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What OG really means when it comes to cannabis

Published Feb 24, 2021 12:00 p.m. ET
iStock / Melpomenem

Cannabis has been around for over 5000 years. The history of cannabis is global, and the ways to explain the plant and its sensory experiences are numerous. When used in combination with cannabis strains, OG can stand for Original Gangster if you are on the West Coast of LA. Other parts of the country also claim fame to the initials OG.

Uncertainty and lack of knowledge can accompany you when entering a dispensary for the first time. Do you want to try these products that you have never heard of before? Do you even know what the cannabis strains are or what a cannabis strain is? You probably only know the terms weed and getting high, and that alone isn’t quite enough to go on.

The intoxicating array of cannabis goodies and accessories is quite overwhelming, and when asked about what cannabis strain has you interested, you probably end up stumped. However, you likely do remember hearing the words OG Kush, and you might have even planned to ask the budtender about this particular catchy cannabis strain name.

What does OG mean?

There is a story that goes along with the explanation and understanding of what OG means when the initials accompany cannabis strain names. In the early 1990s, a grower cultivated a very pungent strain of weed. It was originally bred in San Fernando Valley, where he met a local man who professed to grow a potent bud.

The stranger boasted about his pungent weed, saying that its potency was due to the fact that it's mountain grown. The grower recognized the bud's aromatic profile as being the same one as he was growing. He corrected the local man by indicating that the strain was "ocean grown" due to the cannabis strain's birthplace located on the Pacific Coast.

Another OG meaning

For those cannabis consumers living in LA, OG is synonymous with Original Gangster. Eventually, the bud grew very popular, as did the name OG which has been reflected globally in the cannabis strains space. For anyone residing in Los Angeles, OG's origin is deeply rooted in the '80s and 90's hip hop era. OG implied status is also common among one of the most notorious gangs in LA, the Crips.

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The term OG was attached to the Kush grown in San Fernando Valley area by the Cypress Hill crew. An Amsterdam-based marijuana seed bank DNA Genetics who developed seeds for the strain previously only available through clones has supported the story.

OG Kush has become the blunt of distinction for those in the West Coast gangsta's space. The two mentioned origins of OG when used as a prefix for cannabis strains, although the most popular, are not the only theories behind the naming of these cannabis strains.

Some prefer to believe in the story of OG representing a website, This website hosted a seed-swapping platform and offered cultivation advice while at the same time advocating for an "overgrow" of the government. was one of the earliest online forums to assist pot growers, and it was launched in 1999. However, in 2006 the Canadian police shut it down. Several operators were arrested, and the police seized the platform servers.

Final words

It appears that there is no definite explanation for the initials OG. However, after almost three decades on the market, OG Kush is part of the parentage of many cannabis strains that are available today. Some of those cannabis strains may be among your favourites to indulge in for an afternoon of delight, like GSC or Headband.

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