Grape Ape is a well known indica dominant strain that lives up to its name; it’s a seriously heavy beast with a distinct, sweet, berry profile. Few other strains can boast the kind of name recognition and bag appeal seen in this sedating triple cross of Mendo Purps, Skunk, and Afghani.
Grape Ape originated as a collaborative effort between Amsterdam’s own Barney’s Farms and Northern California’s Apothecary Genetics — a company known for taking landrace genetics and using them to create hybrids suitable for the industrial hemp and pharmaceutical cannabis industries. This is evidenced by Grape Ape’s impressive lineage; Mendo Purps with its striking purple buds and rapid pain-relieving properties, crossed with a powerhouse hybrid of the famously relaxing, cerebral Skunk and earthy, body-heavy Afghani Indica. This might sound familiar to fans of another purple heavyweight from Mendocino, Grand Daddy Purple. In fact, everything from Grape Ape’s appearance to its aroma, to the effects on the user bear an uncanny resemblance to Grand Daddy Purple, with some suggesting Grape Ape is a GDP phenotype, while others go as far as to suggest it’s just plain old GDP under a different name. After an extensive pheno hunt, award winning breeder and cultivator Kyle Kushman was able to select a cut of Grape Ape to offer as his own. Kyle’s personal enthusiasm for the strain speaks volumes. When asked what strains he would choose if he was limited to only a few for the rest of his life, Kushman replied, “A Hash Plant or G13, or a really strong indica or Grape Ape.” Grape Ape has also been used as a parent strain for many other popular varieties, including Grape Juice OG, GMO, and Grape Kimbo Kush.
The mid-2000s saw the Grape Ape strain taking home numerous accolades, including three first-place wins at the 2006 Seattle Green Cup. A personal favorite reference to the strain is in the explosion of verbal napalm that is Danny Brown’s Monopoly, “...that’s great like eighths of Grape Ape getting stuffed in my suitcase; ready to hit the studio and shit all on ya mixtape.” When it comes to quality cannabis, it’s generally safe to assume you want whatever Danny’s having.
- Lineage: Mendo Purps x (Skunk x Afghani)
- Breeder: Apothecary Genetics x Barney’s Farms; further pheno hunting by Kyle Kushman
Grape Ape Strain Effects: Indica or Sativa?
We tend to see consistent reporting on the effects of this indica. Often described as a slow burn, Grape Ape creeps up on the user, gradually putting them in a relaxed state devoid of pain and restlessness. As it progresses, a warm, comforting body high takes hold, gluing the user in place. Because of its gradual nature, it is advised to pace yourself. What might not feel like much after the very first hit could end up hitting you like a truck (or maybe Beegle Beagle’s bus) later on down the line if you overcompensate.
What Are the Effects of Grape Ape?
This strain has been reported as a stellar option for medical marijuana patients looking to remedy physicalailments, but is not necessarily the ideal candidate when it comes to matters of mental health. Grape Ape displays characteristics of a true, archetypal indica, and as a result is reported as an optimal choice for those suffering from fibromyalgia, migraines, arthritis, and other forms of chronic pain, as well as those with issues sleeping. Dry mouth is an often-reported side effect for consumers of Grape Ape. Despite the strain not being particularly known to cause racing thoughts, some users report that consuming higher quantities of Grape Ape can lead to bouts of paranoia or anxiety.
Grape Ape Taste, Terpenes and More
Maybe the most problematic aspect of Grape Ape is the fact that it perpetuates the false idea that purple equals grape flavor. While Grape Ape offers a best-of-both-worlds experience with its delicious candied grape aroma and its striking deep purple coloring, it cannot be assumed that all purple bud will smell like “grape” or vice versa.
“Anthocyanins” are pigments found in many different plants and are the source of various purple, blue, and red hues found in nature. Grape Ape happens to be a variety of cannabis with high concentrations of these anthocyanins. Growing in colder temperatures and maintaining a neutral pH can cause a reaction with the anthocyanins, making the purple pigments pop even more. This also dispels the common theory that purple weed is “stronger” by default. Many notorious ass-kickers like Kosher Kush or Bruce Banner lack purple hues and are dominated by vibrant lime green. The distinct flavor (in addition to numerous other factors) of any given variety of cannabis is primarily determined by entirely different components known as terpenes. Grape Ape’s primary terpene is myrcene, which is associated with herbal, peppery spice. When combined with relatively smaller traces of other terpenes such as limonene, we get those wonderful notes of grape and berry. Other terpenes commonly found include pinene (earthy, piney) and caryophyllene (peppery). Terpenes aren’t the only things responsible for smells and taste; there are tons of other other aromatic compounds such as mercaptans and norisoprenoids, which occur in grapes and give flavor to wine. Mercaptans are commonly related to “skunky” aromas, and norisoprenoids give riesling wine its distinct “petrol” profile. We haven’t seen any lab tests specifically looking for these compounds, but the weed world has a long way to go before it’s as thoroughly researched and understood as wine.
Despite any uncertainty, what we can say for sure is that your sack of Grape Ape is guaranteed to be filled with the aroma of natural, fragrant berries, wonderfully blended with a sweet candied smell sometimes likened to that of a grape Jolly Rancher. Distinct notes of hash and funky earth will also become more apparent as you break your bud down.
Grape Ape Strain Yield and Grow Tips
Like most indicas, Grape Ape seeds grow to be short, stout bushes, reaching maybe three feet in height. This style of crop calls for frequent topping to ensure light evenly reaches lower portions of the stocky plant. Flowering time can range from about 53 days to 70 days, with harvests on the longer end resulting in denser buds. Grape Ape can be very convenient to grow, as it offers medium-sized yields (~21g per indoor plant) in tight quarters. As mentioned, exposure to lower temperatures and maintaining a neutral pH can result in deeper shades of purple appearing in the buds and leaves. You should, however, keep in mind that Grape Ape thrives in moderately humid environments ranging from 70-90°F. Feminized Grape Ape seeds can be found through Homegrown Cannabis Co. Seeds for Kushman’s Cut aren’t currently available, but for an alternative you can register for drop alerts at Dark Heart Nursery.