What Makes Weed Purple? Is Purple Weed Better?


When it comes to the colour of your cannabis, misinformation runs rampant. “Purple Weed” seems to hold a symbolic and mythical value attached to it in the cannabis world. This sought after cannabis has been put on a pedestal.

You may ask why this is and is there any truth behind the legendary bud?

A purple cannabis bud blooming with colours. The fully developed trichomes are erecting from the structure. This is an example of purple weed.
A developed cannabis bud blooming with colours. The colour purple is very present in this plant. It gives off a mystical appereance.

My Personal Cannabis Experience

Growing up in the cannabis revolution, the majority of teenagers and young adults have experimented with weed. When trying to find the best bud, the colour purple was always the goal. Whichever kid or dealer had this legendary bud on them. They were the king. Due to this reason, we were always in search of this specific colour and were willing to pay premium prices to get our hands on it. We were the biggest beginners!

Looking back on it we had no idea what we were doing, LOL! These experiences made me keen on learning more about the scientific facts behind this phenomenon.  This blog will showcase the research we did at The Cannabis School and the conclusive answer we found when it comes to “purple weed”. Let’s dive into it!

A purple nugget of cannabis is beside the blunt.. The blunt wrap is filled with ground up cannabis.
Purple Weed being rolled into a blunt wrap. Original Photo was taken by The Cannabis School.

What Makes Weed Purple

Before we get into what exactly makes weed purple, it’s important to know that the colour of cannabis that people associate with purple can range anywhere from dark green to black. This is because of “Anthocyanin’s”. Anthocyanins are what make blueberry’s blue, and they are what make raspberry’s red. And consequently, anthocyanin’s are what make weed purple.

Anthocyanins are a group of around 400 water-soluble pigment molecules that due to their structure and biosynthesis are classed as flavonoids. The colour is dependent on pH levels. In higher pH levels they appear redder, in neutral conditions ( around 7 on the pH scale) it’s purple, and in lower pH levels blue. Cannabis contains anthocyanin’s in all parts of the plant: the stems, roots, leaves, and flowers. A cannabis plant will only start to turn purple in the last few weeks of flowering.

 In short, this just means that the colour of cannabis is completely dependent on how acidic that specific plant or strain is.

A variety of different size cannabis nuggets that are dark purple and green in colour site on top of a wooden dresser. This is an example of purple weed
A few purple nuggets of cannabis on top of a dresser. Original photo by The Cannabis School.

Can All Weed Turn Purple

Only cannabis strains with a predisposition to having a purple outer appearance can turn purple. Furthermore, even strains that have a predisposition to purpling are not guaranteed to turn purple. The chemicals and the growing conditions of the specific plant are also a major factor.

Depending on the grower and yield. They can harvest the weed at a later date. This extended harvest gives cannabis more time to turn into the desired colour.

In other words, it’s like “ripening” the Cannabis. By leaving it to develop even further, the pH levels inside the bud slowly become altered and become more neutral. By doing this it helps give the appearance of it being “purple weed”.

On the inside of a silver aluminum bag, there are a variety of different size purple nuggets of cannabis. They have dark purple coating them with a hint of green in the background.
Inside the aluminum bag is filled with a variety of different size purple nugs from the cannabis plant.

Is Purple Weed Better

This is one of or the most common myth in the cannabis world. When smoking with your friends or looking at weed online, the purple appearance draws people’s attention worldwide. Is it because it looks almost like some mystical substance? Or just looks visually appealing?

According to the European Food Safety Authority, there is no evidence to suggest that the colour of cannabis has any different effects whatsoever. Purple cannabis does have a higher concentration of anti-oxidants, although this would only be beneficial if you were to ingest the cannabis.

Green cannabis leaf grows from out of the stem of the plant. It has a dark green middle that gets lighter as it reaches the ends.
A Cannabis Leaf growing before its flowers have been developed.

Different Purple Weed Strains

There are thousands of purple strains out there. We put together a list of some of the most popular purple strains out there:

  • Granddaddy Purple
  • Purple Urkle
  • Sour Grape
  • Purple Haze
  • Black Diamond
  • Purple Diesel
  • Skywalker OG

For the majority of new strains, they are cross-bred in laboratories and cultivation farms to produce the most potent bud. The list above gives a good look at the original highly praised strains. The “thousands” of purple strains are largely derived from a breed of these main strains.

A vibrant green cannabis plant with the potential to turn into "purple weed" is almost ready to harvest. The clear-hair like trichomes extend from the middle of the flower.
A Cannabis Plant that is almost developed and ready to harvest. The trichomes are growing rapidly out of the flower (bud)

The Effects of Purple Weed

The effects of cannabis are based on cannabinoids. Purple Cannabis does not have higher levels of THC, CBD, or any cannabinoid for that matter. Furthermore, purple weed is not more common in either Indica or Sativa.

The effects produced by this colour of cannabis are nothing foreign. All the effects are relevant to the potency of the bud, not the colour.

The only difference when it comes to Purple Cannabis, Green Cannabis and any other coloured bud for that matter, is the colour. Purple Cannabis is seen as a novelty because it is considered “rare” and has visually appealing looks a.k.a its “pretty”.

In conclusion, the colour of your cannabis does not influence the high or effects. The PH levels are slightly more acidic in purple cannabis and that’s the only difference. Therefore, you can rest easy knowing that your weed is just as good, if not better!

If you enjoyed this article, make sure to check out some more at The Cannabis School!

Leave a Comment