Granddaddy Purple: A Living Legend

by greenrush

Granddaddy Purple is an iconic strain treasured by patients and recreational users around the world. It is extremely popular across the nation in both legal and illegal states.

In this post we take an in-depth look at this strain, it’s origins, cannabinoid profile, and much more. Remember, to learn more about medical marijuana, check out our blog regularly, and sign up to GreenRush to get cannabis delivered to your minutes.

Oh, and did we mention that you can get up to $80 off delivery orders using the promo code at the end of this blog? Simply scroll down to find out more.

Please note: This article is based on vigorous research and user reviews. Your personal experience with Grandaddy Purple may vary depending on the cultivar, the way you medicate, and your body’s reaction to cannabis.

Origins and Lineage

Granddaddy Purple, more popularly known as GDP, is a powerful indica cross between two iconic cannabis strains; Big Bud and Purple Urkle.

The strain made its big debut in 2003 thanks to Ken Estes, a medical marijuana patient, activist, and founder of various cooperatives and collectives across California.

Ken suffered a severe motorcycle accident in 1976, only a month after his high school graduation. The months and years following the accident were, according to Ken, a pharmaceutical, drugged blur with moments of clarity.

“Waking up out of a deep sleep, I would do the exact thing every time; I would ever so cautiously look down to the foot of my bed to see if there was a wheelchair there. If the chair was there, then it wasn’t just a very bad dream that I wasn’t going to wake up from,” he writes on

Ken was eventually introduced to medical marijuana through a group of Vietnam veterans. Through the use of cannabis, he soon began eating properly, experienced heightened levels of energy, and was able to make a miraculous partial recovery.

He eventually left rehab, began living independently, and even started his own business. In 1993, after seeing an elderly lady hand out medical marijuana brownies to patients in the Bay Area, he made the decision to join the fight to legalize medicinal cannabis.

Since then, he has worked relentlessly to bring powerful medicinal strains to patients in California and around the world. He now owns clinics in Richmond, Vallejo, San Jose, Los Angeles, Santa Rosa and South Lake Tahoe.

In a video with Klub Kush (above), Ken explains the origins of purple indica strains in California:

“When the Vietnam veterans came back from Vietnam they brought Thai weed, they brought some Buddha, and they brought some Afghani, and these plants were purple. Small, thick leaves, small producers of marijuana, but very strong, and the vets knew that, so they brought it over here.

Now here we had Colombian Gold, we had Panama Red, we had some really good California strains that were strong but we didn’t really see any of this indica stuff, it was the first time. So people up north, from the Humboldt area, right up north there, people began crossing these strains, so the purple indica was surviving.”

Ken claims his GDP is roughly 22 years old and was first given to him by Indians in northern California.

The Bag Appeal

As its name suggests, Granddaddy Purple is a purple strain with instantly recognizable, super dense buds. They are usually deep purple in color with only occasional green spots.

Quality GDP will have very few red pistils and be covered in a thick, sticky layer of trichomes that are the source of its potency.

The Flavor and Aroma

GDP has a distinct terpene profile that is almost instantly recognizable by any seasoned patient or recreational user.

A dry toke of a joint/blunt will usually give off very strong grape flavors, underlined by subtle notes of sweet berries. If you take a whiff of a bag of GDP, you’ll be hit with an aroma which Ken Estes himself can only describe as “purple.”

The Effect

As a pure indica, GDP is known and loved for producing a very intense body “high” that leaves many people locked to their couch even after only using a small amount.

It is definitely a night time strain and shouldn’t be used in situations where you plan to be productive or motivated. In a post for The Cannabist, Denver-based comedian Jake Browne nicely captured the essence of “an afternoon with Granddaddy Purple:”

“Initially, the Granddaddy gave me a nice uptick of energy that had me pondering a walk with our Sheltie on the relatively balmy 34 degree afternoon. It was a lofty goal. I could string together the concepts — like socks before shoes — but by the time I made it to the shoes, where had the socks gone? This continued for longer than I’d care to admit.”

Over at StrainCentral, cannabis reviewer Josh likes to put it this way:

“GDP is one of those strains that you do not want to smoke if you have to get stuff done.”

Cannabinoid Profile

granddaddy purple (gdp)

Cannabinoids in Granddaddy Purple

GDP’s cannabinoid profile is generally dominated by high amounts of THC.  Analytical 360 tested a sample of this strain in March 2016 which also contained notable levels of CBD and CBG, two cannabinoids known for reducing seizures in patients suffering from epilepsy and possibly treating inflammatory bowel disease, respectively.

Here is a breakdown of the results produced by Analytical 360s test results:

  • CBD: 0.28%
  • CBG: 0.66%
  • CBN: 0.03%
  • THC: 25.97%

Terpenes in Granddaddy Purple

The GDP sample tested by Analytical 360 had a rather simplistic terpene profile dominated by alpha-pinene (0.22%) and humulene (0.30%).

Alpha-pinene is a terpene commonly found in the oils of many trees (such as the pine) and rosemary. A 2011 study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that alpha-pinene has notable anti-inflammatory effects, while 2010 research by the Department of Agro-environmental Sciences and Technologies in Italy found it to be a broad-spectrum antibiotic.

Humulene, on the other hand, is commonly found in the essential oils of the hops plant and is what gives some beer its notably “hoppy” aroma. Humulene has been shown to to have anti-inflammatory effects and inhibit the growth of tumors.

Medicinal Benefits

Producing very strong euphoria, deep relaxation, and very severe couch lock, Granddaddy Purple is best left for medicating at night.

Patients on Leafly particularly enjoy using this strain to relieve symptoms of stress, insomnia, and pain.  In his post for The Cannabist, Jake Browne also notes that this is a great strain for inducing hunger.

“Some people prefer the herbal version of a wine cooler over smokable Everclear. This Granddaddy Purple qualifies as the latter, which is great for the manufacturers of snack chips and the good folks over at Netflix,” he writes.

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granddaddy purple (GDP)