Light bleaching is similar to bleached hair from spending ample time under the sun. Read for more information on how to prevent and solve light bleaching. Discover in PEV Grow all the truth about WHITE OR ALBINE MARIHUANA ✅ Discover the scientific side of this legend and ✨ dismantle myths with us! ✨ When dealing with cannabis albinism it is important to know Its effects. Cannabis albinism results in a snow white color of the plant.
Light Burn or Light Stress
Problem: Your cannabis plant can only withstand a certain amount of light. After a certain point, your cannabis will start turning yellow or otherwise exhibit signs of stress on the leaves near the sources of light and/or heat.
Light burn usually causes yellow leaves at the top of the plant directly under the grow lights (though it can appear on older leaves that have been exposed for a long time).
Sometimes the first sign a plant is getting too much light is all the leaves start pointing up or “praying”, like this (though sometimes you don’t see any symptoms until the yellowing starts)
With light burn, often the inside veins stay green. Yellow leaves won’t fall off or be plucked off easily, unlike a nitrogen deficiency where leaves fall off on their own.
The leaves closest to the light may appear much more pale than the rest of the plant, and tips may turn yellow.
Another example of yellow tips from light burn
Sometimes light burn causes edges of leaves to turn up. If it goes on a long time, the leaves also start to become crispy and can even break off if you try to bend them
You may noticed just the tallest colas getting droopy, which is sometimes a sign the light is too intense (though it could also be caused by root problems or over/under watering)
Light burn is often mistaken for a Nitrogen deficiency which makes wilting yellow leaves. Nitrogen-deficient leaves fall off on their own, while light-burned leaves are hard to pluck off. A nitrogen deficiency starts from the bottom of the plant and moves up, while light burn often is worse at the top of the plant.
Cannabis light burn usually affects the top leaves closest to the grow light
A Nitrogen deficiency creates yellow leaves at the bottom of the plant as the Nitrogen is sucked out of the oldest leaves to feed the top of the plant. On the other hand, light burn produces yellow leaves at the top of the plant under the grow lights because the leaves have worked too hard and/or too long from the light being too close. The leaves aren’t able to keep up with regular plant processes.
Imagine sitting outside all day under a scorching sun, possibly for days on end. Even if you could handle it for a day or two, it might wear you down over days or weeks.
It’s probably light burn if mostly just the leaves closest to the lights are turning yellow
With cannabis plants that have light burn, your leaves can sometimes become yellow or red/purple, possibly with brown spotting, often with burnt tips/edges and margins that stay green. Other problems, like nutrient problems, can trigger or make the symptoms of light burn a lot worse. Leaves may also appear generally burnt in places when there’s too much light, especially when combined with heat or nutrient problems.
Nutrient deficiencies make light burn worse!
If you see light bleaching and unhealthy discoloration only on the parts of the plant directly under your grow light, or only on older leaves that are exposed to the light, it often means it’s too bright for your plants and you should move your grow lights further away! If your plant is also having other problems, it is much more likely to be affected by light burn. A healthy plant can withstand higher light levels than a sick plant.
If the lights are only slightly too close, maybe just an inch or a few cm, the yellowing from light burn may happen slowly over the course of days (or even weeks!) because leaves are dying early instead of immediately. Because of that, light burn may first appear on somewhat older leaves, which can be confusing and make it hard to diagnose.
This cannabis seedling is being burned by too-close LED grow lights
Another example of light burn from an LED grow light being kept too close to the plants
These leaves of this LED-burnt plant started curling upwards
This cannabis seedling basically grew up into the grow light! The heat from the bulb caused massive burning everywhere it touched. If a plant’s leaves directly touches the lights, it leaves “burns” from the heat of the bulbs.
This plant was green and healthy through the vegetative stage under an LED grow light, but the leaves started dying soon after flowering started (even though that distance had been fine in the vegetative stage). The reason was the LED was too close. This is also very common with LED grow lights with just read and blue diodes, without any diodes in the green spectrum.
These plants seem apparently healthy, but the top leaves keep getting lighter and lighter, in this case from a 600W HPS that was kept just under a foot (30cm) away. The leaves slowly turned yellow over the course of a few weeks, getting light burn even though the temperature was a comfortable 75°F (24°C).
These yellow leaves were caused by an LED grow light that was too close. If you don’t realize it’s light burn, the symptoms are inexplicable!
A mild case of marijuana light burn is often mistaken for a nutrient deficiency or a pH problem, but if you look closely, the symptoms are concentrated directly under the grow light.
Light Bleached Cannabis Buds Sometimes Turn White
This is how you get “albino” or white buds. Light bleaching is most common with high-power LEDs and HPS grow lights because these can be brighter than the sun. Basically, bud bleaching is what happens when buds get too much light, kinda like how hair can get bleached if you spend plenty of time in the sun. Except a “sun-burnt” bud is often less potent, and may have lost it’s “cannabis” smell!
