As a part of a generation raised on corn syrup and chemical dyes, my recognition of fruit flavors was bastardized early. Pop-Tarts, Squeeze—Its and Gushers were all hot items at third-grade lunch tables, but they didn't exactly prepare me for farmers' markets. Of all the fruit imitations, though, grape struck me as the oddest. The grapes I ate growing up were green or red, and didn't have the thick, syrupy flavor that purple sodas, jellies and candy all had. Then I realized that my parents were just too cheap to buy Concord grapes, and those purple treats were actually on to something. Now I do my own laundry, stay up late and eat all the purple grapes I want.
Grape soda may not get the shine of root beer or cola, but I've never seen best-selling candles derived from those flavors. Grape soda candles, though? I have two, and guests love them. That thick sweetness has become a favorite of weed smokers, too, who gravitate toward Grape Ape and Purple Punch for their heavy grape flavors as much as the dark, striking buds. So deeming a strain grape enough to hold the title Grape Soda means it had better kiss my mouth like a glass of Welch's.
Grape Soda is a product of Oregon grower Taste Budz and has an OG Kush lineage known more for making your head float than an afternoon sugar rush. A select phenotype of Tahoe OG Kush (itself a phenotype of OG Kush) that was then possibly paired with another mystery strain, Grape Soda became popular in the Northwest after a successful competition run in 2017, and is just now making headway in Colorado as several prominent wholesale growers give the strain a try. With such a name and backstory, I was expecting the grape version of Strawberry Cough. Sadly, so far I've been disappointed with what the Rocky Mountains have to offer.
Although Grape Soda's relaxing high burned my stress away as advertised, the snow-cone, syrupy flavor I expected was hard to coax out, both for my nostrils and my tastebuds. A strong pinch and whiff showcased some subtle grape and agave smells, but what I picked up was largely bitter, floral and chocolate. Such an adult flavor profile and sedative effects seemed more in tune with a late-night cup of decaf than grape soda, but maybe the flavor just hasn't translated to the mountains yet.
I've seen Grape Soda at Good Chemistry, Green RiNo (formerly Whole Meds), Kind Meds, Medicine Man, Oasis Cannabis Superstores and Simply Pure, but until I find a cut worthy enough to carry the grape torch, I'll stick with Grape Cola (an old Bubba Kush phenotype) at Green Man Cannabis or the Herbal Cure.
Looks: Purple buds and leaves certainly aren't rare in cannabis, so if your name is Grape Soda, you'd better have some. Grape Soda's luscious violet streaks show up just enough against the bamboo-colored buds to manage that qualifier, with striking rusty pistils and lanky trichomes giving the strain a colorful hint to the bulbous OG look.
Smell: While grape and citrus notes are Grape Soda's claim to fame, the Colorado cuts I've come across have failed to showcase that, instead pushing out muddy, chocolatey aromas with a floral back end. Grape scents are in there, but I'm not sure I'd notice them if I weren't searching.
Flavor: Largely bland with quiet, creamy notes of vanilla and soil, Grape Soda didn't deliver the overly sweet flavor of grape I've come to expect.
Effects: An evening toke for stoners and bedtime strain for rookies, Grape Soda delivers slow but effective punches of relaxation and euphoria, although that floating feeling can initially feel a little disorienting for lower tolerances. The calming effect turns into a predictable but not overwhelming lethargy after about an hour, so be prepared for a nap.
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