Why Some Cannabis Strains Are Purple and the Best Cannabis Strains

Purple strains of cannabis have existed and been beloved by Marijuana connoisseurs for decades. Now, as states across the US have legalized the use of medicinal and recreational Marijuana, the popularity and diversity of purple cannabis strains have continued to rise. 

Purple cannabis describes an umbrella term for a family of cannabis that shares varying shades of purple coloring as well as a generally sweeter taste. Many theories point to Afghan strains as the origin of purple cannabis. 

In this article, we’ll be discussing why some cannabis strains are purple, their associated smells and flavors, considerations of growing conditions, and our top 11 picks of the best purple strains. If you’re new to purple cannabis or want to know the top purple cannabis strains, then read on to learn more.

Why Are Some Cannabis Strains Are Purple? – What Causes Purple Cannabis

Compounds within cannabis called anthocyanins are responsible for the purple coloring of some cannabis strains. This compound is a water-soluble pigment present in many plants and is part of a larger class of molecules called flavonoids. 

purple strains

Purple cannabis, and other purple-shaded plants, have a higher concentration of anthocyanins than plants that retain green coloring. As these anthocyanins are expressed during the cannabis’ growing cycle, the hairs, leaves, trichomes, and buds take on shades of purple. 

As the cannabis plant enters into its flowering stage, the chlorophyll in the plant, which causes plants to be green, decreases, revealing the hues produced by the remaining anthocyanin compounds. 

Anthocyanins produce other color shades as well such as blues, reds, and pinks. The color that is presented depends on the amount and acidity of the anthocyanin in the plant. 

Purple shades are produced by medium to neutral acidic levels within the anthocyanin. Genetics determine the amount of anthocyanin present in a plant. 

What Smells and Flavors Are Associated with Purple Weed?

Purple strains of cannabis are identified by their brilliant shades of purple as well as their distinct smells and flavors. The smells and flavors of purple strains are often what people would associate with the color purple. 

exotic purple strains

Berries and fruits such as blackberries, red/purple grapes, raspberries, and cherries contain a similar high amount of anthocyanins to purple-hued cannabis plants. 

It’s no surprise that many of these purple strains contain hints of sweet, grape, and dark berry aromas and tastes. Purple Kush, for example, is known and loved for its subtle grapey, sweet flavor and smell. 

Some purple cannabis strains contain a more herby, lavender smell and taste to them, such as Lavender Kush. 

Can Growing Conditions Cause Cannabis to Turn Purple?

While genetics is the ultimate determiner of whether a cannabis plant will turn purple, growing conditions can, to a certain extent, affect how the anthocyanins present in the plant are expressed. 

Remember, if the anthocyanins in a plant are of a concentration and acidity level that naturally expresses as orange, altering rowing conditions will not turn the plant purple.

purple weed

In other words, growing conditions can help increase the vibrancy and amount of color expressed, but it can not change the color associated with the natural concentration and pH level of the anthocyanins. 

Because anthocyanins are expressed through the autumn period of a plant’s growing cycle, indoor growers will need to mimic autumn’s decrease in sunlight and temperature to decrease chlorophyll production. 

For indoor growing, using autumn-like growing conditions to enhance the vibrancy of a purple-hued cannabis plant can be tricky as different strains respond better to different temperatures and light exposure. 

Many successful indoor growers recommend dropping the indoor temperature to just below 50 degrees to about two weeks before harvest time to decrease chlorophyll production and bring out the purple hues of cannabis strains. 

Be careful not to expose the plant to these temperatures for too long, however, as this will negatively affect the yield. For expert growing tips and information, visit these growing guides.

 Purple Kush, for example, is typically ready for harvest in mid-September. So, an indoor grower would want to start exposing the plant to temperatures just below 50 degrees around the last week of August. 

What Are the Best Purple Strains? – Exotic Purple Strains

  1. Granddaddy Purple
  2. Purple Kush
  3. Grape Ape
  4. Purple Urkle
  5. Purple Skunk
  6. Purple Haze
  7. Purple Diesel
  8. Mendocino Purps
  9. Purple Punch
  10. Purple Space Cookies
  11. Purple Dream

There are so many fantastic purple cannabis strains out there that are widely reported to produce an array of effects ranging from heavily relaxing and sedating to euphoria-inducing and energizing to pain and anxiety-relieving.

We’ll share our top 11 purple weed names that are overwhelmingly popular for their stunning purple buds, unique tastes and aromas, and varying mind and body effects.

