Beautifully, marijuana flowers can exhibit different color nuances. This highly depends on strains’ specifics and/or environmental factors that can trigger the distinct purple coloring.
Just several decades ago, enjoying the mesmerizing purple hues of cannabis varieties was not widely available.
Thanks to the increasingly accessible cannabis education, as well as the spectacular advance in breeding techniques, purple strains are here to stay.
In this article, we will share the top 10 purple marijuana strains that will captivate your senses with their one-of-a-kind visual appeal.
But before we get down to our carefully-curated top 10, we invite you on a journey to tracing back the history of purple marijuana strains, what actually makes some strains turn purple, and are purple strains any different in medical or recreational properties than “ordinary” cannabis varieties.
Purple is a color that possesses a particular sense of mystery. Moreover, purple is saturated with deep symbolism.
For a start, purple is considered a rarity in nature. Because of this, purple has been associated with supernatural aura for thousands of years.
Purple is a symbol of royalty, wisdom, nobility, creativity, spiritual power, wealth, dignity, and extravagance, among others.
Historians believe that ancient Chinese were most probably among the first civilizations across the globe to have recognized the magical properties. For instance, the Forbidden Purple City entrance was reserved solely for the Emperor.
When thinking about purple cannabis strains, it is important to open up your mind and senses to a higher view.
A purple marijuana strain is not necessarily purple “from head to toe.”
Different strains can exhibit a wide array of purple nuances these can be spread over the stems, the leaves and/or the flowers of marijuana plants within a different ratio.
The secret “ingredient” that gives some marijuana strains purple coloring is anthocyanins. Anthocyanins belong to the big family of flavonoids.
All marijuana plants are made up of active cannabinoids, terpenoids, flavonoids, and omega fatty acids – but not all flavonoids will give way to anthocyanins present in a particular cannabis strain.
The reason why it is tricky to automatically correlate anthocyanins with purple coloring is that anthocyanins are actually responsible for giving various fruits, flowers,and vegetables red, blue and purple coloring. Anthocyanins are pigments but these tiny pigments are actually mighty health warriors.
As highlighted in a recent study from 2017 titled Anthocyanidins and anthocyanins: colored pigments as food, pharmaceutical ingredients, and the potential health benefits “…Most of the red, purple, and blue-colored flowers contained anthocyanins. Red flowers are red hibiscus, red rose, red pineapple sage, red clover, and pink blossom. These red flowers are edible. Blue (cornflower, blue chicory, and blue rosemary) and purple (purple mint, purple passion flower, purple sage, common violet, and lavender) flowers are the common edible flowers…”
So, how does the miracle of turning some marijuana strains purple happen?
In a nutshell, it is environmental factors, and in particular stress, due to low temperatures in late flowering, and/or the genetic inheritance of cannabis varieties that is related to triggering the alluring purple hues.
Purple marijuana strains have been well-known to cannabis growers long before advanced, selective breeding techniques started to take place in recent decades. However, purple strains were not massively available back then.
One of the trailblazers in purple marijuana strains cultivation is said to be DJ Short, the legendary West Coast breeder of the beloved Blueberry cannabis strain.
DJ Short’s Blueberry strain was, undoubtedly, one of the earliest examples of an intentionally bred strain that exhibits bluish-purplish hues along with distinct berry undertones through the miracle of premium breeding of carefully selected genetics rather than purplish coloring being triggered by environmental factors.
Interestingly, Indica strains are the ones to most commonly exhibit purple hues.
Then again, thanks to the advanced breeding techniques and much more room for experimenting in the last decades, modern-day marijuana breeders have been able to identify and further separate marijuana plants with the desired purple color in order to achieve a fixed trait any cannabis grower or connoisseur can enjoy once he/she picks such strains to grow or consume.
Stress on the Plant
Before the introduction of selective breeding, most purple marijuana strains appeared because of a phenomenon related to the lower temperatures that occur in the fall.
Lower fall temperatures are, therefore, considered an environmental factor that triggers purple coloring.
To be more specific, it is stress that “activates” the purple hues but this rarely happens within a controlled ratio.
For instance, some strains that are exposed to prolonged periods of colder temperatures before harvesting can turn purple in shades of lilac, lavender, royal purple, and all the way up to even appearing black or indigo blue in color.
Sometimes, it is only the stems that get colored in purple but sometimes, purple can also be found on the leaves and/or the flowers. Whether the purple undertones envelop the entire plant or only bring off subtle hues on limited areas was not something growers could fully control.
