their own versions of the strain (with varying levels of success). It’s the same story if you want to try growing Gary Payton on your own. Seeds and clones for Cookies strains aren’t usually released to the public; only selected cultivators are licensed to grow them. The seeds you’ll find online have almost certainly been produced by unlicensed companies.

Q: Are you exaggerating the issues that newer uses may have when smoking this strain?
A: Again, not really. Gary Payton is a powerhouse that comes on fast and can quickly overwhelm those who aren’t used to extremely potent strains. We don’t want to kill your buzz, though, so if you want to enjoy this terrific strain the best approach is to microdose. That will let you see how it goes before you get into trouble.