OG Kush, and a range of other OG varieties, make up an incredibly popular family of cannabis strains – especially here in California. The name ‘OG’ is applied to a vast group of strains, and despite its fame, the history of the OG family is shrouded in mystery. Relatively few of the many enthusiastic consumers of OG strains even know the meaning of the name, which most likely refers to ‘Ocean Grown.’ OG varieties sometimes fetch unusually high prices in dispensaries – grown improperly, OG can produce low yields, which makes it a riskier investment for growers and limits supply. However, it is known to thrive in the Mediterranean climate of Southern California, and is so widely popular that it certainly won’t be disappearing from dispensaries anytime soon.
As mentioned above, there is a considerable degree of mystery surrounding the origins of OG strains. The unraveling of this mystery begins with OG Kush itself, which is said to have become popular in Los Angeles by the mid-90s. It seems to have arrived as bag seed from Colorado via Florida, to find its long term home in cannabis friendly California around the time of medical legalization. There seems to be little question that Chemdawg was involved in OG genetics – however, some sources describe a hybrid of the sativa dominant strain with Hindu Kush, with others even involving Lemon Thai. Some assert that OG Kush was simply a stabilized, well developed version of Chemdawg. Totally separate explanations refer to an “Original Gangster” strain from mid 90s LA, responsible for putting Southern California on the map in terms of global cannabis quality. Still others contend that it was a California strain named in honor of a Canadian cannabis website, shut down by the Canadian government in 2006 – OverGrown.com. However, the “ocean grown” explanation of the name is the most widely accepted story.
High Times attributes the distinctive aroma of OG Kush to a diverse variety of terpenes, including ones more commonly found in indicas, like linalool, as well as some found most often in sativas – like pinene. OG strains can lean in either a sativa or indica direction in their effects. I tried a ‘True OG’ strain from Eazeup.com, called Elemental OG – probably indicating that it originates from Elemental cannabis collective in San Jose. It should be noted that I’m not certain of this, and the shaky information is one of the downsides of using delivery services instead of having a face to face with a bud-tender. It is also reminiscent of how things worked in the days of prohibition. That being said, the pungent ‘Elemental OG’ matches the collective’s website’s description of their True OG’s “deep pine and gasoline aroma,” with a notable sour lemon smell as well. It is a unique and fresh aroma with the fuel and pine smells associated with sativa strains as well as a sweet and thick undertone, probably a result of the Hindu Kush indica roots.
The visual impact of the small popcorn buds is intense – the overall impression is towards a light, yellow-green color, but looking closer reveals a range of light to medium greens, with tinges of purple, and hairs ranging from orange to red. The effect of this collection of colors gives the sense of a rainbow color. The buds are small, relatively dense, and fuzzy with crystals and hairs. OG Kush is known for high THC content, and this ‘Elemental OG’ clocks in at 27.2 percent THC, making it one of the highest percentage THC strains I’ve ever tried. OG Kush can be used to treat stress, pain, depression, and lack of appetite – among other ailments. Personally, it is a little too activating to be a strain I would use for sleep.
OG Kush is generally described as focused yet mellow, and I can relate to this description when it comes to my own sample from Eazeup.com. However, I often find sativa influenced OG strains to also have a mind-bending, psychedelic edge to their effects. Depending on your mindset starting out, this may not be the best choice for a calm session sitting at home. However, when already engaged in an activity such as hiking, I found the experience pleasantly stimulating and helpful for fatigue. True OG, like many OG Kush strains, is considered to be an indica dominant hybrid. For me, this strain offered about as much sativa uplift as I could want. My ‘Elemental OG’ fits into the OG Kush tradition of an aromatic, powerful, yet balanced hybrid strain – versatile and adaptable to a variety of situations. The fresh aroma and balanced effect helped early on in building California’s reputation as a cannabis capital of the world.