As highlighted in a study titled Plant color differences based on management and weather published by Iowa State University “… Another symptom of cool air and soil temperatures, combined with wet conditions, is a purplish tint… Purple leaf coloring is more pronounced in some hybrids’ genetics than others…  Phosphorus unavailability is often mentioned as a culprit for the purple leaves…” Although this particular study focuses on purple coloring in corn, the very factors that trigger this unique response in marijuana plants are pretty much similar.
Are Purple Marijuana Strains Superior for Medical or Recreational Purposes?
There have been some contradictory myths lingering in the shadows of public perceptions when it comes to the possible medical and recreational properties of purple marijuana strains.
In a nutshell, are purple marijuana strains capable of providing an extended and/or unusual array of mind-and-body benefits that would be otherwise impossible to experience by consuming “ordinary” marijuana strains?
For a start, anthocyanins are proven to possess high antioxidant properties. The high levels of natural anti-oxidants that anthocyanins contain can be beneficial to your well-being in a similar way as with consuming blueberries, for example.
“The colored pigments of anthocyanin from berries, blackcurrants, and other types of red to blue-colored fruits are strong antioxidants. Moreover, anthocyanin-rich black carrot, red cabbage, and purple potato are potential functional foods that have been consumed for prevention of diseases,” as published in the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health.
But most importantly, if you want to reap the antioxidant benefits that come along with consuming purple marijuana strains, you need to juice raw cannabis.
Juicing raw cannabis is one of the hottest trends of the future but up-to-date, due to various restrictions and difficulties obtaining 100% organically grown buds that work best for raw juicing still limits the advance of this particular way of consuming cannabis.
Also, juicing raw cannabis doesn’t come with experiencing the high. In case you don’t heat raw buds, the process of decarboxylation cannot occur, and in return, you won’t activate cannabinoids into triggering the psychoactive effects of the herb upon consumption.
However, you can always choose to add de-carbed marijuana buds to raw buds while juicing raw buds alongside in order to enjoy the high.
Once heated, anthocyanins lose their anti-oxidant properties. With this in mind, traditional ways of consuming marijuana through heating, whether it comes to edibles, tinctures, vaping or smoking, will simply curb the beneficial action of anthocyanians.
However, some studies imply that anthocyanins, even when heated, do still possess anti-inflammatory properties. But since more research is needed on that note, medical marijuana users are encouraged to opt for strains that are high in CBD as being more reliable in the long-term treatment of inflammatory issues.
Finally, as we briefly mentioned above, the dominant percentage of purple marijuana strains nowadays are most commonly attributed to the family of Indica cannabis varieties.
With this in mind, many users report purple marijuana strains as the perfect nighttime to treat pointing out to higher chances of sinking into a calm, fully relaxed state of body and mind that brinks to sedation and are best experienced in a friendly, laid back atmosphere.
Buckeye Purple is a rare Indica-dominant gemstone. It is a hybrid strain that resulted from crossing the genetics of Granddaddy Purple and Gorilla Grape.
THC levels are high, varying from 15% to 20% on an average. Buckeye Purple also contains good levels of CBD that typically reach about 1%.
The buds are round-shaped and exhibit tints of dreamy lavender purple.
The blend of flavors comes with spice grape and refreshing berry undertones on the inhale, accompanied by earthy, floral, diesel hints on the exhale.
Buckeye Purple can work great for treating muscle spasms and cramps, as well as sore or tensed muscles. Best suited for evening use, Buckeye Purple can be an excellent remedy for chronic pain, inflammation, insomnia, as well as glaucoma.
The early onset of the high usually starts with waves of euphoria and joy, followed by a tranquil state of mind. The later onsets will leave you totally relaxed and sedated to the point of getting glued to the couch before finally, sleepiness kicks in.
Purple Haze is an intriguing addition to our top 10 purple marijuana strains because it is one of the few Sativa-dominant representatives, 60% Sativa to 40% Indica traits are found in Purple Haze.
The breeders, as well as the exact parent strains that gave birth to Purple Haze, are unknown but it is no secret that a mysterious phenotype of Haze strain was involved.
The buds exhibit dark green coloring with distinct purple hues that can sometimes vary from violet purple to bright blue.
Bearing its famous name (because of one of Jimi Hendrix’ songs), Purple Haze features high levels of THC that vary from 15% to 21%.
What’s more, Purple Haze is decently high in CBD content, about 1% being present, and in addition, it is high in yet another beneficial active cannabinoid, namely CBN which can reach 1% and up to 2%.
Best suited for daytime use and/or social activities, Purple Haze can make a wonderful treatment for anxiety, depression, PTSD and ADD/ADHD, among others.
