What Makes Weed Purple? | Growers Choice Seeds

Everything You Need to Know About What Makes Weed Purple


Within the world of weed, there are some traits that intrigue people. For example, skunky weed. What’s the deal with that skunk smell? Do people really dig that aroma and flavor? Then, there is perhaps the most intriguing visual element of marijuana. Most pot plants are green. After all, the traditional image of the pot leaf is green, right? However, there is purple weed out there. Some plants contain purple pigmentation, and because of that rumors and myths have arisen. What’s the deal with purple weed? Also, what makes weed purple? Is a purple strain right for you? There’s a lot to break down when it comes to purple weed, so let’s talk about what makes weed purple and much more.

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What are some myths about what makes weed purple?

There are many rumors about what makes weed purple. They often contradict each other, funnily enough, but we suppose myths are free to do that, since none of them are true in the end. For example, we have heard people say that oxygen deprivation and carbon dioxide deprivation can cause weed plants to turn purple. Neither of those is the case. Others will say that it comes down to too much nitrogen. Again, not true. Then, there are those who think they can do certain things and turn any weed strain into purple weed. No, this is simply not true. Altering the light or the water or the growing medium you use is not what makes weed purple. In the end, it all comes down to botany and biology. You can’t change the nature of a marijuana strain just by tweaking a few aspects of your growth.


OK, so what makes weed purple then?

There is an assortment of pigments found in plants known as flavonoids. Flavonoids don’t impact flavor, oddly enough, but do impact color. One of these flavonoids is anthocyanin. This is the flavonoid that gives plants a purplish hue under the right circumstances. Depending on the pH level of the plant, the hue may be more reddish or bluish, but let’s be honest, any marijuana grower is going to claim that as purple. So what makes weed purple? The presence, and expression, of anthocyanin. A lot of marijuana strains contain more carotenoids, which expresses a yellowish hue. That’s all it is. Without sufficient anthocyanin, a marijuana plant cannot be made to turn purple no matter what you do. You can’t grow apples on an orange tree, and you can’t make a strain not prone to turning purple to grow purple.

What makes weed purple from a nature standpoint?

There is a practical reason why a plant would turn purple. It’s not all that different from the leaves on trees changing colors in the fall, and indeed in nature purple weed is getting its coloring during the fall months as well. Chlorophyll makes a plant’s leaves green because that color captures more solar energy. Then, that becomes less important to a plant. Those bright colors that replace green are beneficial in that they make insects more interested in them. Those bugs then help with the pollination process. If a particular plant has a lot of anthocyanins, then the color it turns is going to be purple.

Does what makes weed purple have any other impact on the weed?

This is the other area where there are a lot of misnomers and misinformation about purple weed. The fondness and fascination related to purple weed come from a belief it is special. People associate the color purple in their weed with certain elements. For example, there are those who will swear that purple weed is the strongest weed. There are also those who say that purple weed is going to knock you out. They swear purple weed is practically a sedative, Ambien in marijuana form. However, again, we must reiterate that what makes weed purple simply impacts the color of the plant. Anthocyanin makes a plant purple, but it truly does nothing else. The potency of a marijuana strain has to do with THC, which is a cannabinoid, not a flavonoid. Additionally, anthocyanin has no sedative properties. What makes weed purple is nothing more than coloring. So why the misnomer? Well, a couple of the most popular weed strains do have a lot of THC to them. Also, in nature, most of the purple strains were indicas. Sativas grow in warm weather, by and large. Indicas, on the other hand, had a tendency to flourish in colder places. For example, the Hindu Kush mountain range. Indicas grew in cooler climates, which is to say climates where fall-like weather was more prevalent. When a marijuana strain of the indica variety had anthocyanin in it, that anthocyanin was more likely to be expressed. Indica strains are calming, relaxing, and sedative. These are the strains that you use to help you with your sleep. Indicas are relaxing and more likely to be a purple weed. Thus, the misconception that purple weed is inherently sedating. These days, with hybrids and controlled-growing operations, purple weed is not necessarily going to make you crash.

Is there anything about what makes weed purple that I can control?

First, buy seeds for strains that can turn purple, of course. Get the strains that contain anthocyanin. Now, that information may not be readily available, but the purple weed strains do tend to announce themselves with their names. If a strain contains what makes weed purple, you will likely know it by the name. After that, though, the one thing you can control is the temperature. As we noted, what makes weed purple is that fall temperatures lead to assorted flavonoids overpowering chlorophyll. If you want to get that anthocyanin active, you want to mimic those fall temperatures. Remember, though, what makes weed purple is purely about the color. If you buy a purple weed strain and don’t get too much purple in the plant, it will not change the smoking experience. It’s purely aesthetic. With that in mind, here are some popular purple weed strains to consider.

  • Purple Haze
  • Grape Ape
  • Granddaddy Purple
  • Obama Kush
  • Sour Grape

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