Want to know more about the herb you're smoking? So do we, so we've asked Ry Prichard - a fellow Colorado cannabis nerd, grower, photographer and founder of the Cannabis Encyclopedia project which aims to create a central database on cannabis strain information - to help school us all, strain-wise. Each week in our new Cannabis Encyclopedia blog, Prichard will break down a strain from seed to buds. This week? Grape Stomper.
Ry Prichard. Grape Stomper
Lineage: Jojorizo's Purple Elephant (Purple Urkle x Hashplant) x Elite Genetics "ChemDawg Sour Diesel" (Headband x Sour Diesel)
Type: Hybrid (leans slightly Sativa)
Overview: A clone-only favorite bred into seed form by Gage Green Genetics, Grape Stomper is very potent (has been tested at 25%+ THC) and one of the most visually appealing strains around.
The exact origins of Grape Stomper (as well as its original name) are still a subject of hot debate in the cannabis community, but one thing is known for sure, the now-deceased breeder Jojorizo was responsible for the original creation. Some say that the strain was originally called "Sour Grapes", while others claim that the Stomper moniker was the original and dispensaries in California began the renaming issue, calling it "Sour Grape(s)". In any case, Jojorizo used his much-loved Purple Hashplant (known as "Purple Elephant") mother as a base for this hybrid, and chose a special Elite Genetics "ChemDawg Sour Diesel" male he called "Snowman" as the pollen source.
The Elite Genetics male line used is the main source of controversy with this strain, as many argued that Elite's ChemDawg was not the real Chem '91 as originally stated, but in fact was a Headband cut. In either case, the Snowman male used lives up to its name, imparting a great deal of frost as well as a potent Sativa-dominant effects package which knocked the heavy, often one-note Hashplant out of the picture almost entirely except in the smell/flavor departments. When Gage Green Genetics re-created the strain, they used the original Snowman male on the Grape Stomper clone, essentially creating a backcross line, which produces more stable offspring than "selfing" (reversing a female through chemical means to produce pollen sacs).
When examining a garden containing Grape Stomper, it is generally easy to pick it out of a lineup - the velvety trichome-laden leaves shine with a white sheen, even from a distance. When well-grown, it seems like every square inch of plant surface is covered in trichomes except for the fan leaf tips. The plant grows like a true hybrid, stretching just enough at the start of flower to give it some branchiness, but overall it grows much more like its Hashplant-Purple mother than the rangy, thin-leaved "ChemDawg Sour Diesel". It harvests between 65 and 75 days, with the effect becoming heavier and the flavor becoming hashier as the days tick by - we recommend taking it around 68-70 days depending upon medium for optimal flavor and character of effect.
The dried buds of Grape Stomper are maybe even more attractive than the growing plants, as everything shrinks up a bit and the resulting buds look like they are almost rolled in sugar crystals, leaving a thick coating of dusty trichomes which coats the fingers when breaking it apart. The aroma released from the buds is a sweet, tangy Grape candy scent, which is thick and intoxicating compared to many of the other supposed "grape" strains (Grape Ape, Sour Grape, etc.). The flavor matches the smell very well and translates directly into a thick, velvety smoke that leaves an aftertaste of sweet, floral grape.
Ry Prichard. Grape Stomper.
Despite its mostly-purple appearance and overall shorter growth pattern, the effects and overall characteristics of Grape Stomper are slightly Sativa-dominant. The male part of its parentage really bullied the Indica-heavy Hashplant out of the way (especially early on), as the effects tend to start with a very potent ear-ringing/band of pressure throughout the head and face, one of Sour Diesel's (and Headband's) signature traits. The head effects rage on through the first hour or so, when it transitions into a more outright relaxing effect, complete with vibrating body sensations that course up and down the torso, especially seeming to relax the neck, upper back, and shoulder areas. Overall, the effect is definitely uplifting, yet almost too potent to be a true daytime type of strain, especially as the effects wear on and it trends downward in terms of energy level. We like this strain as an early evening choice, when there isn't a ton left to do but bed is not the primary focus. It aids with muscle relaxation (especially in the neck/shoulder area), appetite stimulation, mental relaxation, nausea, and can also pave the way to a restful night's sleep.
With Grape Stomper, you have a strain that was once a super-elite clone only gem, but now is available in seed form and really making the rounds in dispensaries and grow rooms around the country. While most argue that the original clone is still the best all-around, there have been some wonderful phenotypes found in the seed line, making it a tough choice for growers to go through the hard work of sourcing the clone rather than just popping the seeds and seeing if they can find something as good, if not better than the clone. The complexity of cannabis breeding and selection is one of the main joys of this plant, and the Grape Stomper project is a great example of that in action.
Cannabis Encyclopedia is our column which seeks to educate about the wide variety of strains available on the market. Ry Prichard is the writer, photographer, and researcher behind CannabisEncyclopedia.com, an extensive web portal of cannabis information. He spends most of his days navigating the weed jungles of Colorado.