How to Make Your Bud Purple


All plants–well, all medical marijuana strains–are purple. Before you throw your bong at the screen, let me backtrack with a little precursor botany lesson. When chlorophyll works and captures sunlight, it’s green. When zanaphyll captures sunlight, it’s purple. All cannabis plants have zanaphyll in them. The zanaphyll resides just underneath the chlorophyll. So to recap: all cannabis plants are purple–they’re just covered up by green chlorophyll.

Now, in some plants, through evolution and breeding and mendelian tricks, we’ve bred the chlorophyll to die, so its death naturally occurs at the end of a life cycle or through response to cold or any other external factors. But in some cannabis seeds we’ve bred naturally, the chlorophyll just dies at the end anyway. Any strain can be purpled up by getting the right DIF (short for differential), which is your day to night temperential temperature difference; you’ll ideally get your temperatures to have about 30 degrees difference. So, if you’re running your daytime temps at about 85, then you want your nighttime temps to be about 55. And that’ll purple up just about any plant. You can go down to as low as about 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

So all you’re really basically doing is wiping the green away. And what you’re looking at is the emergency lights in the submarine and it’s a secondary back up system that supplies about 30% of the plants energy. But it’s never to the plants benefit. Purple cannabis like purple kush seeds could have been 20% stronger if it could have stayed green all the way to the bitter end because the green is that much more efficient at supplying energy and energy gets turned into resin, which is how plants get THC. And as you probably know, THC is what gives you your buzz.

As you’ve probably realized by now, the purple phenomenon has become a marketing gimmick. But it’s still worth buying and growing because the general public are too ignorant and misinformed to realize this blatant fact.

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  1. I don’t know that this authors conclusions are alined with my own. While the argument that low temperatures can effect potency are likely to be true, I challenge this claim by asking for labs that actually validate this claim. Assigning a seemingly arbitrary 20% potency differential is of course contingent on variables too numerace to mention. I think this experiment would be a wonderful one to attempt, but it should be conducted using the scientific model, a qualified testing laboratory and if possible several strains.

    Furthermore I feel it’s important to argue that there is more to medicinal marijuana than potency. The unique cannabinoid matrix found in each sample is still largely misunderstood. Ones marijuana user experience is based on much more than THC content alone. While breeders strive to produce strains for MAX THC, the medicinal community goes on seemingly unnoticed finding virtue in CBD. CBD only recently is beginning to be understood as the real miracle compound ( )

    In my personal experience, I often enjoy purple pot. Something about the the purple-ing process always seems to bring out my favorite flavors and scents. It’s likely that the cold conditions stimulate a unique set of terpenoid essential oils that I enjoy. It’s possible too that by inhibiting excessive THC production, the THC/CBD ratio becomes more favorable. There simply are too many factors to consider and to chalk the whole thing up as a marketing gimmick is bad reporting.

    • I agree with Gore: just because there is 20% less efficiency in the photosynthesis when the leaves turn blue, does not necessarily mean a loss of potency. In fact my observation is that once the weather becomes cooler e.g., in the 50s at night, I notice a greater proliferation of trichromes on the leaves and buds compared to 60s or 70s at night.

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