Possibly a sister phenotype of Granddaddy Purple and several of the other popular Purple strains that have floated around California for the better part of 15 years, Grape Ape is one of the most famous and beloved. Its smooth and relatively clear-headed though narcotic effect distinguishes it from the often heavy-feeling Purple family and make it a more versatile choice for daytime use. Its rock hard buds smell of sweet grape incense and turn a mottled to deep royal purple by the time it finishes flowering.
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.