The cerebral high comes with a mighty boost in energy and good mood, stimulating talkativeness and creativity while alleviating stress. Altered sensory perceptions and a mild to moderate psychedelic experiences are often common when consuming Purple Haze.
The blend of flavors consists of earthy undertones that give way to subtle yet detectable hints of ripe grape and berries.
Granddaddy Purple was created back in 2003 by crossing the high-yielding Big Bud with Purple Urkle.
Granddaddy Purple is a perfectly balanced hybrid, 50% Indica to 50% Sativa. THC levels can greatly vary starting from mild levels of 11% and climbing up to 26%. CBD is barely present, though typically within up to 0.27% along with low levels of CBN up to 0.62%.
The buds are massive and dense, displaying distinct purple coloring accompanied by bright orange hairs and dripping resin.
Best suited for nighttime use, Granddaddy Purple is a strain with high medicinal value. It is especially well-known for its high pain-relief efficacy and is often prescribed to patients trying to cope with arthritis, migraines, lower back pain, as well as insomnia, anxiety, depression, PTSD and ADD/ADHD, among others.
Granddaddy Purple is famous for inducing a combination of strong psychedelic high along with euphoric cerebral buzz and deep, potent, long-lasting body relaxation.
The early onsets of the high typically start with an uplift in the mood, accompanied by a boost in energy and waves of giggly, happy vibes.
As the high reaches its peak, full mind-and-body relaxation takes place. The blend of flavors features exquisite hints of grape and ripe cherries, followed by a sweet honey after-taste.
Just like the very name of this strain suggests, Grape Ape is a true treasure for the connoisseurs of delicious, grape-flavored strains. With exact genetics that remains a mystery, Grape Ape is rumored to have been created from a prime phenotype of Mendocino Purps.
This Indica-dominant hybrid boasting of high THC levels that can reach 25% can be used for both medical, as well as recreational purposes but it is best suited to evening use.
Commonly referred to as one of the best pain killer strains, Grape Ape delivers a strong punch that starts with uplifting cerebral euphoria.
As the high develops, you might just as well feel like a lazy, clumsy primate craving to simply lay back and enjoy the mind-and-body relaxation to the fullest as your thoughts roam in another dimension.
Buds are large and dense, and extremely sticky. The alluring purple hues can spread over both the leaves, as well as the flowers, emitting a particularly stinky aroma.
The flavor blend is a combination of grapes and hints of berries accompanied by subtle sweetness lingering on the palate.
Querkle marijuana strain is 80% Indica-dominant hybrid that resulted as a cross between Space Queen and Purple Urkle.
THC levels vary from moderate to high, starting from about 15% and reaching up to 23%. CBD is present only within 0.55 and up to 0.66%, along with low amounts of CBN within up to 0.35%.
Querkle is an excellent example of a creeper strain, if you consume more than needed, it can knock you down to sleep before you even know it. The first onsets of the high begin with an uplifted spirit, stimulated the mind, and waves of euphoria. As the high develops, stress is melt away and giggles often come about, too.
Querkle can be used for treating eating, sleep and mood disorders, pain control, as well as depression and anxiety, among others.
Best suited for evening use, Querkle marijuana plants grow dense purple buds that are often accompanied by dark purple coloring on the leaves, further enhanced by enchanting silver hues.
The flavors come with a delicious swirl of earthy, grape, spicy, cherry undertones.
One more of the rare representatives of Sativa-dominant purple strains, Purple Trainwreck is a cross between Granddaddy Purple and Trainwreck, resulting in 60% Sativa dominance.
THC levels vary between 15% – 23%. While traces of CBN are rather low and can barely exceed 0.22%, decent levels of CBD are present in Purple Trainwreck – up to 1.31%.
Purple Trainwreck is a truly amazing strain that both medical, as well as recreational consumers can equally enjoy and benefit from – whether it comes to daytime or evening use.
In minor doses, Purple Trainwreck induces a very stimulating, cerebral buzz that can make you feel full of energy. Both creativity and good mood can be greatly enhanced, making this strain wonderful for treating anxiety.
In higher doses, Purple Trainwreck can do just what the name implies – a total wreck of your body and mind, gluing you straight onto the couch for hours.
But along with sedation, Purple Trainwreck can help you achieve excellent pain management, while also alleviating stress, depression, migraines, and insomnia. Purple Trainwreck is also highly recommended for treating nausea and lack of appetite.
The buds are usually heavily coated in frosty, fancy purple coloring.
