Purple weed has always been the stuff of legends on a global basis.
From Purple OG to Granddaddy Purple and the wildly famous Purple Haze strain, delivered to superstar status by the legendary Jimi Hendrix, purple pot is no less than the holy grail in the eyes of legal growers and cannabis users alike. Which is precisely why so many go to extreme lengths to get hold of the stuff, or produce their own if legally entitled to do so.
As with all legends, there is a haze of ambiguity shrouding the truth of these purple strains from the public eye. Rumours and heresay which weave marvellous myths and lure eager enthusiasts to these colourful treats.
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Purple Weed Strains
What's interesting is how despite the fact that purple cannabis is so incredibly revered, most people know very little about it. At least, when it comes to why it is that some cannabis develops these incredible hues and what this means in terms of quality.
What’s more, there are also countless myths regarding how these vibrant hues are achieved – none of which have any real science behind them.
Myths of the Purple Strains
For example, cannabis cultivators are routinely told that they can ‘force’ certain cannabis plants into producing purple flowers by way of the following:
The reason being that by providing cannabis plants with too much of something or too little of something else, you’re simply going to have a detrimental effect on its health and ability to produce. While it’s perfectly possible to cultivate purple weed of the highest quality, attempting to do so in accordance with these longstanding untruths simply isn’t the way to go.
The Science of Purple Pot
Instead, it pays to go with a more scientific approach. Or to put it another way, focusing on purple strains, one with these hues in its very genetics, rather than attempting to work miracles with a non-purple strain.
As for what it is that gives certain strains of cannabis their attractive colours, it all comes down to a series of plant pigments known as Flavonoids.
Contrary to popular belief, Flavonoids don’t actually have any impact on the flavour of any cannabis strain, though instead combine with other chemicals within the plants to deliver their distinctive colours.
The specific pigment responsible for delivering those quintessential purple (or sometimes blue or red) hues is known as Anthocyanin. Where present, it’s the pH level that determines exactly which colour Anthocyanin produces.
Where pH levels are predominantly on the alkaline side, plants produce blue hues. A more acidic pH leads to red colours, while a neutral pH leads to purple hues.
As is the case with all plants across the board, these beautiful colours are not simply there for the sake of it. Instead, they exist to attract the kinds of pollinators the plants rely on for aiding reproduction. Hence it being no coincidence that many species of cannabis look quite beautiful to say the least!
The Benefits of Purple Weed
But what’s the story with purple cannabis in terms of its unique benefits and properties? Do strains like Purple OG and Granddaddy Purple bring anything to the table that’s exclusive to cannabis with these shades?
The answer – no. At least, not necessarily, as purple cannabis in general isn’t particularly different than predominantly green weed, or the kind that produces any number of weird and wonderful colours.
Just as is the case with cannabis in general, it all comes down to the levels of THC and CBD in the strain, along with its concentration of active terpenes. If you're looking for mind-melting, find yourself some purple pot which lives comfortably with the highest THC strains.
In the vast majority of instances, those who claim purple cannabis inherently has an entirely different effect when consumed are likely allowing their perceptions to be influenced by speculation alone. That said, it's hard to argue against the power of the placebo.
On a scientific level, these funky hues have no specific impact whatsoever on the high you can expect. Get a good batch of purple weed and you’re laughing, pick up a low-grade batch and all the colours in the world aren’t going to make it any better.
Even so, research has shown that Anthocyanin serves as a powerful antioxidant and could therefore be considered beneficial in the treatment of various conditions. Nevertheless, the Anthocyanin that’s present in cannabis typically isn’t concentrated or generous enough to be pinpointed as a positive medical component in its own right.
Growing Purple Cannabis
If looking to cultivate purple cannabis legally for recreational or medicinal purposes, it's important to remember that timing and patience are paramount.
Cannabis plants that grow in the wild begin producing their gorgeous violet and blue colours in the autumn, when temperatures begin to fall.
As such, the best thing you can do to encourage the production of these colours is to replicate outdoor autumnal conditions at the right time as accurately as possible. Ideally, you should be looking at a night-time temperature no higher than 50° F during the flowering stage. Get it right and this will kick the Anthocyanin into overdrive, ensuring that any purples produced are as vivid as possible.
Just as important as choosing the right time of year to grow your crop is being sure to choose the very best seeds for the job. The simple fact of the matter being that if you don’t pick up one of the quality purple strains, you won't be producing those desirable hues. It's a little like growing oranges and attempting to turn them blue by modifying the growing conditions; it just isn’t going to happen.