The best purple cannabis strains

The best purple strains – and lets add blue cannabis in here too!

The best purple cannabis strains always seem to disappear quickly whenever you grow them: friends pop round more often and suddenly your stash is gone. So what makes a purple (or blue) strain that color, what’s the best way to grow purple weed – and what makes it special?

What makes a purple strain that color? And is it really purple?

All higher plants – those that use a vascular system to distribute nutrients and water up from the roots to the leaves and flowers/fruit – contain a varying level of a flavonoid called “Anthocyanins”. Don’t confuse the term “flavonoid” to mean anything to do with flavor: it actually comes from the Latin for “yellow” and flavonoids have a range of functions from chemical messengers, symbiotic nitrogen fixers and more. Anthocyanins is a distinctive flavonoid which acts as a coloring agent in the epidermic layer of plant tissue, turning it red, purple or blue depending on the pH. It acts as a sunscreen preventing high-light stress, and is also the reason some trees have leaves that turn red in autumn. Anthocyanins are thought to be found in all cannabis strains, but most are either not exposed to the right environmental conditions to produce them, or they do so in such low quantities as to make no visual difference.

How to grow the best purple cannabis:

Towards the end of flowering plants are given the signal to stop producing chlorophyll in order that all energy is directed towards the bud production. Simultaneously

anthocyanin levels increase, and as the plant’s leaves fade from lack of chlorophyll they take on a reddish/purple/blue tinge from the higher levels of the flavonoid. The anthocyanin travels throughout the vascular cells even into the trichomes, staining them that beautiful color. Traditionally you needed to have a cold last few weeks of flowering to trigger any latent “blue gene” and bring out the distinctive coloring. The popularity of these blue/purple cannabis strains has encouraged breeders to selectively breed in anthocyanins dominance and its now possible to achieve that attractive bud in normal conditions. Nevertheless, to maximize the quantity of anthocyanin and really grow some deep-blue bud you need to drop nighttime temperatures  to simulate cool mountain evenings in autumn (most blue/purple strains will have some Kush in them). To sum up:

  1. use a long flush period – up to 3 weeks – to encourage the plant to break down all chlorophyll and give the anthocyanin time to permeate the plant and bud
  2. increase anthocyanin levels with low nighttime temps
  3. a slow curing process in the fridge may ensure that the purple color “fixes” but DO be careful of bud rot and mold using this method.
  4. There are specific additives that are supposed to encourage the purpling effect.

Some of the best purple cannabis strains:

  1. The Purps – BC Bud Depot.
    • not the biggest yielder, The Purps is a connoisseur’s strain, grown for its deliciously grapelike flavor and intense high.
  2. Grandaddy Purple
    • at one point the smoke to have, Grandaddy Purple is a cross between Purple Erkle and Big Bud, so benefits from high production as well as the fruity smoke and intense indica effect. This is not available in seed form, only as a cutting 🙁
  3. Querkle -TGA Subcool
  4. Original Flo – Dutch Passion
    • Thai/Afghani/Mexican genetics with a 50:50 Indica/Sativa ratio.
  5. Lavender – Soma Seeds
    • “one of the all-time-best mellow, violet-colored, indica-dominant strains available to the public today” Danko, High Times. producing a relaxing and sedative high.
  6. Purple #1 – Dutch Passion
    • giggly sweet high with deep purple tones
  7. Dark Devil Auto – Sweet Seeds
    • Visually stunning autoflowering purple strain.
  8. Grape OG – Cali Connection.
    • sweet and sour sativa/indica mix with incredibly potent high.
  9. Grape Ape – Barney’s Farm
    • Stress and anxiety relieving indica mix with deep purple leaves.
  10. and of course – Purple Haze – Sensi Seeds
    • soaring Haze high

and some of our favorite blue cannabis strains:

  1. Blue Dream  originally a clone-only, this is now available from MNSL and Humboldt Seeds Organization.
    • the best selling strain in Colorado in 2015, with high medicinal value and consistently excellent reviews.
  2. Blueberry – Dutch Passion
    • with blue tones and a truly blueberry taste, this is an easy to grow plant that’s ideal for novice growers.
  3. Blue Cheese – Big Buddha
    • captures the essence of the Cheese variety perfectly
  4. Mataro Blue – Kannabia Seeds
    • highly valued for its medicinal and therapeutic effects.

So what is special about purple weed?

To be honest, as far as science knows now: nothing. There have been a lot of experiments recently, featured in my newsfeed, about how the presentation of food effects our interpretation of its taste and quality. For example, you eat a yellow yogurt and you taste banana. I think something very similar happens with purple bud: it looks so good, we’ve heard such rave reviews about a few – mainly clone-only legend strains like Blue Dream or Grandaddy Purple, that we believe any old blue or purple bud to be special. And yet … Recent scientific analysis of the role anthocyanin has to play in our general health – as an anti-oxident, an anti-inflammatory and more – suggests that possibly the high levels of anthocyanin in purple/blue weed have a secondary medicinal action which may or may not combine with the cannabinoids to enhance or augment their benefits. Certainly many of the strains listed above are popular for their medical value. Does purple bud taste better or is stronger, no. Is it maybe helping you even without you knowing you need help? Possibly.