May 18 2011 12:00 AM

We get some clarification on the origin of the popular kush strain

We would like to see the birth certificate for this dank nug of Obama OG
Credit: Dave Maass

Recently, we reported on the availability of the marijuana strain "Obama OG" at local medical cannabis dispensaries and explained that there's a bit of a debate over the OG acronym. We know, for sure, the OG denotes a relationship to the OG Kush strain, but some believe that OG stands for "Ocean Grown" while others think it's short for "Original Gangster." The debate continued in the comments, where one reader postulated that it simply stood simply for "original." ---

The usually reliable strain database at breaks down the two possible origin stories. 

1) The "Original Gangster" OG Kush comes from the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles and is considered to be the strain that put Southern California buds on par with the flowers coming from up North.

2)  There is also another well known OG lineage that was developed in Northern California, and this story went something like this: A guy - we'll call him KushDawg for the sake of this story - living somewhere on the Northern California Pacific Coast was growing the original cut from San Fernando Valley, the birthplace of most herb carrying the "OG" label. One evening, KushDawg was hanging out at a local bar when another chap also sitting at the bar offered him a bowl of some very special weed. Intrigued, KushDawg accepted the offer. Once the chap opened the bag and the dank, pungent OG aroma lifted into the air, KushDawg knew immediately, unbeknownst to the chap, that this was in fact his own herb. As they toked the glorious herb, the chap rendered his own opinion as to the origin of the herb, saying that it was so great because it was "Mountain Grown." KushDawg corrected the chap, "Naw man, this stuff is 'Ocean Grown,'" meaning that the herb was actually grown indoors on the Pacific Coast.

To settle the issue, we contacted DNA Genetics, the Amsterdam-based cannabis-seed seller that takes credit for marketing the OG Kush seed (the plant had previously been available only as a clone). The company describes the indica strain as the "MOST demanded in the USA" but can only trace it back to a Grateful Dead concert many years ago. OG wasn't its original name.

Here's what DNA told us in an email:

The OG got tagged onto the LA Kush back in the 90's by the Cypress Hill Crew and it stands for 'original gangsta.' 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

But what's the deal with the Grateful Dead?

The Grateful Dead show is where the whole story starts off for the Chem family and this is where the OG, Sour D, Headband, and Chemdawg all start from. The original seeds that started this whole kush craze come from some herb that a guy bought at a Grateful Dead show.

Good enough for us. We'll accept that story until someone comes to us with a more credible source.


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