Cannabis strains can come in a seemingly infinite array of colors, from the multitude of purple shades seen in Purple Berry Kush to the multicolor and appropriately named Rainbow Kush. These technicolor plants are a result of botanical science and the hard work of growers who provide the plant with the most ideal conditions to achieve the desired hue. Let’s discuss the details that actually go into making these beautiful plants burst with color.
Anthocyanins are compounds that allow for a wide range of color to come forth in plants and are responsible for colorful cannabis strains. Anthocyanins make up a group of roughly 400 different pigment molecules. They’re responsible for the reds, oranges, purples, and blues found in many plants, and cannabis is no different.
When the chlorophyll in plants slow in production as conditions grow colder, anthocyanins begin to alter the pigments seen in the plant. In cannabis, this can be controlled by the grower by maintaining specific temperatures at certain times in the grow cycle.
Acid and Alkaline
The pH that cannabis plants are grown under influence the colors that will develop in the flowers. As the temperature of the grow space drops, the colors come out to play. If the plant has been exposed to and grown in acidic conditions, the colors will be warm reds and oranges. If the conditions are alkaline, cool blue and purple tones will emerge.
Tricks Of The Light
A less reliable and tricky method for influencing the growth of colorful cannabis strains involves exposing it to specific colors and intensities of light. LED light can be used to incite the activity of anthocyanins at certain intensities, essentially triggering a light damage protection mechanism. This method is a bit difficult and can damage the cannabis plant if not done by experienced, knowledgeable growers.
There are a few additional ways to coax out the colors in cannabis plants. Most of these methods, however, can have less than spectacular results. If the cannabis plant is lacking nitrogen, it will take on yellow hues in both the flower buds and leaves.
If the plant lacks phosphorous, the green shades will deepen and darken and potentially produce hints of red. These colors, however, aren’t as deep as ones found in plants grown with a specific pH for specific color development.
The wide assortment of colors that cannabis plants can display is an additional aesthetic benefit to an already exceptional botanical wonder. The color of a cannabis plant has no known relation to the strength of or feeling gained from cannabis consumption.
Picking a colorful strain frequently raises the price merely for how pretty and colorful it is. So yes, there’s vanity even in gardening.