What Is Sour Diesel?

by Emjay

Sour Diesel is one of those strains you can smell from a mile away. It smells like someone doused a lemon orchard in gasoline and tossed a match. The sharp, tangy, bright citrus notes combine with the chemical funk of fuel to create that unmistakable Sour Diesel smell.

Although the smell is one of Sour Diesel’s most unique characteristics, it’s not the reason why people gravitate toward the strain. Sour Diesel is a powerful sativa that delivers everything that sativa lovers want to the most extreme degree. It’s generally regarded as a sativa to end all sativas. 

It may not be for everyone, but for the people who crave that heavy kick, there will never be anything better than Sour Diesel

Where did Sour Diesel come from?

Throughout history, weed was mostly cultivated in secret. From the 1900s forward, cannabis was illegal in most countries. Other than the origin of landrace strains, we don’t always have complete information about where many popular strains came from. Breeders made them and continued to cultivate them because they enjoyed the effects. They didn’t come with pedigrees like show dogs or racehorses. 

Sour Diesel is one of those strains. We aren’t perfectly sure where it came from or who its parents are. Popular speculation suggests that Chemdawg and Northern Lights are the ancestors of Sour Diesel. 

Greg “Chemdog” Krzanowski, the man responsible for introducing most of the world to Chemdawg, claims that Sour Diesel and Chemdawg are one and the same, meaning that Sour Diesel is a result of selectively breeding Chemdawg plants. The two smell and taste very similar and boast a lot of the same effects. He’s an expert cannabis cultivator who knows a fair bit about the strain he was nicknamed after, and he may very well be onto something. 

We may never know where Sour Diesel came from with complete certainty, but that’s okay. What matters most is that it’s here now and we all get to love it. 

The cannabinoids and terpenes in Sour Diesel

Sour Diesel will come in a wide range of THC percentages. Some strains of Sour Diesel climb close to 30%, which is substantially stronger than the 20% most strains sit at. It usually contains less than 1% CBD, leaving nothing to mitigate the THC’s hard-hitting effects. 

Sour Diesel’s distinctive smell comes from an even balance of myrcene and limonene terpenes. Myrcene is sour, fruity, and spicy. It occurs naturally in mangoes, thyme, and lemongrass. Limonene is the terpene responsible for the citrus kick. It naturally occurs in the rinds and zest of most citrus fruits.

Tied for second place in terpene ratio are beta-caryophyllene and pinene. Pinene is the terpene that gives pine trees their aroma, and beta-caryophyllene is a medicinal terpene that naturally occurs in black pepper. The two combine to create a woody, spicy punch.

The aroma of these combined terpenes is what makes the diesel aroma when you sniff a nug of sour diesel. Thankfully, it doesn’t taste like gasoline. The limonene and zesty terpenes give the strain the flavor of sour lemonade, reminiscent of the citrus candy you probably enjoyed throughout your childhood. Or still enjoy today. There is no age limit on candy. 

The THC really gets to work, and the terpenes drive the direction of the high. Terpenes like limonene are highly energizing. Think about how you feel when you smell freshly squeezed orange juice. Myrcene is generally regarded as a more relaxing terpene, but it doesn’t have an opportunity to shine through. Instead, it seems to mitigate the high levels of limonene and keep the energizing effects from becoming too intense. 

The effects and side effects of Sour Diesel

Sour Diesel is known to produce happy, euphoric, and energizing effects. This isn’t the kind of strain you want to use at the end of a long day when you’re winding down and getting ready for bed. It’s a strain you want to use when it’s still early and you have a lot of things to do. 

If you’re a frequent cannabis user, you’ll find that Sour Diesel is the best strain for days where you need to be productive.

All strains come with side effects. Many people feel that Sour Diesel is one of the worst offenders for causing cottonmouth and dry eyes. Since the strain is so potent and stimulating, it’s easy to experience paranoia. This is definitely a “less is more” strain, and you’ll want to dial in your ideal amount rather than puffing away at it. 

