50 Shades of Cannabis
One of the most fun aspects about growing Cannabis at home is trying different strains. There are all sorts of colors out there - red, purple, black, pink, green. Each single one looks awesome and truly varies from one another during the blooming stage. In this article I will walk you through the most beautiful strains and discover what makes them look like this. Get ready to select the dopest-looking one for your next growing!
DO COLORS HAVE DIFFERENT EFFECTS?
It is important to point out that whilst dark black buds may give an impression that they can deliver a completely different level of high, in reality it is not the case. The potency of weed depends on the percentage of THC. However, the color does affect the flavor. In fact, some of the bright colorful strains have a smell totally different from the classic marijuana odor. That is what makes the attempts to grow something exotic totally worth it!
WHAT DOES COLOR DEPEND ON?
Thanks to breeders that have been doing their job great since 1970x, nowadays we have a whole plethora of strains to choose from. The ability to select from the broad color range adds another element of choice and luxury to the experience. While during the growing stage all Cannabis looks the same regardless of the strain, genetics fully “turns on” at the blooming stage, where colorful buds and leaves steal the show.
This beauty occurs due to anthocyanins - colorful chemicals that are responsible for tinges of red, purple, and blue throughout the plant kingdom, including blueberries, red cabbage, cranberries, cherries, aubergine, and purple potatoes.
Researchers have identified over 700 anthocyanins that plants create as secondary metabolites. They’re not directly involved in plant growth or development, but are instead utilized to attract beneficial insects and combat biotic (viruses, bacteria, fungi, and insects) and abiotic (UV rays and high temperatures) stressors.
These radiant phytochemicals are partly responsible for the many colors of weed, but they aren’t the only ones to affect it. pH also plays a big role. Anthocyanins display reddish-purple tones at a neutral pH of 7, red-pink shades in an acidic range of 1–6, and green tones at an alkaline pH of 8–14.
Let’s have a look at which colors and strains have the best genetics to give out outstanding visual appearance.
1) Green (chlorophyll)
The most common bud color that can’t really surprise anyone is green. However, some strains look so acidly-green, that they certainly won’t fail in attracting special attention. The depth and intensity of the green color depend on the amount of chlorophyll - an element that lies at the heart of the “photosynthesis” process, if you remember that one from biology classes.
Strains with acidly-green color: Euphoria, Triple G
2) Yellow (Carotenoids)
The striking shades of yellow are the result of the work of another phytochemical called Carotenoids. These molecules are a family of yellow, orange, and red organic pigments found in many plant species. They lend vibrant colors to carrots, papaya, squash, bell peppers, and more. Carotenoids fulfill a bunch of functions in plants, working as antioxidants, color attractants, the precursors to plant hormones; they even help out when it comes to photosynthesis.
Strains with bright yellow-orange tones: Bubble Kush, Golden Lemon
3) Red (anthocyanins and carotenoids)
Both anthocyanins and carotenoids serve up tones of red and pink. The carotenoid lutein absorbs blue light and appears orange–red at high concentrations. Anthocyanins also develop a red–pink shade when exposed to an acidic pH. Because cannabis plants thrive in a slightly acidic pH of 5.8–6.2, strains with higher quantities of these pigments are likely to develop red and pink hues in optimal conditions.
Strains with strong red tones: Black Russian, Red Poison
4) Purple (anthocyanins)
Personally my favorite weed color due to its “alien” appearance. Mature plant of purple color looks like something that doesn’t belong to the flora of the Earth. Purple cannabis has become extremely popular in recent years, and many consumers and growers prefer these colorful buds to standard green ones. On top of that, purple weed has a magnificent smell that reminds a mix of fruits with oak bark. Once again, anthocyanins underpin these brilliant shades, especially when exposed to a more neutral pH range.
Strains with strong purple tones: Purple Queen
5) Black (anthocyanins)
Plants that appear black are actually displaying very deep shades of purple. These strains possess high levels of anthocyanins, possibly due to a recessive gene that increases the conversion of glucose into these colorful pigments. With the right genetics, and when exposed to a more neutral pH, cannabis strains are capable of unleashing these astonishing, rich shades.
Dark black strains: LSD-25, Black Mamba