Featured Flower: OG Kush
Learn more about your favourite cannabis flower or dive into something new as we explore the history, growing methods and unique properties of our most popular strains. In this feature, we’re spotlighting OG Kush — a high-THC strain that’s said to be one of the originals.
At a Glance
Aroma and Taste: Gassy, skunky, spicy, piney
Common Dominant Terpenes: Pinene, Myrcene, Caryophyllene, Humulene
Average THC: High Average CBD: Low
What Is OG Kush?
To answer this question and more, we turned to the experts at Simply Bare (grown by Rubicon Organics), DNA Genetics and Tweed (both grown by Canopy Growth Corporation).
OG Kush is a gassy indica-dominant hybrid that is a parent strain of countless popular strains on the market today. There are so many varieties of OG Kush, including San Fernando Valley (SFV) OG Kush, a favourite on OCS.ca.
The origin story of OG Kush is mysterious, but the strain is generally presumed to be a Hindu Kush cross. According to the team at Tweed, Hindu Kush is said to be one of the original “landraces” — strains thought to have grown natively, not cultivated by humans — first appearing in the Hindu Kush mountain range that stretches between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Many believe the O in OG Kush stands for “original,” a reference to the strain’s role as a parent of many of the strains on the market today. Some of these strains include Pink Kush, Bubba Kush, GSC, Headband, MK Ultra, Glueberry OG and Kosher Kush.
The latter is what the team at DNA Genetics grows. “The [Kosher Kush] lineage is a phenotype of OG Kush,” says Kelly Olsen, vice-president of global flower business at Canopy Growth. “Its genetics were crossed into OG Kush, and then crossed back into itself to produce seeds of what’s now the Kosher Kush strain.”
OG Kush is an indica-dominant hybrid best known for its gassy, skunky aroma, complemented by earthy, piney and peppery notes. It produces consistently high THC with very little CBD.
Turns out skunkiness runs in the family. The team at Tweed told us more about OG Kush’s parent, Hindu Kush: “Our cultivar has a very dank, skunky, pungent smell with sweet and earthy undertones, and a scent of juniper. Its dominant terpenes include myrcene, terpinolene, b-pinene, caryophyllene and terpineol.”
OG Kush has also passed on some of its notable traits to Kosher Kush, which boasts large calyxes covered with bright trichome crystals and dark orange hairs, and a very sour, citrusy aroma with earthy, peppery and gassy notes.
At Simply Bare, San Fernando Valley OG Kush is grown in living soil — a planting material that can include healthy bacteria, beneficial bugs and other microbes. “Like all Simply Bare cultivars, this cultivar is grown in our secret blend of living soil, which gives our plants all the nutrients needed to let them fully express themselves in appearance and aroma,” explains Peter Doig, chief scientific officer at Rubicon Organics.
“The specific cultivar of SFV OG Kush we grow was chosen because of its disease resistance,” says Matt Wolfe, cultivation manager at Rubicon. That, along with its ability to withstand pests, “plays a strong role in growing successful crops successively, which means each crop is the exact copy of the same genetic that gave us the success we achieved in the first crop.” Wolfe adds that the cultivar produces a high yield and currently has the most THC in the Simply Bare lineup.
Over at DNA Genetics, growing OG Kush offspring Kosher Kush is a precise science. “DNA Kosher Kush takes about 12 to 16 weeks to grow a cultivar from clone to harvest,” says Olsen. “First, the cannabis enters the cutting and cloning stage, where the baby plants are kept under 18 hours of fluorescent light. After that, it’s on to the vegetative stage. Here, the plants are bulking up to support the flowers that occur in the next stage. The plants are then switched to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness, which will trigger the plants to go into their flowering cycle.”
What is a strain?
To understand what a cannabis strain is, think of it like a breed of dog. While all dogs share similar traits, there are distinct differences among breeds (you wouldn’t confuse a Great Dane with a dachshund, for example). When it comes to different cannabis strains, this means one may have a sweet, lemony aroma, while another may boast a pungent, sour, diesel-like scent.
These differences have been fine-tuned by cannabis growers over many generations. Growers will choose two plants with desirable traits and then cross (or breed) those plants together, creating an offspring with a stronger expression of those desirable characteristics. When breeding cannabis plants, growers are often focused on the unique aroma and taste, and the potential THC and CBD content. Just like no two Great Danes are identical, strains can vary from lot to lot and grower to grower.