What Makes Weed Purple

If you are a cannabis connoisseur, then you know that the color of your beloved bud varies from batch to batch. From dark green to light green and even deep purple – but have you ever wondered what causes some weed to turn purple in the first place?

In this blog post, we will be exploring exactly why certain types of marijuana take on a purplish hue and what factors play into creating this phenomenon. From soil composition and growing conditions to genetics and pigments within the strain, we’ll go over everything related to making weed unique shades of purple!

So whether you’re an experienced cultivator or someone who’s just getting their feet wet with cannabis cultivation, join us as we discuss the science behind purple weed!

Understanding Pigments in Plants

Understanding Pigments in Plants

These pigments are complex compounds produced within the plant that reflect specific wavelengths of light, giving the plant its vibrant colors. Let’s dive a little deeper and discuss some of these pigments and their roles:

  1. Anthocyanins: Anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid that gives certain strains of cannabis their unique purple, red, or blue hues. They are water-soluble pigments, and their expression is usually dependent on the pH levels in the cannabis plant. A higher concentration of anthocyanins contributes to a darker, more vibrant purple color in cannabis.
  2. Chlorophyll: Chlorophyll, the dominant pigment in most plants, provides the familiar green color. It plays an essential role in photosynthesis, allowing plants to absorb energy from light. In cannabis, the degradation of chlorophyll towards the end of the flowering stage can allow other pigments, like anthocyanins, to become more visible.
  3. Flavonoids: Beyond anthocyanins, there are other flavonoids that impact the coloration of cannabis plants. Flavonoids, like cannflavins, can influence the hue of the plant and additionally contribute to the plant’s aroma, flavor, and potential health benefits. These compounds are subject to environmental factors, like light and temperature, which can alter their expression.

The Impact of Temperature on Cannabis Color

The Impact of Temperature on Cannabis Color

The Role of Cold Temperatures

Certain cannabis strains may become purple due to exposure to cold temperatures, particularly during the flowering stage. Lower temperatures can inhibit chlorophyll production, allowing other pigments, such as anthocyanins, to dominate. Here’s how the process unfolds:

  1. Triggers Anthocyanin Production: When the cannabis plants are exposed to cooler nighttime temperatures, the production of anthocyanins increases. This results in a more pronounced purple color in cannabis buds and leaves.
  2. Chlorophyll Breakdown: Cold temperatures can accelerate the breakdown of chlorophyll, especially towards the end of the flowering stage. As this green pigment degrades, other colors influenced by pigments, such as anthocyanins, can become more visible.
  3. Genetic Predisposition: Not all cannabis strains will turn purple when exposed to cold temperatures. Those with a genetic predisposition to producing high levels of anthocyanins are more likely to exhibit this reaction.

The Impact of Extreme Temperatures

Exposing cannabis plants to extreme temperatures, whether too high or too low, can have detrimental effects:

  • Heat Stress: If temperatures become too high, cannabis plants can suffer from heat stress. This can inhibit overall plant growth, disrupt photosynthesis, and even lead to the production of hermaphrodite flowers.
  • Cold Stress: Conversely, extremely cold temperatures can cause cannabis plants to enter a state of dormancy, slowing growth and potentially damaging plant tissues. In extreme cases, frost can form on the plant, which can kill off exposed parts of the cannabis plant.
  • Color Changes: While moderate exposure to cold can lead to the desired purple color, extreme temperatures can produce a less appealing brown or dull color in the cannabis buds.
  • Cannabinoid and Terpene Production: Extreme temperatures can also negatively impact the production of cannabinoids and terpenes, the compounds responsible for marijuana’s effects and flavor. This can lead to lower potency and less aromatic buds.

As such, while temperature can influence the color of cannabis, growers must be mindful to avoid temperature extremes that could harm the quality of their plants.

The Influence of Environment and Conditions

The Influence of Environment and Conditions

Interactions with Light

The interaction between cannabis plants and light can significantly impact the color of the buds. Light, specifically its intensity and spectrum, can affect the production of pigments such as anthocyanins and chlorophyll.

  • Light Spectrum: Different colors of light can influence the plant’s growth and color development. For example, exposure to more blue light can enhance the production of anthocyanins, potentially leading to more vibrant purple hues in certain strains.
  • Light Intensity: The intensity of the light can also play a role. High-intensity light can accelerate chlorophyll breakdown, enabling other pigments like anthocyanins to shine through. However, too much intense light can also lead to light burn, potentially damaging the plants and affecting their color.
  • Light Exposure Duration: The duration of light exposure can also influence color. Extended periods of darkness, especially in the final stages of flowering, may promote the breakdown of chlorophyll and the rise of anthocyanins.

