Sour Diesel is one of the most world-renowned Sativa strains, and its origins date back to the mid 1990's with a pair of New York City growers. Sour Diesel took the East Coast by storm, when it was concocted when Original Diesel was unintentionally crossed with a hermied Northern Lights/Shiva x Hawaiian.
Although, there are many claims to the origin of Sour Diesel, Merry Jane does an awesome in-depth telling the story of one of Sour Diesel's creators, AJ. AJ refers to himself as the servant and keeper of Sour Diesel and begins the story by describing his first time use of Chem 91 (AJ changed Chem 91 to Original Diesel because at the time in New York City, people were afraid their weed was being sprayed with embalming fluid or other chemicals), in 1992, at a nightclub he was interning at in NYC.
In an interview with KINDLAND, AJ describes why they decided to call it Sour Diesel.
“It’s called the Sour Diesel because it soured countless friendships, business relationships, and everything else. It was like a magical power. If you had it, people would do whatever you asked them to. But it was also an evil power, a lot of envy and jealousy surrounded it. There was nothing else like it. There still isn’t, but at the time there was nothing even close. People would throw each other off a cliff to get to it. Backstabbing and mind control went along with it. It was like the sword of Excalibur, people just couldn’t handle it.”
AJ isn't lying either. At one point, the strain's popularity went through the roof. "The delivery services back then were selling it for $50 a gram, two grams for $100. If you bought ten $100 jars, you would get one jar free; so that's 22 grams for $1,000. We were paying our growers in New York City around $8,000 a pound. If you wholesaled it, you'd be lucky to get it for $9,600 a pound, but most people paid about $10,600."
Thus, the history of Sour Diesel is extensive but there's a reason why it's one of the most famous strains to date.