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Are Orange Hairs On Cannabis Related To Potency?

September 30, 2022
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Orange hair on weed

Looking at the color of your weed can be a great indicator of strain quality, effects, and more. Here's what you need to know about orange hair on weed.

We all know that one defining characteristic of weed is its gorgeous array of colors. And while we can all appreciate the beauty of a deep green nug, there's something special about those with orange hairs. Orange weed hairs make many strains appear exotic and are something that has long intrigued cannabis users. No matter what strain of cannabis you choose, there are various tiny colorful weed hairs found throughout the buds. But why do the orange hairs on weed exist? Let's take a closer look at this phenomenon.

Marijuana plant anatomy

Cannabis plants have a similar anatomy to other plants. To understand why cannabis produces orange hairs, we need to familiarize ourselves with marijuana plant anatomy.

●    Nodes - Separation of branches from the stem occurs in these areas. On most nodes, buds grow and fan leaves develop.

●    Cola – Several buds are grouped very closely together, usually near the bottom branch. Atop the main stem is the most significant and largest cola.

●    Bract – The female plants' reproductive parts are encased in small, teardrop-shaped leaves known as bracts. These are the locations from which the pre-flowers emerge just before they flower.

●    Calyx – The flower itself, consisting of resin glands and buds. A protective layer of bracts surrounds the calyx, covering the plant's reproductive organs. Here, seeds are formed. (Resin glands and buds)

●    Pistils - This is the orange hair protruding from the calyxes. Pistils are the female plant's sex organs, also known as stigmas. Pistils are one of the earliest signs that a cannabis plant is beginning to flower.

●    Trichomes – These bulbous resin glands create a frosty, sticky resin containing cannabinoids and terpenes. Cannabinoids and terpenes are present in greater concentrations in more resinous flowers.

Orange hair in weed

Known as flower pistils, these orange hairs are what catch pollen from the male plant. The pistils of the female cannabis plant serve as reproductive organs. Their purpose is to capture pollen from male plants during blooming. Pollen is sucked back into the plant by the weed hairs. Pollen pollinates or fertilizes pistils once it contacts them. The female plant will start producing seeds at that point.

However, cultivators take away the male plants from the field during the growing season to suppress pollination so the female plants can concentrate on producing flowers and not seeds. As a result, cannabinoids and terpenes are produced in greater quantities.  

In flower production, clusters of pistils shoot from the main bud and rise to their maximum height, which allows them to collect pollen. During the final stage of the flower's development, the pistils have dried up and turned darker. As a result, they have also receded into the plant somewhat.

What does orange hair on weed mean?

Now that we know what orange hairs and pistils are, let's explore orange hair on weed a bit more. Orange kush strains readily produce fertile pistils, which are among the first signs that a marijuana plant is beginning to flower. The plant's female flowers grow from the bud, or calyx, which is their base.

Pistils are not always orange. While in the vegetative stage, the hairs are white, and as they approach the flower stage, they begin to change color. Originally yellow, they become orange as they enter the flowering stage.

Some flowers mature into vivid orange and purple strains with hues that are actually more red or brown in color. However, various strains can yield different results depending on how they were cultivated. In some strains, the pistils can take on a pink or purple hue.

Do orange hairs on weed get you high?

The vibrant orange hues indicate something extraordinary has occurred, right? When you ask whether orange hairs on weed get you high, you are actually asking, "do pistils contain THC?" There's a common misbelief that buds covered with colorful hairs are more potent. However, this isn't accurate. At the flowering stage, pistils are crucial, but the trichomes are what contains THC. So, orange hairs on weed don’t get you high. The crystals on your cannabis are what get you high. 

Do orange hairs signify that a strain of weed is potent?

Despite the widespread belief that colorful buds are more potent and will pack more punch, that's not necessarily true. While the pistils of a plant are an integral component of its flowering process, they are not responsible for the strain's cannabinoid content.

It is far better to focus on the trichomes instead. The reason “reg weed” has so little THC is because of its trichomes. On the other hand, due to its incredibly high resin content, dank weed has a frosty appearance due to its high concentrations of trichomes.

Why is some weed purple?

The color of purple weed does not indicate strength, contrary to popular belief. So why is it this color? According to its position in the spectrum, anthocyanin, a water-soluble flavonoid, has different colors based on pH values. At low pH levels, it appears blue; at higher pH levels, it appears purple, and at the highest pH levels, it appears red.

As an indica strain, most purple strains of cannabis lock you onto the couch and produce a heavy narcotic effect ideal for relieving pain and promoting sleep. However, there have been recent breeding programs that combine purple strains with other genetics to reduce the drowsiness effect while increasing the uplifting effect of sativas.

Putting it all together

As it turns out, the prettiest buds aren't always the most potent. So, what should you look for when trying to determine THC potency? Trichomes, or white crystals, are a good indicator of potency and should be present in high numbers on potent buds.

Get started on your cannabis wellness journey

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