Soil and Environmental Factors

The soil composition and broader environmental conditions in which cannabis plants grow can considerably affect the colors that they develop.

  • Soil pH: The pH level of the soil can influence the availability of essential nutrients, which can further affect anthocyanin production. Acidic soil conditions tend to favor anthocyanin production, which can lead to more vibrant purple hues in some cannabis strains.
  • Nutrient Content: Certain nutrients, like phosphorus, can impact the color of cannabis plants. A deficiency in phosphorus, for instance, can cause plants to exhibit a deep, purple-black color.
  • Genetic Makeup: While environmental factors play a significant role, they can only bring out colors that the plant’s genetics allow. In other words, a plant must have the genetic potential to produce certain pigments, like anthocyanins, for environmental conditions to affect its color.
  • Overall Growing Conditions: The overall growing conditions, including lighting, temperature, humidity, and the plant’s health status, can interact in complex ways to influence the final color of the plant. Therefore, to cultivate purple cannabis, growers must closely monitor and manage these conditions throughout the plant’s growth cycle.

Read More: Thrips on Cannabis Plants

Purple Strains and Genetic Factors

Purple Strains and Genetic Factors

The development of purple hues in cannabis strains isn’t purely a result of environmental influences. It’s also strongly tied to the strain’s genetic makeup. Certain cannabis strains are naturally more likely to produce purple pigments, thanks to their high anthocyanin levels.

These strains, often referred to as “purple strains,” include popular varieties like “Purple Kush,” “Purple Punch,” and “Tropicana Cookies Purple.” These strains are well-loved in the cannabis community not only for their striking colors but also for their distinctive flavors and effects.

Read More: Is Sticky Weed Good

The Influence of Genetic Makeup on Cannabis Color

A cannabis plant’s genetic makeup, or genotype, determines its potential to develop specific colors. A plant’s genetics dictate the types and amounts of pigments it can produce, including anthocyanins responsible for purple and blue hues.

If a plant’s genetics don’t allow for high levels of anthocyanins, no amount of temperature manipulation or light adjustment will produce vibrant purple buds. In other words, a plant needs to have the “purple gene” for it to possibly display this color.

The presence and expression of this gene can be influenced by environmental factors, but the genetic potential must inherently exist. Therefore, the quest for vibrant purple cannabis buds often starts with selecting the right strains with the correct genetic predisposition.

Read More: Why the Dark Cycle Matters When Growing Cannabis

Exploring Specific Purple Cannabis Strains

Exploring Specific Purple Cannabis Strains

Purple Kush

Purple Kush is a potent, nearly 100% pure indica strain that resulted from crossing the Hindu Kush strain and the Afghani. It’s known for its unique, deep purple hues and a thick coating of white, sticky trichomes. The strain packs a powerful, long-lasting euphoric punch, making it a favorite among cannabis enthusiasts seeking a relaxing experience. The high anthocyanin levels in the Purple Kush strain result in its signature purple color, especially when exposed to colder temperatures during the flowering stage.

Purple Punch

Purple Punch

Purple Punch strain is an Indica-dominant breed that owes its color to its parent strains – the Larry OG strain and the Granddaddy Purple strain. Its genetic makeup allows for high anthocyanin production, making it a favored choice for those seeking the coveted purple color. It’s not just about the aesthetics though – the Purple Punch strain is also famous for its fruity, grape-like aroma and is known to offer a comforting, calming high which makes it a popular choice for evening use.

Tropicana Cookies Purple

Tropicana Cookies Purple is a sativa-dominant hybrid that brings together the genetics of the OG Kush strain and Granddaddy Purple strain, resulting in a strain bursting with flavor and vibrant color. This strain is characterized by its bold purple buds and orange hairs, a testament to its high anthocyanin content. As with the other strains, cooler flowering stage temperatures can bring out more of its purple potential. Beyond the stunning visuals, the Tropicana Cookies Purple strain is also praised for its invigorating citrus aroma and energizing, euphoric effects.

Purple Mix Pack Cannabis Seeds

Health Benefits: Beyond the Color

While the purple coloration of certain cannabis strains can be visually pleasing, the presence of anthocyanins suggests possible health benefits as well. Anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid, a class of compounds with antioxidant effects. Found in a range of fruits and vegetables, these pigments possess potential health benefits that extend beyond their ability to give plants a vibrant hue.

