When it comes to choosing what buds to buy, we consider their appearance as one of the main quality factors. While it is common knowledge that dense, sticky, resinous flowers will give you a great high, their coloring is often viewed as insignificant.
Usually, when we look at the colors the nugs have, we act instinctively and choose those that look the best. The combination of various purple, green, and orange hues always attracts attention and makes us want to try this beautiful weed. However, only a few of us know that the colors of marijuana can actually tell us certain things about the herb.
Do they affect the potency of cannabis? Where do they come from?
Let us sort through the mess and answer those questions.
First of all, the color of weed depends on its genetics. Each strain is known to possess specific color ranges. During its growth, certain genes are triggered. The change happens when the herb feels it is harvest time. That is when we can see the full spectrum of each strain.
In addition, each color has its own biological compounds called phytochemicals. Thus, lycopene corresponds to the red color, anthocyanin—blue and purple, anthoxanthin—cream and white, chlorophyll—green, carotenoids—yellow and orange. For example, the purple hues favored by many stoners appear because of anthocyanin that can come in many different shades depending on the plant's pH level. It is also present in plums, pomegranates, eggplants, and blueberries. In cannabis, anthocyanin can be provoked by subjecting the plant to cold temperatures and using some other techniques.
As we can see, phytochemicals have nothing to do with the potency of the strain. In fruit, they may affect the taste and smell as well. However, in marijuana, they only have power over the coloring.
Some scientists theorize that phytochemicals provide antioxidants and other health benefits, but not enough research has been conducted to confirm that fact yet.
Another source of the buds' coloring are pistils. These tiny hairs are more important than many of us believe. These pollen-catching hairs appear in female plants during the vegetative stage. They pop out of the calyx and remain white till the flowering stage. At this time, their main priority becomes catching pollen. When the nugs are fattened, pistils finish their duty and begin to show various colors that range from light orange to bright red. Another fascinating fact is that pistils are considered the reproductive organs of cannabis that contain ovaries and birth pollinated seeds; moreover, they even have their own kind of menopause.
Just like phytochemicals, pistils produce no cannabinoids and cannot affect the strength of a plant.
All in all, the buds' coloring can tell us a few things about the plant but does not play any role in the psychoactive properties of weed.