Purple cannabis seems like a myth, doesn't it? Yet it still exists! It’s even sought for by a lot of people nowadays.
Leaves become purple due to a pigment called anthocyanin. Usually grown in neutral pH and fall temperatures, plants producing a purple color generally have a genetic predisposition. Anthocyanin pigment is a group from the family of flavonoids - a substance also present in wine and raspberries.
Read further to see our detailed analysis on Purple Cannabis and its growth method.
What Is Purple Cannabis?
Purple cannabis is a type of cannabis plant with purple leaves, branches, stems, and roots.
It’s usually either in parts or the majority of the plant. A lot of Kush cannabis strains like Bruce Banner have a purple color.
As mentioned above, the substance responsible for the purple color is the plant pigment anthocyanin, a member of the larger family of flavonoids.
Anthocyanin is a specific pigment that changes color depending on particular conditions such as the pH of the soil or temperature.
In acidic pH, the color appears red, in neutral conditions purple, and blue in alkaline medium.
As cannabis plants have a vascular system (xylem and phloem), the anthocyanin is transported throughout the plants, including leaves, the stem, flowers, and roots.
Therefore when in a neutral pH, the anthocyanin pigmentation changes color to purple, making the cannabis plant look purple.
Yet, pH is indeed not the only factor affecting the pigment.
Near the end of the flowering season, the plant may also take a purple color.
As there is a decrease in the amount of the green pigment chlorophyll from chlorophyll breakdown, it results in anthocyanin accumulation.
The color change attracts insects which increases the likeliness of pollination.
According to a study from the American Society of Plant Biologists, there is even the possibility of cannabis turning purple in the cold.
The study suggests that there can be a surge in anthocyanin in plants during cold temperatures.
How To Grow Purple Cannabis
The first step before growing purple cannabis is to select cannabis seeds from specific strains.
If the plant in the first place does not have a genetic trait to have anthocyanin, the possibility of getting purple cannabis can, unfortunately, be impossible.
Some of the popular strains with a genetic predisposition for the purple pigment are:
- Purple queen
- Blue mystic
- Tropicana cookies
- Purple kush
- Bruce Banner
- Grand Daddy Purple
Given that those plants already have the trait responsible for producing anthocyanin, we are almost guaranteed to obtain purple cannabis after the maturation of seedlings.
Some of those plants also have a tremendous advantage as they reach the flowering period rapidly.
Since the flowering period is reached faster, there is a sooner breakdown of chlorophyll and anthocyanin accumulation.
The cannabis plant, in the end, becomes purple quicker.
One striking example is the Purple queen, which flowers over 9 to 11 weeks.
The next step would be to wait for the flowering season.
During the flowering period, it is recommended to lower the temperatures at night as it promotes the breakdown of chlorophyll.
Ensuring a difference of about 59F between the temperature during the day and night will promote the maximum production of anthocyanin in cannabis plants, maximizing purple color.
Throughout the whole process, you should use a strong light intensity as it will help to bring out the color and ensure the healthy growth of the plant.
Regular vs. Purple Cannabis
Despite its glorious color, purple cannabis is not so different from our regular green-colored cannabis.
There are many pigments in plants, such as chlorophyll and anthocyanin, which were mentioned before.
Nevertheless, chlorophyll is the most abundant pigment in cannabis as it promotes photosynthesis while also giving them a green color.
The major difference between purple and green cannabis is the presence of anthocyanin.
For consumers, there is often the perception that purple cannabis is better or 'hits different', but there is no evidence that it will give anything different.
However, you may get better health benefits in purple cannabis plants due to anthocyanin.
According to a study published by MDPI in 2020, anthocyanin is an excellent antioxidant.
Soothing effects can be caused by high levels of these antioxidants in the body.
However, those benefits are mostly seen while ingesting.
There is also a study, according to the American Thoracic Society International Conference, that showed that inhaling anthocyanin can delay the decrease in function of the lungs.
How To Care For Your Purple Cannabis Plant
The best way to care for purple cannabis would be to grow them indoors.
Usually, cannabis buds are grown outdoors, but for purple cannabis, it’s a little more complicated.
Outside it’s more challenging to monitor factors such as temperature, pH, or even light intensity.
Therefore caring for your purple cannabis plant would be to grow them in a controlled environment and constantly monitor the soil’s pH to ensure it is almost always neutral.
All nutrients, soil quality, fertilizers as well as light intensity should also be monitored closely to ensure the healthy growth of the cannabis plants.
Maintaining a difference in temperature with a cooler temperature at night is crucial, even more, when the plant has grown and is coming near flowering season.
There is also the option of growing cannabis in a hydroponic environment as it facilitates rapid growth and a bigger yield.
Before the harvest, the cannabis plants should also be flushed by watering the plants for a week.
How To Store Purple Cannabis Nugs
Your purple buds should be placed in an airtight glass jar or tight-sealing plastic bag.
The storage process aims to reduce the amount of oxygen and preserve the aromatic lemony smell of terpenes.
You can then place the nugs in a cool and dry place to prevent any formation of mold.
It’s worth noting that buds are very sensitive to moist environments and can form molds if not looked after.
The container should also be placed in a dark environment as UV light can degrade important constituents such as cannabinoids, terpenes, and THC.
About the author: Joe Powers
After an incident in the military, in 2011, Joe Powers began investigating cannabis by talking with industry leaders. In 2016, Joe launched Hemp Writer with its first publication in clarifying disinformation on specific updates to certain federal CBD laws.
Upon calling out a leading cannabis law firm spreading dis-info, Hemp Writer established itself as an authority in clarifying updated information emerging from the cannabis industry. Joe continues charging forwards with increasing momentum to continue fulfilling his vision of SHARING ACCURATE CANNABIS INFORMATION.