Among the many cultivars, strains, and phenotypes of cannabis available to consumers today, none captivate more than purple cannabis strains.
Cannabis comes in all shapes, sizes, scents, and flavours, but only a few choice strains feature a striking purple colouration. While the colour of cannabis won’t largely affect the flavour, feel, or the smoking experience, it does have implications on the quality and care that a strain has undergone.
Purps and You
Often referred to as ‘purps,’ these purple buds are popular for a reason. Around the world, strains featuring a deep, purple colouration have attained an almost cult-like appreciation for their quality and visual aestheticism.
Part of this is grounded in the fact that purple cannabis strains simply stand out amongst a literal forest of green varietals. For the most part, cannabis buds range from either a light, blushed green colouration to a deep, dark, forested look. Purple strains are an obvious outlier and help these varieties stand out amongst the rest, explaining their universal recognition.
Their colour is also often a testament to their elevated quality, with many explicitly seeking out purple streaks in their buds as a marker of grade and status.
As it turns out, they aren’t too far from the mark.
What Makes Cannabis Purple?
It’s a fun idea to think that purple cannabis delivers a unique, exceptional quality that can’t be found anywhere else. Still, the colour actually has nothing to do with the cannabinoids, terpenes, or other compounds found within the cannabis bud itself.
The purple colouration found from purple cannabis buds is actually produced from molecules known as anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are a group of flavonoids responsible for the blue-violet and red-orange coloration present in many plant-organs. They’re commonly produced by plants to provide protection from light damage and UV radiation.
Aside from the unique colour they provide for plants, anthocyanins have also been found to suppress inflammation and act as an analgesic.
These benefits are huge and explain why they’re so sought after, but they’re indicative of something greater.
Cultivating cannabis takes an immense amount of input. Cultivating quality cannabis requires even more. When it comes to anthocyanin production, the purple colouration has less to do with the strain and more to do with the growing condition themselves.
What this means is that just because a cultivar can become purple doesn’t mean that it will.
Lighting, soil acidity, temperature, and a host of other microclimate conditions need to be controlled in order to bring out each strain’s purple potential. Nutrient control, intimate management, and optimal growing conditions are required to coax the purple out from each colour-capable strain.
What does this mean?
Out of the few cannabis varieties that can turn people, intense care and effort must be taken to make the buds purple.
Is Purple Cannabis Better?
It’s hard to say whether or not one cultivar is better than another. With so many options, terpene profiles, and varieties available, pinpointing one variety as superior to another would be a disservice to other strains.
That said, of the strains that can turn purple, the unique colouration indicates superior care and cultivation practices undertaken by the cultivator.
Banana Punch, one of our cultivars, is one such variety. While the bud’s surface is mostly forest green, dark purple marbling is visible just beneath the surface. Banana Punch offers a Sativa-dominant blend of pungent diesel and sweet skunk with a forestry-pine finish.
The next time you see a streak of purple in your bud, take a moment to appreciate its beauty and the care and attention it took to coax this beautiful indicator of quality out of your cannabis.
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