Purple cannabis has always been the stuff of legends on a global basis. From Purple OG to Grandaddy Purple to Purple Haze and so on, purple pot is no less than the holy grail in the eyes of legal growers and cannabis users alike. Which is precisely why so many go to extreme lengths to get hold of the stuff, or produce their own if legally entitled to do so.
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By what’s interesting is how despite the fact that purple cannabis is so incredibly revered, most people know very little about it. At least, when it comes to why it is that some cannabis develops purple hues and what this means in terms of quality. What’s more, there are also countless myths regarding how these purple hues are achieved – none of which have any real science behind them.
Purple Weed Myths
For example, cannabis cultivators are routinely told that they can ‘force’ certain cannabis plants into producing purple flowers by way of the following:
- Oxygen deprivation
- Carbon dioxide deprivation
- Excessive amounts of nitrogen
- Playing with lighting cycles
- Using a different growing medium
- Varying water quantities
Unfortunately, none of these hold any real truth. The reason being that by providing cannabis plants with too much of something or too little of something else, you’re simply going to have a detrimental effect on its health and ability to produce. While it’s perfectly possible to cultivate purple weed of the highest quality, attempting to do so in accordance with these longstanding untruths simply isn’t the way to go.
The Science of Purple Pot
Instead, it pays to go with a more scientific approach. Or to put it another way, focusing on a strain that has purple hues in its very genetics, rather than attempting to work miracles with a non-purple strain.
As for what it is that gives certain strains of cannabis their purple colours, it all comes down to a series of plant pigments known as Flavonoids. Contrary to popular belief, Flavonoids don’t actually have any impact on the flavour of any cannabis strain, though instead combine with other chemicals within the plants to deliver their distinctive colours.
The specific pigment responsible for delivering those quintessential purple (or sometimes blue or red) hues is known as Anthocyanin. Where present, it’s the pH level that determines exactly which colour Anthocyanin produces. Where pH levels are predominantly on the alkaline side, plants produce blue hues. A more acidic pH leads to red colours, while a neutral pH leads to purple hues. And as is the case with all plants across the board, these beautiful colours are not simply there for the sake of it. Instead, they exist to attract the kinds of pollinators the plants rely on for aiding reproduction. Hence it being no coincidence that many species of cannabis look quite beautiful to say the least!
The Benefits of Purple Weed
But what’s the story with purple cannabis in terms of its unique benefits and properties? Do strains like Purple OG and Grandaddy Purple bring anything to the table that’s exclusive to cannabis with purple hues?
The answer – no. At least, not necessarily, as purple cannabis in general isn’t particularly different than predominantly green cannabis, or the kind of cannabis that produces any number of weird and wonderful colours. Just as is the case with cannabis in general, it all comes down to the levels of THC and CBD in the strain, along with its concentration of active terpenes. In the vast majority of instances, those who claim purple cannabis inherently has an entirely different effect when consumed are likely allowing their perceptions to be influenced by speculation alone.
On a scientific level, purple hues have no specific impact whatsoever on the high you can expect. Get a good batch of purple weed and you’re laughing, pick up a low-grade batch and all the colours in the world aren’t going to make it any better.
That said, research has shown that anthocyanin serves as a powerful antioxidant and could therefore be considered beneficial in the treatment of various conditions. Nevertheless, the anthocyanin that’s present in cannabis typically isn’t concentrated or generous enough to be pinpointed as a positive medical component in its own right.
Growing Purple Cannabis
If looking to cultivate purple cannabis legally for recreational or medicinal purposes, there are two important things to do to accentuate those purple tones. The first of which being to ensure that you pick up the very best seeds in the first place and select an appropriate strain. The simple fact of the matter being that if you don’t pick up a quality purple strain, you won be producing any purple hues. It’s a little like growing oranges and attempting to turn them blue by modifying the growing conditions – it just isn’t going to happen. Instead, go for a tried and trusted strain like Grandaddy Purple, Sour Grape, Purple Haze or Purple OG – all of which are renowned for producing beautiful plants.
In addition, cannabis plants that grow in the wild begin producing their gorgeous purple and blue colours in the autumn, when temperatures begin to fall. As such, the best thing you can do to encourage the production of these colours is to replicate outdoor autumnal conditions at the right time as accurately as possible. Ideally, you should be looking at a night-time temperature no higher than 50° F during the flowering stage. Get it right and this will kick the Anthocyanin into overdrive, ensuring that any purples produced are as vivid as possible.