Rainbow swirls of diesel gasoline

Strain Spotlight: Sour Diesel

There always has to be a first strain, and when it comes to sour marijuana strains, Sour Diesel is the OG. This downright legendary strain has a storied history and a number of strains inspired by it that are prolific in their own right. In this strain spotlight, we’ll share everything we know about Sour Diesel, including:

  • What is Sour Diesel?
  • Where Did Sour Diesel Come From?
  • What Does Sour Diesel Smell Like?
  • What Does Sour Diesel Taste Like?
  • What Other Types of Sour Diesel Strains are There?
  • Sour Diesel FAQs

What is Sour Diesel?

Sour Diesel, sometimes called Sour D, Sour Deez, and plain ol’ Diesel, is the original sour strain and one of the most well-known diesel strains. In the 1990s, it was one of the most popular sativa-dominant strains in New York, and since then, its popularity has spread countrywide with both recreational consumers and medical marijuana patients.

So how did Sour Diesel get its name? A combination of sour flavor and diesel fuel, right? Not quite. During the 90s, the nickname Diesel was given to high quality flower—which wasn’t easy to find. Because it was such a luxury, people would do just about anything to get their hands on it, including souring relationships with friends and family members. That “sour” nickname stuck, and Sour Diesel got its name. 

Love learning about strains? Check out our strain spotlight on OG Kush.

Where Did Sour Diesel Come From?

You’d think because we know Sour Diesel is the first in a line of sour strains that we’d know exactly how it came to be. The truth is that we’re not quite sure. We’re not even entirely sure what strains were crossed to create Sour Diesel—some people swear it’s Chemdawg 91 and Skunk #1, others are certain it’s Chemdawg 91 and Northern Lights. There are even some people in the cannabis industry that are sure it’s a cross between a Chemdog phenotype and Mexican sativa—a landrace strain.

The reason we don’t know exactly where Sour Diesel comes from is because the original seeds are of unknown origin. Some say the seeds themselves were Chemdawg 91, obtained at (if you believe either story) either a music club or a Grateful Dead concert. Those seeds were either Chemdawg and crossed with a mystery seed, or the mystery seeds were crossed with Chemdawg. Either way, the result of that cross was Sour Diesel.

What Does Sour Diesel Smell Like?

Some scents are just classic in the cannabis industry, and Sour Diesel’s unique aroma is one of them. It’s got a skunky diesel odor with just a hint of dank sweetness to it that makes it not only unique but easily identifiable. Once you’ve smelled Sour Diesel, you’ll know it any time you catch a whiff of it.

What Does Sour Diesel Taste Like?

Despite its name, Sour Diesel actually tastes sweet, similar to a citrus or lemon (likely due to its limonene content). There are also earthy and diesel notes to it, similar to its aroma, but its flavor is overall pleasant and even spicy.

What Other Types of Sour Diesel Strains Are There?

One thing about the cannabis industry is guaranteed, when we find a strain we like, we look for and create other strains with similar qualities. Here are a few of our most favorite sour strains:

Super Sour Diesel

Sativa-Dominant Hybrid

This strain, also called Super Silver Sour Diesel, is a sativa-dominant hybrid strain that has Sour Diesel and Super Silver Haze to thank for its genetics. While not as potent as Sour Diesel (Super Sour Diesel has THC levels ranging between 18-24%), it is just as dank and a little spicy too. It holds on to those citrusy flavors from Sour Diesel, but it adds a pungent herbal undertone to it that makes it unique from its parent strains. Though “sour” has nothing to do with Sour Diesel’s flavor, the Super Sour Diesel strain is said to have just a slight bit of sourness in its aftertaste.

Purple Sour Diesel

Sativa-Dominant Hybrid

Genetics are a funny thing, and Purple Sour Diesel is a great example of that. It’s actually a blend between a strain of Sour Diesel and SR71 Purple Kush, an indica created from a cross of Hindu Kush and Purple Aghani. Purple Sour Diesel has a sour-sweet flavor, a combination of fruit and tang reminiscent of not-quite-ripe grapes. Its aroma is an homage to its name—diesel-meets-grape. Like Sour Diesel, Purple Sour Diesel is high in THC (though not quite as high) at 21%, and it also contains a little bit of CBD (1%) and CBN (1%).

Strawberry Sour Diesel

Sativa-Dominant Hybrid

Strawberry Cough was crossed with Sour Diesel to give Strawberry Sour Diesel its start in the cannabis community, and it’s remained popular ever since. Combine a strawberry milkshake taste with a pungent berry-diesel scent, and you get one of the most uniquely flavored, aromatic strains on the market. This sativa-dominant hybrid is not to be underestimated by new cannabis consumers or even seasoned cannabis enthusiasts—it has a high percentage of THC (higher than 25%) and a hint of CBD—so if you’re going to enjoy this strain, go slow.

Answering Sour Diesel FAQs

When you’re new to cannabis, you quickly learn about some of the most popular strains on the market. Here are just some of the questions our budtenders have answered about Sour Diesel:

Is Sour Diesel an indica or a sativa?
Sour Diesel is a sativa-dominant hybrid, which means it leans toward its sativa lineage.

What does Sour Diesel smell like?
Sour Diesel has an earthy-sweet, diesel aroma.

How much THC is in Sour Diesel?
Plainly, a lot. Sour Diesel is considered a highly potent strain with THC levels cresting at over 25%. It also contains CBD and CBN.

Purchasing Sour Diesel

While there are some popular strains that are challenging to get ahold of, Sour Diesel isn’t one of them. It’s a strain widely available across the country, so if you’re interested in experiencing this famous flower, head over to your local dispensary. Your budtender will be able to show you all of the Sour Diesel products available.

Recreational cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Ohio and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and certified patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.