How people use Sour Diesel

Sour Diesel is a wake and bake weed. It will get your mind and body going much faster than coffee, particularly if your body is acclimated to caffeine. 

The euphoria this strain produces makes boring things fun. Do you have to clean the house, meal prep, and work in the garden? Get some Sour Diesel first. Everything will feel a lot more interesting when you’re riding the wave of bliss. 

Sour Diesel is a grain strain for a hike or camping trip. Its total absence of sedating effects makes it perfect for high-energy activities. It’s just as great for solo introspection as it is for stimulating a social group. Whether you’re hiking alone or exploring nature with friends, Sour Diesel is a great choice.

Medical cannabis users love Sour Diesel as a mood lifter and fatigue fighter. Most people report it isn’t very good for pain, especially since it’s highly stimulating. It’s better for warding off negative feelings and lethargy. 

Sour Diesel might sound like the opposite of what you want in a strain

Sour Diesel is used as a stimulant strain. Not every cannabis user wants a stimulant strain. Many people would rather smoke pot to relax and find relief. These people will inevitably hate the strains that so many other people love. Preferences are often deeply personal. 

Sour Diesel may make people with anxiety more anxious. If you’re already wound up, the last thing you want to do is smoke a strain designed to fill every part of your body with intense hype. You want your weed to help you calm down. If you’re in pain, you need a strain that’s going to soothe you instead of preventing you from sitting still. 

If you find that a very popular strain is too something for you, the best thing to do is look up or across its lineage. It likely has a parent strain that boasts similar effects that are less intense. Another strain that shares parentage may have been bred to produce effects in the opposite direction.

People with anxiety and pain conditions tend to prefer indica strains or indica leaning hybrids. Instead of going for Sour Diesel, look to its parentage. Sour Diesel likely inherited some of its genetics from Northern Lights, which is commonly used medicinally. Northern Lights may be a better fit for you. 

The cultivation of Sour Diesel

Sour Diesel has an extended flowering period and can be slightly finicky to grow. If you’re new to growing, you might not want to start your journey with Sour Diesel. Plants need a lot of care during the flowering phase and require proper nutrient balance for support. 

Sour Diesel can be cultivated indoors in a hydroponics system, but will likely produce a smaller yield. It’s important to provide context for Sour Diesel yields because a small Sour Diesel yield is nothing like a small yield from another plant. A single Sour Diesel plant is capable of producing more than enough of what you’d need for an entire year of personal use. 

A Sour Diesel plant grown outdoors under perfect conditions can produce up to five pounds of flower. These plants are potent and unstoppable mammoths if you give them everything they need. 

The takeaway

Sour Diesel is everywhere — it’s almost like the Coca Cola of weed. It’s easy to find at most dispensaries, both medical and recreational. If there is any one strain that sativa lovers demand from a supplier, it’s this strain. On the other side of the same coin, devout indica enthusiasts will likely hate Sour Diesel. Its potent effects are somewhat polarizing. 

We may not be sure where Sour Diesel came from (or even if it’s technically the same strain as Chemdawg), but its mysterious origin only serves to make it more exciting. We do know that it’s 90% sativa, which makes it one of the highest sativa strains that isn’t a sativa landrace.

Emjay loves Sour Diesel just as much as you do, and we carry it in many forms. If you’re fiending for some, we’ve got you. We can deliver you some Sour Diesel in about half an hour. Start making your list of things to do. Get your smoke on and be productive. 

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[…] which can lead to a very powerful high. It is also known for its strong, pungent smell. Many people enjoy the smell of Sour Diesel, as it is often described as being similar to gasoline. Sour Diesel is also popular […]

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[…] which can lead to a very powerful high. It is also known for its strong, pungent smell. Many people enjoy the smell of Sour Diesel, as it is often described as being similar to gasoline. Sour Diesel is also popular […]


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