Grape Royale is a flavor-engineered indica hybrid with strong bag appeal. Commercial breeders Barney's Farm, Apothecary Genetics, and the Seattle-based Royal Tree Gardens all lay claim to this strain's creation. Despite its uncertain provenance, though, sources agree that Grape Royale builds on the Afghani and Skunk #1 cross utilized by Royal Kush and adds the famous Northern California favorite Mendocino Purple. The result is a bold and tasty flower that confers lasting indica relaxation suited to nighttime use. Popular in the Pacific Northwest, Grape Royale has a reported average THC composition of 18%.
Grape Royale has the dense, heavy buds you'd expect of a landrace-descended indica; a sturdy grinder may be needed to break apart its tightly coiled flowers. Leaves are mostly a pale sea green. As much as its cousin strain Royal Kush has hints of purple, Grape Royale has even deeper violet hues, thanks to the influence of parent strain Mendocino Purple. This intensified color is thanks to a high concentration of pigments called anthocyanins, which produce blue to purple hues when agitated by cold weather in the growing process. You might expect Grape Royale to have a strong and immediate grape scent, but any fruitiness in the flowers plays second fiddle to a deep hashy funk, inherited from grandparent strains Afghani and Skunk. Breaking open or combusting the buds also yields a sour citrus aroma.
With its strong indica roots, Grape Royale provides potent and lasting relaxation. This isn't an especially cerebral strain, but what users may lose in focus and motivation, they gain in relief from tension and worry. As the high progresses -- or if greater quantities are consumed -- this strain can even send users into couchlock, causing them to melt into their surroundings. Grape Royale's sedative qualities make it valuable to medical cannabis patients -- its body stone can block needling aches and pains, dull the troubling symptoms of stress and anxiety, and, in large enough doses, resolve stubborn cases of insomnia.
As this remains a relatively uncommon strain outside of the U.S. West Coast market, information on growing Grape Royale remains limited. That said, we can infer some likely markers of its cultivation from its popular parent strains. Seeds of Grape Royale are not yet available for commercial sale, so prospective growers will need to obtain clippings from mature plants in order to grow identical $$clones.$$ Like many other strains, it can be grown indoors or outdoors, although outdoor cultivation calls for a warm, Mediterranean-like climate. Grape Royale is likely more manageable indoors; the closely-related Royal Kush and Mendocino Purps plants reach maximum heights of 3 to 4 feet. Growers will want to $$top off,$$ or trim any large light-blocking leaves to encourage growth of low-growing flower nodes. Perhaps most importantly, growers should also bring out this strain's full purple potential by $$shocking$$ the plants, exposing them to cold temperatures late in the growing process -- although it's important to note that opting to skip this step won't affect flavor; Grape Royale's grape taste is determined by its terpenes, not the pigments that dictate its color. Grown indoors, this strain has a short flowering period of 7 to 8 weeks.
After successfully growing Grape Royale, cultivators should also take the time to cure their flowers. First, hang the buds upside down or lay them on drying racks for 7 to 10 days; the surrounding humidity should be 50% and the temperature about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Once stems snap off of the flowers relatively easily, seal the buds in airtight wide-mouthed jars in ambient humidity of 60-65% and temperature around 70 degrees. While curing, buds should be checked at least daily for a week to ensure that they haven't developed mold.
Great for introspective solo use or a lazy, silly night with some good friends, Grape Royale is an emerging indica powerhouse. With a dynamic taste and a smooth, mellow high, it only stands to increase in popularity.