Cannabis History


An Ode to OG Kush – The Legendary Cannabis Strain

Let’s be honest – no one really knows the origins of the now legendary OG Kush, but over the years cannabis enthusiasts trying to suss them out has made OG Kush the stuff of cannabis myth and legend. So, at the risk of turning into cannabis-origin conspiracy theorists, we thought we’d take a look at the background of this famous marijuana strain.

Where does this marijuana strain come from?

Some folks swear blind that it was a ‘bag seed’, possibly even one… found at a Grateful Dead Concert. Another version of events has the cannabis strain making its way to California in the 60’s or 70’s. Possibly in the hands of The Brotherhood of Eternal Love (the now infamous ‘cannabis mafia’). There it grew in popularity up and down the West Coast until it was so famous it gained the nickname The California Queen.

John Griggs - Founder of the Brotherhood Of Eternal Love at the 2011 High Times Cup in Amsterdam - Source: Jerry Krecicki

Perhaps the most well-known origin story though, and one supported by well-known cannabis enthusiast, B-Real of Cypress Hill, is that the strain came up from Florida under the name of Crip, or possibly Creep, by the early 90’s it was making its way through the LA music scene. Leafly supports this, pinpointing its arrival at 1995 and suggesting it was all thanks to a group known as Imperial Genetics. In either version of this story, OG Kush made its way from Florida to California in the early 90’s.

B-Real of Cypress Hill
B-Real of Cypress Hill

Why is this cannabis strain called OG Kush?

You may well ask yourself: and what does the OG stand for? Take it from the Cypress Hill crew and you’ll probably hear: Original Gangsta. Not so! Come the Outdoor, Old-school and Organic Growers. You may bump into Original Kush, Oregon Gold Kush and a myriad of other poetic ideas.

Do we know? Not really. Perhaps the most convincing story, now generally accepted in dispensaries near California, whether for the less gangland connotations or for its more complimentary match to the geography of the West Coast, is Ocean Grown. That tale tells of one of the original growers hearing from a smoking buddy that his Kush tasted ‘mountain grown’, to which he replied that this stuff was definitely ‘ocean grown’. Sounds plausible, doesn’t it?

What makes OG Kush?

You would be forgiven for thinking that there would be some Kush in errr… OG Kush. And some aficionados would say you’re right. It has been touted that the original OG Kush was a mix of Chemdawg and Hindu Kush and that the Pakistani/Afghani genetics are key to some of the deeply relaxing, indica effects. Other theories put it about that it was simply a very refined and stable form of Chemdawg, perfected over time.

The fact that the debate also spills over into whether the true, original OG Kush was an indica strain or sativa strain. Breeders suggest that this part of the debate is most likely cleared up when you take phenotypes into account. Because, like siblings, hybrid plants (especially before a hybrid strain has been properly stabilised) have the possibility of showing more properties from one side of the familial line than the other, and thus produce different phenotypes of the same strain.

Today’s OG Kush, as bred by Dinafem, Humboldt’s Seeds, DNA Genetics, Royal Queen Seeds and other seed banks is an indica-dominant hybrid strain, with its sativa genetics most noticeable in its shape and its onset effects. These then give way to a recognisable indica-dominant body-high. This modern OG Kush is a balanced mix of Chemdawg x Lemon Thai x Pakistani Kush in an approx. 75:25 indica-dominant mix.

The high thc content creates a euphoric, body and mind uplifting buzz complemented by a full body sedating effect. OG Kush is also thought to have pain relieving and anti inflammatory properties making it a great medical marijuana strain. It also has a quick flowering time and can be grown indoors or outdoors.

Why is OG Kush such a legendary strain?

It doesn’t matter in the end what the exact origins of original OG Kush are. The modern OG Kush is a damn fine strain and it is the flavor and aroma that have given it such a cult following around the world. Well, that combined with the strength and and reliability of its effects.

The aroma of OG Kush is seriously dank; you will get lots of earth, wood and pine scents. On top of those come floating lemon-citrus and sometimes even more fruity notes. The effect of OG Kush comes on sativa-like and mighty strong, uplifting, energetic and creative, before slowing down into a deep, deeeeeep, indica body-high. You will feel relaxed, and mellow, before getting sleepy as hell at higher doses. THC ratios can rocket up to 26%, this medical cannabis strain is known as the vanquisher of stress and anxiety.

What other strains have the OG Kush genetics?

One of the reasons the original OG Kush is hard to pin down, is that there are now so many hybrids deriving from the strain.

The list is pretty much endless! Popular OG derived strains now include: Bubba Kush, Tahoe OG, SFV OG, Ghost OG, Diablo OG, Alpha OG, Boss OG, Butter OG, Khalifa Kush, Larry OG, Lee Roy, Legends OG, Presidential OG, Skywalker OG, Fire OG… it just goes on and on. Some being harder to come by than others of course, but all promising something of that delicious, dank and hard hitting OG heritage.

Post author
Sylvester likes writing about culture, history and tech, digs cosmology, futurism and ukulele - and prefers to accompany all of these with a good bowl of Chocolope Kush
See more from Sylvester

More articles you would like