The cannabis plant is a wondrous species that exhibits an infinite variety of traits. Cannabis plants can be short, tall, bushy, or wispy, depending on the genotypes or genetic heritage of the plant. Cannabis plants produce a myriad of aromas and flavors that excite both the nostrils and the tastebuds and can also produce a variety of hues in a beautiful spectrum of colors.
Cannabis Flavonoids are Antioxidants and Plant Protectants
Cannabis plants are rich in flavonoids, critical compounds of the plant which are plant protectants, colorants, and antioxidants. Antioxidants is a buzzword regarding human health, which basically means to inhibit oxidation. Oxidation is the loss of electrons, which creates free radicals which have at least one unpaired valence electron. Free radicals are highly reactive and can dimerize or join with another similar cell or molecule to form a dimer. They may cause chain reactions and cell damage that can lead to disease.
Antioxidants can prevent chain reactions from free radicals. Some flavonoids discovered in cannabis have been shown to have the potential to mitigate several health conditions, such as cancer and inflammation.
The Colorful and Flavorful Compounds of Cannabis
Flavonoids are not psychoactive but play a crucial role in the entourage effect to act with other compounds, terpenes, and cannabinols to produce a variety of physiological properties such as anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, and antioxidant. Flavonoids are primarily responsible for the beautiful hues of the cannabis plant. There have been approximately 20 different flavonoids discovered to date, and it is estimated that up to 10% of the compounds of the cannabis plant are flavonoids, which is approximately 3% of the total weight of dried buds and leaves. The main difference between flavonoids and terpenes is that flavonoids produce the vibrant colors of the plant with unique hues for different cultivars, while terpenes produce the various aromas of cannabis plants.
Cannabis Flavonoids: Taste the Rainbow
Many different factors impact the colors of the cannabis plant, such as temperature changes, the alkalinity or acidity of the soil, nutrients, and lighting. These variables directly impact the rate and expression of pigments produced by the plant to create a variety of colors. While most cannabis plants start out in a shade of green, eventually, plants begin to show their true colors. Some of the most spectacular colors found in cannabis include red, pink, purple, blue, yellow, orange, and even white.
Most strains of cannabis plants start out primarily green in a variety of shades, from light lime-colored hues to dark green. Green is the predominant color of most plants due to the presence of chlorophyll, which is a green pigment common to all photosynthetic cells. Chlorophyll absorbs all colors of the wavelengths of UV light except for green, which it reflects. This is why plants have a green appearance.
Temperature changes and the change in seasons restrict the production of chlorophyll, however, and other colors of the plant begin to present themselves and become apparent. This is why leaves change colors in the fall. As cannabis plants reach maturity, more colors begin to show in both the leaves and the buds.
Reds, Pinks, Purples, and Blues
Cannabis plants that exhibit colors of reds, pinks, purples, and blues are typically high in compounds identified as anthocyanins. More than 500 variations of anthocyanins have been identified that produce a variety of purples and reds depending on the pH level. Anthocyanins are not abundant in young plants but rather are produced as plants mature and create colorful cannabis plants. Anthocyanins are flavonoids with antioxidant properties in fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, blackberries, purple cabbage, açaí, and eggplant.
Yellows and Oranges
Carotenoids are another group of pigments with over 750 different varieties identified, such as beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene. Some carotenoids are converted into vitamin A, are important for eye health, and are known to protect against eye diseases like macular degeneration. Carotenoids produce the yellow, orange, and red hues found in various cannabis plants and vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkins, carrots, and tomatoes. Plants can have a greater abundance of carotenoids when grown in alkaline soils with a pH level of 5.0 or less.
Cannabis plants have been grown and harvested for maximum trichome production and preservation and are so coated with frosty trichomes that they appear white in color. Trichomes are loaded with cannabinols and terpenes, and frosty trichome buds can be potentially quite high. Some of the most popular white cannabis strains include Barney’s Farm White Widow XXL, SOFEM White Light Runtz Auto, and Ethos Genetics White Wedding Rbx.
Other than the appearance of frosty, white trichomes, hue is not an indicator of potential content level. Various hues add an aesthetic appeal to each cannabis strain – which color of the rainbow attracts your senses?
The Seed Cellar offers one of the widest selections of cannabis seeds, with more than 3,000 seed types from over 80 different breeders. Choose from regulars, feminized, and autoflowers, and contact us for personalized assistance in choosing the best strain for you. Check out the Seed Cellar now and get all the colors of the rainbow in cannabis strains to stimulate the senses.