In addition to boasting world-class science and engineering facilities and educating alumni like Anna Faris and Joel McHale, The University of Washington has the distinction of lending its name to a popular strain of cannabis. UW, also known as U-Dub or UW Purple, is a strong indica that was allegedly swiped from one the university’s medical research facilities. It has since become a cult favorite, with a complex taste and strong sedative effects. Cannabis testing lab Analytical 360 has measured UW’s THC content at between 14% and 20%.
UW boasts large, eye-catching flowers that are spherical in shape. These buds have the dense, heavy structure that marks other pure indica varieties. The tightly-coiled leaves are almost equal parts green and vivid purple and are threaded through with copper-colored pistils. Any purple in the leaves is due to a high genetic concentration of anthocyanins -- pigments like chlorophyll that, when stimulated by cold weather in the growing process, bring out red and purple hues. Incidentally, purple is also one of The University of Washington’s school colors!. A thick coating of milky white trichomes covers the already-colorful flowers and gives them a very sticky, resinous texture. UW’s bag appeal doesn’t end at its visuals, though -- a fruity, berry-like tang jumps off of the strain’s flowers. Grinding or breaking open the buds yields a dank and earthy odor. When combusted, UW gives off a harsh, acrid smoke that may sting the sinuses and induce coughing; on the exhale, this smoke tastes like incense and musk, and is somewhat reminiscent of an Afghani landrace. Notably, this strain has no discernible grape flavors -- the same pigments that create its purple coloring do not have a corresponding effect on taste.
UW has a slow, creeping high that may not take hold until several minutes after users have savored the strain’s rich taste. A heaviness fills the head and spreads down the limbs and trunk. Smokers are struck with a thorough feeling of relaxation, and may be more than happy to settle into the closest comfortable seating area. UW does not come with a particularly cerebral mindset. Instead, users may feel a distinct sense of contentment even as their thoughts remain hazy and dreamlike. As such, UW is a great choice for kicking back with a movie or some mellow music. It can also work well in social settings, provided that the user is surrounded by familiar friends and positive vibes. Better suited to bedtime enjoyment, this is not an ideal strain for the morning or afternoon ... unless users plan on sitting happily motionless for a while.
UW’s sedative effects can also be very helpful to medical cannabis patients. Its total relaxation can temporarily blunt the acute symptoms associated with anxiety, depression, and even PTSD. It may also soothe aches and pains -- whether short-term and incidental or chronic as a result of conditions like arthritis or lupus. UW’s anti-inflammatory properties can take the edge off of headaches or upset stomachs. In large enough doses, it can also provide relief from insomnia, lulling users into a deep a restful sleep. Because of its lack of cerebral effects, UW comes with a relatively low risk of paranoia.
Perhaps because of the mystery surrounding this strain’s origin and genetics, seeds are not commercially available; prospective growers must obtain clippings from mature plants to grow as identical “clones.” UW can be successfully grown indoors or out, although outdoor growing requires warm, Mediterranean-like climates with daytime temperature in the 70 degree Fahrenheit range. Plants are short and bushy, with strong lateral branches. Growers should be sure to “top” their plants by regularly trimming away large fan leaves that might block light and air from reaching low-growing flowering nodes. Growers looking to bring out this strain’s full purple potential should also shock the plants by exposing them to cold (but not freezing) nighttime temperatures late in the vegetative stage. UW flowers within a short 7 to 8 weeks when grown indoors.
You don’t have to be a UW student to enjoy this strain’s prized effects. Toke on this bud’s rich, well-rounded flavor and let its waves of sedation wash over you. UW is a great example of what the Pacific Northwest’s ever-growing cannabis scene has to offer.