Beautiful weed buds
For cannabis connoisseurs, the intoxicating effects of THC are only one aspect of the overall marijuana experience. Past the high, there’s the scent, the taste, the bud structure, and of course, the colors.
From vibrant green buds and strains that are undeniably “purp,” to flower varietals with bright red and orange hairs, cannabis cultivars can embody a whole medley of hues and pigments. So what gives weed its diverse array of visual tones, and what strains should you seek out when hoping for that perfect purple nug? We’ve got you covered.
How Does Weed Get Its Color?
Like most plants in nature, cannabis is packed full of chlorophyll, or a chemical compound that uses the sun to generate energy for plants. And so the same thing that makes your grassy lawn sparkle is also what turns your Sour Diesel green.
But what about strains that end up with purple, red, pink, or even black hues? For those, we need to dive even deeper into plant science. The colorful culprits are anthocyanins, a class of water-soluble pigments that provide the range of blues, reds, and purples to fruits and vegetables like berries, cabbage, and eggplants. In cannabis, different strains are more apt to produce anthocyanins than others, but it also depends on the plant’s environment and nutrients.
When cannabis plants reach the latter part of the flowering stage, they need less help from the sun. Subsequently, they slow down on chlorophyll production, and ramp up on anthocyanins as the temperature starts to drop. For cannabis cultivators, this means that typically purple, red, and pink strains will only start to show their true colors during harvest season, and even still might end up as green buds, depending on individual grow temperatures and trim jobs.
What Role Does Temperature Play in Cannabis Color?
Take a second to think of your favorite fall foliage. You probably conjured up an image of majestic trees with hundreds of golden, red, and orange leaves shaking in the wind, yeah? Well in the same way that maple and oak trees transition with the temperature drops of seasonal change, cannabis also produces more anthocyanins in the colder months.
For outdoor pot growers, that means that no matter the strain, the final color of your buds will rely at least somewhat on the weather conditions towards the end of growing season. For indoor cannabis cultivators, it could mean lowering temperatures in grow rooms during flowering in hopes of adding an extra spike of bright color.
What Do pH Levels Have to Do With Cannabis Colors?
In addition to genetics and temperature, at least some research indicates that cannabis color could also be influenced by the plant’s acidity levels. In recent studies of non-cannabis plants and vegetables reported by Leafly, scientists found that fauna with higher acidity levels often give off red and pink vibes, neutral plants give off more purples, high pH brings out blues, and alkaline-packed plants tend to turn out yellow.
What Strains Are the Most Colorful?
So, with all of that information about how cannabis gets its color, what strains should you look out for if you want to smoke the rainbow? Well, as we’ve shown, no strain is guaranteed to produce any one color in its buds, but here are a few of our favorite flower varietals with genetic dispositions prone to vibrant hues.
Grandaddy Purple — or GDP for short — has been a staple in California’s indica-heavy diet since the start of the new millenium. A cross between Purple Urkle and Big Bud, GDP is one of the weed world’s most notorious purp strains, with a heavy dose of berry flavor to match its typically dark purple coloring.
First introduced by cultivator Ken Estes in the San Francisco Bay Area, Grandaddy Purple has become the poster child for purple strains around the globe, with more name drops in rap songs than we can count.
Like most cannabis strains with a pop of color, Pink Panties has its expected hues right there in the name. A cross of multiple OG Kush varieties, and first released by Mr. Sherbinski, don’t let the close-to-vulgar name turn you off to this citrusy strain with light purple coloring that often borders on magenta.
And while Pink Panties will have a heavy couch-locked indica effect on its own, the strain has also been used to cross some of the most popular pot of the past few years — namely Sherbinski’s most famous strain, Sunset Sherbet, which gets its colorful name and looks from mixing GSC and Pink Panties.
A pure purple strain that can be traced back to both Canada and California in the pre-millenium cannabis era, The Black gets its heavy metal name from its dark coloring, with buds so densely purple that they’re often mistaken for black.
Of course, every batch of flower will come with its own unique scents, potency, and color. But if you’re looking for a purple strain to impress your smoking buddies nearly every time, pick up an eighth of The Black when you see it at your local dispensary.
Outside of colorful dense bud structures, weed also takes on bright appearances and names from its hairs, aka stigmas. For the sativa Orange Crush, vibrant orange hairs cover the bud so thoroughly that it will often block the naked eye from seeing the green beneath.
A new strain on the block, 4G is a genetic super-cross among some of the cannabis industry’s favorite heavy hitters. A threeway mix of GSC, Gelato, and GG#4 (hence the 4G name), this potent indica hybrid is new, exclusive, and downright gorgeous — with a mix of bright green and deep purple coloring to match its fragrant perfume scent.
Originally bred by Purple Caper Seeds, 4G is hard to find. But if you can get your hands on it, you’ll want to consider framing the bud instead of smoking it — this flower is pretty much picture perfect.
As always, if you can’t find these specific strains at your local dispensary, you can always ask your budtender for their favorite purple, pink, or orange strains. After all, like everything in nature, each individual cannabis flower contains its own multitudes of interwoven colors.
What flower strains should you look out for if you want to smoke the rainbow? And why does certain weed look dark purple, while other varietals are bright orange or pink?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.