Buds which have been bleached tend to be low potency or even have no potency (no available THC or other cannabinoids). Therefore you should avoid light-bleaching your plants at all costs!
Sometimes light-bleached cannabis will get mis-labeled as “albino cannabis” or “white cannabis” but the truth is that the white color is not healthy, so this is not a desirable trait (even if it looks pretty cool).
Most of the Time, Light-Burned Buds Appear Burnt
Often though, light burned buds look like they’ve been burned.
LED-burnt cannabis buds – notice how all the tiny “sugar leaves” have turned yellow or brown
In this case the LED-burn caused the leaves closest to the LED to turn red. Although the buds smoked pretty well anyway, they definitely weren’t as pretty as they could have been!
The leaves too close to the LED grow light turned yellow and wilted. For some reason, cannabis plants seem a lot more prone to light burn after they start flowering.
Another example of a bud that has light burn from a too-close LED
Light burned bud on top, healthy bud below
Solution: If your marijuana plants are getting too much light, try removing some of the lights or moving your grow lights further away from the tops of the plants. If you can’t move the light further away, bend your plants over so the tops are further away or if your plant is still in the vegetative stage you might even consider cutting off the top of the plant to remove some of that height.
Reduce power of grow lights and/or move them further away from your plant
(How far away do I keep grow lights from my plants?)
It is unlikely for your plants to get “light-burned” from the sun when growing outdoors, and they definitely can’t accidentally grow into the sun. Outdoor plants can show signs of light stress if plants were used to shady conditions and moved into direct sunlight without time to get accustomed to the brigher light levels. It also may be possible in extreme high light conditions if the plant is unprotected but in general cannabis plants like a lot of light.
When making changes to your plant’s environment, it’s best to make changes relatively slowly if possible. For example when moving a cannabis plant from indoors or outdoors you might consider giving the plant some shade for a few days before moving it into full sunlight.
Sometimes heat stress can look like light stress. When learning how to grow cannabis, it’s best to try to keep things at a comfortable temperature at all times for optimal growth. If it’s too hot for you, it’s probably too hot for your plants. Outdoors, it’s a lot harder to control temperature, but there are steps you can take to protect your outdoor plants from the heat including supplementing with sea kelp, partially covering them and making sure they’re well watered.
White marijuana, myth or reality?
It has long been believed that white marijuana was a product of fiction such as the unicorn or the Snowman. An extravagance that could not be more than a product of photographic montages.
Among consumers there was a legend that a potent white variety of cannabis was growing in the New York sewerage system, which had been reached by seeds with other less pleasant substances thrown into the toilet in anti-drug raids.
The lack of light caused the plants to turn white, and so the New York White regia was born, to which some growers would go to give love in the sewers to harvest their white and superpowerful buds.
In this post we are going to try to dismantle some myths that run on the internet and we are going to look at the subject from the most scientific prism.
White marijuana is the result of genetic mutation, just as it happens in nature, this phenomenon is known as albinism.
Albinism is not an exclusive mutation of animals, it can also occur in plants. In both cases the phenomenon is characterized by the absence of pigments, melanin in animals and chlorophyll in plants.
the phenomenon is characterized by the absence of pigments
? White cannabis plants
The white colour in marijuana occurs from time to time, as a result of a double recessive gene that determines the absence of chlorophyll or a bad development of the genes that order the production of pigment.
The first one gives like result an absolutely white plant, although it is not the most usual thing; and in the second case what mutates is the bud or a part of the plant. Another possible explanation is that the deficient pigmentation is due to the non-conformity between the nuclear and chloroplastic genomes.
Chlorophyll is the pigment that gives colour to plants. Its purpose, more than aesthetic, is vital since it is necessary for the photosynthesis process. The chlorophyll of cannabis leaves is responsible for absorbing sunlight, triggering the chemical reaction that produces glucose feeding the plant from carbon dioxide (CO₂) and raw sap obtained from mineral salts and subsoil water.
The deficient pigmentation is due to the non-conformity between the nuclear and chloroplastic genomes
? Effects of white cannabis
If it is true that the white marijuana gives us with a beautiful flower, chlorophyll low levels deliver a product of lower quality compared to conventional varieties.
The albino marijuana cannot create the necessary energy to provoke the chemical reactions that cannabinoids produce, present in low concentrations in this type of marijuana, destiny almost has made them a Chinese vase.
In addition to genetic factors, albinism can have environmental triggers such as light, temperature and substrate cultivation.
Cannabis plants may have white tones due to light exposure. These varieties are not albino or white, but green plants discolored during growth by an intentional approach or by accident to a light source, such as a high-intensity lamp focus that affects the pigment.
This causes a whitening, which mainly affects the overexposed areas of the plant. This alteration is usually manifested in plants cultivated indoors, but it is very rare that it occurs outdoors.
