While it’s much better to smoke it, there are simple joys that come from touching and evaluating quality bud. The smell alone can have a deeply relaxing effect. So a strains reputation, smell, and colour take precedence in evaluation because these are obvious indicators of quality. Frosty trichomes, deep greens and twirling orange hairs are generally a good sign. But there’s one unique feature that’s become iconic in the 20th-century spread of cannabis and it’s mainstream integration: purple tones. I remember hearing stories about purple weed when I first started smoking. Some people said it’s the strongest kind, “the best weed they’ve smoked”, “a heavy high” and “be careful, it’ll make you paranoid”. What is the truth though? What gives strains like Grandaddy Purp and Purple Kush their violet hue and what, if anything does it say about the weed?
Certain Flavanoids make weed purple.
Flavonoids are types of plant pigments that are essential to the composition of cannabis. It’s these flavonoid pigments that give weed its bold and diverse colours based on genetic history. Anthocyanin is responsible for any purple you see in your weed and can give plants a shade anywhere from red to blue. Cannabis, like all plants, is mostly coloured green because it contains Chlorophyll. It’s a chemical that’s necessary for plants to convert sunlight into food. Most days of the year, Chlorophyll is in abundance. However, we know that plants change colours as the season’s progress, and cannabis is no different.
During much of the plant’s life, Anthocyanin can’t compete with the dominant Chlorophyll. But in the fall, Chlorophyll starts to break down and make room for Anthocyanin and other various flavonoids to make their presence known. This opens the door for the wild, beautiful combinations of green, purple, blue, orange and red we see in the exotic cannabis strains.
The particular manifestation of those colours depends on the plant’s genetics, which is why certain strains have a reputation for being purple. In other words, you’re not going to make a strain purple unless the potential’s already embedded in the seed. You’d also need to keep the plant relatively cool – like it would be in the fall for its purple potential to bloom out.
Does purple weed have a higher THC percentage?
Truthfully, that purple tint to your weed won’t do anything different chemically. There might be some novelty in your subjective experience of a purple strain, but there’s no science behind it interacting any differently with your body chemistry. Sure you may have smoked some exceptionally strong purple bud in the past, but much of the hype and myth around purple weed is just that. It’s scarcity. That doesn’t mean the funky purple colour shouldn’t be revered and appreciated. It’s beautiful and one of the many quirks that make the marijuana plant so fascinating, mouthwatering even. 🤤