But even these two origin stories for OG Kush aren’t unchallenged. Another version of the lineage holds that the strain was bred in Florida, crossing a Northern California strain with a Dutch Hindu Kush.
A prime example of this phenomenon can be found with the term OG — you know, as in OG Kush. But what does OG mean? Although the initials “OG” are commonplace in marijuana subcultures, what they stand for is largely a matter of who you ask. Most often you’ll hear one of two popular theories, but there are several more. Outside of pot culture, there are even more possible definitions for OG.
“The OG got tagged onto the LA Kush back in the ’90s by the Cypress Hill Crew and it stands for ‘original gangsta,’” DNA told the San Diego City Beat in a 2011 email. “There are also stories of the OG standing for ‘Ocean Grown,’ but being from LA we believe and feel that the OG comes from the Cypress family. Hope that clears the hazy air.”
Another popular origin story for the term OG, or Original Gangster (sometimes old-school gangster) in this context, has its roots in the Los Angeles hip-hop scene of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. With a number of MCs (such as Dr. Dre and Ice Cube of NWA) coming from neighborhoods rife with gangs, guns, and drugs, OG implied status and stability in a chaotic world, particularly among the Crips, one of LA’s most notorious gangs.
“OG” is a term every pothead knows. But who coined the acronym, and what does it mean, exactly?
Generally, when it comes to cannabis, OG refers to OG Kush. Just like the initials that make up the name of the strain, the lineage of this cultivar is a point of contention between two schools of thought, depending on what part of California you find yourself in. The Northern California contingent supports the theory that OG Kush is descended from Afghani kush seeds smuggled into the US and grown in the Lost Coast. Once in its new environment, the strain expressed distinctly potent and flavorful traits in the Emerald Triangle’s favorable climate.
Although the Ocean Grown and Original Gangsters explanations of the term OG get the most traction in the cannabis world, they’re not the only theories. Another possible origin for OG holds that the initials refer to OverGrow.com, a website that hosted cultivation advice and a seed-swapping platform while advocating for an “overgrow” of the government. It was one of the earliest online forums for pot growers, launching in 1999. It was shut down by Canadian police in 2006, however, and they seized the platform’s servers and arrested several of its operators.
One delightfully British definition for what OG means maintains that the initials stand for “old git,” meaning an annoying, unpleasant, incompetent, silly, or senile person. An example of this use of the term in a sentence might be: “I can’t believe what the OG in the White House is up to this time!”
But That’s Not All.
"OG" is a term every pothead knows. But who coined the acronym, and what does it mean, exactly?
It has gained a sort of mythical reputation and has become one of the most sought-after strains in California. Although the strain is relatively popular on dispensary menus, the extremely high demand causes some prices to get as high as $30 per gram and $80 per eighth.
While many websites and dispensaries list OG Kush as an indica, many people argue that the strain is in fact a sativa, or some sort of sativa-dominant hybrid. We can’t exactly argue with them considering the genetics are, for the most part unknown, and stem from purely myth. The thing to remember is that most of the different types of OGs are phenotypes of the original OG Kush plant from the 90’s.
Despite the drawbacks OG Kush is in high demand. People seek it out mainly because of its unique taste, scent, look, feel and euphoric high – which is definitely not for the faint of heart. The compact buds are almost neon green in color, with heavy crystallization that will leave your fingers extremely sticky after handling. When grown properly, the strain is a delicacy that deserves a spot on every cannabis enthusiast’s wish list.
- Some people believe that the ‘OG’ is a memorial to OverGrown.com, which was the world’s largest cannabis grow site until 2006 when they were shut down by the Canadian police for “illegally distributing seeds.”
- Others believe that ‘OG’ stands for “Original Gangster,” which was a strain from the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. It is thought that this is the plant that produced the OGs that became so famous in southern California, putting the area on the medical marijuana map.
OG Kush is known to be fairly difficult to grow; and will produce low yields if not grown correctly. This also makes it a risky investment for growers; and tends to drive down the supply.
Then, when the original grower fled the country in 1996, he left cuts of his OG with some friends in Downey, California. These phenotypes were eventually spread to San Fernando Valley and Orange County, and later became known as SFV OG and Larry OG. SFV is similar to the original phenotype, but is known to possess more sativa attributes. Larry is thought to be a phenotype of SFV and the original OG Kush. The same group of growers is rumored to be the forefathers of the original version of West Coast Dog and the original Bubba Kush.
Kailua Kid from the Sierra Seed Company believes that in the latter part of 1993, a grower in northern California got his hands on the famous Chemdawg strain. He goes on to say (summarized from Seedfinder), that this was shared with a fellow grower from Sunset Beach who claimed he had a male that was the, “secret ingredient” for breeding. The male was a cross of Lemon Thai and an Old World Paki Kush (possibly where the ‘Kush’ came from), and was an ideal mix for the Chemdawg. The buds became wildly popular in Los Angeles by 1995.
Seedfinder lists OG Kush as indica, with a family tree stemming from Chemdawg (Chemdawg x [Lemon Thai x Old World Paki Kush]). However, a number of debaters argue that OG Kush is simply a phenotype of Chemdawg that is a result of years of stabilization and finding the perfect fertilizers.
The urban myth is that the original grower of the new strain was handed a bowl when his friend mentioned that the Kush he was about to smoke was “so good because it was mountain grown.” Upon further inspection, the grower detected the recognizable scent of his own crop and corrected the man by saying, “This Kush isn’t mountain grown, its Ocean Grown Kush, Bro!” From that point on the name Ocean Grown Kush caught on and was shortened to OG Kush over time.
The Mysterious Legends of OG Kush and What ‘OG’ Stands For Remains Unanswered to This Day