Everybody loves a good sour strain. Their complex terpene profiles offer a unique flavor profile and may even offer unique effects, which is part of the reason they’ve become such a staple at dispensaries all over the world. But what exactly makes them special? Here’s everything you need to know about the origins of sour strains and what makes them taste that way.
The origins of sour strains
Sour isn’t really a common flavor when you’re talking about landrace OG strains from around the world. While each area has produced different flavors of weed in the past, sour strains were pretty much unheard of before the 90s. Sour weed strains actually came about thanks to selective breeding.
The OG sour strain is the famous Sour Diesel, but it wasn’t until Chem 91 was grown by Chem himself after getting some bagseed at a Grateful Dead concert in ‘91. He then crossed it to Northern Lights to create the Underdog strain, which would eventually become Sour Diesel.
Underdog was eventually crossed with Super Skunk by a crew based in New York, where the offspring was named “Diesel” for its funky, gassy flavor profile. After a couple of years selling it in New York, Diesel eventually earned a reputation for itself, and has been known as Sour Diesel ever since.
After its popularity spread across the country, sour strains have become a top choice among OG users and even today’s enthusiasts. It’s believed that every sour strain you’ve experienced today either came from the original Sour Diesel genetics, or were selectively bred for terpenes that offer this sharp, sour, and pungent flavor profile.
What makes a strain taste sour?
All sour strains have one thing in common: their scent and flavor profile. Sour strains share a similar terpene profile, and bring about earthy, fuel-tinged flavors with subtle notes of citrus and a tingly spice on your tongue. Sour strains are usually rich in Limonene, Myrcene, and b-Caryophyllene, which account for the earthy, citrus flavor.
Together alongside other minor terpenes, they promote a gassy, skunky flavor that strikes everyone a little differently. For example, some people really like sour strains while others don’t. Typically the old heads love a good sour, since that sour profile was the cream of the crop back in the day. New users on the other hand might find these flavors to be intense and skunky.
That’s not to say you should knock it before you try it, though. Most sour strains offer energizing, uplifting, and boosted mental effects common from sativa strains. Since sours are extremely rich in terps, they may amplify the effects of the THC thanks to the entourage effect phenomenon. That’s part of the reason why old strains like Sour Diesel that only check in around 12% might make you feel higher than newer strains with potencies of 25%. The presence of terpenes amplifies the effects of THC, so a good sour might be the remedy if you’re looking to boost your energy and find yourself feeling uplifted and happy.
If sours aren’t your thing, think of them like medicine. They might be spicy and gassy, but their effects are unmatched, even by today’s standards.
Our favorite sour strains
If you’re ready to try a sour strain for yourself, you can’t go wrong with classic Sour Diesel. There’s a reason why it can be found on practically every dispensary shelf across the country — it’s because it’s terpene rich and it feels great both recreationally and medicinally. However, there are several other lesser-known sour strains you might want to try if you’re looking for a more modernized sour. Here are our top five picks:
1. Sour OG
Also known as Sour OG Kush, Sour OG is a sativa-leaning hybrid cross between Sour Diesel and OG Kush. These tightly packed, round nugs are covered in sticky trichomes that offer between 20-25% THC. It brings out the best of both worlds from its parent strains, including its scent and flavor profile rich in sour lemon, gas, and pine notes along with that classic OG musk. It starts with an energetic head rush that tends to make you feel more upbeat and ready for your day, but be sure to hit with caution — Sour OG is a notorious one hitter quitter.
2. Sour Space Candy
Sour Space Candy is a CBD-dominant strain made from a cross between Sour Tsunami and Early Resin Berry. It checks in around 15-20% CBD and up to 5% THC. However, The strain really shines with its Myrcene, Terpinolene, and b-caryophyllene terps. These brightly-colored, densely packed buds offer a very sour flavor and a candy-like sweetness that you’re sure to love if you want something CBD-dominant that tastes sweet and sour.
3. Sour Dawg
Sour Dawg is a sativa-leaning hybrid cross between Tres Dawg (a Chemdawg strain) and Sour Diesel. It checks in at a whopping 22-27% THC, making it a fantastic choice for potent cerebral energy, uplifted moods, and untethered creativity. These dense spade-shaped buds reek of diesel fuel, earthy, piney notes and citrus. Just go easy on it — between the terps and the cannabinoid content, Sour Dawg is a potent powerhouse.
4. Sour Headband
As the name suggests, Sour Headband is made from a cross between Headband and Sour Diesel. Both strains are considered to be some of the best available in terms of flavor and effects, and Sour Headband is no different. These large, dense, crystalline flowers pack a punch with sour lemon and fuel-tinged flavors that amplify its energizing, uplifting, and focusing effects. Checking in at 21-26% THC, you won’t want to miss it!
5. Sour Power
This 3-time Cannabis Cup winning strain is a potent sativa best known for its incredible range of effects. Sour Power is made from a cross between StarBud and East Coast Sour Diesel, offering dense, trichome-coated flowers rich in Limonene, b-Caryophyllene, and Linalool terps. It checks in at 19-24% THC, and offers delectable sour citrus and fuel-tinged flavors. But more importantly, it offers energetic and mentally lifting cerebral effects, perfect for sour moods and stress relief.