1. Granddaddy Purple

This purple Indica strain has been popular since the early 2000s for its highly relaxing effects that users report help with insomnia, chronic pain, anxiety, and muscle tension. It’s known as an exotic purple strain, and it’s extremely popular!

Granddaddy Purple is known for its noticeably sweet, berry-like taste and aroma. This strain is particularly striking, with deep shades of purple contrasting with a high concentration of white crystal resin.

2. Purple Kush

Purple Kush is a pure Indica strain of purple cannabis that was created in the Bay Area of California through the crossing of the Hindu Kush and Purple Afghani. 

This Indica purple strain is highly relaxing with a subtly sweet, earthy, grapey aroma and taste. Like many purp strains, Purple Kush grows fairly short and wide. 

3. Grape Ape

 Grape Ape is a popular, mostly Indica strain created by Apothecary Genetics and Barney’s Farm. This strain is a cross of Mendocino Purps, Afghani, and Skunk. 

Popular as an anxiety reliever, this soothing Indica-dominant strain has a distinctive grape taste and aroma. 

4. Purple Urkle

Believed to originate partially from Mendocino Purps, this very relaxing and exotic purple strain is known for its quick-acting effects and complex flavor and aroma. Earthy, musky, and sweet blend into this rich strain.  

5. Purple Skunk 

This Sativa-dominant hybrid purple strain is a cross of Skunk #1 with an older, unknown strain. The effects of Purple Skunk often produce a very noticeable, tingly body high and cheerful euphoria. 

Purple Skunk is well-loved for its beauty, taste, smell, and body and mind effects. As to be expected with its name, Purple Skunk has a pretty distinctive musky, skunk smell. Reviewers often liken the taste to a sweet wine.

6. Purple Haze

Purple Haze is a purple Sativa strain of cannabis that is a wonderful combination of relaxing and euphoric. People often use Purple Haze to calm the body and mind enough to open the creative spirit. 

Experts believe this lovely, sweet Sativa strain is the descendant of Haze and Purple Thai. This purple Sativa often presents herby, sweet, sometimes sharp, or spicy aroma and taste.

7. Purple Diesel 

Purple Diesel is a Sativa and Indica hybrid strain created through the breeding of Sour Diesel with Pre-98 Bubba Kush. Reports describe this hybrid strain as having euphoric and energizing effects. 

Purple Diesel provides a unique sour taste and gas-like aroma. Reviewers often claim Purple Diesel helps with depression and anxiety without causing a sedative effect. 

8. Mendocino Purps

Rising to significant popularity after earning a Top Ten award in High Times’ 2007 Strains of the Year, this hybrid strain is known for its euphoric, relaxing, and munchies-inducing effects. 

Mendocino Purps is popular with growers as it thrives in both outdoor and indoor growing environments. Reviewers compare its unique taste and smell to a woodsy, sweet coffee flavor and aroma. 

9. Purple Punch 

 Cultivators created this heavy Indica strain, Purple Punch, through crossing Larry OG with Granddaddy Purple. The result is an extremely relaxing strain that smells of tart, candy-like grape, and berry. 

Users often find this strain to be quickly sleep-inducing, making it very popular with folks struggling with insomnia.

10. Purple Space Cookies

Growers created Purple Space Cookies, an Indica-dominant, high THC hybrid in British Columbia through the crossing of Durban Poison and Girl Scout Cookies.

Reviewers often report the effects of Girl Scouts Cookies as very euphoric and buzzy. The THC content of this beautiful strain is often between 20%-25% and packs a pretty heavy psychoactive punch. Some people find this effect well-suited for low-pressure, creative projects. 

11. Purple Dream

A cross between Grandaddy Purple and Blue Dream, Purple Dream is a fairly mild purple Indica strain that produces a relaxing body high and gentle sedation. 

Purple Dream is an excellent choice for those wanting to unwind after work without being put to sleep. The taste and aroma of Purple Dream are often more potent than its effects with its strong sour grape aroma and wine taste. 

Final Thoughts Exotic Purple Cannabis Strains

Purple cannabis strains have a varied, complex, and rich history from Central and South-East Asia to the West Coast of the United States. Cannabis connoisseurs love these exotic purple strains for their various effects and striking beauty and unique, distinctive aromas and tastes. 

For folks living in an area where recreational growing is allowed, purple cannabis strains can be an absolute joy to cultivate. Watching them turn striking shades of deep purple and dreamy shades of lavender is always a treat. 

For people able to partake in Marijuana medicinally or recreationally, we highly recommend considering a purple strain to relax after a day of work or get your creative energies flowing.