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Photo by Rhys Harper

Learn | 09.06.2022

What Is Purple Weed?

How does weed turn people, and what does it mean? Let's find out.

If you have purple cannabis leaves or buds, you have some dank kush on your hands.

In all seriousness, maybe you recently purchased some flower and noticed the impressive purple hues on the bud. Or perhaps you’re trying to grow your first purple weed plant.

Whatever the case is, we’ve provided you with the complete rundown on what makes weed purple, if purple weed is better than regular weed, and strains that are often praised for their purple hues.

Before we begin, it’s best you know what we’re talking about when we say “purple weed.”

What Is Purple Weed?

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Instead of plants that present only green and dark orange hues, purple weed plants will have deep purple hues and accents along with other colors like green and orange.

For a plant’s buds and leaves to turn purple, there has to be a significant amount of anthocyanins roaming around. This is a compound that’s present in plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables like:

  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Beets
  • Grapes

Anthocyanins are also rich in antioxidants when ingested through fruits or veggies, but our digestive tract breaks them down when smoked, meaning they won’t produce much of an effect.

Different growing conditions can also impact the overall color of your plant, which include:

  • Temperature levels
  • Access to light
  • pH levels

There are a few myths stating that purple cannabis leaves are a sign of deprived nutrients, but that’s not the case.

If anything, a plant grown at a colder temperature will reduce the visible amounts of chlorophyll, exposing different hues and colors of the plant. Similarly, lower pH levels in plants will also produce more purple throughout the leaves and buds.

However, the most common reason for your purple plants is anthocyanins, which vary from plant to plant. Simply put, the more purple your plant, the more anthocyanins it contains.

But, growers can manipulate their soil pH levels and growing temperature to produce more purple hues.

What Does It Mean When Cannabis Plants Turn Purple?

Some myths state that purple cannabis can be a sign of nutrient deprivation, but that isn’t true.

Furthermore, other myths say that you can turn cannabis purple by freezing it or adding food coloring, both of which definitely isn’t suggested.

Purple plants are nothing more than genetics and, at times, a lowered pH level and/or colder temperatures but not freezing. Some strains have the capability to grow in low pH soil, which will not affect the plant when harvested.

So, if your plants begin turning purple, chances are you’re growing a purple strain with anthocyanins, or the growing temperature is slightly cooler and reduces visible chlorophyll.

Is Purple Weed Better Than Green Weed?

There is only one core difference between a regular green weed and purple weed. As mentioned, it’s the naturally occurring chemical compound anthocyanins.

Again, anthocyanins are responsible for turning plants and flowers purple, violent, or mauve. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that purple weed is better than green weed.

While anthocyanins have some health benefits, since it’s an antioxidants, that’s the only difference between the quality of purple weed and green weed. Plus, our bodies don’t benefit from this antioxidant when smoked.

Other than that, it’s simply different genetics that brings out certain colors and hues in cannabis plants.

This isn’t an indicator of how good the weed is but more an indicator of the number of anthocyanins in your weed.

Strains Rich In Anthocyanins

Here are some strains rich in purple-producing anthocyanins

  • Purple Haze
  • Purple Trainwreck
  • Purple Kush
  • Blueberry Kush
  • Blackberry
  • Critical Purple
  • Granddaddy Purple
  • Fruity Pebbles
  • Purple Cheese
  • Strawberry Bliss
  • Strawberry Cough
  • Purple Urkle


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