12 Facts About Sour Diesel

You might love smoking Sour Diesel, but how much do you actually know about it?
12 Facts About Sour Diesel
Sam Sutch/ Wikimedia Commons

Would a strain by any other name smell as sweet? Sour Diesel, a name revered in toking circles, is one of the most ubiquitous, powerful, and sweetest-smelling strains ever created. The eponymous gasoline scent and sativa energy boost have been fan favorites since the early ’90s, but beyond the signature uplifting high, even connoisseurs don’t know all that much about Sour D—until now. Here are 12 power facts about one of the greatest strains in the world.

It supposedly began as a coveted luxury strain in ’90s New York simply called “Diesel.”

This is according to an anonymous NYC dealer who experienced the rise of Sour Diesel firsthand. Originally selling for $50 a gram and known just as Diesel, the strain was so coveted that it supposedly earned the “Sour” addition to its moniker for how many relationships it ruined.

Its lineage traces to Chemdawg 91 and the Grateful Dead.

Like most strains developed in the ’90s, Sour Diesel doesn’t have a birth certificate. The documentation that does exist is mostly legend, but accepted history states that the cultivar traces back to a Grateful Dead tour in 1991. A bag of Chem Dog with 13 seeds in it ended up in Massachusetts, which spawned Chem 91, Chem Sister, Chem C, and Chem D. From there the story unravels, with reports that Sour Diesel resulted from an accidental cross with Super Skunk, Skunk #1, or Northern Lights.

In NYC, “diesel” was code for good weed.

According to a “servant and keeper” of Sour Diesel, the term diesel was simply slang for kind bud before it became codified as a specific strain.

It will make you feel the opposite of sour.

Sour Diesel is preceded by its reputation, and for very good reason. With a potent THC content well above most other sativas, it’s best known for its energetic and euphoric effects, alongside boosts in creativity, which make it an excellent daytime or wake-and-bake strain.

It’s hard to grow.

I Heart Growing Marijuana calls it a top cash crop strain, but banking on Sour D isn’t simple. It’s a taller cultivar that requires intense light and absolutely sterile environments to avoid mildew, plus expect to trim it constantly and wait on an unusually long flowering time.

It pairs well with Gatorade.

Although the strain is beloved for its uplifting effects, there’s a good chance it’ll make your tongue feel like the world’s only semi-aquatic viper. In other words, watch out for cottonmouth.

There’s also a Super version.

Like a Saiyian or Nintendo, Sour Diesel also has the ability to go super. The upgraded version is a cross between Sour D and Super Silver Haze. It’s a pure sativa, and much like the original it’ll go straight to your head, but reviews report an even more cerebral quality that might be a little too potent for casual smokers.

It was crowned the third greatest strain of all time by a very reputable source.

A little publication whose name rhymes with My Limes gave it the bronze medal in the Best Strain of All Time Olympics, topped only by Original Haze and OG Kush.

Run the Jewels are fans.

Lie, cheat, steal, smoke Sour Diesel, everybody’s doing it! Reportedly capable of smoking a pound in two weeks, Run the Jewels love their weed as much as they love throwing Molotov cocktails at “the Man” in the form of blistering lyrics and dystopian beats. They told Blare Magazine that weed just seems to appear in their lives these days, and when they’re in New York it always seems to be Diesel.

Ilana from “Broad City” hides it in her hair.

In Season 3, Episode 4, Ilana’s weed stash went dry, but like a resourceful stoned squirrel, she buried a few nugs for the winter, finding tasty little buds hiding behind picture frames, in Russian Dolls, and up her nose. That Sour Diesel? Washes right out of her hair.

It makes a mean pasta—ask Action Bronson for the recipe.

What does the one and only rhyme-spitting, ganja-smoking, food-cooking Action Bronson eat at home? The answer is a simple THC-loaded bucatini pasta with broccolini, red pepper flakes, and olive oil infused with Sour Diesel. Home cooks can do their best Bam Bam impression with this recipe.

Redman uses it to stay productive in the studio

In a 2017 High Times interview, Redman name-checked Sour Diesel as the best strain to keep him motivated. “Sour Diesel is one of my favorites to smoke because it gives me good motivation, gives me energy. I like to work a lot: I’m in a studio maybe 16 hours a day. I’m a studio bunny, so I can’t fuck with indica too much—not at all during the day. I don’t like to be sluggish; I like to be energized, I like to be creative.”

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