When it comes to cannabis colors, purple retain its royal status. It’s a wildly exotic color in the world of cannabis, and those violet hues are widely desired. So where does that purple come from? We have a special kind of flavonoid to thank. Here’s the deal with anthocyanin and cannabis.
The word anthocyanin was coined in 1853 by German botanist Ludwig Marquart. He used the Greek words for flower and kyanos to come up with “blue flower,” which is applicable. These water-soluble flavonoids contain coloring pigments that lead to beautiful blues, purples, reds, even magentas, depending on pH levels. Even small amounts of anthocyanins can pay off with vibrant color. In cannabis, they’re directly linked to deep purple shades. When those colors appear, it’s a sign that something is happening. The plant’s pigment is changing for a reason, like better chances of pollinating or conserving energy. Unless a plant has a predisposition to going purple, it’s not something that can be induced. The color comes from a combination of genetics and chemical/environmental factors during the growth phase.
Just like terpenes, all plants produce anthocyanins, which is why leaves change color seasonally. Because pH plays such a critical role, anthocyanins can present in different colors depending on the environment. In a neutral environment, they appear purplish. In acidic environments, they veer to reddish tones. When pH levels are higher, anthocyanins begin to break apart and have no impact on color at all.
Purple cannabis varieties should be kept at room temperature, particularly after harvesting, to retain their beautiful color.
Purple = Potent?
That color is certainly impressive, but while purple strains may look more potent, that’s not necessarily the case. At this time, there’s no evidence to suggest that anthocyanins have a positive or negative effect on either the body or diseases. But we do know that generally speaking, purple cannabis tends to have a lower THC content. Essentially, it boils down to personal preferences. If you like the look of purple flower, enjoy it!
Looking for Purple Plants?
Kynd recently released Ninja Fruit, which is truly stunning in all that purple glory! Our Cadillac Purple is another good bet. Ask your budtender, and let us know what you think.