Cannabis has been used since the beginning of its medicinal and recreational properties and has contributed to the creation of a rich vocabulary to describe both the complexity of this plant and the range of experiences it allows. But with such a breadth of knowledge, which some could not claim to know completely, the origin of certain terms has been lost in the corridors of time or has mutated into several explanations.
This is the case with the term “kief”, which was originally used to designate the mixture of tobacco and hash smoked by Moroccans in the form of “kif”. Today it is commonly synonymous with “pollen”, the trichomes that make up the base of hashish or that remain under the grinder's sieve. The mistake would come according to Frenchy Cannoli, Ed Rosenthal and other young Americans who, after returning from a “hippie” trip to Morocco in the 1970s, incorrectly used the term in Amsterdam. The mistake persists to this day, but that is also how a language evolves.
So, where does OG come from and what does it mean?
The strongest theory is that OG stands for Ocean Grown. According to Californian legend, a grower from the north of the state specializing in Afghani Kush met one day one of his smoking friends who pulled out a bag of weed. The grower immediately recognizes his weed by the smell.
The owner of the bag, not knowing who he was dealing with, assures him that it had been grown in the mountains (“mountain grew”). The grower corrects him and tells him that it was more of an “ocean grown” weed. This would have kept the term alive among Californian growers and consumers.
Another very popular origin has its roots in California: Original Gangster. In the hip-hop scene of the 80s and 90s, the term OG was used to refer to a person who had made his way through all the gang wars and various trades in the hip-hop scene.
The term was popularized in 1991 by Ice-T with their album Original Gangster. It was then specifically linked to the Kush variety grown by farmers in the San Fernando Valley by the group Cypress Hill, a version corroborated by DNA Genetics, which was the first to market seeds of OG Kush that were previously only available as a clone.
The term OG was labeled on the LA Kush in the 1990s by Cypress Hill and means Original Gangsta. There are also stories of OG meaning “Ocean Grown,” but being from Los Angeles, we like to think that OG comes from the Cypress family.
Origins of the OG Kush
While the origin of the term OG remains shared, so does the origin of the term OG Kush.
Some farmers in Southern California claim that it is a cross between Chemdawg, Lemon Thai and a Pakistani Kush landrace, and popularized by the indoor growers of the San Fernando Valley. Farmers in Northern California see it more as a descendant of Afghani seeds grown on the remote shores of Humboldt County.
A third version estimates that it was first grown in Florida in the early 1990s and was a mixture of a California variety and the Hindu Kush from Amsterdam.
The result is a variety with complex aromas, a mixture of diesel, skunk, and spices.