Cannabis Colours
2 min

The Different Colours Of Cannabis And What They All Mean

2 min
Growing Seedshop

As it turns out, several factors influence the beautiful colours of cannabis. How it's grown and the environment in which it flourishes can both determine the colour profile of the plant.

As you've probably noticed, cannabis comes in an abundance of colours. From gorgeous bright green to deep purple, there are just as many colours of weed as there are in a rainbow. But have you ever wondered why marijuana comes in different hues? If so, then you've come to the right place. Not only will you learn why and when the colours change from this article, but also what they all mean.


First thing’s first, why does weed come in so many colours anyway? As it turns out, several factors influence the beautiful colours of cannabis. How it's grown and the environment in which it flourishes can both determine the colour profile of the plant. And believe it or not, nutrient deficiencies can make the herb change colour as well. But by far the biggest secret to weed’s lovely and vast selection of colours is genetics, which will be covered later in this article.


Drop In Temperature

During the fall season, the temperature begins to drop, causing the colours of the leaves to change all around you. Cannabis works similarly. Weed doesn't start to produce its colour until the later half of the flowering stage. In cooler temperatures, chlorophyll production is inhibited.

With the drop in temperature and shortening of the light cycle, other colours will begin to appear, imitating the change in season. During flowering, you can either enhance or reduce certain anthocyanins, bringing out distinct colours.


Different Cannabis Colours

One of the most common misconceptions about the colours of cannabis is that they relate to the potency of a strain. But the colours have nothing to do with how strong your weed will be. So, if the colours don't determine the power of your pot, then what do they mean?

A phytochemical (a biological compound found in plants) known as anthocyanin, a water-soluble flavonoid, shows up in different hues depending on pH levels. They can fall on a spectrum of blue, purple and even red on occasion. Anthocyanins are commonly found in fruits and vegetables, such as pomegranates, plums, eggplants and blueberries.

Purple may also be produced in strains by encouraging chlorophyll deficiencies with temperature and other approaches.


Genes Are Connected To Specific Colour Ranges

The resulting colour of your plant largely depends on a strain's genetics. The growth process of each strain prompts genes that are connected to specific colour ranges. In other words, each colour you see has a phytochemical of its own.

For example, anthocyanin produces purple/blue. Then you have anthoxanthin, which creates white/cream. Next, carotenoids make yellow/orange. One you all know well is chlorophyll, a green pigment that's present in every green plant. And finally, lycopene, which is responsible for producing red.

Once the plants know that harvest is approaching, nature causes them to change, allowing the cannabis flowers to mature into specific colours until they are plucked. Simultaneously, each phytochemical starts to bloom, revealing the diverse colours that each strain has to offer.

Phytochemicals affect the taste, colour and smell of fruits, veggies, and of course, weed. Some scientists believe that there is a connection between phytochemicals, their antioxidants and the health benefits provided by eating cabbage, red onions and raspberries. The same goes for the phytochemicals that trigger colour changes in cannabis. But like most things with weed, more research is needed to determine what is true and what is not.



What else makes the vibrant, flourishing cannabis plant change from gorgeous emerald green to other colours? Often times, the leaves and stems may be lacking nutrients.

When there is a lack of nitrogen present in the plant, the leaves will turn yellow, indicating reduced chlorophyll production. For those that are short on phosphorus, the leaves will appear to be small, dark and green with violet veins. And when the plant is low on potassium, the leaves first turn yellow, then change to brown and eventually fall off. Other deficiencies that cause a variety of colours include magnesium, calcium and zinc, which often result from environmental problems and issues with genetics.


Written by: Brittney
A firm believer that cannabis can be a benefit to society, Brittney has enjoyed its subtleties for a long time. This love is reflected in her writing, which aims to inform, educate, and bring people together over a love of cannabis.

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