Have you ever heard of the black weed?


Here's everything you need to know about varieties that turn black and why black cannabis is so fascinating

We already know the purple color of the weed, others will tell you about albinism in plants but, have you heard of black cannabis? Browse any cannabis forum and you will get conflicting reports on black cannabis. Is it possible that some strains are turning so dark that they appear black? Although relatively rare, there are strains of black cannabis. However, the black / purple / dark blue coloring only appears under certain conditions. Here's what causes certain strains of cannabis to turn black.

Why do some plants become dark?

The color changes of the plants depend largely on the climate. Cannabis plants grown in warm, Mediterranean climates tend to be bright green in color. However, plants grown in cooler climates produce compounds that make them purple.

The compounds that cause this are anthocyanins, which act as a natural antifreeze for the herb. This antifreeze helps the plant retain water that escapes from the leaves by forming ice crystals between the leaf cells. The cooler the growing climate, the more anthocyanins you will get.

black weed, black weed
Plants develop their pigmentation (colors) in nature, to protect themselves from the harmful UV rays of the sun and other environmental stressors. These qualities of adaptation help to survive and procreate.

Other researchers have proposed that anthocyanins can be a form of sun protection for the plant, protecting leaves from certain intensities of light and facilitating absorption of other types of light.

Anthocyanins encourage plants to absorb wavelengths of blue and green light. Basically, cannabis produces more anthocyanins in response to certain types of stress.

It is also likely that the color attracts some pollinators while deterring other pests. Just like other flowers come in a variety of colors, cannabis flowers are capable of producing a wide range of hues.

Plants that suffer from drought also tend to boost their anthocyanins. All of these theories suggest that anthocyanin production is a characteristic that helps plants adapt better and survive in specific environments.

When we consume these compounds (called anthocyanins), they give us powerful antioxidant protection that helps us cope with stress, radiation and environmental toxins. These antioxidants are classified in polyphenols and consuming them is one of our best strategies for cancer prevention.

If anthocyanin explains why cannabis is purple, where does black come from? Well, the anthocyanin in cannabis is the same compound that is found in plants like black rice, eggplant, black currant, and black / blue tomato. Thus, the more anthocyanins a plant has, the deeper the color becomes.

Genetics of color

Environmental conditions and genetics interact with each other for regulate color. Cold climates stimulate your plants to create more anthocyanins, but some strains are better able to create this compound than others. For example, some strains like Black Beauty produce dark, almost black, purple leaves and buds in almost any environment.

The theory is that this particular strain has a recessive phenotype which allows it to better convert glucose into anthocyanins. Hybrids of the Black strain can generate a wide range of colors, from purple to reddish and even white. In order for the offspring to remain black, they would have to inherit a recessive gene from each mother plant.


Anthocyanins are compounds that create red, purple, blue and black hues. However, pH plays a major role in whether or not these compounds cause a lighter red / pink color or a dark, almost black color.

Cannabis plants naturally like slightly acidic soils. However, the more acidic the soil, the more your plants will blush. Blue and purple come out of the soil with a more neutral pH.

Pink leaves, red discoloration - Although it looks like a nutrient deficiency, this cannabis plant suffers from too much water and an undersized pot.

So what if you're looking to bring out more purple in the grass? Maintain the pH at the high end of the optimal range, approximately 5,8 to 6,8 on the pH scale. Beware of deficiencies by excess nutrient.

Does the color affect the high?

Some people find that black strains tend to be extremely psychedelic and loaded with THC. However, the color of the plant may not contribute directly to the power. On the contrary, some strains phenotypes blacks may have been selected to also produce high amounts of THC.

Indica plants, for example, tend to turn more easily to purple and are also thought to naturally produce higher amounts of THC.

While color may or may not affect the overall drinking experience, anthocyanins have a wide range of health benefits. You've probably heard the phrase "the rainbow strategy" and the importance of colorful eating.


Well, we have to thank anthocyanins for the reds, purples, and blues in the food color spectrum. In humans, anthocyanins have the following advantages:

  • Protection against cardiovascular disease
  • antioxidant
  • Protects against cancer
  • Improved memory
  • Immune regulation
  • Anti-inflammatory

Black cannabis strains

The following strains are known to express black characteristics:

So, if you are looking at create black cannabis ? Start with a strain known to produce black phenotypes. Put it under bright light and keep the growing environment cool and pleasant. Make sure your pH is closer to neutral while still staying within the optimum pH for growing cannabis. Don't overwater. To keep black alive, avoid hybridizing with a non-black strain. Your plants will likely begin to express their color during flowering as the grass ages.

Tags : Agriculture/GrowingGenetic
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The author weed master

Weed media broadcaster and communications manager specializing in legal cannabis. Do you know what they say? knowledge is power. Understand the science behind cannabis medicine, while staying up to date with the latest health related research, treatments and products. Stay up to date with the latest news and ideas on legalization, laws, political movements. Discover tips, tricks and how-to guides from the most seasoned growers on the planet as well as the latest research and findings from the scientific community on the medical qualities of cannabis.