The magical world of cannabis is home to strains that exhibit a full palette of colors that captivate the users. Ever wondered what causes these gorgeous hues of purple, pink, and orange in your favorite cannabis buds? Let us find out the secret behind the different colors of cannabis. [b]Colors Don't Indicate Potency [/b]Before we dig deeper into the pigmentation of cannabis leaves, let us discuss one of the most common misconceptions associated with cannabis colors and its relationship with potency. Although the vibrant colors of cannabis leaves have an aesthetic appeal, these colors have no association with the natural potency of a strain. Anthocyanins, carotenoids, and other compounds are widely present in different ratios in cannabis. They exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties and thus support the entourage effects of the plant. But the appearance of pigmentation induced by these compounds can be easily manipulated by varying environmental parameters. Therefore, a bright-colored strain does not always equate to high potency. The right way to determine potency is to look for cannabinoid and terpene ratio in the strain. Reputed brands like share this information on the product label to help determine the appropriate dosage. [b]What Causes The Colors? [/b]The simple answer to the question is anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are molecules that belong to the class of flavonoids. The compound occurs in several parts of the plant tissues, including the roots, stem, buds, flowers, fruits, and sometimes even trichomes. Depending on various environmental factors, different anthocyanins may occur in different concentrations and ratios and sometimes start exhibiting their pigmentation properties. For example, during the onset of autumn, the variation in temperature causes lower chlorophyll production. It encourages the domination of other pigments in the plant tissues that add various colors to the leaves. This phenomenon occurs in several plants, including cannabis, which causes colorful leaves and buds. Similarly, variation in the pH levels of the medium can also trigger the appearance of colors other than green on the plant. The increased acidity or alkalinity of the soil encourages the domination of few anthocyanins in the plant that add different pigmentation to it. Apart from temperature and pH, several other factors influence anthocyanin levels in a plant. Photoperiod is one such factor that can change the colors of certain cannabis species during later stages of growth. Varying light exposure can fluctuate the chlorophyll production in the plant to bring out some hidden colors on the buds or leaves. Nutrient availability also influences colors. Sometimes overfeeding or underfeeding leads to over absorption or deficiency of nutrients that reflects on the colors. For example, a bluish hue on the leaves may indicate a phosphorus deficiency in the plant. Genetics also plays a vital role in adding colors to the plant. Some strains carry genetic characteristics that encourage the development of secondary pigmentations. For example, purple and blue varieties tend to have higher levels of anthocyanins compared to others. Hence, they may exhibit an incredible array of colors when exposed to a certain temperature or pH. Cannabis Colors [b]Green [/b]Like most plants, cannabis leaves also contain chlorophyll that contributes to the bright green pigmentation—the compound aids in absorbing sunlight that is critical for photosynthesis. Plant tissues absorb all wavelengths of the sunlight except green, which induces this color to the leaves. Strains such as Green Haze and Green Goblin exhibit green as the dominant color throughout their lifecycle. Green cannabis strains tend to carry a fruity flavor with hints of tangy. They are ideal for treating stress, fatigue, and depression and are useful as daytime strains. [b]Red, Pink, Orange, And Yellow [/b]Carotenoids are another group of pigments that can induce shades of red and orange in plants. There are over 750 different types of carotenoids identified so far. These compounds introduce hues of orange and yellow that are more commonly present colors in cannabis buds and hair. Red pigmentation, on the other, is quite rare in cannabis strains and occurs from both carotenoid and anthocyanin presence. Certain strains like Pink Kush or Predator Pink exhibit bright pink or fuchsia colors instead of red. Although all green plants contain carotenoids, the green color from chlorophyll typically masks the shades of red and yellow induced by this compound. Carotenoid pigmentation, mainly caused by lycopene, is dominantly visible during fall as the plants turn reddish. This type of effect is also possible in cannabis strains that grow in alkaline mediums with a pH below 5.0. Cannabis strains exhibiting pigmentation properties of carotenoids include Lemon Kush, Olive Oyl, Nectarine. [b]Violet, Blue, And Black [/b]The gorgeous shades of purple and blue in some cannabis strains are due to the presence of anthocyanins. The chemical is abundantly present in mature plants that induce hues of blue, especially when the temperature drops. A few notable blue and purple strains include Granddaddy Purple, Purple Urkle, Blue Mystic, Blue Cheese. Black strains are a relatively rare occurrence, like Black Tuna and Black Willy. These are typically hybrid strains of Vietnamese origin and appear black due to an abundance of several pigmentation compounds on the leaves. [b]White [/b]Fully grown buds close to harvest brim with trichomes that typically have a frosty, white color. These trichomes are home to potent cannabinoids and terpenes that can induce several health benefits to the users. [b]Conclusion [/b]The vibrant, enticing colors of some cannabis strains add an aesthetic appeal to the herb. These pigments are imparted by environmental variations such as temperature changes, nutrient absorption, maturity, growth mediums pH, and the quantity of light. Rest assured, strain colors have no relationship with the potency of the plant. Make sure to check the label to understand the terpene, cannabinoid ratio to evaluate the potency of the weed.