Some of my introductions to strains have been more memorable than others, but no other strain has had an impact on my life quite like Purple Trainwreck. It was 2008, and I was just starting to experiment with cannabis in high school — so of course I was hanging out with some dirtbags, and this kid named Harvey suddenly came across five pounds of some really stinky purple stuff, Purple Trainwreck. I had so many questions: Where’d he get it? Why was it so wet? Why did it smell so sweet? But after he gave me a quarter-ounce for $10, I just happily nodded and asked none of them.
Turns out it was wet because Harvey had stolen the flower right after harvest from his mom’s boyfriend, who was growing it for the Hells Angels. Harvey and his mom disappeared shortly after that, and the few of us who knew about that at school were too spooked to even talk about Harvey. I was so paranoid about my uncured contraband that I didn’t tell a soul I had it — but that didn’t stop me from smoking it. A week in a Mason jar turned the wet buds into dense, sugar-coated pebbles, all of which had fierce streaks of purple and gave off a wonderful smell of pine and grapes. My parents must’ve noticed the stench — or the stoned glaze on my face for the following week — because shortly after that, they surprised me with an intervention about the dangers of weed and what it could do to my unpromising high-school basketball career.