OCTOBER 21, 2022

Know Your Hue: A Guide to the Colors of Cannabis

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When you picture cannabis, generally one color jumps to mind: green. That stands to reason, because the majority of cannabis is green in its optimum state. However, you might be shocked to realize that it isn’t the only color you could find in your weed grow. You can find buds in vibrant orange and red colors, or you may stay with colder hues like purple, blue, and even black.

Aside from their color, these nugs aren’t really distinguishable from regular green ones. They do, however, suggest genetic traits that can influence flavor, strength, and other aspects of the cannabis experience.

There’s no disputing that smelling your bud makes your mouth water. But it’s the brilliant and one-of-a-kind hues that really take our breath away.

In general, 93% of customers focus their purchase decisions on color and aesthetic attractiveness. The same is true for cannabis users. But you might be wondering where those distinct bud colors originate from.

How does one decide which spectrum to use? Do we know how particular wavelengths modify our plants or alter the quality of their flowers? We know a lot, yet there’s still a great deal we don’t know. So far, here’s what we know.

Does Color Equate to Potency?

In general, the sole reason to select colored cannabis is because you enjoy the way it looks. Associating a hue with power is a mistake. The cannabinoid concentration of the strain is what makes purple cannabis stronger than red cannabis.

As a result, if you opt to pay more for the most colorful cannabis strain you can find, you are only doing it for the plant’s aesthetic characteristics. Weed with a high anthocyanin content may have a higher concentration of beneficial antioxidants. However, this belief is based mostly on a small number of research.

In this post we will examine the many colors of cannabis and where they originate from. Let’s take a journey across the rainbow bridge.


Cannabis, like most other plants, has chlorophyll, which catches sunlight to help plants develop through photosynthesis and coats them in a vivid green color. Given its importance in cannabis plant life, it’s no surprise that chlorophyll accounts for over 70% of the pigments found in cannabis plants.

Green Crack and Green Goblin are two cannabis strains that remain green as the predominate bud color. Green Crack is a fantastic daytime strain with a tangy, fruity flavor reminiscent of mango. It is believed to combat fatigue, tension, and despair.

Orange & Yellow

Carotenoids give cannabis its zesty yellow, gold, and orange colors. More alkaline conditions are necessary to get these hues. If these hues are prevalent in the plant, they will emerge spontaneously after the blooming phase concludes.

Some of the most well-known carotenoids in plants are beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which are found in over 750 forms. When some carotenoids (such as beta-carotene found in carrots) are consumed, they are transformed into vitamin A, which aids in human growth and eyesight.

While chlorophyll is normally present in sufficient concentrations to disguise the expression of carotenoids in cannabis plants, these vibrant red, orange, and yellow hues get their moment to shine at colder temperatures when chlorophyll begins to withdraw.

Orange strains, such as Agent Orange, Orange Crush, or Tangerine Dream, will mostly influence the hairs and buds. These strains are recognized for their fresh-cut citrus scents and are good mood lifters.

Blue & Purple

Anthocyanins are the key reason that some strains can take on a purple or blue tint. As anthocyanins accumulate in higher quantities within the plant, the pigmentation of your nugs will change toward darker tones of those colors.

Lowering the temperature can help you get your ideal shade by activating the antifreeze characteristics of those substances. Having said that, you’ll still need an anthocyanin buildup from the start to achieve it. You would also need to obtain a more neutral pH.

Certain strains are so rich in anthocyanins that you don’t even need to lower the temperature to detect a difference. At the conclusion of its life, the plant begins to deplete chlorophyll.

Purple cannabis may be found in more neutral pH settings. Blues also have a higher pH than other cannabis strains.

Purple cannabis strains, such as Granddaddy Purple, Purple Haze, and Purple Urkle, are quite popular. Other strains, like as Black Diesel and Vietnamese Black, can be practically ebony in anthocyanin content. Blueberry, Blue Dream, and Blue Cheese are cannabis strains with blue-tinged buds.


So, although purple and blue seem doable, what about black cannabis? A plant becoming black simply indicates that it contains a high concentration of anthocyanins and is reacting to environmental changes.

To begin, as temperatures drop, these chemicals are active, and they must help keep the water in cannabis from freezing. The pH of your plant’s soil is the second component of the jigsaw.

Cannabis prefers a slightly acidic medium. If you tilt it in a more acidic direction, anthocyanins will turn the plant a vivid crimson. If you keep it at the neutral end, you’ll get deeper and darker hues. More specifically, you’ll want your plants to be between 5.8 and 6.8.

These genetics may be traced back to Vietnamese landraces such as Vietnamese Black. All other hybrid strains, such as Black Willy and Black Tuna, have the same black buds and leaves.

Furthermore, black strains are known for producing powerful, semi-psychedelic, and intellectual highs. If you’re looking for aesthetics, this lineage is a definite bet.

Pink & Red

Along with carotenoids, the presence of anthocyanins may cause red and/or pink colours to emerge on your cannabis. For those who are unfamiliar, flavonoids are phytochemicals that are especially responsible for giving plants their colors.

Anthocyanins, in conjunction with carotenoids, produce specific colors, the most prevalent of which are red and pink. However, depending on the pH level and other circumstances, they can generate a range of distinct colors. Indeed, anthocyanins are responsible for many of the most popular weed colors.

Reddish leaves or buds can also be caused by a phosphorus shortage, which is essential for plant physiology.

Some strains with prominent red tones, like as Pink Flower Shaman, may necessitate a thorough search for a truly ruby herb.

Predator Pink has various genotypes with pink and fuchsia colors. However, don’t run out and buy every strain with the words red or pink in the name. This usually refers to hair or taste accents, such as Pink Lemonade or Grapefruit.


Many white strains get their colors and names from a heavy covering of powder-like white trichomes, the resin glands that give cannabis its strength. As a result, strains like White Rhino and White Widow are expected to be potent.

It is critical to confirm that the white on your bud comes from trichomes and not from other sources. Mold can appear as white or grey lumps on your buds, and spider mite webs can make buds seem white as well. Before purchasing, always examine your bud for mold or bugs.

The Many Colors of Cannabis

More colors may arise or become more apparent in both leaves and buds as plants blossom and mature. Temperature, nutritional levels, the acidity or alkalinity of the soil or other growth medium, and the quality of the light are all elements that might impact cannabis color. All of these factors can influence the expression and ratio of natural pigments generated by the plant, resulting in the various hues of cannabis.

Some cannabis varieties change color as they mature. Why? Genetics. Anthocyanins are a family of flavonoids composed of around 400 water-soluble color molecules. They can appear red, purple, blue, yellow, brown or even black depending on these strains and their pH levels.

Low phosphorus levels can generate reddish weeds, whereas low nitrogen levels can induce yellowing of the plant’s leaves. It’s crucial to remember that these are not approved techniques of modifying cannabis colors and can be symptoms of nutritional deficit in your plants. The hairlike female reproductive organs of cannabis plants, known as pistils, are also responsible for some of the brilliant colors in many strains.

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