Grape Ape typically offers a mellow indica body experience, but without heavy couch lock or sleepiness, blending genetics from hallmark indicas Mendocino Purps and Afghani with the classic hybrid, Skunk. The result is a balanced body effect with a focus on relaxation and stress relief over heavier properties like couch lock, sleepiness, and lethargy. Leafly traces Grape Ape’s origins to Apothecary Genetics and Barney’s Farm.

Instead of the usual flower, I found Grape Ape in the form of unpressed bubble hash, something I had never tried before. Having spotted it on shelves a few times, I always avoided it since I assumed it was just kief. There’s nothing wrong with kief of course, but I was searching for hash and wanted something that matched the (apparently old-fashioned) image I had in my head for what that meant – something with either a brick-like, or better yet, crumbly, nearly cake-like texture. However, this specific hash looked almost like powder.

Grape Ape Bubble Hash Elevated Extracts logo

This time around, my budtender seemed much more excited about the unpressed hash choices, shrugging off the traditional looking options as “pretty good,” before pointing me in the direction of the slightly pricier, Elevated Extracts unpressed hash. These grams were 25 dollars instead of the 20 for most of the other hash choices. Considering the budtender’s enthusiasm, and the fact that price seems to have a pretty consistent relationship with quality at my dispensary, I decided to give it a try.

On closer inspection, this hash consists of tiny clumps - larger pieces than in the fluffy powder that makes up kief. The color is a light green bordering on pale yellow or muted gold. Once I made it home, it was clear immediately that this stuff smells, tastes, smokes, and feels like hash, dispelling any doubt I had based on the looks. Instead of catching and burning immediately like kief, this bubbles slightly and melts just like typical hash. If, like me, you’ve been in the dark when it comes to unpressed hash, consider giving it a try.

The smell is sweet and grapey, reflective of the strain’s name – but more like the smell of grape gummy candy than like actual grapes. The taste is more hashy, earthy, subtle, and less sweet than the smell, but still delicious.

The effects start quickly with a pretty typical indica routine as the body effects set in. Dry mouth was by far the chief complaint among Leafly users, and this was definitely the case for me. No anxiety or paranoia, but definitely plan to have water around – especially given the appetite stimulation you can expect from this strain. It’s no fun to have cottonmouth while eating an entire sleeve of chocolate chip cookies, which is exactly what you’ll want to do after smoking Grape Ape.

Photo by: First Class Medicinal

Photo by: First Class Medicinal

Instead of descending into deeper and deeper couch lock, culminating in sleep, the effects of Grape Ape gradually shift to a balanced, thoughtful hybrid sort of experience towards the end of the first hour or so. This is what I would call a daytime indica – body focused, but with a functional tail end that allows you to transition back into your daily activities instead of transitioning straight into a long nap. This would be a great pain relief option for patients who want to remain relatively functional. It’s also great for consumers who want to avoid sativas, but who might be looking for an option for earlier in the day. While it may not provide an energetic jolt to pair with your morning coffee, the way some sativas do, it won’t sap all of your motivation and energy like heavier indicas. And without any of the racing heart and mind side effects you’re risking with those potent sativas.

Grape Ape has the potential to fill an important niche, for those looking for pain relief, or simply for a more balanced, dynamic, and forgiving indica experience earlier in the day.