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Sour Diesel

If you ask weed fans, Sour Diesel is NYC’s greatest contribution to global horticulture. Indeed, many cannasseurs would go so far as to claim this citrusy hybrid strain is the East Coast’s finest flower. Soon after “Sour D” hit New York’s cannabis market, it gained massive hype for its heady effects and gasoline aromatics. Anyone looking for a strain that’s as energizing as Broadway’s lights won’t be disappointed with classic Sour D buds.

Sour Diesel Overview

Despite Sour Diesel’s widespread appeal, we still don’t know much about this strain’s origins. However, the most influential account of Sour Diesel’s history starts at (of course) a Grateful Dead concert. According to rumors, a few NY breeders got their hands on a batch of high-quality Chemdawg seeds at a 1991 Grateful Dead show. Allegedly, cultivators mistakenly created the Sour Diesel strain after crossbreeding Chemdawg 91 with Skunk #1 and Northern Lights.

Whether that story is fact or fantasy, there’s no doubt Sour Diesel shares some qualities with the Chemdawg lineage. Most significantly, both of these strains have incredibly pungent, citrus-forward flavors. However, unlike the well-balanced Chemdawg 91, Sour D leans heavily on the sativa side. Standard Sour Diesel buds will have ~80 percent sativa heritage and a THC level in the 20 percent range. So, yeah, you should have some experience with THC-heavy strains before giving Sour D a taste.

Sour Diesel strain icon Sour Diesel Strain Flower ImageSativa THC: ~20% (percent)

CBD: < 1% (percent)

Parent Strains: NYC Diesel & Auto Haze

Watch: Sour Diesel Review

A Most “Sour” Reputation — The Darker Side Behind Sour D’s Name

Most people assume Sour Diesel was named after its “sour” taste. While that’s partially true, there are rumors this strain earned its “sour” title due to its steep price tag. Indeed, Sour D was so expensive in the 1990s that it may have caused a few unintentional rivalries in the pot market. Apparently, those steep prices “soured” many friendships in the Big Apple. Mo’ money, mo’ problems, indeed!

Sour D Plus Bucatini? — Action Bronson Always Adds Sour Diesel To His Pasta Night!

According to celebrity chef Action Bronson, Sour Diesel mixes quite well with EVOO. In fact, Bronson shared a popular pasta recipe that calls for four teaspoons of DIY Sour D-infused olive oil. Simply cook up some broccolini and garlic and top over bucatini. Add some red pepper flakes and your cannabis-infused oil for a sumptuous Italian meal! Honestly, there’s no tastier way for cannaisseurs to “get their greens.”


Image Source: Action Bronson’s Instagram

Sour Diesel Is (Almost) The Best Strain Of All Time

Sour Diesel firmly established itself in the “pantheon of pot” after High Times listed it as one of its “Best Strains of All Time.” Indeed, according to High Times editors, Sour Diesel is the third-best strain they’ve ever tried. What’s the best bud, you ask? According to High Times experts, OG Kush and Haze were just a cut above Sour D…but we’ll let you judge that.

Rappers Can’t Stop Dropping “Sour D” In Their Songs

It’s not uncommon for high-profile rappers to praise ganja in their lyrics, but Sour Diesel seems to be a particularly popular strain. Most famously, Redman claimed Sour D was one of his favorite strains. The rapper Doap Nixon also named two of his albums after this strain, and Flatbush Zombies mentioned Sour Diesel extensively in their hit single “Face-Off.”


Image Source: Redman’s Instagram

Sour Diesel Effects

While Sour Diesel isn’t a purebred sativa, it sure feels like one. Users often report an initial “head buzz” high that can be a bit “spacey.” However, this sativa rush is slightly tempered by the moderate indica genes (perhaps from Northern Lights). While Sour D won’t send you into “couchlock mode,” it does offer mild physical relaxation. Indeed, many medical marijuana patients rave about using Sour D for everyday aches and pains.

Since Sour Diesel has a high THC percentage (~20 percent), inexperienced users should approach this strain cautiously. Sour Diesel can provoke side effects like paranoia if you’re not careful. Also, since Sour Diesel is such an uplifting strain, it’s never recommended for nighttime use.

Also, please be sure to keep a bottle of cold water nearby before you smoke Sour Diesel. Due to its incredibly hashy aromatics, Sour D has a habit of triggering intense coughing and cottonmouth.

Growing Sour Diesel

If you’re thinking about growing Sour Diesel seeds, then you’d better have a lot of space in your tent. Like most other sativa-forward strains, Sour Diesel grows incredibly tall. While most of these flowers will reach at least four feet, there have been reports of Sour D towering an incredible 10 feet when grown outdoors.

Needless to say, you should have experience with standard training techniques like topping and bending. Not only will these tricks keep your Sour D from suffering light burn, but they will also increase the total bud production sites.

Typically, Sour Diesel seeds perform best in a Mediterranean environment with temps in the 70s to 80s F. Growers should also have plenty of nutrients on hand to keep Sour D happy. This strain is notorious for scoffing down a ton of nutrients, especially in the flowering stage.

Sour Diesel should take between 10 – 11 weeks to reach full maturity. Cultivators are usually rewarded with a moderate yield of 1.8 oz per ft2.


The Sour Diesel strain is not the best choice if you’re concerned about discretion. These buds will give off dank aromatics during flowering. If you’re worried about secrecy, you should install a high-quality air filter to keep your ganja growing on the down-low.

““[I]f there’s a tastier bud [than Sour D] on the planet, we haven’t smoked it. When grown right, from the true East Coast cut (think AJ — and true connoisseurs know what we mean here), there is simply no better flavor in cannabis.”“

Nico Escondido, High Times Chief Cannabis Officer.

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