Grape Ape, propagated by Apothecary Genetics and Barney’s Farm, is a mostly indica strain that crosses Mendocino Purps, Skunk, and Afghani. Named for its distinct grape-like smell, this indica is known for providing carefree relaxation that can help soothe pain, stress, and anxiety. Its dense, compact buds are wreathed in deep purple leaves which darken as this indica reaches full maturation following its 7 to 8 week flowering time.
The exact origins of this strain are unclear, but Apothecary Genetics (the most common source of the strain over the last 10 years) claims it to be Afghani x Skunk #1. There are a variety of Purple strains that share similar qualities, and many believe them to be different expressions of the same genetics, while others see some additional Sativa influence in the Ape that doesn’t exist in the GDP, Mendo Purps, and Purple Indica varieties.
There are a couple of different phenotypes of Grape Ape in existence — it’s unclear if some are S1 versions or simply mislabeled, but some phenotypes are completely purple and others (more commonly) are a mottled green and purple. The entirely purple phenotype is often referred to as “True Grape Ape”, but both share a similar structure and deep orange pistil color. Grape Ape has rather large calyxes with moderate to high trichome coverage — it’s not quite as frosty as its possible cousin GDP, but most people enjoy the flavor more. The leaves are medium-wide and often turn from deep green to purple as flowering progresses.
Grape Ape has a sweet but still musky scent which has strong notes of grape Kool-Aid with background hints of nag champa incense. From a distance or through a bag, it often has a skunky element to it, but the sweetness and grape qualities really come out once its broken apart.
A fairly direct translation of the aroma, the flavor is the same mix of grape sweetness and musky incense notes, offering both a fairly strong initial flavor and a lingering aftertaste. The smoke is normally thick and can often hit the throat somewhat hard like many Purple strains.
Grape Ape starts off rather strongly, with a package of eye and facial effects which signal the start of a rather potent experience. The early heady effects blend with a creeping body buzzing into a harmonious whole by 30-45 minutes, making Grape Ape feel like a true hybrid for the most part. It’s a strain which is definitely relaxing but also uplifts the mood and at times provides a slight burst of energy to start, simply because it makes the user feel good. As it progresses though, the more Indica side of the effects dominate and the mindstate becomes more sedate and meditative. Muscle relaxation, light pain relief, mood elevation, anti-anxiety properties, and appetite stimulation are all parts of the Grape Ape experience, making it a favorite medical choice for patients seeking a middle-of-the-road Indica experience replete with flavor and bag appeal.
Grape Ape responds well to moderately heavy feeding and fourishes in both hydro or soil mediums. The purple coloration comes out naturally but is encouraged by cooler temperatures. It’s a plant of short stature and grows most commonly as a small low-lying bush, responding well to topping but not normally needing it. Netting and other methods of keeping the canopy even will reward the grower with an even canopy of medium-sized but extremely dense flowers.
About Grape Ape
Grape Ape is a tasty, memorable strain with strong indica roots. Its distinctive look and complex fruity flavor makes it an easy favorite — to say nothing of its incredibly potent body high. Grape Ape is the product of strains as different as Mendocino Purps, an award-winning Northern California crossbreed, the influential staple strain Skunk, and a legendary Afghani landrace. The combination of these nuances has yielded a bold and visually striking variety.
There are different varieties of Grape Ape, with seeds available from Washington State-based Apothecary Genetics and Barney’s Farm, the seed bank responsible for creating other taste-focused strains like LSD and Pineapple Chunk. Testing lab Analytical 360 has tested samples of Grape Ape at between 15% and 25% THC composition.
Grape Ape is marked by standout colors and multi-layered scents — this is strain with more consumer “bag appeal” than most. Buds are large and have a dense bud structure with tightly-curled leaves. The leaves themselves are a deep green, with certain phenotypes expressing shades of purple and even red, with copper-colored pistils throughout. Trichome count varies from moderate to high, leaving the flowers especially sticky. The multicolored leaves are also very pungent: a candy-like grape smell wafts from the chunky buds. Breaking open the sticky flowers with a grinder gives off a different odor, with some skunky musk from the Skunk #1 parent and more of a thick hash scent from Afghani. When inhaled though, the slightly harsh smoke from Grape Ape tastes more fruity than skunky — notes of grape and berries predominate, leaving behind a sweet sensation at the top of the palate.
Notably, the grape taste and purple flavor of Grape Ape aren’t necessarily correlated. Colorful leaves in cannabis are the result of pigments called anthocyanins activated by different conditions, like cooler temperatures. The tastes of different cannabis strains, on the other hand, are mostly determined by compounds called terpenes, and while many strains prone to producing purple leaves also have a combination of terpenes that create a grape-like flavor, not all purple strains taste like grape. In the case of Grape Ape, it may be the case that consumer-focused growers intentionally bring out purple hues for the added visual appeal.
Grape Ape has a high that mounts slowly, eventually leading to a very weighty sensation in the head and limbs. Because of its slow onset, those enjoying Grape Ape should consume cautiously, keeping in mind that a little of this strain can go a long way. In ideal conditions, Grape Ape provides a palpable sense of both mental and physical relaxation, easing users into a spacey calmness. Rather than stimulating rapid-fire thoughts, Grape Ape offers a full body stone. Like the similarly simian-named hybrid Gorilla Glue, Grape Ape may leave you feeling like a clumsy, sleepy primate. Its indica strength makes Grape Ape a helpful strain for those suffering from nagging pain, whether due to temporary aches or more chronic conditions like fibromyalgia. It can also soothe sore muscles after strenuous exercise. Mentally, Grape Ape can melt stress and anxiety with the force of its foggy high. Definitely an after-dark strain, Grape Ape is great for inducing sleep.
Grape Ape plants may be difficult for novices to cultivate. If grown outdoors, the strain tends to be resistant to both disease and destructive bugs. It can be easily grown indoors as well, given its indica shape: plants are bushy with strong lateral branches radiating from the central stem. Grape Ape plants rarely exceed 4 feet in height. Growers may want to practice topping, by trimming wide fan leaves at the top of the plant to allow light to reach lower branches. Grape Ape flowers within 7 to 8 weeks when grown indoors and produces a solid yield of medium to large flowers; growers can expect as much as 74 grams or about 2.5 oz of flower per square foot.
About this Hybrid Strain
The cannabis strain Grape Ape is a powerful indica that derives its name from its distinct color and flavor. Its dense buds resemble large blackberries or grapes that are a deep purple color when ready to harvest and its taste and smell are similar to sweet berries with a skunky undertone.
The parents of Grape Ape are the indica Afghani, hybrid Skunk No. 1, and some believe that hybrid Mendocino Purps is also a part of the lineage. Reviewers have made note that it is a phenotype of the famous Grand Daddy Purple.
Grape Ape’s THC content averages at 16% and doesn’t normally get any higher than 20%. Its high causes the eyes to feel heavy, creates a strong body buzz that relaxes the muscles and in many cases creates a couch-lock. It renders the consumer into a lazy stoop which makes this strain best for nighttime use. It’s been used to help with insomnia and anxiety. Some reviewers report this strain is good for clearing the mind while relaxing.
Some have reported bouts of paranoia after consuming too much, but normal side-effects such as cotton mouth and dry eyes are to be expected.
Though this indica rarely hovers above four feet tall and only takes six to eight weeks to harvest, it’s not recommended for first-time growers since it requires extra attention during cultivation.