You may have seen impressive photos of purple weed plants or even encountered some purple, gold, black or orange coloured bud yourself in your time as a cannabis user. But do these fascinating colour varieties lead to higher potency or more beneficial effects when it comes to smoking and ingesting cannabis for medicinal or recreational use? Why is some weed purple or other colours and what kind of purple weed effects are there if any? Lets take a look at some of the facts and myths about purple weed.
Purple cannabis refers generally to any strain or variety of weed that has a unique and uncommon colour variation present. Most commonly cannabis buds and flowers appear in a wide variety of the light and dark green colour that we all know and love so much. But every now and then you might find yourself with a plant or a sack of buds with a unique and unexpected colour variation. These can be deep and complex dark purples, deep blacks, golden flecks or even red or orange colorations.
The reason for this variation in colour is the presence of anthocyanins in the cannabis plant. Anthocyanins are a water soluble pigment which can be found in many varieties of plant and the cannabis plant is no exception. It’s presence in the plant produces the dramatic purple weed leaf and buds. Depending on the PH level this pigment will express itself in the cannabis plant in a variety of colours from red to complex purples, deep blues, even dark black or light flecks of gold.
Anthocyanins is one of many different flavonoids that are present in the cannabis plant regardless of it’s final colouration. The interaction of the anthocyanins with other flavonoids present in the particular purple cannabis strain will produce this seemingly impossible range of colourations.
Purple weed plants and buds are certainly very pretty and unique to look at but what about purple weed effects?
It has long been an urban legend in the cannabis community that the unique appearance of some strains was due to their special effects or higher potency but as more and more studies are being done on the actual facts about cannabis products this myth is being debunked and dispelled.
Furthermore cannabis that does not contain a noteworthy amount of anthocyanins cannot be induced into taking on a purple or other colouration as it is simply not genetically predisposed to do so. Put simply a strain of cannabis must be susceptible to the effects of the anthocyanins and other flavonoids interacting to produce the change in pigment and strains not prone to this already cannot be forced into producing different colour variations.
Why Is Some Weed Purple?
When we are seeing purple marijuana or some other variable shade other than the green most cannabis is known for there is a scientific reason to explain it. Much as the leaves turn colour before they fall from the trees each year the flavonoids in cannabis are also reacting to cold weather most often which results in a change in pigment. This colour change is usually the result of the plant attempting to achieve some purpose or another and not just a random or unexplained result.
This is typically because the plant is stressed and is attempting to conserve energy to achieve a goal before wilting in the cold. Most often the plant is trying to maximize its likelihood of pollinating or flowering against the odds of unsuitable weather conditions.
Purple weed plants are very dramatic looking and have been sought after by growers both professional and amateur in the past because of the distinct appearance they can provide. However simply subjecting your cannabis to grow under cold weather conditions will not prompt just any variety of cannabis to take on a purple colour – the strain must be predisposed to do so by having a lot of the necessary anthocyanins. A strain which does not have these essential flavonoids will never produce purple cannabis.
Without this genetic predisposition the plant cannot be induced into producing purple or other varieties of unique colourations and as a result purple and unusually coloured cannabis began to have a whole bunch of myths and rumours rise up around it. In the old days before people understood much about cannabis terpenes or THC content or the benefits of CBD people often prized purple marijuana and other strangely coloured strains of cannabis believing them to be more potent or to produce a more interesting or more specialized range of effects.
Purple Weed Effects
Despite all the rumours and myths that swirl around the sacred and special purple weed leaf purple cannabis does not boast any special extra potency or additional special effects when compared to regular coloured cannabis. In fact the real truth of the matter is that purple marijuana is actually more likely to have a lower THC content than cannabis that has not been grown in a cold climate and had the purple weed leaf and bud colours set in.
Apart from the visual appeal of having some unique looking buds it turns out there really isn’t much benefit to having purple marijuana. The presence of extra anthocyanins would suggest that there may be some extra benefit provided but for the most part the only possible upside of having more of those in your bud would be an increase in an antioxidant effect – but only if you are eating it, not smoking it.
Another benefit of consuming anthocyanins is their anti-inflammatory effect but once again you would need to eat the cannabis buds rather than smoke them to enjoy the added benefits which we don’t generally recommend. Cannabis already has plenty of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects naturally so the addition of slightly more (which can only be accessed by eating rather than smoking) seems like no real benefit at all when it comes down to brass tacks.
In fact seeking out a strain with a higher than average CBD count would go much further for you in regards to maximizing the medicinal benefits of cannabis and no pretty purple bud will ever be able to match the potency or effectiveness of cannabis which has been specifically cultivated to enhance its medicinal effects.
The reason that purple buds became so popular and even notorious in cannabis circles – especially before more was understood about the whole science behind the varied and beneficial effects of the substance – is quite simple. When you have a bag of purple buds that hit hard and smoke well you tend to remember them simply because they were unique. If you grow cannabis and find a strain genetically predisposed to producing purple buds which still packs a high THC count you are likely to grow and propagate it as much as you can. It’s just good branding!
But generally your green buds will always be better than anything you can find with a unique colouration. This is simply because any energy the plant has to use to produce this colour effect is at the detriment of its ability to grow and produce high quality buds. The energy spent on the colour change comes at a cost to overall potency and effectiveness.
Myths About Purple Buds
It was long believed in many cannabis circles around the world – primarily among those who don’t grow much of their own – that cannabis growers were somehow manipulating their harvest somehow to produce unique colourations and pigments. It turns out for the most part that is just not true and purple colourations are actually the results of predisposed genetics.
From changes in nutrients, light levels and delivery methods, flash freezing, variations in air quality and even outright manipulation of the plant itself – the rumours about food colouring come to mind – all of these myths have been debunked by professional growers the world over who point to the scientific evidence that only genetically predisposed varieties of cannabis will produce coloured varieties.
It’s not wrong to believe that the visual appeal of the buds can also enhance the overall smoking experience but the true facts as they are seem to indicate that coloured buds are simply nothing special when it comes to potency or unique effects. When it comes to tracking those aspects of the cannabis plant we can rely on what the science has already taught us to be true. That is the various strains of cannabis all have their own effects profiles, flavour profiles and particular benefits falling into either the indica or sativa category. Anyone who tries to sell you cannabis based on its colouration and boasting that it has some sort of special effect or potency is not selling an honest product.
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