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Cannabis buds not only give users a different experience, thanks to the effects they offer, but they can also look great doing it. Like most crops, people judge their freshness and quality based on their appearance.

But, there’s also the old saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Does that apply to cannabis buds? Or does the colour tell users something about the plant?

Let’s see how the plant’s colour is determined and what else the colour can tell you about the bud.

How Cannabis Plants Get Their Colour

When you think of a plant, you probably think green. As children, we are taught the importance of photosynthesis and the role it plays in feeding a plant and giving it its green colour.

Young cannabis plants will also be primarily green. It’s not until they reach maturity that any specific colours may start to emerge. If colours begin to appear on the buds, and what colour it is, are dependent on a few different factors, including:

  • The temperature the bud is grown at.
  • The light quality it had.
  • Nutrient levels of the soil it grew in.

These factors can influence the natural pigments a plant produces, creating either vibrant colours or dull ones.

But, there is another factor that can leave cannabis with beautiful colours, its genetics and flavonoids.

When creating a new strain or growing a popular one, the plant will likely resemble its parents. If they are known for their bright hues, the child plant will probably have them as well. Though it may not look exactly like its parents, it will likely resemble them.

Flavonoids play a role in how users experience and distinguish different cannabis strains. They work with terpenes to help determine the taste and aroma each bud has and offers users. In addition to dictating the smell and taste, flavonoids play a role in deciding the pigmentation of cannabis.  

There are specific flavonoids that can determine the colours seen in a plant. For example, anthocyanin often indicates buds infused with blue or purple colouring. Lycopene can lead to buds with red hues.

So, in short, the plant’s makeup, including its genetics and the flavonoids it has, all determine the colour a bud will be. Its growing conditions, including nutrients in the soil and light exposure, can lead to more brilliant or more subdued colouring.

It is also crucial to note that science is still studying all the compounds found in cannabis plants and flavonoids are among the compounds we know the least about. Time will tell what we will learn in the future about the different factors that determine a bud’s colouring.

5 Things Your Bud’s Colour Can Tell You

5 Things Your Bud’s Colour Can Tell You

You can learn quite a bit when you open your cannabis bud and look at it, especially when you look at the colour it has. Here are five key things a bud’s colour can indicate:

  1. The flavour of the bud. Though it is not set in stone, the bud’s colour often indicates the bud’s dominant flavour. For example, blue and purple colours are often fruitier, offering grape or berry tastes that many users find appealing.
  2. How fresh it is. Vibrant colour will often indicate that the cannabis you are opening is at peak freshness. A faded colour is likely not as fresh and may even tell the bud has lost some of its flavours.
  3. Its potency. Though a specific colour does not mean your cannabis will be potent, the number of trichomes it has on it will. If you open a bud with a ton of white crystals on it, that means it will have a lot of THC and is more potent. Plus, it makes the bud look lovely.
  4. The flower’s overall quality. Though you should not use the specific colour of a bud to determine its quality (after all, some are just green), you can judge its vibrancy to determine overall quality. Nugs with bright hues likely mean that they are fresh and were grown with care.

Colourful Cannabis Strains to Try

Want to try a bud known for boasting bright and intense colours? You have many to choose from. But we’ve listed some popular, colourful strains below:

  • Granddaddy Purple is well-known for its great looks, thanks to the purple colour infused within its nugs. It also is famous for its grape scent and taste. This cannabis strain is known to help users feel more relaxed.
  • Blue Cheese offers users a unique look and taste. As its name suggests, this cannabis strain has a taste of cheese and a smell of berries and blue cheese you’d find at the store.
  • Pink Panther combines the scent of pine and pears. Users know that this cannabis has a red and pink hue (which is quite rare). This cannabis tends to give off an energizing effect and can help elevate your mood.

Colourful Cannabis Strains to Try

Final Thoughts

Cannabis comes in many different strains (there are over 1,000 strains to choose from). Each strain is made up of a unique combination of compounds that dictate its looks, smells, tastes, and even the effects it provides. Environmental factors also contribute to the plants’ characteristics.

Some strains will be infused with bright blues and even oranges, while others may continue to be greener in colour. While the colour of your bud itself can’t tell you the quality of it or the effects it offers, the vibrancy of the colours can tell you a lot.

Though all cannabis plants start green, they may begin to change as they reach maturity. Genetics and the bud’s environment play a role in determining what colours the bud will have and how bright they are.

When you open your package of cannabis from an online dispensary, one of the first things you’ll judge is likely its appearance, followed by smell. If you order a colourful strain, your cannabis experience will likely be off to a great start.


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