Does color equal strength?

 People will swear that smoking purple bud cannabis is the way to go for strength and quality. Is there any validity to this common notion? Put simply, no. There are of course strong good quality purple buds out there, but, while purple is pretty, it does nothing for the THC level or terpene count. The marketers know what people think though, and they will put purple in their strain name as an attraction. Whether it’s a good attraction or an attractive nuisance is up to you. 

Purple certainly stands out as a color, but what causes some cannabis buds to turn purple? Here’s your word of the day: anthocyanins. You have to love how much chemistry is involved with our beloved cannabis plant.

Anthocyanins are a group of pigments that give plants their different colors. A plant’s genetic makeup determines which ones are active. Think of a maple tree in fall. All those gorgeous colors are because of anthocyanins. That maple in fall is key to our understanding. 

The cold weather alerts the tree to impending changes and the need to conserve energy or get in the last pollination. Cannabis is no different. Seasonal changes warn the cannabis plant too. For plants with the right anthocyanins, the pigments cause the plant to turn purple. 

Naturally this has lead to the question: Can the color be forced since it is popular? Outside of genetics, no. To be sure, growers have tried manipulating nutrients, oxygen, CO2, and more. The cannabis plant will have none of this though.

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