What Are The Best OG Kush Strains? Our Top 5 List

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Everyone under the age of 50 knows what “OG” means.

OG stands for “Original Gangster.” (Or “Gangsta,” if you prefer.) The term was first adopted in hip hop circles and then in public culture, following the release of Ice-T’s hit album “O.G. Original Gangster.” Over time, it took on a more general connotation, used to mean “original,” “old school” or “authentic.”

So “OG” in the name of a weed strain must mean the pot is authentic or original.

Or maybe not.

There are actually multiple legends, purportedly explaining how the term “OG” became commonly used in the names of cannabis strains.

What Is an OG Weed Strain?

OG Kush, Lemon OG Kush, Godfather OG, White OG – that’s just a small list of the enormous number of strains with “OG” in their name.

But what does it really mean?

  • Many say the term originated when Reefer Man of the hip hop group Cyprus Hill Gang tried some LA Kush in the mid-90s, loved it, and started calling it OG Kush out of respect. (The seed bank that first developed OG Kush seeds vouches for this story.)
    • Another story that makes the rounds in California is that “OG” stands for “ocean-grown,” to differentiate the dank weed grown along the coast from often less-potent strains grown inland.
  • Some believe the use of “OG” became popular in tribute to the very-popular cannabis website OverGrow.com, which was shut down by the Canadian government in the early 2000s. (Unlikely, since OG Kush was around in the 90s.)
  • A newer story that’s making the rounds claims that a California grower smuggled in prime Kush seeds from Afghanistan, and their product was named OG Kush to specify that it came from the “original grower.”

As with most urban legends, there will probably never be definitive proof of where the “OG” came from (although the belief that “OG” stands for organic is definitely not true).

More importantly, there’s no definitive rule for what it means.

Many believe that an “OG Strain” is any direct descendant of OG Kush. So they consider Critical Kush (bred from OG Kush and Critical Mass) and Bubble Kush (bred from OG Kush and Bubble Gum) to be OG strains – even though they don’t have “OG” in their names.

Others take things more literally and only list strains with “OG” in their name, even if their OG Kush heritage was further down the line. For example, they’d include two we mentioned earlier, Godfather OG (with a confusing lineage which might include OG Kush or might include Bubba Kush) and White OG (The White crossed with SFV OG Kush).

For our purposes we’ll go with the first approach, looking at the strains that most closely resemble the “classic” OG Kush profile (which scientists would call “phenotypes”).

Characteristics of the Best OG Strains

OG Kush is rightly revered as one of the best weed strains of all time. It’s a hybrid that leans slightly Sativa according to some experts, although others claim it’s slightly Indica. Since this is a strain that’s been around for decades with somewhat mysterious genetics, it’s quite possible that both are “right,” depending on the sample.

Classic OG Kush’s 20-25% THC content provides a strong euphoric and cerebral head high, more enjoyable than the rush induced by sativas that start the mind racing. There is a body-melt that can range from mild to “where’s the couch?” depending on the user, but overall, OG Kush provides a calm, uplifting and social high. Just as memorable are OG Kush’s sticky buds, its strong, almost hash-like smoke, and a very pungent, somewhat-spicy smell.

That same profile is what defines the best OG strains – whether or not “OG” is in their names.

The Best OG Strains

OG Kush

OG Kush buds on op of a black plastic cap

How can you outdo the original? You can’t. It’s not as ubiquitous as it used to be but if you can find it, try it. As you could probably tell from our longer description above, it’s the perfect flower for a night with friends or for a solo evening at home alone.

Godfather OG

High Times called this Indica the most potent strain available, and while a few newer hybrids could challenge that claim, it’s not far from the truth. The origin of Godfather OG is somewhat murky since there are a number of versions on the market. The three most common are a cross of OG Kush, Granddaddy Purps and Cherry Pie; a mix of Bubba Kush, GDP and LA Confidential; and a cross of XXX OG and Alpha OG.

In all cases, Godfather OG packs a wallop quite similar to that of OG Kush (although it may smell less objectionable to your neighbors). The THC content that averages 25% hits fast with a euphoric and cerebral high that blows away stress, and follows with a body high that will put inexperienced users on the couch pretty quickly. This is a great “chill at home” strain that will make sure you get a good night’s sleep after a very enjoyable high.

Critical Kush

Dank and pungent with an earthy taste, Critical Kush resembles its OG Kush parentage (Critical Mass is the other half of that equation) when you smoke it. Its strong THC content brings on a somewhat slow-to-act feeling of mood elevation, relaxation, and calm, which is paired with an indica deep body melt which may put you on the couch if you’re a novice user or are going at the bong hard. The buds have a trademark OG Kush stickiness as well.

This is an outstanding strain for patients, as it eases stress and depression, provides noticeable relief for chronic pain patients, and has strong anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also terrific for dealing with insomnia. Just take things slow; the hit takes a while to completely show itself, so you may end up a lot more stoned than you intended.

Chem OG

When you’re sober again, you can thank the combination of OG Kush and Chemdawg for the elevating high. Much like OG Kush, Chem OG teeters on the edge of sativa and indica. It provides a euphoria that’s cerebral and creative, lifting the fog of stress and allowing the mind to focus and enjoy the effects of the 20% THC content. As with its other parent strain Chemdawg, the body stone isn’t overwhelming; you’ll just be relaxed enough to feel great.

The aroma is pungent and skunky, the taste is woodsy, and the high is fun and enjoyable without the heaviness you might feel from OG Kush or most other OG strains. They always say the kids are supposed to do even better than the parents – depending on your pot preferences, this could be a good example.

Phantom OG

What do you get when you mix OG Kush with Phantom Cookies? A terrific creative and stimulating mental high, which is followed by a slow, relaxing and eventually sedating body high. The overall effect is somewhat heavy, but over time, Phantom OG will make sure that you don’t really care about that. There’s a pungent odor and a woodsy/citrus taste.

This is an excellent strain for stress and for those who suffer from ADHD since it will focus their minds at first. It’s also good for chronic pain and headaches, as well as those who want to slowly fade into a good night’s sleep.



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