Cannabis culture has grown a multilingual lexicon to describe the cannabis plant and the wealth of human experience surrounding it over 5,000 years. However, many words and phrases in the dank dictionary’s history are subject to dispute, owing to its vast amount of lore from which to choose.
One of the most popular marijuana strains, OG stands for “original gangster.” However, what exactly does OG stand for? Although the initials “OG” are used by many people in the marijuana subculture, their meaning varies. You’re most likely to hear one of two prevalent theories, but there are plenty more. Outside of the realm of marijuana use, there are a lot more conceivable meanings for OG.
What exactly does OG stand for? We’ll let you choose. But here’s a rundown of the various meanings and lore that gives it its present-day popularity.
“Ocean Grown” Hails From Northern California
According to legend, the term OG stands for “Ocean Grown.” A Northern California coastal grower who mastered the art of growing Afghani kush met a fellow marijuana smoker one day and began chatting. Before long, before it was opened and the cultivator smelled the herb and saw the buds, his new friend produced a bag of cannabis. He simply knew it was what he’d just grown when he discovered an ocean-grown OG in his friend’s bag.
What Does “OG” Mean When Talking About Weed?
“OG” is a term every pothead knows. But who coined the acronym, and what does it mean, exactly?
Cannabis culture has a vast, multilingual lexicon to characterize the cannabis plant and the richness of human experience linked with it. However, many words and phrases in the dank dictionary’s history are up for debate because of such a wide range of stories to choose from.
The word OG, for example, stands for “original gangster.” But what does OG stand for? Although the initials “OG” are frequent in the marijuana subculture, what they represent varies. You’re most likely to hear one of two popular theories, but there are several more. Outside of the cannabis community, there are a slew of alternative meanings for OG.
So, what does OG represent? You be the judge in that case. But here’s a rundown of its many meanings and the folklore that fuels its popularity in the context.
“Ocean Grown” Hails From Northern California
In marijuana-lore, the term OG is said to stand for “Ocean Grown.” According to legend, a Northern California coastal grower who mastered the art of cultivating Afghani kush met a fellow marijuana user one day and began chatting. Before long, the grower’s new friend pulled out a bag of cannabis and offered to pack a bowl. When the bag was opened and the cultivator — who didn’t reveal his profession — smelled the herb and saw the buds, he realized it was weed he’d just grown.
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The owner of the marijuana said he could tell from the fragrance that the bud was mountain produced. nNot ready to accept an uninformed appraisal of his harvest from a stranger, the grower responded, “Nah, man, that’s ocean grown weed,” or something to that effect. However, the term “ocean grown” stuck and has become a popular label for cannabis among coastal California growers and users.
But Doesn’t OG Stand for Original Gangster?
In this sense, the phrase OG, or Original Gangster (sometimes old-school gangster), is a reference to the Los Angeles hip-hop scene of the late ’80s and early ’90s. With many rappers originating from neighborhoods rife with gangs, weapons, and drugs (such as Dr. Dre and Ice Cube of NWA), OG implied status and stability in a chaotic world, particularly among Crips, one of LA’s most notorious gangs. It wasn’t long before the phrase permeated Southern California’s rap scene and the broader American zeitgeist, after being popularized by Ice-T with his album Original Gangster in 1991.
According to some accounts of the story, the name was attached to the kush being cultivated in San Fernando Valley by Cypress Hill’s staff to distinguish it. The claim is backed up by Amsterdam-based DNA Genetics, which produces cannabis seeds for strains that have previously only been available as clones.
According to legend, the OG stands for “original gangster,’” was given this moniker by the Cypress Hill Crew in the ’90s, and is a reference to “original gangsta,” according to DNA. In a 2011 email with the San Diego City Beat, DNA added: “The OG got tagged onto the LA Kush back in the ’90s by the Cypress Hill Crew, and it means ‘original gangsta.’ There are also stories that say it stands for “Ocean Grown,” but we think and feel that it comes from the Cypress family. I hope that removes any confusion.”
Soon, OG Kush became the standard bud for any self-respecting West Coast gangsta’s blunt.
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Or Was it All a Plot to “Overgrow” the Government?
Although the Ocean Grown and Original Gangsters explanations of the term OG are by far the most popular in the cannabis world, they aren’t the only ones. Another possible source for OG is OverGrow.com, a website that offered cultivation advice and a seed-swapping platform while also calling for an “overgrow” of government. It was one of the first online forums for marijuana growers, launching in 1999. Canadian authorities shut it down in 2006 after seizing the platform’s servers and arresting several of its owners.
The 2018 Netflix documentary series Murder Mountain recently popularized another explanation for the term OG in reference to cannabis. According to this telling of the tale, one of the region’s early growers traveled to Afghanistan to smuggle back seeds bearing prime kush genetics, and thus the phrase was coined. To distinguish them from other strains produced by different people, they became known as OG Kush because they were cultivated by the strain’s original growers.
Cannabis Strains with the OG Moniker
OG, on the other hand, refers to OG Kush. Because the lineage of this cultivar is a point of contention between two schools of thought based on where you reside in California, its namesake stands for Old Growth Genetics. The claim that OG Kush is descended from Afghani kush seeds smuggled into the United States and cultivated in the Lost Coast has support among Northern Californians. In the Emerald Triangle’s ideal condition, after migrating into its new environment, the strain exhibited distinct powerful and flavorful characteristics.