History of Chemdawg and Sour Diesel

A History of Chemdawg and Sour Diesel Cannabis Strains

13 mins read

While doing some follow-up research after filming our Chemdawg review this week, we learned some really interesting history which gives rise to over 80% of cannabis strains on the market today. Because of this we wanted to present a cannabis history of Chem Dog and Sour Diesel.

To answer what is probably your first question – yes – it was originally spelt ‘D.O.G’ before being changed to the familiar ‘DAWG’ spelling we know today.
Eighty percent of strains out there right now are based on these two. Who are the major players?

P-Bud: I’m a very small part of the puzzle, but I was there, so I know the story. I was nervous about coming in here, but I just want to set the record straight. I’m a big history guy, and I like correct history on stuff like this. I moved to Crested Butte in ’87. By 1989, ’90, we were growing a lot of m39, Skunk #1, we had a strain of Hash Plant that was absolutely incredible that I would put right up along with the ones of the Dog Bud. It was smuggled by a girl we knew from Leadville, from somewhere in Asia. She sewed it in her sleeve. We were growing that and smoking P-Bud, an outdoor strain from Colorado that was absolutely incredible. In ’89, ’90 this pot came in called Dog Bud. We were getting a lot of it. We were told it was coming from the California-Oregon border. We were getting pounds of it. It was some of the most incredible indoor that we had ever seen. The smell? You walked into a grocery store with a tiny bit in your pocket and the clerk was like, “did someone hit a skunk?” So we were getting this Dog Bud and we couldn’t believe the looks of it, we’d never seen anything like it. From what I heard, it was called Dog Bud because after you smoked it, it made you roll over like a dog. And “d-o-g,” not “d-a-w-g.” This was back when it was organic, don’t panic, but we were thinking they must have pumped so much chemicals into this pot. We just started calling it “Chem Weed,” just as a joke. So Chem Dog, he put those two together and that’s where it came from. But we were big Deadheads back then and we used to tour every summer, and back in ’91 we went on tour and brought a pound of the Dog Bud with us. And back then in the summer time pot would dry up, it was really hard to find a bag of pot, even at a Dead show. So we brought this out and before the show we were sitting on our car and said the words “kind bud,” and some guy came over. We showed it to him, and he was like “oh, my god, I’ll buy three from you.” Within fifteen minutes, I swear, we had a line at our car of people

wanting to buy it. And we sold out in no time. Well, Chem Dog came by and he bought a bag, and then he came back and bought another ounce. We probably charged him a lot of money. We were young and greedy back then. But he bought it he was happy and no one complained. I hung out with him at the show, exchanged numbers, and when we got back to Crested Butte, everyone was pissed we took a pound of Dog Bud out of town on Dead tour, so that didn’t go over well with a lot of people. But we were the ones that were able to get it, so it was kind of our decision. And I’m glad we did it. So we got back to town and sent him two ounces [in Massachusetts] I think, quarter pound, not really sure what we sent him it was a while ago. One ounce had no seeds in it, he said, and one had thirteen seeds in it. We had been looking for seeds in it ever since we had it. Never found a seed in a year of us getting it. And he got 13 in one bag. So that’s kind of where it all kind of started. All the credit goes to Chem Dog and what he did with them. Over those years, of the 91 and the Chem D, which were my two favorites. Did a lot of crosses. Of the first four, one was a male, and he chucked it. He wouldn’t have now. Three of them were keepers: The Chem 91, The Chem Sister and the Chem C, I think it was called. In 2000, he germinated four more, one was junk. The Chem D is probably my favorite for all around taste and potency. It’s pretty special. So, fast forward a couple years, Joe called me and he said, I think there’s a strain called New York City Diesel that I think is actually guys going up to Massachusetts and getting clones and they changed the name from Chem 91 to Diesel, and then New York City Diesel. So they are the same thing.

Chemdawg ’91

Adam: I was in Amsterdam in 93, and I met one of the two crews. And one told me it wasn’t about the taste or flavor, it was all the same diesel, the different names were about the crews. One crew was sour. You had your choice, you could buy diesel from the Sour Crew or the New York City crew, but you had to give them $500 an ounce.

Chem Dog: Thirteen seeds. Started two in ’91. One was a male. I was 17. Foolishly, I threw it away. The other came out identical to what I got from Joe and P in Deer Creek Indiana, summer Tour 1991. I did not get the beans there. I got one sack of the Dog Bud and thank god I did what I did. One became the original 91 cut. One became the Sister. I believe it was 2005, which was then Chem Dog D, which is still out there and very popular. Without the Chem Dog, there’d be no Sour. He will agree with that. From what I remember Joe telling me, he said some people called it Dog, some called it Chem. Either way people it’s d-o-g, not d-a-w-g. Brett from Apothecary Seeds, he bred the 91 cut and called that Chem Dawg. Could be wrong. Arjan of Greenhouse got the 91 cut and he spelled it the right way, so he gets props for that.

AJ: We met in 1993. Right around the time I first went to Amsterdam. The first time I met Chem Dog he sold me a pipe. And I said, let’s put something in it, and I said no, let me, and we had a pissing contest for a minute until we realized we both had the same thing. Even back in the day, I would give it to somebody and they would come back and tell me I screwed them and gave them something else. There’s two different ones. But there’s only one. It’s temperature sensitive. If you end up with 85 percent you did a great job. For some reason, everyone was always obsessed and wanted the May because springtime on the Northeast coast created the perfect temperature, so the May batches were always the highest.

Chemdawg ’91

Chem Dog: I always had good luck with fall and spring.

Adam: So the Massachusetts super skunk was crossed into it.

AJ: That was probably accidental. Everyone has a different side of the story, but from what I understand the “sour” is just a seed that ended up in somebody’s lunch box. That happened in Staten Island is where that was born. The radioactivity in Staten Island might have something to do with it. Someone got a lucky lottery ticket and cashed it in.

This script was originally typed up by Adam Dunn for Abakus Blog in Colorado.

TL:DR on Cannabis History of Chemdawg and Sour Diesel

Heritage (no serious source known):
Speculation 1: unknown indica strain (Kush, HP or NL?)
Speculation 2: Nepali x Thai

At a Grateful Dead show at Deer Creek Amphitheatre, joebrand (aka wonkanobe) and pbud met chemdog and sold him an ounce of very high quality pot for $500. Joe and Chemdog exchanged numbers and they later arranged for two ounces to be shipped to chemdog on the east coast. According to chemdog, one ounce was seedless and the other had 13 seeds.

In ’91, chemdog popped the first 4 seeds. From these seeds, one male was found and disposed of (chemdog was young, you can’t blame him). The 3 females were labeled “chemdawg” (now ’91 chemdawg), “chemdawg a” (now chemdawg’s sister), and “chemdawg b”. In 2001, chemdog and his girlfriend attempted to germ 3 more seeds, labeled “c”, “d”, and “e”. the “e” seed never germinated, “c” turned out to be junk (according to chemdog), and chemdawg “d” was the keeper.

We have reviewed both Chemdawg and Sour Diesel here at ISMOKE. You can watch both review videos below.


Sour Diesel

Did you enjoy this cannabis history of Chemdawg and Sour Diesel? Let us know in the comments!

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