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This is Why Weed is Pink

2 minute Read

Look a little more closely, you’ll see your weed’s not all green. Depending on the strain, it could also be purple, yellow, red, black, or even pink.

A strain’s color is contingent both on its genetics and the way it was cultivated. And while the color of cannabis may seem incidental to its effect on you, more than 90 percent of purchasing decisions are made in light of the bud’s appearance.

The color of weed is based on the plant’s maturity and its anthocyanins, or water-soluble pigments found in cannabis and other plants, such as eggplants or blueberries. The weed’s pH or acidity levels influence the anthocyanins, causing them to manifest as various colors. The temperature of the plant’s cultivation environment also has an effect on its hue. Warmer temperatures correlate with higher levels of chlorophyll, or the green pigments that facilitate photosynthesis, during which energy is absorbed from light.

If you grow weed, you can manipulate the plant’s color — and its effects — by adjusting the amount of light or acidity it’s exposed to.

Want your weed to be pink, like the sativa dominant strain Pink Lady? Keep the cultivation environment cool and use high quality lights you can adjust meticulously. A neutral pH environment will give your cannabis a more purple shade, which can also be achieved through basic aging when it begins to lose chlorophyll. Rosier shades of weed are often influenced by the plant’s nutrients, especially a lack of the mineral phosphorus.

The darker, almost black-ish strains, like the hybrid Black Tuna Kush, have excess pigmentation and were raised in cooler environments. Meanwhile, strains that have yellow pigmentation, such as Lemon Kush, result from higher alkalinity (a more basic, less acidic environment). Yellow hues can also appear as the plant matures and its chlorophyll levels drop. Fewer anthocyanins can lead to more golden bud, too, while carotenoids, or pigmentation molecules seen in carrots and autumn leaves, are also responsible for weed’s yellow pigmentation.

Of course, manipulating the chemistry of a cannabis nursery can be tricky. If you want to smoke all the colors of the rainbow, perusing your local dispensary will help you learn about the various colored strains and their effects. Don’t be fooled though into thinking all pink strains, for instance, will affect you the same way. They run the gamut from indica to sativa, with various hybrids in between. Pink Berry and Pink Panties are both indica strains, while Pink Mango and Pink Lady are sativa dominant hybrids. And with that said, the color of weed only really applies to the bud. If you’re buying vape oil or dabs, best to focus on the product’s effects, rather than the plant’s color before it was concentrated.

This is Why Weed is Pink