Why Colorado Tokers Love Grape Ape

Grape Ape from L’Eagle.
Grape Ape from L’Eagle.
Photo by Herbert Fuego

Sharing weed stories has become commonplace over the past ten years or so. As with sexcapades, drunken stupors and fisherman’s tales, everyone has a story about some one-hitter strain that took them higher than they’d ever been. More than half the time, those stories begin with the words “This purple stuff....”

Grape Ape is the quintessential purple stuff. When stock-image companies start taking photos of (real) purple marijuana for random ads and articles, this flying purple people eater will be the perfect candidate. The classic strain can hit a 10/10 in the presentation category, which pairs naturally with its heavy effects, making it a potent but familiar bud for amateurs and veterans alike.

The history behind the indica-dominant strain’s genetics is cloudy. Some reports have it being bred from Afghani and Skunk #1, with others including Mendocino Purps genetics in that equation. One seed website lists its Grape Ape as having Grapefruit and Auto genetics, while another says its cut originated from a phenotype of Grand Daddy Purp. Despite all of the different possible family trees, the most popular versions fall in the Afghani, Skunk #1 and maybe Mendocino Purps family, creating deep violet buds that deliver a melting sedation.

My first experience with Grape Ape was similar to that of many other people (as well as my first half-dozen sexual experiences). I was bedazzled and seduced by its beauty, then knocked out quick, like an inexperienced lightweight.

There are too many varieties of purple pot out there for just one strain to be everyone’s favorite, but Grape Ape will always make the top of the Family Feud big board.

Another angle on Grape Ape from L’Eagle.
Another angle on Grape Ape from L’Eagle.
Photo by Herbert Fuego

Looks: Grape Ape’s nugs are typically dense and on the circular side. Its deep, dark-purple hues can cause some to confuse its buds for Concord grapes, cherries or anything else that is small, dark, round and delicious. The limited parts of the buds that aren’t purple are a dark forest green.

Smell: This strain didn’t catch its name just because it rhymed. Grape Ape has thick, syrupy smells of grapes and berries, rounded out by an earthy, bubblegum after-scent similar to that of its Afghani relative.

Flavor: Sweet, almost tart flavors of grapes and blackberries overtake the strain’s flavor profile, but earthy OG tastes or spicy, hash-like flavors usually come in at the end.

Effects: Like other popular purple strains (Grand Daddy Purp, Purple Kush, Purple Urkle), Grape Ape is known for strong relaxation qualities, though some users report a clear head and say they prefer to smoke it during the day. Medical patients use the strain to fight insomnia, stress and pain, while recreational users enjoy the mind melt and sexy looks.

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Home grower’s take: “I’ve had mixed results with this. It always grows tall — sometimes too tall. The second time I tried Grape Ape, it grew so tall that I thought it was something with my [nutrients]. They got so close to my lights once that some of my toppers got burned. The times I’ve been able to keep the height down, though, she’s produced some killer shit. Resin glands didn’t seem to know the difference between nugs and leaves, so I got some great hash out of it.”

Commercial grower’s take: “Grape Ape should hit you hard, but it shouldn’t knock you out immediately. I expect a strong high, but one that still allows me to function before ultimately passing out. But that shouldn’t happen for a while! I get around 450 m2 [450 grams per square meter of growing space] when I grow this, but I’ve only tried it a few times and have friends who say they’ve hit over 500.”


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