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What Does “OG” Stand For In Cannabis? Origin and History

December 17, 2020 in General Education

You have probably heard of or bought OG Kush, but do you know what “OG” stands for? Like so much in the cannabis world, there always seem to be many colorful stories about the derivation of strain names and the origins of modern cannabis strains. In this article I will present the many theories on the genesis of the OG Kush strain and the meaning of OG. I will leave it to you to decide which one you believe.

The Likely Origins of the OG Kush Strain

Here’s the most likely version….

In the 1990s, Matt “Bubba” Berger, a Florida grower created a strain that he named Bubba. He also discovered a strain which originated from Seattle called Kryptonite, nicknamed “Krippy.” Apparently, one of Bubba’s friends started referring to Krippy as “Kushberries” which stuck and was further shortened to “Kush.” Coincidentally, this friend had no idea that the cannabis grown in the Hindu Kush mountains was the strain source which led to the creation of OG Kush.

As the legend continues, Bubba moved to Southern California, met a grower called Josh D and along with a mutual friend Chris, they moved into an apartment in Hollywood and starting growing cannabis. Bubba returned briefly to Florida, gathered his cuttings of Bubba, Kush and a third strain, KY and brought them back to Hollywood. The three growers created an extraordinary new West Coast strain known as “OG Kush” and were charging as much as $8,000/lb for it in 1997.

But there are more theories….

  • OG Kush is a cross between Hindu Kush and Chemdawg
  • Those who hail from northern California believe that OG Kush comes from the Hindu Kush seeds from Afghanistan that were smuggled into the US. They were cultivated in the very hospitable cannabis growing climate known as the Emerald Triangle Grand Traverse which encompasses three routes. They include the Lost Coast, a remote and undeveloped part of the California coast, the Mendocino Backcountry Discovery Trail (BDT) and Six Rivers BDT.
  • The southern Californians believe that OG Kush is a hybrid of Chemdawg, Lemon Thai and a Pakistani Hindu Kush landrace strain that was developed and cultivated by indoor growers in the San Fernando Valley.
  • OG Kush is a cross between a northern California strain with a Dutch Hindu Kush strain, bred in Florida.

The Meaning of “OG”

Here are all the contenders…

Original Gangster

Since the strain is a Los Angeles favorite, one theory is that it stands for “Original Gangster,” paying tribute to the 1990s hip-hop scene that gained prominence in the 1990s in southern California.

Original Gangsta

An Amsterdam-based cannabis seller, DNA Genetics, claims credit for marketing the OG Kush strain. According to DNA Genetics, OG stands for “Original Gangsta,” coined by the crew of the hip-hop group, Cypress Hill. The story goes that in the 1990s, they discovered the OG Kush strain at a Grateful Dead concert.

Ocean Grown

Another theory identifies the meaning of OG as “Ocean Grown.” Here’s how this yarn goes….

Kush Dawg, a grower who lived in northern California, created the original San Fernando Valley strain. He was in a local bar when another patron offered him what he described as “amazing weed.” Kush Dawg took him up on his offer and as soon as he opened the bag, he realized from the aroma that it was his own strain. As they were smoking, the stranger described it as “Mountain Grown,” whereby Kush Dawg described it as “Ocean Grown” since it was grown indoors on the California coast.

OverGrown.com

Yet another popular theory identifies “OG” to stand for OverGrown.com, one of the most popular cannabis websites during the start of this century. It was shut down and removed from the web by Canadian authorities.

Original Grower

According to a Netflix documentary, Murder Mountain, which examines the cultivation of cannabis in the northern California mountains in the 1970s, growers flew to Afghanistan to purloin seeds to take back to the US. One of the growers states that “OG” stands for “Original Grower.”

Original School

Remember the growers, Bubba, Josh D and Chris who cultivated that amazing OG Kush strain in Hollywood in 1997? According to Josh D, they called it “OG” to signify that it was the original and authentic version of the strain. Apparently, in southern California, an “OG” is someone or something that is “old-school,” respected for being authentic and whose achievements are hard-earned.

Finals Thoughts about OG Kush

Josh D recognizes OG Kush as a medicinal aid that has helped thousands and thousands of people over the past two decades. However, he is concerned that the genetics of many premier cannabis strains are being compromised due to the rapid increase in cannabis cultivation. He names Grand Daddy Purple and Blue Dream as examples of strains that are easy to cultivate and are flooding the market, often using fake names.

Regardless of where it originated, OG Kush is currently one of the most sought after indica-dominant cannabis strains on the market. If it is even available at your dispensary, it is likely to be more expensive than the majority of other strains. It is high in THC at about 23% and full of terpenes, known for its euphoric and sedating effects. It is important to note that the OG Kush that you purchase at your dispensary may not be an offspring of the original phenotype.

Sources:
wayofleaf.com, What Does the “OG” in OG Kush Stand For? Dec. 19, 2019
merryjane.com, What Does “OG” Mean When Talking About Weed? A.J. Herrington, Sept. 4, 2019
overlandtrailguides.com, Emerald Triangle Grand Traverse, Nov. 29, 2019
wikipedia.org, Lost Coast

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