At a Glance
What is Sour Diesel?
To answer this question and more, we turned to the experts at Edison, grown by Organigram.
Like many strains, the exact history of Sour Diesel lies somewhere between urban legend and hard fact. Many claim the strain is a cross between Chemdog and Skunk, while others say there’s some Northern Lights in the mix.
Sour Diesel is also a popular parent strain; Ultra Sour, Headband, Gas Berries #112, Sage N’ Sour and Sour Cookies all have Sour Diesel lineage.
Sour Diesel is a strain that lives up to its name; its unmistakably gassy aroma hits you as soon as you open its container. That pungent diesel scent is complemented by sour, tangy notes. While its aroma may not be for everyone, Sour Diesel has a loyal base of followers who count it among their favourite strains.
At Organigram, they grow Limelight (commonly known as Ultra Sour) — a cross between Sour Diesel and MK Ultra that has become one of Edison’s staple strains. “Limelight is one of those high-octane sativas that makes me blink and pucker up when I take the first puff,” says Nick Robertson, product manager at Organigram. “From its vivid green colour to its tangy lime aroma, it certainly lives up to the name.”
Limelight is also characterized by a “lush bud structure, moss green highlights and heavy THC,” Robertson adds. “Most of our Limelight harvests [are] coming in at over 20% THC.”
Said to have been originally bred in sunny California, Sour Diesel grows best in warm climates or in the comfort of a temperature-controlled indoor grow environment. Its flowering period is around 10 weeks, and the plant can reach up to 130 centimetres in height.
At Organigram, figuring out how to best grow Edison Limelight initially proved to be tricky. While Limelight plants tend to be very uniform, the strain has a high stretch rate (tall growth), and Organigram uses a signature three-tier growing system (shown below) that’s better suited to plants of shorter stature. Jonatan Montpetit, director of cultivation at Organigram, says it was a challenge they were motivated to resolve. “We knew this was a popular strain for the cannabis community and the demand was definitely there, so our dynamic cultivation team figured out how to make it work.”
Organigram’s approach included reducing the daytime and nighttime temperatures to help the plant maintain a shorter stature, Montpetit explains. “We also lowered the plant density compared to all other cultivars [strains] to 12 plants per table instead of the usual 14 plants per table.”
The team’s long-term strategy goes beyond adjusting growing conditions and into the plants’ genetic makeup. “We are also currently in the ‘Edison lab’ working on an Ultra Sour F2 — Ultra Sour x Ultra Sour — that was selected to overcome the stretch issues,” Montpetit adds.
What is a strain?
To understand what a cannabis strain is, think of it like a breed of dog. While all dogs share similar traits, there are distinct differences among breeds (you wouldn’t confuse a Great Dane with a dachshund, for example). When it comes to different cannabis strains, this means one may have a sweet, lemony aroma, while another may boast a pungent, sour, diesel-like scent.
These differences have been fine-tuned by cannabis growers over many generations. Growers will choose two plants with desirable traits and then cross (or breed) those plants together, creating an offspring with a stronger expression of those desirable characteristics. When breeding cannabis plants, growers are often focused on the unique aroma and taste, and the potential THC and CBD content. Just like no two Great Danes are identical, strains can vary from lot to lot and grower to grower.