Is Sour Diesel indica or sativa? Strain information

The famous Sour Diesel strain has stood the test of time.
Is Sour Diesel indica or sativa? Strain information
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Even those with a casual knowledge of cannabis have likely heard of the legendary Sour Diesel strain, also referred to as Sour D or Sour Deez. But what has led to its popularity since its cultivation in the early 90s, and why is it still relevant today?

This article will help you understand Sour Diesel, including its strain type and how it makes you feel.

What are the different cannabis strains?

Making decisions about what cannabis products to try is a highly personal choice, and strain type is one of the key factors we take into account when making those choices.

Depending on our mood or time of day, the reasons we seek it out vary greatly—some are looking for a potent psychoactive high while others may look to encourage relaxation, improved sleep, and other therapeutic benefits. 

After many centuries of crossbreeding, it is now understood that there may be no pure cannabis indica or cannabis sativa plants, but these classifications help shape our understanding of potential experiences.

Here are the three major strain types to consider.


Native to the warm climates of Central and East Asia, Cannabis sativa plants are tall and slender, growing to heights easily surpassing six feet when grown outdoors. Sativa plants have an open structure reminiscent of a Christmas tree and light green serrated leaves with pointed tips. Its flowers, or buds, are cylindrical and have a looser structure than those of indica.

Sativa strains are known for their cerebral or head “high,” which makes them conducive to daytime use. Its euphoric, energizing, and uplifting effects make it an ideal companion to creative activities like painting, writing, or playing an instrument.


The cannabis indica plant grows shorter than its sativa companion, with a bush-like structure and heights between three and six feet. Believed to originate in the Hindu Kush mountains that pass through Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan, the leaves of indica plants are dark green with buds that are denser in structure and highly resinous.

In terms of effects, indica is associated with nighttime use and a “body high,” making it an ideal choice for relaxing activities like meditation, and yoga. Indica is known for the signature “couch-lock,” or the feeling of extreme relaxation, sleepiness, and heaviness throughout the body.


At this point in the history of cannabis, there are unlikely any examples of pure sativa or pure indica plants, as these strains have been crossbred for centuries. For a strain to be considered hybrid, it means that its genetics come from both sativa and indica parent strains. 

Hybrid strains can be indica-dominant (Northern Lights, Grandaddy Purple), sativa-dominant (Durban Poison, Super Silver Haze), or balanced (Gorilla Glue, Pineapple Express), depending on the ratio of sativa to indica genetics in its cultivation.

Growers cultivate hybrid strains to select certain features, including terpene and cannabinoid profile, appearance, and expected effects, to create a curated experience.

How do cannabinoids work?

Cannabinoids are an important set of compounds that contribute to our experience of cannabis. As they interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors in our endocannabinoid system (ECS) they provide a range of physiological and psychological effects. Each cannabinoid has unique interactions within this system.

CB1 receptors are most concentrated in the nervous system and brain and are more associated with the psychological effects of cannabis. Meanwhile, CB2 receptors are located in organs, muscles, skin, and immune cells, covering a broader range of physiological functions. 

Using cannabinoids effectively means understanding how they influence different receptors and choosing balanced formulations that yield the desired effects. 

As of now, more than 100 cannabinoids have been discovered—some of which we understand quite well, and others that have barely been researched.

Here are three cannabinoids that get a lot of attention.


THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the primary compound in cannabis responsible for the intoxicating psychoactive “high” associated with cannabis use. This major cannabinoid is the most well-researched as its mind-altering attributes have long captivated the human imagination.

THC binds with CB1 and CB2 receptors in our ECS, a vast network of receptors found in our brains, nervous system, immune system, and peripheral tissues. 

As THC binds to CB1 receptors, primarily found in the brain and nervous system, it can enhance the release of serotonin, dopamine, and other neurotransmitters contributing to feelings of an altered state.*

Depending on the strain of cannabis consumed, THC's effects include euphoria, energy, focus, and relaxation. THC is also believed to be responsible for the “munchies,” the increased appetite that many people feel after cannabis consumption.


CBD, or cannabidiol, also takes its place among the major cannabinoids and has been embraced for its therapeutic and wellness benefits. Unlike THC, CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, and its effects are primarily physiological. This means you won’t experience the typical high effects of marijuana with CBD, but instead, get a broader range of wellness and general health benefits.*

CBD does not bond as strongly to CB1 receptors as THC, but instead interacts with the effects of the CB2 receptors that are found in the immune system and peripheral tissues.*

CBD has made its way into the mainstream because of its potential therapeutic benefits ranging from reduced discomfort, to support for sleep quality, to reduced feelings of tension.*


CBN, or cannabinol, is sometimes known as the sleepy cannabinoid. Although more peer-reviewed research is needed to fully understand CBN, it shows promise and potential for overall sleep quality.* 

If you’re interested in cannabinoids for rest and rejuvenation, CBN products like our full spectrum rest gummies are a great place to start.*

What is Sour Diesel?

