What Do the Colors in Cannabis Mean?

If you have ever shopped for cannabis products, you will note that they are often described for their vivid colors. You may hear that the plant shows ribbons of purple, blue, or pink. But what do the colors of cannabis mean?

Colors in Cannabis 4

This article will break it down for you so you know what to look for. 

What are the Colors in Cannabis?

Cannabis is primarily green in color. But if you look closely, you will see strands of other colors including red, blue, purple, pink, white, and more. So what do these colors in cannabis mean?

When cannabis is young, it is mostly green. But as it grows older, colors in cannabis will begin to appear. This is caused by the temperature, nutrient levels, acidity, and alkalinity of the soil, the quality of light, and other factors. These elements affect the pigments in the plant producing different colors. 

The colors in cannabis are also related to anthocyanin, a subclass of flavonoids produced by the plant. It is a pigment known for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects. It may also reduce the risk of several diseases. 

The plant’s response to stress will cause it to produce large amounts of anthocyanin, which absorbs blue and green light wavelengths producing vibrant hues in the plant. 

What are the Colors in Cannabis?

There are various colors that may appear in the cannabis plant. Here is a review of the hues you might find and what they mean.


Colors in Cannabis 3

Green is a common color for all plants and cannabis is no exception. Plants are green due to chlorophyll, the pigment that absorbs sunlight that’s needed in photosynthesis, the process in which plants combine carbon dioxide and water to create sugars needed for biological processes. 

Plants often have so much chlorophyll that it masks the presence of other pigments. But when temperatures drop in cooler weather, chlorophyll production is inhibited. This allows other cannabis colors to shine through. It’s a similar effect to when leaves turn colors in autumn. 

If plants are dark green, it means they have a high level of anthocyanins. They will also have a deep, rich flavor. 

Cannabis strains that are known for their exceptionally green color include Green Haze, Green Goblin, and Green Crack.

Blues, Purples, Reds, and Pinks

Colors in Cannabis 2

Cannabis that has a lot of red, purple, and blue color is generally high in anthocyanins. Strains with these colors may have 500 anthocyanins or more. The color will range from red to purple to blue depending on the pH. 

Anthocyanins are generally present in older plants. They belong to a class of substances known as flavonoids which are high in antioxidants. Fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants tend to show similar colors and include blueberries, acai, blackberries, eggplants, apple cabbage, and others. 

Strains with prominent purple coloring include Grandaddy Purple, Purple Urkle, and Purple Haze. Some strains, such as Black Diesel and Vietnamese Black, are so high in anthocyanins, they are nearly ebony. 

Blue-tinged strains include Blue Dream, Blue Cheese, and Blueberry. 

Red and pink varieties are rare but there are a few on the market such as Red Dragon, Red Poison, and Pink Panther. The reddish leaves can also be caused by a phosphorous deficiency. 

Orange and Yellow

Colors in Cannabis 1

Orange and yellow are other colors in cannabis. They appear due to the presence of carotenoids. 

Carotenoids are a class of pigments known to improve eye health. Lutein, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin are types of carotenoids. They are converted into Vitamin A inside the body after being consumed. 

Plants grown in alkaline soil with a pH of 5.0 or less will have a high presence of carotenoids. They include carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkins, and tomatoes. 

But yellow and orange colors in cannabis are not only caused by carotenoids. They can also appear due to flavinoids or nitrogen deficiencies. 

Common strains with yellow and orange flowers include Grapefruit Nectarine, Lemon Kush, Olive Oyl, and Orange Bud. 


Colors in Cannabis

Buds that have been grown and harvested to their fullest potential will be so covered in trichomes that they appear white. Trichomes are packed with cannabinoids and terpenes, so these plants will be extra potent. White Widow and White Rhino are two strains known for their powerful effects. 

Colors in Cannabis and Potency

With the exception of white, the colors in cannabis are rarely an indication of their potency. However, they do provide the advantages of the carotenoids, flavonoids, and anthocyanins they contain. They can work alongside cannabinoids and terpenes to provide a broad-spectrum effect. 

You may also notice that different colors can alter the taste and smell of the weed products you consume. 

Now that you know more about the colors in cannabis, you can use them as a guideline to choose the ones that offer the most health advantages. Which will you be looking for in your products?

Skip to content