Having run a podcast for the last year and a half, I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of people in the comedy world that I’ve only known as a voice on an album or persona on a stage. In many ways, this mirrors my relationship with Grape Stomper. A couple friends gave it “must try” status. Heck, it was my first dab at this year’s Cannabis Cup in Denver.
Grape Stomper by the numbers: $15.96/gram, $319.12/ounce at Natural Remedies, 1620 Market St., Suite 5W, in Denver
I hadn’t been in the colloquial “Natty Rems” in a few years, but they’ve been a staple of the Denver MMJ scene, now splitting into the rec game as well. The place seemed like it had grown up, with the racks of novelty t-shirts no longer towering over you. Instead, slick furnishings and exposed brick made the place seem like it had hit its mid-twenties and had a girlfriend that packed all of the dorm room aesthetic into a box in the garage.
I had a minute to talk with budtenders, explaining to the staff that I had hurt my shoulder playing kickball and was having trouble sleeping. More on why I was kicking with my shoulder in a minute. They tossed out a few jars, including the source of much wanderlust on my part in the indica-dominant labeled Grape Stomper. I was impressed by the ease with which they talked genetics, terms like nug run, and I might have walked out with a gram of everything if I hadn’t been dead set on getting my stomp on.
My expectation of a “Grape” anything strain is a fair amount of purps. While there was a bit of purple at the tip of the sugar leaves, you wouldn’t notice it at first glance. Instead, a field of trichomes like CU Boulder stoners on 4/20 (back in the day) obfuscated most of the bud itself. Muted orange hairs popped out occasionally, but the resin production on this nug stuck out against many of the strains I’d tried lately.
What I didn’t get on the initial open was much discernible smell. It wasn’t the hay or basement nose that are indicative of a poor cure, but a certain staleness that I couldn’t really pick much up from. Considering there’s Hashplant in the lineage, I wasn’t surprised. It never does much for me in the bag. This was confirmed as I broke up one of the leaves I was prodding for purple, as a faint grape fought with chem notes for control of my nose. Clearly, the Sour Diesel and Headband (of which I’ve previously declared my affinity for) were winning out. Unfortunately, neither of those were what I needed. I had serious aches.
Denver has become a sort of adult playground with an arguably insane number of kickball and dodgeball leagues popping up the last few years. I’m far too competitive for the droves of twenty- and thirty-somethings who just want an excuse to drink in a park. I guess there’s a reason my girlfriend and I weren’t invited back last year to our friendly KIFAC league. So when I attempted to throw out a runner at home in a recent casual afternoon game and did serious damage to my rotator cuff as I slipped with comedic hilarity, it was a sign: Slow your roll, Browne.
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Most of my stash was comprised of Maui Waui and Island Sweet Skunk, neither of which would help me sleep on my side. I needed a strong indica to also help distract from the pain of moving outside of my range of motion. Two hits of the Grape Stomper and I had a very Headband-esque buzz pulsing through my face and body, with my mind racing and everything else coming to a screeching halt. It was as if I was the guy revving his engine at a stoplight that wasn’t turning. The minor pain I had in my ankle and head (which also took a nice bounce off the grass) were afterthoughts as we ate tostadas and browsed WebMd.
A certain anxiety was palpable, but I battled back against it. Don’t smoke heady strains and ever try to diagnose an ailment on the Internet, I told myself. Things always hurt more the next day, I told myself. After two hours, I noticed pains creeping back in but remained as alert as I’d been prior to lighting up. I put away the Stomper and carefully scraped an old wax container for a dab that would sedate me for the night. If you’re clipping coupons, you need to be resourceful.
While some people might have felt the indica-dominant hybrid designation that Natural Remedies ascribed to the Grape Stomper, my body begged to differ. It was the perfect strain if you needed something to take the edge off after the ninth inning, celebrating a victory. But for a Casey in Mudville needing to forget that ominous strikeout and get some shuteye, you’d only have it replaying in your head while you lie wide awake.