Granddaddy Purple is a world renowned indica strain with roots in the Bay Area, introduced in 2003 by Ken Estes. Estes, and his flagship strain Granddaddy Purple, have their fame rooted in a story of the highs and lows of the fight for legal cannabis. Estes was paralyzed from the waist down in a 1976 motorcycle accident, immediately after graduating high school with a promising future as a student and athlete. Doctors were unable to reverse the paralysis, prescribing massive doses of opioid painkillers and sending Ken to a rehab facility for six months where he was kept in a narcotic induced haze, in which he was unable to eat or sleep properly. Written off by doctors and more or less left to waste away, Ken eventually befriended a group of Vietnam veterans in the facility and tried their medical cannabis, with the help of a nurse who wheeled him over and held the joint to his lips. Soon after, Ken began sleeping and eating normally and with newfound hope and motivation, regained the use of his upper body. The experience was life changing. By the late 1980s, Ken had enrolled in Cal State Hayward, and after completing his degree was operating two hair salons in Davis and Concord, defying all expectations of his recovery.
In the early 1990s his life once again changed course, as Ken was inspired by an older woman distributing cannabis brownies to ill patients in the Bay Area. Yet again influenced by the selfless compassion he saw in the medical cannabis community, he gave up his hair salons and refocused his life on the fight for medical legalization, working with Dennis Peron and other prominent activists of the time. He soon opened up his own medical cannabis clinics, which faced raids from the federal government. Ken persevered, and in 2003 introduced Granddaddy Purple from his collective in the East Bay, called the Granddaddy Purp Collective, now operating in Richmond, CA. He now also runs clinics in Vallejo, San Jose, Los Angeles, Santa Rosa, and South Lake Tahoe. Since its debut, the Granddaddy Purple strain has gained a reputation in the medical cannabis world for offering some of the best pain killing characteristics available in indica strains, and a worldwide reputation as a potent recreational strain. A man who was once assumed to be permanently unable to contribute to society, with the help of medical cannabis, created a strain which swept the world and helped countless numbers of other patients. Furthermore, Granddaddy Purple could not exist today without the compassion of the people who brought cannabis into his life, in a time before even California had reached medical legalization.
Granddaddy Purple, or GDP, is a cross between Purple Urkle and Big Bud, and offers some of the best characteristics of both, including heavy painkilling effects and high yield for growers. Purple Urkle itself is a strain noted in the medical community for its strong pain killing and stress relieving effects coupled with a reasonable amount of functionality compared to other indicas. The buds have a snowy crystal covered, light purple underside, beneath mint green calyxes. Medium green leaves and deep orange hairs poke out in certain spots. Like so many purple indica strains, GDP bursts from the jar with rich and complex, yet light and airy, aromas of purple grapes and berry. Instead of the common blueberry scent, GDP offers a subtle-sweet blackberry smell. The aroma also holds spicy and tangy dimensions. The taste is sweet and fragrant, fruity like the brightly colored sugary cereals so many of us loved as kids. The fresh and spicy aromas are a result of a high level of the terpene myrcene, and significant amounts of pinene and caryophyllene, according to Leafly.com’s lab test. Notably, relatively high levels of the anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory cannabinoid CBG are also present in GDP.
Some would call these deeply indica effects ‘heavy’ but I’d instead use the term ‘enveloping’ to describe the pleasantly powerful effects. Though GDP will probably lead some to a heavy dose of couchlock, I felt that I retained a fair degree of mental and physical functionality compared with super-heavy indica strains. GDP will almost certainly stimulate your appetite, and make it easier to sleep, though it didn’t knock me out either. Though body oriented, the effects are calmly euphoric and noticeably numbing for pain and sore muscles. It is a mellow full-body sensation as it peaks, not unlike the feeling of slipping under warm, clean, sheets, fresh out of the drier.
GDP is a powerful remedy for pain, stress, and insomnia. It is an ideal strain for finally getting home after a long day of work. Though by no means a daytime strain, it shouldn’t preclude getting some simple chores done. The taste and aroma are distinctive and pleasant. It has the heavy, sedating effects common in a number of much loved purple indica strains. Everything people love about indicas is offered in Granddaddy Purple, and the strain is part of a story of one man’s triumph over adversity, and ultimately over cannabis prohibition itself.