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The Purps is Werther’s Original as weed

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The Purps, a sticky strain, inspires the comparison “Werther’s Original as weed.” - BRANDON SODERBERG
  • Brandon Soderberg
  • The Purps, a sticky strain, inspires the comparison “Werther’s Original as weed.”

The Purps (or just plain Purps or the more highfalutin Mendocino Purps) is a blast from the immediate past — a subtler strain from before pot became not only a commodity but a new and attractive business investment and health hustle. (You have presumably heard the news: Following John Boehner into the legal weed business is Joe Crowley, the centrist stooge and Democratic big shot who lost to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, now joining the board of a Colombia-based weed company that can produce medicinal cannabis even cheaper than they can in Canada, oh boy.)

The Purps is an especially tactile strain, sticky, waxy, like old-people candy or something: Werther’s Original as weed. It even has a bitter smell — if this has anything to do with “purple” and “berry” aromas it is raisin rather than grape, freeze-dried instead of fresh and sweet. Deliciously icky, intense and deeply sour (and not sour like Sour Diesel, sour like it has spoiled) like truck stop coffee. Again, The Purps feels old, antediluvian. There’s even something old-timey about that “the” in its name too, like how my grandmother says she’s going to “the Walmart” rather than Walmart or how in the 19th century women were coming down with “the vapours.”

In the mid-2000s The Purps won the cannabis cup a couple of times, which seems strange in 2019. That such a basic Indica strain would be so praised by the insiders rather than operate as a sturdy, accessible, best-selling strain (which is what The Purps is now) says something about how far weed has gone and how in the past decade or so, as the country slowly shakes off the prohibition era, we have all found so many multivaried ways to be very high. Even its name or one of its names, Mendocino Purps, shouting out its origins in Mendocino County, California, nods to the immediate pot past when California weed was the stuff of legend, a whole other world so different from where most of us were getting our stuff rather than another place to get especially good weed.

Something of a predecessor to the explosion of Purple strains that are so popular now, The Purps, if you’re more familiar with some other popular Purple strains, recalls the cathartic pleasures of Grandaddy Purple and Grand Black Northern, though it is more predictable and stable (meanwhile, in its dankness, it is closest to Purple Punch; as a joint full of The Purps burns, the end of your paper begins to gum up and stick to your lips it gets so resin-y). The Purps’ high starts too soon and within moments you’re floating and sinking at the same time, an eerie pressure on your limbs — imagine a massage by someone wearing two catcher’s mitts — and then the high stays too long, hovering like the last idiot at a party, not sure what to do, not ready to move on to the next thing, stuck. It could be worse.

Strength: 8
Nose: Bitter melon
Euphoria: 8
Existential dread: 1
Freaking out when a crazy person approaches you: 1
Drink pairing: Watermelon juice and vodka
Music pairing: Henry Flynt, Ascent to the Sun
Rating: 7

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