purple weed strains

5 purple cannabis strains that won’t make you sleepy

Everyone loves purple cannabis strains. They’re beautiful, they smell and taste great, and their effects can be pretty potent, depending on the strain. Since the rise and popularity of Granddaddy Purple, purple strains are thought of as being grapey and heavily sedative. But the truth is, you can’t just look at purple flowers and assume they’re going to taste like fruit or put you to sleep.

The color of cannabis has nothing to do with its effects. It’s all about anthocyanins—color pigments found in plants—and there are plenty of purple cannabis strains out there that have the exact opposite effects of Granddaddy Purp.

So here are a few purple weed strains that may provide uplifting, energizing, and stimulating effects. As with all strains, highs vary by consumer; these are based on the most popular data over the years.


Candyland is truly one of the most perplexing cannabis strains out there—you truly never know what you’re going to get with it. It’s a cross of GDP and Bay Platinum Cookies, which is pretty much Platinum GSC, and from those genetics come a wide variety of phenotypes, and an even wider variety of effects.

Sometimes you’ll get some Candyland that hits you with a potent relaxation, but most times this strain comes with an aggressive head rush of energy. That may sound intimidating for people who assume they can’t handle sativas, but Candyland is great for anyone who likes to smoke a daytime strain in the morning and want something heavier than some Hazes out there.

Tropicana Cookies

Tropicana Cookies has to be here when we talk purple strains that won’t make you sleepy. It’s a new age cross of GSC and Tangie known by many other monikers like Tropicali and Tropicanna. Its buds are some of the most beautiful you’ll see with a deep-as-the-abyss shade of purple that you simply don’t see too often with sativas.

Its smell and flavor will absolutely blow you away—light a joint of this and get ready for a tropical mix of sweet oranges followed by a refreshing high that makes you want to get up and go. To where? Anywhere, for anything, at any time.

I’ve faced joint after joint of Tropicana Cookies and still had enough mental energy to push through hours of the Joe Budden Podcast. I even smoked a joint of it while walking home from a warehouse party at 5am. If that doesn’t scream the opposite of heavily sedative, then nothing does.

Purple Haze

Purple Haze is most famously a Jimi Hendrix song from 1967. And right after that, it’s most famously a classic weed strain from around the same time. Which came first: chicken or the egg? Not sure, but what is known is that this classic sativa produces flowers that are straight-up flushed with a deep purple color.

Flavor-wise, the strain is a cross of Purple Thai and Haze, so the smoke comes through with a sweet earthy taste. The high usually differs from the presumed sleepiness, and instead delivers a potent euphoria that puts people in a dreamy daze. Grab this one for a boost in creativity.


If you haven’t noticed, many GSC crosses come out on the uplifting side of effects. Sherbert is another one of them. This famous cross of Cookies and Pink Panties comes stacked with deep purple colors and frosty white trichomes.

The high is usually very mellow and manageable, which is why you find this one on so many Best Strains for Beginners lists. I mean, smoke enough of it and you may be counting sheep, but most people champion the strain—also called Sunset Sherbert—for providing a comfortable cerebral boost that many people go to as a smoke-through-the-day type of bud.

Purple Skunk

Out of all the strains on this list, you’ll find the least information about Purple Skunk . It’s one of those classic strains that lives purely on legend and small anecdotal reports. As legend will tell you, Purple Skunk is a cross of some old school purple strain and Skunk #1 (obviously) that’ll make you feel uplifted and happy.

Back in the ‘70s when growers were starting to cross indicas and sativas, which led to the hybrid world we now live in, Skunk was one of the go-to sativas, and Skunk’s attributes tend to be pretty dominant in its kids—Leafly reviewers report similar happy, relaxed, and euphoric effects from Purple Skunk.

Looks can be deceiving—the color of cannabis has nothing to do with its effects. Check out these beautiful purple strains that will give you a boost.

Is Purple Weed Better Than Green Marijuana Flower?

Wednesday January 13, 2021

T here’s something about purple weed that just makes it seem. better. It’s not just the color, which can be an exotic, deep violet floating amongst a sea of green nugs on your local dispensary’s shelves. It’s that purple weed seems almost mythical, so much so that the color is a major selling point for the strain itself. Names such as Grand Daddy Purps, Purple Urkel, and Purple Dragon are a draw for cannabis consumers looking for something dank, powerful, and potent.

But is there anything actually special about purple weed that sets it apart from its iconic green brethren? Does that enticing lilac color signal that some special trick of cannabis chemistry is going on inside those trichomes? Is purple weed really better, stronger, and doper than green flower? Or is that remarkable purple color just a different shade of the same genetics, like a black panther or a white tiger?

What Makes Marijuana Turn Purple?

First off, any talk about purple weed versus green weed is really a talk about flavonoids, which are what make the buds of a strain like Grand Daddy Purps so. purp. Flavonoids are one of the two hundred chemical compounds that have been found in weed so far (although to be clear they are not specific to cannabis and exist in all plants). While they are not nearly as well studied as cannabinoids like THC and CBD, or terpenes like pinene and limonene, flavonoids are known to serve several functions in cannabis.

