Everybody loves a good looking purple bud. But why is some weed purple? And how can you enhance this purple gene? In this article we aim to answer these questions so that you can grow some awesome purple dank at home!
Why is some weed purple?
Purple weed is purple simply because of the plant’s genetics. You may have heard of people making strains go purple by lowering the temperature of a grow room, however this can be counter productive, because while it may make the buds look pretty, it will lower the THC levels.
If you want to grow a strain that is truly purple then grow one such as Grandaddy Purple, Purple Afghan or Purple Punch. These all have Purple genetics and you will not have to force the purple out of them by lowering the temperature.
Not all purple strains show their color in the same way, some develop purple or dark colored leaves and some produce purple flowers. Weed with purple flowers is caused by the genetics and color pigmentation of the plant.
Some purple weed strains such as Grandaddy Purple contain color pigments called anthocyanins. Strains with higher levels of anthocyanins tend to develop a more vibrant purple color when they flower. The other common pigment found in cannabis flowers is carotenoids, these tend to make the flowers develop a gold and yellow color.
Getting back to the point of why some weed is purple. Bees are attracted to the color purple because it appears more vibrant to them than any other color. Around 35% of crops are pollinated by insects such as bees and so it is thought that as part of a survival mechanism to encourage pollination some plants develop purple flowers to breed.
As well as purple buds you may also notice some strains develop purple in the pistols and the calyxes.
Why does weed turn purple?
All cannabis plants start out green and if they contain the right genetics and enough anthocyanin they turn purple as they mature. All plants contain chlorophyll, without it they wouldn’t grow as chlorophyll plays an important role in the photosynthesis process. It is the chlorophyll in plants that gives them their green color.
As a marijuana plant grows it produces less chlorophyll and as they near maturity they begin to produce anthocyanins, the pigments that give a plant its vibrant purple and blue colors. This is what causes the plant to gradually turn purple or blue and why we get purple weed strains.
How does the environment affect the color of marijuana?
Most marijuana plants do not express any purple hues, only if it is in the genetics of that variety can a plant turn purple and you also need the right growing environment for it to do so.
It is the color pigment anthocyanin that causes marijuana plants to turn purple and it is thought that marijuana plants produce this as a method of protection. During the growth phase, plants begin to produce more anthocyanin because it aids the plants protection against bacteria and plant viruses, as well as against the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.
Marijuana plants are highly perceptive to their environment and slight changes in temperature can impact them. When summer comes to an end daylight begins to decrease and the temperature decreases, this causes a reduction in chlorophyll production, remember, chlorophyll is what gives a plant its vibrant green color.
Research shows that anthocyanin production is reduced during hotter temperatures. So as the temperature drops and chlorophyll production begins to dip this allows anthocyanin production to ramp up, if it is a purple strain this is the period at which the plant begins to change color and why we get purple weed strains. It should also be noted that anthocyanin production is increased at lower pH levels showing that they prefer higher acidity.
How can I enhance the color of purple weed strains?
- Lower pH slightly as the plant begins to flower, anthocyanin production increases in more acidic environments.
- If you are growing indoors check the temperature of your grow room, remember as the lights change to trigger flowering it is the reduction in temperature that causes a decrease in chlorophyll and an increase in anthocyanin. Just remember though, by reducing the temperature you can cause a reduction in THC so if you are going to do this do it gradually.
What are the best purple weed strains to grow?
There are plenty of purple weed strains out there to choose from, however as we have mentioned some do not contain as much of the purple genetics as others. Here are the three purple strains we think are the best to grow to guarantee that vibrant purple bud with plenty of bag appeal.
Arguably the most well known purple weed strain in the world, Grandaddy Purple seeds have been producing dank purple buds since 2003. A potent cross of Mendo Purps, Skunk and Afghan this indica dominant strain also known as GDP became popular in the early 2000’s thanks to its multiple medical uses.
When in full bloom Grandaddy Purple produces solid yields of dense deep purple buds that are covered in a thin layer of white resin. It smokes like a typical indica giving users a strong full body buzz ideal for pain relief or inducing sleep.
Purple Afghani is an indica dominant strain that is easy to grow. It produces large solid buds that will have lavender hues with dark green leaves and vibrant purple calyxes.
Purple Afghani has a typical kush effect when smoked and the high hits you hard and fast leaving you feeling relaxed. Purple Afghani is an ideal strain to smoke for insomniacs as it helps to induce sleep.
A 70% indica dominant hybrid of Larry OG and Grandaddy Purple make Purple Punch a force to be reckoned with. Purple Punch is a great sweet tasting strain that will hit you like a train when smoked so be sure to have some snacks on hand for when the munchies kick in.
When in flowering Purple Punch much like its parent Grandaddy Purple will have vibrant lavender hues, among its green and orange colored buds. Purple Punch is a great strain for cash croppers producing up to 600g/m2 of beautifully coloured buds.