Some of my introductions to strains have been more memorable than others, but no other strain has had an impact on my life quite like Purple Trainwreck. It was 2008, and I was just starting to experiment with cannabis in high school — so of course I was hanging out with some dirtbags, and this kid named Harvey suddenly came across five pounds of some really stinky purple stuff, Purple Trainwreck. I had so many questions: Where’d he get it? Why was it so wet? Why did it smell so sweet? But after he gave me a quarter-ounce for $10, I just happily nodded and asked none of them.
Turns out it was wet because Harvey had stolen the flower right after harvest from his mom’s boyfriend, who was growing it for the Hells Angels. Harvey and his mom disappeared shortly after that, and the few of us who knew about that at school were too spooked to even talk about Harvey. I was so paranoid about my uncured contraband that I didn’t tell a soul I had it — but that didn’t stop me from smoking it. A week in a Mason jar turned the wet buds into dense, sugar-coated pebbles, all of which had fierce streaks of purple and gave off a wonderful smell of pine and grapes. My parents must’ve noticed the stench — or the stoned glaze on my face for the following week — because shortly after that, they surprised me with an intervention about the dangers of weed and what it could do to my unpromising high-school basketball career.
Although considered a sativa-dominant hybrid, Purple Trainwreck’s heritage of Grandaddy Purple (or Mendocino Purps, depending on who you ask) and Trainwreck can provide a very relaxing but mind-altering high. Most users will experience an energetic buzz at first — but beware, because the Trainwreck genetics can quickly make things cloudy, and the purp’s strong indica effects will stop you where you stand. Some widely available strains of Purple Trainwreck have been known to have a high THC-to-CBD ratio (10:1 in most cases), which can add to the sedation.
Harvey and his mom returned to town about six months later after what he said was an extended visit to see his grandpa. I’m not sure that was the truth, but at least I don’t have to conjure up images of him and his mom in a ditch somewhere every time I pack a bowl of this frosty, violet serenity. Talk about a buzzkill.
Looks: Don’t dismiss Purple Trainwreck if it’s not purple. Its dense buds are typically forest green — on the darker side, with strong streaks of purple, but not all cuts will have them.
Smell: Its looks are largely derived from Purple genetics, but much of its smell is dominated by Trainwreck. While the grape scent is hard to ignore, Purple Trainwreck’s pungent scents of pine and citrus generally overpower any container, so keep it shut tight.
Flavor: Purple Trainwreck’s looks and smell are usually dominated by either parent, but its taste is a sweet mixture of both. Initial hints of grape are followed by a signature Trainwreck pine flavor.
Effects: Initially uplifting and creative, the strain is great for pain and stress relief, but its indica characteristics on the back end and CBD content make it helpful for insomnia — and hangovers.
Home grower’s take: “Great hybrid for me. It gives about an hour of energy before really wiping me out. First time I grew it, I thought I did it wrong, because it never turned purple. I was new — I later found out it was because I didn’t give them a little exposure [to light] overnight. The three I’ve grown since have been beautiful, with intense purple and little shades of red here and there. Shorter plant, but the buds are big, strong and coated. Lots of trichomes — a good looker. Usually takes a little longer than eight weeks to flower, but I’ve gone as long as nine before. Totally worth it if done right.”
Is there a strain you’d like to see profiled? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.