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The story of Sour Diesel

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How Sour Diesel was born?

There are cannabis strains so famous that even people who don't use weed have heard of them. Sour Diesel might top the list of the most well-known strains in the world. So how did she get such notoriety?

The easy answer to why Sour Diesel is so legendary is simply because, well, it's good. But of course there is always a story to explain how people found out.

An obscure origin story

Most people credit the rise of Sour Diesel to a man known as “Asshole Joe” (or AJ for short). Marijuana grower AJ was a trainee at New York's Wetlands Music Club in the early 90s, where he met big-name artists like Pearl Jam and Rage Against the Machine. He ended up meeting another big influencer, a grower who introduced him to a new sativa-dominant strain called Chemdawg '91. AJ started planting these seeds as well, and at some point combined them with another race. Scientists seem to think it was a Skunk #1 or Northern Lights cultivar. From there was born the Sour Diesel.

AJ had a very good relationship at the club with people who traveled a lot, so word spread quickly after people tried the strain for the first time. After that, supply and demand took over. The hype surrounding the strain has led to more and more people wanting to try it. As excitement often spreads around rare items, the strain's fame has soared.

Some also said that the seeds used by AJ were not really Chemdawg 91, but were in fact impure, with some of the plants being hermaphroditic. In this version of the story, AJ simply picked the best plant and crossed it.

Still others have a totally different story, saying the cross with Super Skunk, Skunk #1, or Northern Lights was purely accidental. In this version of the story, the seeds of Chemdawg were exchanged during a Grateful Dead tour in 1991, and the seeds that led to the creation of Chemdawg landed in Massachusetts.

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How Sour Diesel got its name

Sour Diesel's name also has a good story behind it. You'd think it's referring to its citrusy taste and gasoline smell, but according to AJ, the title is more ingenious than that.

In the 90s, New York slang for good weed included “bomb”, “chronic” and “diesel”. AJ had labeled other strains, even those he crossed with Chemdawg, as diesel. This, however, was the version he was most proud of. Then, the rumor started circulating about him faster than AJ could bring him up. This was exacerbated by the fact that the strain is difficult to grow, requiring intense light and careful attention to mold growth, with a tall stature that stretches upwards in a unique way and only gives a moderate amount of product each season.

She became highly sought after and quite expensive compared to other strains of the time. With such limited quantities, people started getting annoyed that they couldn't always get their hands on it. Their pinched and embittered faces upon learning that they couldn't have any for themselves filled out the rest of the name. There you have it: Sour Diesel!

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sourdiesel

Sour Diesel is known for its unique fragrance. It's remarkable even in the bud itself, but it comes to life when smoked, giving off a pungent smell reminiscent of gasoline mixed with a refreshing burst of lemon. The taste retains that citrus note, mixed with earth and herbs. Celebrities took notice, with Action Bronson using its tangy fruity flavors to whip up Sour Diesel-infused bucatini pasta with broccolini and red pepper flakes. Run the Jewels members have become fans. Redman says it's the best strain to keep him motivated. The variety is even cited in Broad City.

Sour Diesel is considered the perfect strain for waking up and falling asleep. High Times ranked it as the third greatest strain of all time. "If there's a tastier bud on the planet, we haven't smoked it," raves the magazine. Olympiad bronze medalist best strain ever was second only to Original Haze (aka Neville's Haze) and OG Kush. The publication conceded, however, that if confined to the East Coast, Sour Diesel would reign supreme on the list of top weed options.

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This is an almost 90% pure sativa that can reach an impressive 26% THC in some cases. But what is particularly interesting with this flower is the amount of CBD and CBN it retains during extraction: 2% and 4% respectively. The combination of these cannabinoids makes this strain extremely stimulating and invigorating. Although some enjoy it for boosting their creative centers, its components also make it a fantastic medicinal marijuana. Its energizing and uplifting qualities make it a good choice for combating depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue, mood disorders and even migraines.

Sour Diesel imitators

While smoking Sour Diesel, some have noticed major inconsistencies in its smell, taste, and feel. Turns out that's because anything labeled Sour Diesel isn't the real product. Lab data has proven that the cannabinoids and terpenes found in marketed products like Sour Diesel can vary widely. So how do you know you're getting the real product? Well… you don't know that.

Researchers have found three main chemical profiles in marijuana sold as Sour Diesel. By examining the terpenes of each of them, these scientists discovered that one of them is dominated by limonene, another by terpinolene and a last by myrcene.

Since there are no regulations on how strains are named or labeled, your best bet is to pay attention to the cannabinoids and terpenes of each and find the one you like best.

There are also different varieties of Sour Diesel marketed as slightly different but sold under the same basic name. Purple Sour Diesel is a cross between Sour Diesel and Purple Kush, known as an "all-purpose smoke" with long-lasting potency; Chemdawg Sour Diesel, also called Chem Sour, is designed as a balanced hybrid; Platinum Sour Diesel is a blend of Sour Diesel sativa and Platinum OG indica that fans recommend for daytime use; and Super Sour Diesel blends Sour Diesel and Super Silver Haze to create a potent sativa.


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Media broadcaster and communications manager specializing in legal cannabis. Do you know what they say? knowledge is power. Understand the science behind cannabis medicine, while staying up to date with the latest health related research, treatments and products. Stay up to date with the latest news and ideas on legalization, laws, political movements. Discover tips, tricks and how-to guides from the most seasoned growers on the planet, including the latest research and findings from the scientific community on the medical qualities of cannabis.