The main function of flavonoids is expressing the plant’s different pigments (the “flavon” in flavonoid is Latin for yellow, though flavonoids appear in a range of colors). Beyond that, flavonoids help to protect the cannabis plant from pests, disease, and harmful UV rays. Further studies have also shown that flavonoids work synergistically with the terpenes to express the taste and smell of each essential oil.

In purple weed strains, the flavonoid giving those nugs their regal color is called anthocyanin. In fruits, anthocyanin is what turns raspberries their ruby red and gives blueberries their namesake color. In bud, anthocyanin is responsible for turning strains like Purple Urkle that deep shade of violet that makes it look like it ate the wrong gum at Willy Wonka’s factory.

Fun Fact: The “cyan” in anthocyanin refers to that greenish-blue color that’s possibly best known as one of the main ink cartridges in a color printer. It’s the “C” in the CMYK color model. You know, the one that always seems to run out first, and then your printer won’t work until you replace it, despite the fact that you’re only trying to print a black and white document? That’s Cyan.

Anthocyanins and Cannabis

So, is anthocyanin some special genetic ingredient that gives purple weed extra flex when it comes to getting you lifted? Is it some kind of suggestive chemical wink at whoever’s looking to smoke it? Are those indigo indicas nature’s way of saying “Stay away from this plant unless you wanna have too much of a good time?” Not exactly.

While some cannabis consumers do report that purple weed strains just hit different, this is most likely a case of priming themselves for an experience based on prior assumptions.

One can’t be blamed for assuming that if they’re advertising a cannabis strain as being a special color, it has to mean there’s something special about the strain itself. The truth is, there are a couple of reasons that a strain turns purple, and none of them have to do specifically with THC content.

What Purple Leaves on Cannabis Mean

For a cannabis strain to purple up its leaves, it has to already have a genetic predisposition to expressing that color. This has nothing to do with THC content. In nature, the main reason for a purple cannabis strain to start expressing those violet flavonoids is usually because it’s getting cold out.

As you may have noticed if you’ve ever walked along a forested path on a crisp fall day, leaves don’t stay green all year round. This is because, as the outside air temperature begins to drop, trees start preparing for a couple of months with less sunshine. This means pulling all their useful, sunlight-transforming, green chlorophyll out of their leaves in order to conserve energy for the winter. As the chlorophyll drains out of the leaves, all the reds, oranges, yellows, and other fall colors that are usually masked by chlorophyll get uncovered.

Because cannabis is a plant, and all plants have chlorophyll, this same thing can occur. In some strains, as the chlorophyll retreats, the color that’s left is purple. Thus, purple nugs may have less to do with any special genetic mutation giving them extra potency and more to do as a byproduct of a marijuana plant getting chilly.

In this new age of cannabis cultivation, purple coloring has a lot more to do with nurture than nature. Because of purple weed’s novelty, reputation, and bag appeal, there are plenty of growers who are specifically breeding strains that naturally express anthocyanin without any temperature changes. Even with this specialized breeding, purple nugs may not equal the dopest product.

Purple VS Green Weed

According to some growers, purple strains usually contain less THC than their green brethren. This is due to the strain putting extra resources into expressing the anthocyanin inside their leaves rather than into the trichome production on top of them. On the other hand, a master marijuana grower can overcome purple weed’s energetic handicap. If they know what they’re doing, a grower can still produce some top-notch bud that also looks like what Grimace smokes before his shift at McDonald’s. We’ve all smoked those strains. Because the purple color is a selling point, some growers have focused on breeding specifically strong purple strains.

Besides the talent of the grower, there’s nothing inherent in purple bud that sets it apart from other strains.

On an even playing field, a well-grown strain of Bruce Banner will usually smash its Thanos-hued competitors. This is not to discount anyone’s tastes. Some individual cannabis consumers may find that purple strains hit them the best due to the complex interactions between the genetics of a strain and everyone’s different body chemistry. You can chalk it up to the magic of weed. But on the whole, purple strains are going to be more of a visual selling point than an experiential one.

Does Weed Color Matter?

When it comes to the color of your weed, whether it’s Purple Urkle, Golden Goat, Pink Flower Shaman, or Green Crack, it really is what’s inside that counts. Specifically, what’s inside those crystally trichomes that are covering the leaves (whatever color those leaves happen to be.) Everyone likes pulling out some exotic nug from the bag to show to friends or load into a bowl. However, the best way to find the dankest nug isn’t the color, but the smell and texture.

Is the nug springy with some give? That means it was well cured. Is the coating sugary? That means there’s plenty of rich trichomes chock full of THC. Does it smell like a forest in paradise? Then those terpenes are gonna be the ones for you. However, if your friend or budtender tells you a strain of purple is the dankest, it never hurts to give it a try.

Do you notice a difference in purple weed? Share your experiences in the comments!

There’s something about purple weed that just makes it seem…better. Names such as Grand Daddy Purps and Purple Dragon are a draw for consumers looking for something dank, powerful, and potent. But is there anything actually special about purple weed that sets it apart from classic green flower?