The blend of flavors is no less intriguing, turning the consumption of Purple Trainwreck into a memorable experience on the palate, alternating a distinctly grape body with hints of sweet bubblegum and dank earth.
Mendocino’s origin is embraced in mystery, as its genetic inheritance remains unknown up-to-date. It is an Indica dominant hybrid that features 40% Sativa traits.
THC levels are leaning on the moderate side, averaging from 15% and up to 21%. CBD is also present within a low amount, rarely exceeding 0.60%.
But despite the fact THC levels are not towering above 21%, don’t underestimate the strong potency of Mendocino Purps. This strain is the proud winner of not one but two Cannabis Cups in the Indica category in 2007 and 2009.
Menodicino Purps is best suited for evening use due to its highly sedating properties. Strong cerebral euphoria from the early onset of the high quickly makes a place to a feeling of ultimate head-to-toe relaxation.
This strain can be used for both medical, as well as recreational purposes. It can be a wonderful treatment for stress, nausea, appetite loss, and sleeplessness.
The flavor blend of Mendocino Purps is unique, compromising of a distinct pine body with juicy hints of grape and bitter-sweet coffee undertones.
Purple coloring shows off in late flowering when the frosty nuggets feature nuances of dark purple that can also spread out to the leaves and/or stems.
Purple Afghan Kush
Purple Afghan Kush is a 75% Indica dominant hybrid that was created after experts crossed the legendary Afghani #1 and the no less notorious Purple Kush.
THC levels are typically within fixed rates of 17% and up to 18%. CBD content is also decent up to 1% on average.
Praised for its high medicinal value, Purple Afghan Kush can be used for treating anxiety, insomnia, eating disorders, depression, insomnia, headaches, fibromyalgia, ADD/ADHD, and PTSD, among others.
The early onset of the high helps to boost good mood and stimulate creativity as your mind is blanketed in euphoria.
As the high reaches its peak, pains are effectively put under control and munchies soon kick in before your entire being is embraced in sedation which leads to sleepiness.
The blend of flavors is quite extravagant for a purple strain, and you can indulge in a symphony of dank earth, blue cheese, and pine undertones.
The gorgeous purple coloring of Purple Afghan Kush is most prominent in the leaves zone, although the dense flowers can also exhibit purplish tints.
Deep Purple is a beautiful cross between Querkle and Purple Urkle, carrying 90% indica dominance.
THC levels typically start from 18% and reach up to 22% while CBD content is also quite satisfactory about 1%.
Best suited for evening use, Deep Purple can cater to both medical, as well as recreational marijuana users alike.
The high starts with blanketing the mind in a coziness that is further complemented by a warm body buzz. Despite the feeling of relaxation and calmness, a well dosed intake of Deep Purple doesn’t leave you sedated to the point of losing your functionality.
This strain can make an excellent natural treatment for pain, Multiple Sclerosis, stress and food disorders.
Hints of flowers, grapes, dank earth, fresh lemon, pine, and fruits make up the flavor profile of Deep Purple. The alluring purple undertones are most prominent in the appearance of the buds.
Purple Queen is a modern day cross between an unknown Skunk cannabis variety and Thailand parent strain. It’s leaning towards the Indica inheritance, being 70% Indica and 30% Sativa.
THC levels varying between 15% – 23%, along with about 1% of CBD promise a strong effect that is best described as a physically stoned feeling that is deep and lasting.
Purple Queen’s specialty is bringing waves of relaxed, dreamy euphoria that are not racing but rather calming.
As if you peacefully float to Dreamland, your entire being would simply want to lay back on the couch and forget about single care in the world except for, munchies might bring you down on earth.
Best suited for evening use, Purple Queen can be an excellent remedy for insomnia, lack of appetite, eating disorders, as well as stress and pain management, among others.
The pastel, dreamy, lilac purple hues start from the leaves and gently spread towards the flowers, merging with the frosty hints of the dense nugs.
Flavors pair a twist of lemon peel with pine and fuel, turning your Purple Queen experience into nothing less but a mini celebration for the senses.
We simply can’t wait to see what the future of cannabis cultivation is about to bring, and what about you?
“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it” – Alice Walker, “The Color Purple.”
The truth is, there is no need to compare purple marijuana strains with the rest of the enchantingly colored buds we may come across.
Each cannabis variety is beautifully unique on its own – so whenever you can enjoy a good flower in just about any colors of the rainbow – just indulge in the experience!
We do hope that the top 10 purple marijuana strains we compiled for you have managed to bring inspiration and a wide smile to your face because, for those who love the herb as much as we do, nothing compares to the feeling you get when you explore more about the magic of the green medication.