OG and Kush: Where Did These Cannabis Strain Names Come From?

OG and Kush are both descriptors that are often included in cannabis titles. The strain name is meant to give you a hint about what that particular strain’s ancestors, relatives, or characteristics are.

OG and Kush are name varieties that are very popular in the California medical cannabis market, and tend to be associated with strains that have relatively potent THC concentrations and characteristically strong and pungent scents. High THC potency is probably a result of generations of cultivators selecting stronger strains to breed with. The characteristically rich smells that tend to come with OG and Kush strains are related to the particular mix of terpenes that are packed in these strains. These terpene counts make high levels of THC more tolerable and contribute to the various odor profiles of any single cannabis strain.

But with the massive amounts of OG and Kush out there, are there ways to really differentiate the two? Some cannabis researchers have analyzed experimental sets of OG and Kush type strains to see if they can confirm the differences.

Such studies have concluded that OG strains have relatively higher levels of certain terpenes such as alpha-terpineol, fenchol, limonene, camphene, terpinolene, and linalool. Kush samples, on the other hand, are characterized mainly by the terpenes guaiol, myrcene, and alpha-pinene.

But where do the names come from? The nomenclature of Kush or OG is only somewhat well understood.

At the end of the day, it’s best to talk with your budtender about that particular strain’s characteristics, regardless of the name it’s been given. It’s possible you’ll get a few different answers about the origins of your particular Kush or OG strain’s name. We’ve collected some of the stories that circulate about where the names came from in the first place. Take a look!

And in the meantime while we figure out where the names came from,  just exercise the usual awareness in trying out new strains to see what works best for you.