  • Antioxidant Properties: Anthocyanins exhibit strong antioxidant effects, protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals. Regular consumption of anthocyanin-rich substances may help to mitigate the impacts of aging and disease on the body’s cells.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Research indicates that anthocyanins may possess potent anti-inflammatory properties, potentially helping to ease the symptoms of conditions such as arthritis and cardiovascular disease.
  • Neuroprotective Benefits: Some studies suggest that anthocyanins could have neuroprotective properties, playing a role in the prevention or delay of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
  • Potential Anti-Cancer Effects: While research is still ongoing, some findings suggest that anthocyanins might help inhibit the growth of cancer cells and reduce cancer risk.
  • Cardiovascular Health: Consuming anthocyanin-rich foods and substances may be linked with improved cardiovascular health, including a lower risk of heart attacks and healthier cholesterol levels.

Read More: Integrating Cannabis into Your Running Regimen

Cultivating Purple Weed

Cultivating Purple Weed

Growing purple cannabis can be rewarding for novice and seasoned growers. With an understanding of genetics and the effect of environmental factors like temperature and light, one can cultivate cannabis plants with vibrant purple hues. The resulting purple weed not only adds visual appeal but may also offer potential health benefits.

Factors in the Growing Environment

The environment in which cannabis plants grow plays a pivotal role in the development of their color. Light intensity, temperatures, soil pH, and water quality can all influence the plant’s color expression.

For instance, colder nighttime temperatures can stimulate the production of anthocyanins, leading to more vibrant purple hues in cannabis flowers. However, too much cold can be detrimental to the plant’s overall health.

On the other hand, soil pH can affect the availability of certain nutrients, which may indirectly affect color development. By understanding and manipulating these environmental factors, growers can maximize the color potential of their purple cannabis strains.

Role of the Flowering Stage

Role of the Flowering Stage

The flowering stage is a critical period for color development in cannabis plants. During this stage, the production of chlorophyll slows down, allowing other pigments like anthocyanins to become more prominent. As a result, cannabis flowers can transition from green to purple.

Cold temperatures during the flowering stage can enhance this effect, stimulating the plant to produce more anthocyanins. Therefore, the flowering stage provides the ideal conditions for encouraging vibrant coloration in cannabis plants.

Read More: How To Trim Leaves During Flowering Stage

Trichome Production and Harvest Time

Trichomes are tiny, crystal-like structures that form on the cannabis flower during the flowering stage. They contain the plant’s cannabinoids and terpenes, contributing to the strain’s potency, aroma, and flavor.

The development of trichomes can also affect a plant’s coloration. As harvest time approaches, trichomes can take on a milky white or amber color, often contrasting with the plant’s deeper, darker colors and adding to its visual appeal.

It’s important for growers to monitor trichome development closely since harvest time can affect not only the plant’s coloration but also its potency and overall quality.

Read More: Growing Tips for Indoor Indica Cannabis Seeds

Frequently Asked Questions

Does purple weed mean stronger?

No, the purple color of weed does not necessarily mean it is stronger or possesses more potent effects. The strength of the weed depends on its THC, CBD levels, and other cannabinoids, which are unaffected by the color of the plant. However, the purple color does denote the presence of anthocyanins, which come with their own potential health benefits.

What makes weed plants turn purple?

The color transformation in cannabis plants is primarily attributed to a pigment known as anthocyanin, which can turn the plant purple under certain conditions. This transition is more apparent during the flowering stage, particularly when the plant is exposed to colder temperatures.

What is weed with purple in it?

Weed with purple in it refers to cannabis strains that exhibit a purple hue in their leaves and buds, primarily due to a pigment called anthocyanin. The purple coloration can become more pronounced under certain environmental conditions, specifically colder temperatures during the flowering stage.

How do you make purple buds?

To cultivate cannabis plants with purple buds, it’s essential to choose a strain with a genetic predisposition for purple coloration. During the plant’s flowering stage, exposing it to cooler nighttime temperatures can stimulate the production of anthocyanins, leading to more vibrant purple hues. However, care should be taken to ensure that the temperatures don’t drop too low, as this can harm the plant.


Purple cannabis, enriched with anthocyanins, is not just visually pleasing but potentially bestows a plethora of health benefits. The cultivation process, though intricate, is manageable with an understanding of the plant’s genetics and the influence of environmental factors.

By carefully monitoring growth conditions, specifically during the flowering stage, growers can maximize the purple hue and make the most of these unique strains.

Whether grown for personal use or to stand out in a competitive market, purple cannabis strains make a bold statement in the world of weed. As always, United Cannabis Seeds is here to guide you in your cultivation journey, providing valuable knowledge and resources for you to grow these beauties successfully.

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