Purple and green weed buds are colorfully lit up.

The Ultimate Guide to Colorful Weed Strains

It’s hard not to be mesmerized by the array of weed strains that burst with stunningly vibrant colors. From rich purples to fiery oranges, lush greens to cool blues, colored weed strains are a testament to nature’s beauty and complexity. The colors in weed buds are not just for show. Different color weed strains are the result of various plant compounds working together in perfect harmony. Let’s explore the science behind what makes these buds so colorful and introduce you to some of the most visually striking strains in the cannabis kingdom!

The Science behind Colorful Weed Strains

Pigments are natural compounds found in plants that are responsible for their coloration. They live within a flower’s tiny hairs, which are called trichomes

Many plants are rich in pigments, which are then used to make dyes for skincare products and textiles. However, these pigments also play a significant role in cannabis development.  

Pigments assist with the process of photosynthesis, which is how plants convert sunlight into energy. These compounds absorb specific wavelengths of light, in turn reflecting the remaining wavelengths that we see and perceive as color. 

Different pigments absorb and reflect different wavelengths. That’s why we see a diverse range of colors found in various cannabis strains. 

Pigments Found in Colored Weed Strains

There are several pigments that contribute to the vibrant colors of cannabis strains. However, two of the most influential are anthocyanins and carotenoids.

Anthocyanins are water-soluble pigments that belong to a group of molecules called flavonoids. These compounds are responsible for the red, blue, and purple hues found in many cannabis strains. They act as antioxidants, which may contribute to the potential wellness benefits associated with cannabis consumption. 

Carotenoids are fat-soluble pigments. They’re responsible for the yellow, orange, and red colors present in cannabis plants. 

Carotenoids play a vital role in photosynthesis by capturing light energy and protecting plants from the harmful effects of excess light. Some well-known carotenoids include beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein. 

What Influences the Color of Cannabis Plants?

Not all cannabis plants look the same. In fact, some strains that are genetically similar can still look entirely different. That’s because the expression of color in cannabis plants is influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Let’s take a closer look!


Genetics is perhaps the most influential because it sets the foundation for the potential development of different color weed strains. 

As we’ll discuss further in a bit, some strains naturally contain higher concentrations of anthocyanins or carotenoids. This genetic trait predisposes certain weed strains to display more vibrant colors. 

Selective breeding has led to the development of many colorful cannabis strains, with breeders aiming to enhance and showcase these stunning hues. However, other factors can either enhance or stunt the development of stunning colors.

Light Exposure

Adequate light exposure is crucial for the growth of plants in general. It’s even more vital for the development of pigments. The type and intensity of light exposure can also affect the coloration of cannabis strains. 

For example, UV light can stimulate the production of anthocyanins, leading to more vibrant colors. Additionally, varying light cycles and wavelengths during the growth process can influence the overall color expression in cannabis plants.


The temperatures in which plants are grown can drastically influence their colorful appearances. Cooler temperatures, particularly during the flowering stage, can enhance the expression of anthocyanins in cannabis plants. Anthocyanins actually help to protect the plant from becoming damaged by the cold. 

In contrast, warmer temperatures can increase the production of carotenoids, which can give cannabis strains a more yellow or orange hue. As we discussed, carotenoids protect cannabis plants from the harmful effects of UV light. 

Popular Blue and Purple Colored Weed Strains

Feeling something blue? We’ve got you covered. Here are five of the most popular purple and blue colored weed strains! 

1. Granddaddy Purple

You can’t have a list of purple weed strains without acknowledging the granddaddy of them: Granddaddy Purple. This indica-dominant strain is known for its deep purple buds and grape-like aroma. 

Granddaddy Purple is a cross between Big Bud and Purple Urkle. It is often praised by cannabis enthusiasts for its relaxing effects. Therefore, it’s a popular strain for nighttime use, especially if you’re looking to use THC for sleep. 

2. Blue Dream

With blue in its name, Blue Dream boasts bright blue hues. This strain is a cross between the indica Blueberry and sativa haze, making Blue Dream a sativa-dominant hybrid. 

