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What Do The Colors of Marijuana Mean?

Part of the magic of marijuana is the infinite variety of traits that can be exhibited by one species of plant. Cannabis plants can be tall and lanky or short and bushy depending on their genetic heritage. Marijuana can express myriad flavors to tempt the tastebuds and aromas to excite the nose. Cannabis leaves and flowers can also vary in hue, offering a full palette of marijuana colors to please the eye.

Colorful Marijuana

As young plants grow, most strains of cannabis are primarily green. Many shades of green are represented—from light lime-colored hues to greens so dark they are tinged with purple. As plants flower and begin to reach maturity, more colors can appear or become more pronounced in both leaves and buds. Several different factors can influence marijuana colors, including temperature, nutrient levels, the acidity or alkalinity of the soil or other growing medium, and the quality of the light. All of these variables can impact the expression and ratio of natural pigments produced by the plant, creating the different colors of marijuana.

The Colors Of Marijuana

Greens

Green is the predominant color of most flowering plants including cannabis because of the presence of chlorophyll, the pigment that absorbs sunlight (except the green wavelengths) to power the process of photosynthesis. Through photosynthesis, plants combine carbon dioxide and water to create sugars that fuel all biological functions. Often, plant tissues will have so much chlorophyll that its green color masks the presence of other pigments. But as summer turns to autumn, lower temperatures inhibit chlorophyll production, allowing the other pigments to emerge and produce colorful marijuana. A similar phenomenon can be observed in deciduous trees as their leaves change color and fall.

Cannabis strains that retain green as the dominant bud color include Green Crack, Green Haze, and Green Goblin.

Blues, Purples, Reds, and Pinks

Cannabis flowers that are purplish to shades of blue are generally high in a group of chemicals known as anthocyanins. More than 500 anthocyanins have been identified, with colors that can range from red to purple to blue depending on pH. Anthocyanins can produce colorful marijuana although they are generally not abundant in young plants but are produced as plants mature. They belong to the class of substances known as flavonoids and have antioxidant properties. Fruits and vegetables high in anthocyanins include blueberries, açaí, raspberries, blackberries, eggplant, and purple cabbage.

Purple strains of cannabis are very popular, including Granddaddy Purple, Purple Haze and Purple Urkle. Some strains such as Black Diesel and Vietnamese Black can be so high in anthocyanins that they are nearly ebony. Marijuana strains with blue-tinged buds include Blueberry, Blue Dream, and Blue Cheese. Red and pink varieties are relatively rare and include Red Poison, Red Dragon, Pink Panther, and others. Reddish leaves or buds can also be caused by a deficiency of phosphorous, an element vital to plant physiology.

Oranges and Yellows

Carotenoids are another group of pigments that can influence the colors of marijuana. They are created by plants, algae, and photosynthetic bacteria. Beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin are among the more than 750 carotenoids have been identified. Some carotenoids in the diet, including beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin can be converted by the body into Vitamin A. Carotenoids are important for eye health and provide protection against blue light and macular degeneration. Carotenoids produce the yellow, orange, and red hues that are found in many plants including carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and tomatoes. Plants grown in alkaline soils with a pH of 5.0 or less can have a greater abundance of carotenoids.

Many flavonoids are also yellow and can influence the colors of marijuana. Nitrogen deficiencies during growth can also cause cannabis leaves and buds to appear yellowish.

Strains with orange or yellow flowers include Orange Bud, Lemon Kush, Grapefruit, Nectarine, and Olive Oyl. Many varieties of cannabis will have orange or red pistils, or hairs as they are commonly known.

White

Buds that have been grown and harvested to their maximum potential can be so covered with trichomes that they appear white or frosty. Trichomes are packed with cannabinoids and terpenes so these flowers can be quite potent. White Widow and White Rhino are two strains with a propensity to become encrusted with trichomes.

Marijuana Colors And Potency

Colorful marijuana can be attractive or even visually stunning, but other than white buds glistening with shiny trichomes, hue is usually not a reliable indicator of potency. But if you are consuming your bud orally in tinctures, oils, edibles, or capsules, you may be getting the nutritional benefits of carotenoids, anthocyanins, and other flavonoids. Anthocyanins have shown some activity at CB1 and CB2 receptor sites and may have a synergistic, or entourage, effect in conjunction with cannabinoids and terpenes.

But even if they don’t get you higher, different marijuana colors can add aesthetic appeal and a sense of adventure to your next bud purchase. Which color of the rainbow will you choose next?

Cannabis isn't limited to shades of green.

9 Colorful Weed Strains To Brighten Your Day

The diversity of weed strains available today can make any pot connoisseur giddy. These flowers vary in flavors and potency, but the visual impact of colorful weed strains never fails to impress. Though often always shades of green, some flowers take on hues of red, others golden or amber. And still yet others can take on deeper and darker tones like purple or even black. Often many falsely believe that more potent strains generally tend to be colored weed strains. But it is actually anthocyanins, or water-soluble pigments, connected to the pH level in the soil that turn flowers colors. These same pigments make fruits like blueberries and raspberries their specific shades. So if you’re interested in tasting the rainbow of reefer, start here with this list of the nine most colorful weed strains.

