Since the legalization of medical marijuana in several states, patients have been using a medical cannabis card to avail of high-quality products from state-licensed dispensaries. As of now, there are more than 3.7 million medical marijuana patients in the United States. Whether you admit it or not cannabis is acknowledged and recognized nationwide. With the pandemic forcing people to stay within the confines of the home, the role of cannabis has become more important than ever. More and more people are stocking up on cannabis and some major US states have seen a significant increase in sales in the past few months.
Despite the increase in sales and people binge buying cannabis, there’s a stigma that circles the marijuana industry. All thanks to the illegal status of cannabis on the federal level. The existing research organizations cannot study the cannabinoids in detail. However, there are a few studies that look into various aspects of the cannabis plant. For instance, terpenes are responsible for the taste and smell of the plant. Whereas, other components of the plant help provide color. Perhaps why people are drawn to the beautiful colors of the cannabis buds whilst standing in a medical marijuana dispensary.
We no longer think that cannabis has only one color – green. Since the evolution of the cannabis industry, it has engineered several cannabis flowers. From purple-colored to pink, blue, orange, and red. In the modern era, cannabis cultivators have noticed that both patients and recreational users are drawn to the various colors of the plant, but have you ever wondered what is the reason behind different colors of cannabis flowers? Read on to find out.
The Story Behind Cannabis Colors
Have you ever heard about the term phytochemicals? If no, you are just about to learn the secret behind what gives cannabis its color. Phytochemicals are components found in the cannabis plant and they are responsible for producing the color. Some people believe that cannabis flowers with various colors are more potent than the ones with no or very few hues. As a matter of fact, this is a myth. The potency of a strain is measured by looking at a variety of factors. Largely, by the way, a particular strain of marijuana plant is bred.
In reality, the flowers look quite attractive when they shelf the top counters of state-licensed dispensaries. But, don’t ever think that a color dictates the true strength or potency of a cannabis plant. That said, let us take a look at the other component that provides color to the cannabis plant. This key element is termed as the humble pistil. Every female plant contains millions of tiny hair that cover the flower and these hair catch the pollen while blooming out of the vegetative stage. They remain white at the onset but change color after the flowering stage. This is exactly where the role of pistils comes in. Pistils help change the color of the plant.
Although, you have to take note of one important thing. The color of the strain depends on the strain used for the purpose of breeding. They can help change the color to red, blue, or orange without having it altered before the harvest period. Now, let us take a look at the phytochemicals the cannabis plant produces.
Anthocyanins (Red, Purple, Blue, Orange)
I am sure you have heard a lot about anthocyanins. They are pigment molecules found in fruits, flowers, and vegetables. Similarly, the cannabis plant also has a wide range of anthocyanins. They help produce purple and blue pigment when the plant is exposed to enough pH value. Not only this but in the case of cannabis plants, you will notice a slight red pigment. Also, meaning that anthocyanins can change the color of the flower from red to orange and purple.
If you are breeding a strain, you can increase the production of anthocyanins by simply changing the spectrum of LED lights. You see, these molecules protect the plant from the sun’s light. A slight increase in the frequency of light will cause the plant to overdo a specific color.
Ideally, strains such as Red Dragon, Blue Dream, Granddaddy Purple, and Purple Haze fit this category.
Chlorophyll represents 70% of the pigments present in the plants. It is the obvious reason why most cannabis flowers appear green. I am sure most of you might have studied about plants containing chlorophyll in school. They help absorb sunlight to perform the process of photosynthesis. It is one of the crucial pigments of a plant and they turn organic matter from inorganic by using the power of light. As chlorophyll is quite predominant, most plants have a green hue. Cannabis strains like Green Goblin, Green Crack, and Green Haze are famous strong green-colored strains.
Carotenoids (Yellow, Red, Orange)
Carotenoids are pigments present in both plants and living organisms. This means that you have carotenoid present inside your body. They help with the production of vitamin A and play a crucial role in regulating certain vitamins inside our bodies. Similarly, plants synthesize carotenoids but the same is masked by the dominant nature of chlorophyll.
If you wish to see the work of carotenoids, you should look at the plants and trees during the Autumn season. During this season, carotenoids showcase stunning hues of yellow, orange, and red as chlorophyll stops masking other pigments. To name one, lycopene is one of the well-known carotenoids responsible for red hues. You can see the same pigment in strains such as Orange Bud, Nectarine, Lemon Kush, and GrapeFruit.
Flavonoids (White and Cream)
Flavonoids are responsible for causing various colors in the flowers and plants. If you notice a flower with two or three colors. That’s because this species has a wide range of flavonoids present inside them. You see, each pigment mentioned above plays a crucial role but pigments containing flavonoids.
To name one – anthoxanthins can protect the plant from harmful UV rays. Not only this but these water-soluble pigments are one of the most prominent pigments. The flowers with pigments like yellow, white, and cream fall under this category. You may also notice cannabis plants have trichomes with white-colored hue and frosty appearance. Well, that’s because of the flavonoids. To get a closer look at white-colored flowers, go get White Rhino and White Widow from a nearby dispensary. You will know exactly how flavonoids work.
While cannabis plants have different colors, there’s one thing for sure, in the modern era, people are more attracted to colors. The curiosity draws them towards plants with color and attractive trichomes. However, as I said before confusing the colors with the quality of the bud is a huge mistake. So far, you have learned a lot about colors and how cannabis plants get them. What’s more important – do not choose cannabis strain by the look of the buds. A green bud and a purple bud have similar potency and you can get a medical cannabis card to get these strains. The reason why some colored strains are stronger is due to the cannabinoid. You definitely cannot take the color into account. So, when you decide to pay extra for a colorful strain, you do it because it has a different aesthetic property.