Why isn’t my weed green?
Everybody’s heard of Purple Haze thanks to Jimi Hendrix, but did you know that marijuana can exist on a wide color spectrum outside of green and purple? There are yellows, oranges, blues, greens, reds, pinks (yup!), and even black colored strains of weed!
There are many factors that contribute to the color that presents itself during the grow process. Perhaps the most dominant factor is the genetic lineage of the strain. Not only do genetics decide the type of strain (Indica, Sativa or Hybrid), they also pick the color(s) of the flower as well.
Nature vs. Nurture
While genetics are very important, they aren’t the final say. There are environmental factors such as temperature and lighting that you can play with to guide the plant to manifest certain colors in the nug.
Tricking the plants by regulating the spectrum and the cycling of the light has a profound effect on chlorophyll production and the photosynthesis of the plant and, in turn, has an effect on the creation of molecules called anthocyanins.
Don’t worry about how to pronounce anthocyanins, just remember that these little “water-soluble vacuolar pigments,” along with the pH (acidity/basicity), are the molecules that dictate how the pigment expresses itself.
Here’s a little cheat sheet:
- High pH: Yellows and greens
- Neutral pH: Blacks and blues
- Low pH: Reds and purples
This is really just the tip of the “bud-berg” when it comes to the things a grower can do to control for the color that manifests from the plant. So, the next time you’re at the dispensary counter and you’re awashed in the rainbow of colors behind the glass, be sure to say thanks to the growers for the time and energy they’ve spent to bring you such beautiful and tasty nugs.