Northern Lights

Resulting from combining Afghani and Thai strains, this strain boasts of crystal-colored leaves that seem to twinkle. The shimmery speckles line the flower and make this relaxing indica look like the cosmos. And rightfully, this strain resembling the starry sky leaves the one enjoying it pacified and ready for sleep. It offers a spicy, sweet flavor. And furthermore, it has been a crowd favorite at previous High Times Cannabis Cups. Of the colorful weed strains on this list, it may not be the brightest and boldest, but its glittery effect makes it sparkle just a little differently than the rest.

Black Russian

This sensual-looking marijuana plant is stringy with red and deep purple and lilac hairs lining it. Dark, but full of uplifting scents like tropical mango and lemon, this sultry indica makes you feel relaxed and sleepy. As such, it makes for a great sedative before bed or for relieving any pains and aches the body has presented. Yet, while it soothes the body and the mind to lull it into a restful state, this strain also produces a sense of euphoria. Made from mixing Black Domina and White Russian strains, its looks and its effects allure its fans, and they keep returning for more.

Panama-Sedena Red

Often, fans of flowers point out the bright hairs that dot a nug. Like the fire you set to this bud, its hairs are a vivid and bright red. And the bud is so peppered with these striking hairs, the bud looks almost entirely red, like a juicy strawberry. Unfortunately, this delicious sativa has a lengthy flowering period so it gives disappointingly low yields. Its rarity makes it so this energizing and happy strain is more and more a nostalgic high for those that think of this as one of the best colored weed strains.

Blueberry Cheesecake

Sometimes your sweet tooth translates to what you want to smoke. This flavorful bud not only offers those with the munchies a tasty hit of strong blueberry and cheese flavors, it also looks pretty. Not flashy like the other colorful weed strains on this list, Blueberry Cheesecake has softer hues of blue-violet and orange hairs intermingled with the lime green of the flower. Great for a daytime high, its high levels of THC help you stay focused on tasks at hand while still keeping the body relaxed. Even the most resistant to sweets will want something to satisfy the craving after enjoying this strain.

Pinkman Goo

Looking at colored weed strains, too often one feels drawn to the unique hair colors. But isn’t just about the hairs. This uplifting indica also has medicinal resin droplets (or goo) that look like sap tapped from a maple tree. This resin is 4% higher in THC than other, less gooey buds out there. Not be outdone by the most colorful weed strains, it isn’t just pretty because of its dewiness. It also has gorgeous purple-rimmed leaves and dense purple-tinted buds which mesmerize the eyes. Its earthy aroma only cinches its delectable and sensational appeal, making Pinkman Goo a bud to stick with.

Black Beauty

Seeking something darker? Sometimes the most colorful weed strains come in a shade of violet so dark, it looks almost black, like a concord grape. But despite its lack of brightness, this rare strain is a true treat. It has a pineapple and petrol aroma and a sweet taste. And because of its high THCV content, it gives its users help with PTSD, stimulating appetite, insulin production, and even regeneration of cells after an injury. But good luck locating this illusive beaut — she’s tough to find but worth a trip into the darkness.

Rainbow Kush

A list on colored weed strains would be incomplete without mentioning this brightly colored strain. Even its name declares its brightness and boldness, giving a full range of color to the bud. With notes of tropical, citrus, and berry flavors, this indica hybrid provides a creative, euphoric high. Made from crossing Dancehall and Blueberry strains, its flowers give a full spectrum of color that even those not enthusiastic about weed will stare at in awe. And though it can offer pain relief, it doesn’t overpower the body or give a heavy sensation. Nonetheless, this vivid strain uplifts whoever consumes it, not only for its vibrancy but for its feel- good vibes too.

Purple Urkle

This skunky indica tastes distinctly of grape and berry, and its colors back up those flavors. Like many of the most colorful weed strains, this flower has colors combining to form a beautiful product. Its orange and violet hairs combine with the deep emerald green most often associated with weed. Great for full body relaxation, this floral strain works well for insomnia. Furthermore, it can aid in relieving arthritic pain or any sort of mental distress. Finding your happy place in this high is easy— it’s potent and a definite beauty on which to feast your eyes.

Acapulco Gold

Thousands would rush westward if they knew this golden colored strain could be easily mined. This old school golden oldie has maintained over 20% potency without the help of modern science controlling it. Not only that, but this strain making the list of most colorful weed strains claims fame as a purebred sativa. This is an amazing feat considering hybrid-dominated genetics. To top off this 24K strain’s positive attributes, it promises a heady albeit productive high that still helps with body pains. Better than a gold ring, winning Acapulco Gold in a rose blunt would serve well as a thoughtful, colorful, and romantic gift for any weed lover.

The List of Most Colorful Weed Strains Keeps on Going

Luckily, this list of colored weed strains isn’t static. In fact, it continues to grow as more and more growers set to the task of harvesting plants that delight people in presentation and potency. A delightful science, the cultivation of the plant shows itself to be more and more of an art. And these unique colors of these plants— whether green orange, gold, red, purple, blue or black— are one of the mediums for their masterpieces.

In the world of weed, a wide array of colors abound.