How and Why Cannabis Has Different Colours

Cannabis is quite commonly green in appearance, but can sometimes have specks of colour within or even be a whole different colour - such as purple or orange. But how and why does this happen?

As your cannabis experience expands as either a consumer or grower, you start to realise that the plant is a lot more complex than just something that gets you high. You start to understand what you like and how you can get the most out of your experience with the plant – such as strain choice, terpene profiles and figuring out what works for you and your body. But we still ask the question, how and why cannabis has different colours? 

Although the plant is commonly green in appearance, there are numerous compounds that can affect shape and colour. This is why some buds can range from lime/green to bright purple. What are these compounds and why do we get cannabis in so many different colours? 

There are numerous compounds within the plant that contribute to characteristics such as size, shape, colour, taste and smell. In addition to this, the environment in which cannabis is grown can also influence these characteristics. 

Chlorophyll is what’s responsible for giving cannabis, and other plants, their green appearance. This compound absorbs light to facilitate in the process of photosynthesis, as you may remember from 9th grade Biology. Cannabis falls under this spectrum. Cannabis strains with purple, red, blue and pink hues are generally higher in anthocyanins – which is a compound that appears with plant maturation. These also tend to have stronger scents and are more appealing to the eye – making them more popular amongst consumers. 

When it comes to colours such as orange or yellow, these are attributed to the presence of carotenoids – which is obviously present in pumpkins, squash and sweet potatoes. As mentioned before, environment also plays a part in a plant’s colour. This is why these colours are also more apparent in plants grown in alkaline soils. 

These colours may make a nug look more appealing than the next, but it generally doesn’t impact the effects of your cannabis. Although when you do consume some colourful cannabis, you may benefit from some of the perks (such as vitamins) that these chemicals are known for – possibly even further contributing to the Entourage Effect.

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