Purple Punch – Marijuana Strain Geeking
One of the great intellectual pleasures of cannabis is really getting to research and know a strain. J From Golden Farms has been growing J1 clones from a single mother plant for over six years now, leading to a deep understanding of how the plant grows, extracts and effects. But even consumers can benefit from learning all about their favorite medical marijuana strains. I had the opportunity to get geeky with Purple Punch, a new strain going out in our cases this week.
Overall Appearance and Smell.
I photograph over three dozen strains a month, which could make some people jaded, but I continue to enjoy it. Not only do I get to go talent hunting for the most photogenic flowers, I also get to enjoy the deep aromas of a never ending variety of strains. Once in a while a strain pops out with such an intense aroma, that I absolutely need to learn all I can about it. Cheese Nectarine, Aurora Borealis and Lambsbread are three that stand out, but our new Purple Punch broke the mold. The grape scent in this strain is incredibly pronounced; luscious and extravagant in it’s sweetness. It literally smells like grape candy with just a hint of pine. The flower is composed of a dense nervelet structure that protects the heavy trichome content that lends the flower a remarkable white coating of sticky crystals. This heavy trichome coverage reduces the visibility of the purple hairs that give Purple Punch (and it’s mother, Grand Daddy Purple) its name, the effects shine through.
Digging into the lineage of Purple Punch is fascinating, with it’s origins tracing back to include nearly every original landrace. Experiencing this strain is both a global trip and a testament to the innovative work of professional cultivators and breeders. With landrace genetics hailing from India, Mexico, South America, Afghanistan, Thailand, and North America, the only original landraces left out of its history are Africa and Jamaica.
There are a number of strains in the family tree that offer interesting stories and highlights. Grand Daddy Purple is a famous Mendocino County strain that derives from Purple Urkle. The interesting thing about Purple Urkel is that it technically is it’s own ancestor, being the result of careful cross selection of Mendo Purps to bring out the dominant purple hairs and grape aromas. Mendo Purps itself is the result of careful crossbreeding of the North American Landrace Indica. In case you missed it, this part of the family tree doesn’t branch.
If a lack of branching isn’t fascinating enough, Larry OG is also a genetic wildcard bred from San Fernando Valley OG (SFV OG) and OG Kush. Since both SFV OG and OG Kush are crosses of Chem Dog and Hindu Kush, each cross bred to emphasize different effects and characteristics, Larry OG represents a very balanced hybridization of the landrace Hindu Kush Indica and Sativa landraces Thai and Nepalese. Just check out this family tree!
Terpenes are the essential chemical compounds that give all plants their characteristic smells, tastes and effects. In the case of almost any “purple” or “grape” cannabis strain, the same sets of Terpenes arise again and again.
Caryophyllene is one of the most common terpenes, and aside from being found in all cannabis, can be found in clove oil, basil, and hops. Responsible for the peppery and pungent undertones of many strains, Caryophyllene has been found to have anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, antidepressant and anti-oxidant effects.
Humulene is an isomer of Caryophyllene, and was first found in the essential oils of hops (Humulus lupulus) which is where it got it’s name from. Another very common terpene in cannabis, Humulene also lends it’s scent to tobacco, some pine species, and sage. Like its cousin caryophyllene, Humulene is being studied for it’s anti inflammatory effect.
Found in mango, lemon grass, bay leaves, thyme, parsley, hops, and cardamom; Myrcene is used in the fragrance industry for preparing other flowers and and producing flavor chemicals such as menthol, geraniol (Geranium scent). It is also a psychoactive component of cannabis, serving to enhance the effects of THC.
Alpha Pinene is responsible for giving some strains of marijuana their “christmas tree scent”, but it does much more than just provide scent. Alpha Pinene is responsible for much of the bronchial dilation effects of cannabis, and it is highly bio-available, with 60% pulminory uptake with fast metabolizing. (This is why pine smelling weed almost always has a rapid onset, as Pinene acts as a transport that opens up the pulmonary system for cannabinoids.
The source of the characteristic citrus smell of oranges, limes, and lemons, Linonene has an overwhelming olfactory presence. Investigated as a chemotheraputic agent, no clinical studies have been completed.
Why do purple marijuana strains smell like grapes?
If you’ve ever heard of the entourage effect, it is in heavy play with Purple Punch, even affecting the smell. The combination of Mrycene, Limonene, and Caryophyllene combines to create an almost candy like sweeteness in this, and all purple strains. Generations of cross and back breeding to isolate the sweetest smelling genotypes has resulted in greatly exaggerated levels of these terpenes. In the case of Purple Punch, the result is one sweet smelling and tasting bud.
On the first light, the grape taste hits for a brief moment but quickly gives way to an earthy and decadently sweet smoke with an almost unnoticeable hint of pepper. The taste lingers well after exhale, as does the smell of the smoke leaving behind the familiar rich and sweet smell of good herb. The smoke is smooth and even and resulted in no coughing. For this occasion, we chose to smoke in our living room, which is incredibly rare, and while the smoke smell was gone by morning, it did linger well into the night. Neither of us experience dry mouth or eyes, which I have encountered with some cuts of Grand Daddy Purple. The mental effects had a comfortably smooth onset and was both relaxing and gently focused and perfect for watching a bit of Netflix and retiring early.