If you’ve ever seen photos of all-white weed, it’s hard to deny that it isn’t beautiful. For years, cannabis enthusiasts and breeders have been trying to obtain weed in a variety of colors – purple, blue, red, even black. When it comes to white weed, it may be gorgeous to look at, but its reason for being such a pure white might surprise you.
What Is Albinism In Plants?
Albinism is a condition classified as the loss of pigmentation. In plants, however, this could be detrimental to a plant’s survival, as a lack of pigmentation means a lack of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a special pigment in plants that absorbs ultraviolet rays from the sun, and is what causes plants to be green in color. It’s an active player in photosynthesis, so without chlorophyll, plants have no way of absorbing sunlight and receiving proper nutrients.
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So, Is Albino Weed Real?
Although many photos can be found on the Internet of albino cannabis and white weed strains, the survival of an albino marijuana plant is most likely a myth. Without a sufficient amount of chlorophyll, it’s unlikely that an albino plant could live long enough to produce buds of any sort. Albinism in cannabis is, essentially, a genetic defect that will hinder the growth of your plant. Even if an albino cannabis plant could survive and produce flowers, the buds in question would have very low THC due to the lack of nutrients it received during its growth.
White Cannabis: How Is It Possible?
White cannabis does not always occur because of a genetic trait like albinism. Instead, it can occur due to many other factors such as light bleach, powdery mildew, or as a side-effect of cross-breeding strains.
If you notice parts of your cannabis plant turning shades of white, this could be due to light bleach. Light bleach occurs when your plants are overexposed to direct, constant light at high temperatures. This discoloration is most likely to occur on top branches, leaves and buds, since these are the parts of the plant likely to have longer exposure to direct, artificial light. Light bleach very rarely occurs with outdoor plants and is typically only a symptom of indoor growth. Learn how to deal with light burn in our article on the topic.
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Sometimes, your so-called albino weed could be due not to albinism, but rather to something more deadly to your plant such as powdery mildew. If your plants have no genetic defects to your knowledge but are producing all-white weed, they could be infected with a fungus that’s very unhealthy to smoke and deadly to the survival of your plants. You can tell it’s powdery mildew from the unpleasant smell and its powder-like appearance on the buds, stems and leaves.
There are many strains of cannabis that are bred to grow white weed buds. These strains are not carriers of the albinism trait, but are bred to have prominent white-colored crystals of resin form on their surface. The most famous white weed strain is probably White Widow, a cross between a Brazilian Sativa and an Indian Indica, and which is characterized by its all-white weed buds and prominent crystallization.
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Albino Weed? Think Again
Next time you come across some all-white weed, you might need to think twice before you decide to consume it. There are a variety of reasons why weed can appear white in color, with albinism being the most interesting but rarest of them all. So, unless your weed has been purposefully bred to appear white in color, you might want to steer clear and stick to the good ol’ green stuff.
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