Whether you’re new to the ganja game or a charismatic cannabis connoisseur, you may have heard the term OG used to describe weed, but what does ‘OG’ mean?

It may seem self-explanatory to some, but did you know that, depending on factors such as location and the specific circle you hang out with, this slang term can have multiple definitions?

Cannabis culture is vast and diverse, and language is a wild and complex behemoth, even when it comes to your bud!

Additionally, with the increasing spread of weed legalization of recreational and medicinal marijuana spreading across regions such as Canada, a few select states in the United States, and other countries, the catalogue of cannabis slang is growing increasingly complex. 

If you’re confused, or this sudden realization is blowing your mind a bit, don’t worry.

We’re here to clear the air – literally and figuratively – to help uncover the different stories behind what OG stands for so that you’ll be aptly prepared to talk game no matter what context it’s used in.

What Does OG Mean?

OG strain

As we said, the definition of what OG stands for in cannabis culture may differ based on who you ask. However, some examples are more popular than others.

Below, we’ll outline three of the potential answers when addressing the question, “what does OG mean?”

Ocean Grown

One theory about the backstory of the term OG yields from Northern California in the United States, where it was believed to be an abbreviation for “ocean grown.” 

According to the legend, a cannabis grower operating on the coast of Northern California had mastered the art of cultivating Afghani Kush.

He eventually met a fellow toker, and the two got to gabbing. At this point, it’s crucial to mention that this fellow blazer has no idea of the grower’s occupation. 

Ultimately, it didn’t take long for this new cannabis companion to pull out a bag of their own weed and offer to pack a bowl. 

As soon as they opened the bag, the cultivator – who, again, hadn’t revealed his occupation – caught a glance and whiff of the buds and knew exactly at that moment that it was weed he had grown.

The person proceeded to comment on his own stash that he could tell from the smell of the weed it was mountain grown. 

However, the grower, who knew better, said something to the likes of “Nope. That’s that ocean-grown weed.” From there, the term stuck and grew to become a commonly used descriptor for cultivators and tokers in coastal California.

Original Gangster

Another example of a commonly believed origin story for addressing “what does OG mean?” is that it stands for “original gangster,” or sometimes old-school gangster. 

If we’re to backtrack on this theory, we’ll need to journey back in time to the late ’80s, early ’90s Los Angeles and immerse ourselves in the prevalent hip-hop scene.

Of course, this was an era of massive significance for the music genre, with legendary MCs like Ice Cube, NWA and Dr. Dre dominating the scene. 

The term OG skyrocketed  in popularity following rap icon Ice-T’s album aptly titled Original Gangster in 1991. 

After that, it was only a matter of time before the expression seeped its way into Southern California’s hip-hop culture before spreading further across the country.

Eventually, the term was added to the name of the kush grown by cultivators in San Fernando Valley. 

According to some versions of the story, this was hip hop group Cypress Hill’s crew. This theory is supported by Amsterdam-based seed company DNA Genetics, which developed seeds for the strain.

According to an email sent by DNA to the San Diego City Beat in 2011, “the OG got tagged onto the LA Kush back in the ’90s by the Cypress Hill crew, and it stands for ‘original gangster.'”


While the ocean-grown and O.G. original gangster theories have the most support backing them, they aren’t the only premises when it comes to conversations surrounding potential OG meanings. 

Another possible reference involves the internet, media and conspiracy.

Essentially, in this theory, OG is used to mean the initials referencing OverGrow.com, a website that posted advice surrounding cannabis cultivation practices while also serving as a seed-swapping platform that advocated for an “overgrow” of the government. 

The website originated in the golden era of the ’90s when the internet was becoming a more accessible and widely utilized resource.

At this point, OverGrown.com served as one of the first online forums for marijuana growers, launching in 1999. 

However, Canadian police shut down the site in 2006, seizing the platform’s servers and arresting several of its operators.

Some users also argue that OverGrown.com is the inspiration behind the ‘OG’ in OG Kush.

Popular OG Strains

Specifically, in the context of strains, the abbreviation OG is a reference to OG Kush. Similar to the initiations that make up its name, the precise lineage of OG Kush is a point of passionate debate, particularly between two regions of California.

Northern Californians posit that OG Kush is a descendent of Afghani Kush seeds smuggled into the US and grown in the Lost Coast. However, those in SoCal (Southern California) state that OG Kush is a hybrid of Chemdawg, Lemon Thai, and Pakistani Kush landrace strains developed and popularized in the San Fernando Valley by indoor growers.

Whatever its true origin story, OG Kush has been going strong on the cannabis market for nearly three decades and has parented dozens of hybrids and offspring varieties through breeders blending its highly desirable traits with other lineages.

So, now that we’ve had a bit of a herb history lesson, let’s delve into how OG has contributed to the creation of some of the most widely beloved strains in cannabis culture currently available on the market.

OG Kush

OG Kush

Of course, whenever discussing the origins of OG and its potential meanings, you would be remiss if you didn’t mention the all-star, OG Kush. This strain has an incredibly loyal fanbase who adore it for its ability to eliminate stress with its nearly mind blowing euphoria.

OG Kush is a potent indica-dominant hybrid. So, novice tokers, you’ve been warned! OG Kush is not for the faint of heart. The buds give off a fresh scent of pine, earth and spices with a tangy lemon, pine and woody flavour.

Rockstar OG

Rockstar OG

Rockstar OG lives as loud as its name implies. This indica-dominant hybrid is the celebrity love child of Rockstar and OG Kush. Make no mistake about it. While its THC levels are around 15-17%, this strain is unexpected in that it’ll knock even the most seasoned tokers off their feet!

Rockstar OG has a bold and earthy scent with light hints of spice and grape. Many users appreciate it for its classic-tasting nature. This bud has skunky and pungent smoke that provides a nostalgic flavour.

Darth Vader OG

Darth Vader OG

The force is strong with this one! Darth Vader OG is an infamously potent indica powerhouse with undetermined origins. Much like its namesake, this strain carries a heavy presence due to an incredibly high THC concentration that approaches 25%.

Its aroma is a pungent yet sweet mixture of grapes, earth, and some aromatic spice. It combines these and additional blends of different flavours into one cohesive smoking experience that is sure to take you beyond sky high and into space!

Tuna OG

Tuna OG is a balanced hybrid cross of OG Kush and Black Tuna. It’s well-known for its robust potency and strong one-two punch to the body and mind, making it ideal for seasoned tokers.

One of the most notable features of Tuna OG is its diverse terpene profile, which gives it an overwhelming skunk weed aroma with intermittent floral and earthy notes.

Ace Killer OG

Ace Killer OG is a hybrid in the true sense of the world. This strain has four parent strains that beautifully combine and synergistically work together to produce an extremely potent, indica-dominant strain that will take you so sky-high, you’ll exit the stratosphere!

Its scent is powerful, to say the least. Ace Killer OG has a strong aroma of spice and pungent diesel. When burnt, this chemical scent is replaced with a pleasant woody pine flavour. It has a pleasing, rich earthy aftertaste on the exhale that is sure to delight your senses!

The Meaning of ‘OG’ – There’s No One Answer

Whether you think it stands for original gangster, ocean-grown, overgrown or something else entirely, the term OG has been around since at least the 90s and has been used throughout cannabis culture to describe characteristics, status, rebellion and more.

In other words, this phase is no one-trick pony!

Whatever your preferred definition, several different strains contain this moniker as a means of outlining premium, dank cannabis strains. In this way, if a strain has ‘OG’ in the name, you’re likely in for a real treat.

For a wide selection of OG strains to choose from, be sure to visit the Herb Approach website for all of your various weed needs!