Anthocyanins are known to be powerful antioxidants and are also thought to possess analgesic, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. Recent research has demonstrated that certain anthocyanins have some selective affinity for the cannabinoid receptors, with some types binding to the CB1 and others to the CB2 receptors.
In this case the pigments responsible are carotenoids, a group of around 600 molecules that range in appearance from pale yellow to deep orange-red. As carotenoids are produced throughout the life cycle of the plant, their appearance in the final stages of flowering is a result of chlorophyll production ceasing rather than enhanced production of the pigments.
The above-mentioned study showed that in blood oranges, activation of the retrotransposon triggers expression of the otherwise inactive Ruby gene, and anthocyanin production kicks in. While studies into cold-dependent anthocyanin production in cannabis have not been conducted, it is likely that a similar mechanism is in play.
Anthocyanins are not produced throughout the lifetime of the plant, and it is only during the last few weeks of flowering that they begin to alter its appearance. The absence of chlorophyll in the final stages allows the pigments to show through even more distinctly.
While there are strains that are specifically bred to be purple, it is important to keep in mind that the purpling of the plant is a direct result of not only choosing the right strain but also in how the plant is cared for. It is a matter of nature and nurture. Strains have “tendencies” (they tend to be high in anthocyanins), but growing conditions can help to bring out the brightest colours.
Due to the ability of retrotransposons to become inserted into essential genes and thereby cause mutations and potential non-viability, plants have evolved complex mechanisms to ensure that retrotransposons and similar genetic elements remain inactive. However, these mechanisms may be disrupted in times of stress, such as when exposed to periods of cold.
For many years, the only purple varieties of cannabis were those that had been grown outdoors and subjected to cold conditions. Many strains of cannabis purple to some extent when exposed to cold; now, selective breeding programs have yielded cannabis genetics that are purple even in normal environmental conditions.
Consumption of blood oranges too has been variously associated with improved cardiovascular health, and there are indications that they may assist in preventing obesity even in individuals fed a high-fat diet.
Anthocyanins are a group of around 400 water-soluble pigment molecules that, due to their structure and biosynthesis, are classed as flavonoids. They appear red, purple or blue according to their pH (in acidic pH levels they appear more red, in neutral conditions purple, and in alkaline more blue).
Many strains of cannabis purple to some extent when exposed to cold. Now, selective breeding programs have yielded cannabis genetics that are purple.
You may have gotten high on purp weed without even noticing it. Indeed, there’s nothing in purple weed that makes it any more unique than any other strain when it comes to effects. In general, there’s nothing that makes it better or worse than any other type – it’s just different. Also, the idea that purple weed is stronger than green weed is just a myth.
But don’t take the lack of proven benefits as a reason to discount purple bud or to see its color as irrelevant. The aesthetic look of the bud – its trimming, how tight or fluffy it is and its color – are all the result of choices made by the grower. Presentation matters, similarly to why you often pay more at a high-end restaurant. So next time you come across a sticky, purple bud, take some extra time to appreciate all the complex shades you can see in the bud. Even if you’re not smoking a purple strain, be sure to check for other colors, as it’s one of the many things that make every cannabis strain unique.
The wider availability of purple cannabis is an example of how genetics can be traced back to some key strains that later get bred into new varieties. One of the first purple strains to hit the market with a splash was Grandaddy Purple, which started showing up in the California medical market in the early 2000s. According to some, it owes some of its genetic lineage to Purple Urkle – another purple-colored strain that is thought to be a genetic variant of Mendocino Purp. Always take lineage history with a grain of salt, however; much of this was originally based on word-of-mouth and strain names are notoriously poor indicators of weed’s actual lineage.
If you’ve ever been into a dispensary you might have seen some of these strain names and noticed that the cannabis community has a fascination with the color purple. Purple strains, which are sometimes grouped together and called “Purps” are a relatively new genetic trend and a product of selective breeding that has resulted in purple marijuana being more common. There are all sorts of myths abound about royally-colored purple weed and while many of us are aware of them, most have wondered at one point or another: why is some weed purple?
Since anthocyanin has a stronger impact in the fall or in cold temperatures when chlorophyll “the chemical that makes plants green” is produced in lower amounts. Some growers, hoping to bring out the purple hues, might lower the temperature while the plant is growing to bring it out more prominently. (However, this can decrease yield and THC concentration, so it’s not something that growers do very often.)
That said, purple strains could tell you some things about the cannabis’ genetic lineage. Because purple tends to appear in strains grown in cooler temperature, weed that’s purple tends to have some genetics that trace back to shorter, bushier indica plants that originally grew in the cooler Asian climates. Purple Kush, for instance, is a classic indica strain that demonstrates this principle.
Flavanoids also play an important role in the way cannabis effects the user, though the precise mechanism by which it does so isn’t always clear. The term ‘entourage effect,’ coined in 1998 by two British researchers, refers to the way that the key compounds in cannabis (like THC and CBD) function in concert with all of the other chemicals in the plant. The effects produced by a strain are the result of the delicate and complex interplay of all of these chemicals.
When it comes to the purps, how the bud is grown matters too. Purple weed plants don’t necessarily always exhibit deep purple colors. Anthocyanin can also cause cannabis strains to have colors like deep red, rust-colored or blueberry blue. It all depends on how it’s grown.
One of those flavanoids is called anthocyanin, which often is responsible for making some cannabis flowers take on a vibrant purple color. Anthocyanin is also present in a lot of plants and is one of the chemicals that make leaves change color in the fall. Strains with a deep purple color are generally high in anthocyanin and many growers have been known to bring it out in strains with purple in the name.
Grandaddy Purple. Purple Kush. Purple Haze. If you’ve ever been into a dispensary you might have seen some of these strain names and noticed that the cannabis community has a fascination with the color purple. Purple strains, which are sometimes grouped together and called