Like many cannabis strains, the origin of the Sour Diesel strain is somewhat of a mystery due to the evolving legal status of the plant over the last few decades. The grandfather of subsequent sour cannabis strains, Sour Diesel is most likely the result of crossbreeding Chemdawg 91 and Skunk #1 or Chemdawg 91 and Northern Lights.

Visually, Sour Diesel flowers are dense and compact with vibrant hues of green. They are typically covered in a generous amount of resinous trichomes and hairlike orange pistils. With its impressive phenotype, it’s no surprise that Sour Diesel is a popular headliner in magazines, digital publications, and dispensaries around the world!

This sativa-dominant hybrid was cultivated in the 90s and became highly sought after by connoisseurs for its cerebral and energizing high, with THC levels in the range of 20-25% range. 

Besides its strong psychoactive effect, Sour Diesel is known for its unique taste and smell. Its complex aroma has notes of diesel, skunkiness, and citrus, while its taste is earthy, spicy, fuel-like, and citrusy with a hint of sweetness.

Sour Diesel has given birth to several potent strains that are legendary in their own right, including Super Sour Diesel, Purple Sour Diesel, and Strawberry Sour Diesel. 

What role do terpenes play in sour diesel?

Terpenes are a set of naturally occurring compounds in cannabis and other plants and are responsible for flavor and aroma—two important elements to the overall experience of the plant. 

Terpenes are also believed to work in conjunction with cannabinoids and other naturally occurring compounds to create the entourage effect, the heightened experience of consuming the entire cannabis plant together.

Sour Diesel, prized for its distinct flavors and smells, is rich in the following terpenes:

  • Myrcene - Gives sour diesel its earthy and herbal aroma. Known for offering soothing effects and reducing physical discomfort while balancing the psychological effects of cannabis.
  • Limonene - Responsible for lemon, orange, and other citrus flavors and aromas. Contributes to the sour taste of Sour Diesel and other sour cannabis strains. Its citrus aroma provides uplifting effects that pair well with sativas.
  • Caryophyllene - Provides spicy notes reminiscent of black pepper. Offers invigorating sensations associated with sativa-dominant strains of cannabis.

Sour Diesel might also contain other terpenes depending on varied genetics and cultivation processes. Always look for products with transparent certificates of analysis and third-party tests you can trust before purchasing and consuming.

What does Sour Diesel feel like?

As a sativa-dominant strain, Sour Diesel gives the user many of the hallmark “head high” effects associated with sativa, making it a popular choice for daytime use.

When smoking the potent Sour Diesel strain, you can expect feelings of uplift, euphoria, increased energy, increased focus, heightened creativity, and an increased sense of well-being. Sour Diesel may also provide some indica-like effects, including feelings of relaxation but typically not to the degree of “couch-lock.”

Sour diesel and the endocannabinoid system

The Sour Diesel strain is potent, with anywhere between 20-25% THC content and a much lower CBD content. 

As the THC bonds to CB1 receptors found in our brains and nervous system, the flow of serotonin, dopamine, and other neurotransmitters is enhanced, accounting for the strong psychoactive high. 

Keep in mind that Sour Diesel contains a relatively high concentration of THC, and inexperienced users will want to start with a lower THC potency for a more comfortable journey.

What are the benefits of Sour Diesel?

Sour Diesel has been around for around three decades and has still maintained its relevance despite the ever-evolving lineup of strains available. This popular strain is familiar to most cannabis consumers and is still readily available on the menus of nearly all online stores and dispensaries.

Besides its potency and cerebral benefits, Sour Diesel provides several therapeutic benefits, with some people using it to assist with discomfort, feelings of head and neck tension, and emotional wellness.*

Are there any side effects to Sour Diesel?

Like any type of cannabis, there are potential side effects that are mostly mild. These include dry mouth and dry eyes—all typical of cannabis generally and mostly associated with consuming larger doses.

Whether you are a beginner or veteran of cannabis use, starting with small doses of the highly potent Sour Diesel strain and observing how it affects your mind and body can help mitigate some of these side effects. 

Although Sour Diesel itself has a low CBD content, taking a CBD supplement alongside it may also help counteract some of the adverse effects of THC overconsumption.*

The bottom line

The sativa-dominant Sour Diesel strain has been popular and enduring for the better part of three decades, and it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere soon.

When experimenting with this uplifting and energizing strain, consider taking it in conjunction with some of our certified Broad Spectrum Anytime Gummies to help temper its potency.*

Whether you’re looking for an authentic Sour Diesel experience or want to start small with low-THC formulations, Sunmed is here with third-party tested, quality products for everyone. 


*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease."


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12 Facts About Sour Diesel | High Times

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - StatPearls | NCBI Bookshelf

Cannabidiol (CBD) - StatPearls | NCBI Bookshelf

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