Blue Dream offers a balanced high, providing both physical relaxation and mental stimulation. Therefore, it’s popular for social settings or solo nights at home. 

3. Purple Haze

Named after the iconic Jimi Hendrix song, Purple Haze is a sativa-dominant strain known for its vibrant purple coloration. It tends to support uplifting, euphoric effects. 

This strain is a cross between Purple Thai and Haze. It’s a popular strain for those who need a burst of energy or to tap into their creativity. 

4. Blueberry

You couldn’t have a strain called Blueberry that doesn’t exhibit an impressive amount of blue buds. This indica strain was bred by DJ Short in the late 1970s and has won many awards for its distinct berry aromas and overall potency. 

Blueberry is known for its relaxing effects. It’s a popular strain for chilling out when things get tough. 

5. Blackberry Kush

Blackberry Kush is a cross between Blackberry and Afghani. It has an aesthetically pleasing combination of dark purple buds accented by hints of blue. 

This indica strain is known for its strong berry aroma with potent calming effects. Many cannabis enthusiasts prefer Blackberry Kush before going to bed, especially athletes who worked their bodies hard during the day.  

Popular Red, Orange, and Yellow Colored Weed Strains

Seeing shades of red shouldn’t promote anger, at least when looking at colorful weed strains. Instead, feel calm knowing that strains sprouting yellow, orange, and red buds are rich in carotenoids. Here are five of the most popular cannabis strains with orange, red, and yellow hues. 

1. Agent Orange

Orange buds aren’t undercover with Agent Orange. They’re on full display. 

This sativa-dominant hybrid is a cross between Orange Velvet and Jack the Ripper. Agent Orange is bursting with vibrant orange and yellow buds.

Cannabis users note that Agent Orange has a citrus aroma. Its effects are typically uplifting and energetic, making it a popular choice for daytime use.

2. Strawberry Cough

This sativa strain is well-known for its distinct red and orange hairs. Strawberry Cough has a fruity aroma with piny undertones. 

It has strong euphoric effects. This strain is ideal for rainy or snowy days when you feel trapped inside. 

3. Tangerine Dream 

Tangerine Dream was once honored in 2010 with a High Times Cannabis Cup for Best Sativa Strain. This award-winning hybrid strain is a cross between G13, Afghani, and Neville's A5 Haze. 

Tangerine Dream is named after its bright orange hairs. It has a strong citrusy aroma. This strain tends to deliver a balanced high, providing both relaxation and mental stimulation.

4. Super Lemon Haze

Representing the yellow buds, we have Super Lemon Haze. It’s a sativa-dominant hybrid that was cross-bred with Lemon Skunk and Super Silver Haze.

Super Lemon Haze produces big green buds that are coated with yellow hairs that have a slight hint of orange. It has a zesty aroma with slight hints of pine. 

This strain is extremely uplifting and cerebral. It’s an excellent companion for tuning into your creative side or immersing yourself in a good show. 

5. Acapulco Gold

This legendary sativa strain originates from the Acapulco region of Mexico and is known for its golden yellow and orange buds, which resemble gold nuggets. 

Acapulco Gold has a smoky yet earthy aroma with small hints of citrus. Its effects are typically uplifting and energizing but not overly cerebral. Many enjoy partaking in some Acapulco Gold in social settings. 

Use the Colorful Weed Strain of Your Choice Responsibly

As you can see, colorful cannabis strains offer more than just visual appeal. Anthocyanins in blue and purple strains and carotenoids in red, orange, and yellow strains may contribute to the overall effects of cannabis strains. While the presence of these pigments alone does not guarantee specific outcomes, they undoubtedly add to the complexity and allure of these strains. 

As our understanding of cannabis continues to grow, so does our appreciation for the intricate relationship between these colorful pigments, the plant's properties, and their impact on our bodies. Whether you're drawn to the striking blues and purples or the warm reds, oranges, and yellows, there is a colorful strain to suit every preference and need.

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