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Dave’s Not Here: Grand Daddy Purple From Harborside Health Center

In Culture
I Was Gonna Do Something: Our pot reviewer says you should clear your calendar before toking up on this month's featured strain: Grand Daddy Purple.

I Was Gonna Do Something: Our pot reviewer says you should clear your calendar before toking up on this month's featured strain: Grand Daddy Purple.

With such a wide selection of cannabis dispensaries in Silicon Valley, the diversity of experience that goes along with visiting a new medicinal cannabis outlet often begins—at least for me—with the kind of excitement I imagine a foodie would feel before checking out a new restaurant. Unfortunately, these experiences just as often end in disappointment, as I leave with a lighter wallet and wishing I’d somehow been able to see into the future and exercise better judgement.

Sometimes luck of location and personality leads to less-than-stellar dispensaries standing out on merits of convenience and atmosphere, while falling short in arguably more important areas. This is not the case with Harborside Health Center in San Jose, which makes no compromise in any regard—mindfully avoiding the pretention that often accompanies successful and self-aware businesses.

Housed in a spacious and easy-to-find business park, Harborside fosters a pleasant dispensary experience without losing sight of providing a diverse selection of quality cannabis products and services for its patients. Security and patient service staff greet patients warmly, staying professional and courteous throughout the ebb and flow of patients and wait times, as is typical for many popular dispensaries.

Forced to comply with new city regulations passed in 2014, Harborside is moving locations in August and undertaking the sizable task of sourcing all their products from cannabis grown in house. While planning to surmount this challenge without interruption of service, Harborside also provides free acupuncture and Reiki healing for all patients.

Harborside’s main bud room is well organized—laid out with multiple counters and a dedicated corner holding a number of healthy looking and well rooted clones, an offering that is unfortunately becoming less common due to regulatory pressure and, one presumes, a desire on the part of dispensaries to simplify an already complex web of gray-area legality. Providing affordable access to grow cannabis is a great service for patients and the local cannabis community, and a half dozen varieties of vibrant clones really round out Harborside’s intentional, yet broad, menu.

Budtenders are very accommodating of new patients, and are happy to offer well-intentioned and personalized strain guidance. Notably, the staff at Harborside are very welcoming of all ages (over 21) and to the delight of my girlfriend, all genders. Worthy of recognition, Harborside’s inviting atmosphere is a quality not always present, although rarely intentionally missing, in the predominantly young, mostly male dispensary-going population.

With strains ranging in price from $30-$60 per eighth, along with a very well stocked concentrate and edible selection, Harborside is undoubtedly a one-stop dispensary. All strains are lab tested for mold, parasites, and pesticides as well as listed with both THCA and THC concentrations. This distinction allows patients to contrast the relative conversion proportions of each strain’s non-psychoactive primary cannabinoid, THCA, to it psychoactive liquid or gaseous form, THC, as a result of controlled heating, or decarboxylation.

Providing this information enables Harborside’s customers to experiment purposefully with numerous strains and gain a better understanding of which types of bud breeds are the most suitable for their needs. Harborside deserves recognition for doing its part to move the industry forward by providing patients with quantifiable data.

Looking for a relaxing strain targeting muscle tension, I was drawn to two variations of the same classically reliable Indica—Grand Daddy Purple (GDP) and Ken’s GDP. Both varieties were priced at $50 for an eighth. The regular GDP won out with its darker visual aesthetic and noticeably more potent jar aroma.

Grand Daddy Purple, an indoor Indica, from Harborside Health Center.

Grand Daddy Purple, an indoor Indica, from Harborside Health Center.

Harborside’s GDP is an unmistakably potent Indica with a couch lock and marble smooth smoking experience to match. With every minor disturbance of the GDP’s dark violet and forest green buds, a thick bouquet of sweet, breakfast cereal-esque earth was released. While the bud density is not entirely up to expectation, in light of the sensory spike accompanying the initial jar opening, it is by no means airy. The GDP broke apart easily despite it’s high resin content.

Upon combustion, the GDP emitted an almost vapor-like smoke. The inhale felt extremely light, regardless of volume and was completely free of any acrid notes. Although the draw was easy, this batch of GDP lacked a strong taste to its inhale. It was rounded out, however, by a welcome earthy and sweet exhale. As the rolling paper  dwindled, the inhale of the GDP picked up in its complexity, trading a slight decrease in the smoke’s smooth profile for a quite noticeable increase in flavor with each pull—likely due to a buildup of resin.

Harborside’s GDP produced a very relaxing headspace that was great for anxiety, but lacked in the subsequent euphoria and boost in productivity that can accompany an anxiety-free mind, courtesy of some sativa-dominant strains. With a heavy couch lock and moderate—but not great—myofascial pain relief, this GDP is not very creatively inspiring or conducive to facing a day with a lengthy to-do list. In fairness, however, the strain cannot be faulted for what it lacks, as should be the case when weighing a strain that is so clearly intended to behave as a heavy indica, rather than an energetic or complex sativa, for its user. Focusing on the intent and mildly narcotic-like profile of GDP, this batch from Harborside stands strongly as a recommended and potent strain for insomnia, relaxation, pain relief, and given a clear calendar, anxiety relief.



Dispensary: 9/10
Harborside Health Center | 2106 Ringwood Ave. | San Jose, CA 95131

  • Pros:
    • Warm and helpful staff deserving of praise.
    • Diverse selection of products, including clones.
    • Free alternative healing services.
  • Cons:
    • Edible, concentrate, and preroll selection could be better, and is without as much price or quality diversity as flowers.

Strain: 8.7/10:
Grand Daddy Purple – Indica, Indoor | $16/gram, $50/eighth | Rolled in ¼” Raw Hemp Paper

  • Pros:
    • Very potent indica, worth the requested donation.
    • Great at addressing insomnia and anxiety.
    • Attention grabbing aroma and jar presence.
  • Cons:
    • Buds could be more dense.
    • Inhale flavor of smoke should match the great bud aroma.
    • Couch lock could be undesirable for those looking for less narcotic-like pain relief.
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