Discoloration due to light overexposure causes stress in plants, although it usually affects only those parts of the plant that receive light excess. Depigmentation progress can be avoided with the use of fertilizers and light adjustments.
Genetic factors produce a small amount of chlorophyll when the albino plant germinates. On the other hand, in chlorosis, a disease that can disturb our shoots, bleaching is caused by a shortage of nutrients in the subsoil.
Marijuana needs abundant nitrogen (N), a moderate amount of potassium (K) and a lower proportion of phosphorus (P) in its vegetative growth phase. Less nitrogen, more phosphorus and similar levels of potassium in the flowering phase, to which micronutrients such as calcium (Ca), copper (Cu), boron (B), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), sulphur (S), molybdenum (Mo), magnesium (Mg) and zinc (Zn) are added to multiply the number and size of your buds.
When depigmentation is caused by chlorosis, you can stop it by supplying fertilizers containing these elements and by providing a glucose supplement to extend life expectancy of the plant and increase the production rates of its fruit.
Cannabis chlorosis doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
The inability of albino specimens to execute the photosynthesis process means that these plants do not have the ability to reproduce. Most of them have a short life period, which comes to an end without having to intervene any plague, because the lack of chlorophyll is enough to slow down the flower development. The cuttings that eventually sprout are predestined to an immediate death.
Almost-albine varieties, known as variegades, are more likely to reach maturity since areas that retain some green tone can photosynthesize, keeping the entire plant alive.
In spite of it, some specimens of white marijuana can live a lot of time. Experts have not been able to determine with certainty of how they feed chlorophyll lack to elaborate their own nutrients; although everything points to that they are parasites that are nourished from the carbohydrates obtained by the synthesis of other organisms.
Almost-albine varieties, known as variegades, are more likely to reach maturity
Albino plants are an obstacle to maximizing the harvest, crop quality and growth rate, so most growers will prefer to let them die if they show signs of albinism in early stages of life.
In fact, recently, there are many producers who, just for the fact of having this white plant, of great beauty (which cannot be denied) between their crops, they receive more plants of this type than there were until now. And what do you think? Do you want to have one or at least try it? We are waiting for your opinion!
Cannabis Albinism And Its Effect
Cannabis albinism affects a wide range of plants and this does include cannabis. Plants with albinism are distinguished by its fractional loss of chlorophyll, which is the pigment that gives plants that green color. It is also distinguished by pigments that are yellow and red in color. When a plant lacks chlorophyll, it also affects how the plant photosynthesizes and this lessens its chances of surviving.
Although not very common, cannabis albinism does happen. The primary feature of the plants with cannabis albinism is of a snow white color because the chlorophyll has been somewhat heavily diminished. Sometimes, the cannabis plant is fully albino and sometimes, it is albino in only specific parts of the plant such as the leaves, buds or branches.
New York White Strain
The New York White cannabis strain is debatably one of the most popular stories of cannabis albinism. This strain has been rumored to have its origin from the city of New York’s underground sewage system. Experts say that this strain started to grow as an albino cannabis in the underground sewers, sprouting from seeds that were flushed down a toilet in a home that was busted for drugs.
The seeds mutated over a period of time because of the deficiency in light in the underground sewage system. The growth sneaked into the sewage system and created a harvest that was of high potency, featuring snow white colored buds and that is why it got the name “New York White” strain.
This might be a nice story; it is not evident that it is all true. Cannabis plants do not survive naturally without having the appropriate nutrients and light. However, the story seems to be a fun way of representing cannabis legend.
The Cause of Cannabis Albinism
You may be wondering – What causes cannabis albinism? Well, though, this phenomenon is quite rare, many people have been able to observe it in plants around the world.
There may be two reasons for cannabis albinism. It could be a genetic irregularity where the cannabis plant has a recessive characteristic of its genes. This will make the cannabis plant appear weaker than normal because of its inability to photosynthesize due to the lack of chlorophyll. Some plants are not fully albino, but specific parts may be and you can visible see the white characteristics of those parts while the other parts are growing quite normally.
Learn How To Grow Cannabis!
The Albino Redwood is a plant that is able to survive, even though it lacks chlorophyll, but cannabis plants have not shown this trait and if the plants with cannabis albinism are not given the appropriate care, they will soon die.
Another major cause for cannabis albinism is from factors in the environment, especially exposure to light. It will have an effect on parts of the plant that are grown indoors, especially those that are close in proximity to a grow light.
You will hardly find this happening to outdoor cannabis plants. When the plant is overly exposed to light, it will ultimately damage the chlorophyll. If you notice cannabis albinism due to light bleaching you could save the plants by using more nutrients and adjust the light.
The Effect of Having Albinism
Because of the central importance that chlorophyll has when it comes to the photosynthesis process, the cannabis plant that has albino characteristics will have to put more effort out turning light into energy. For that reason, your plant might grow slower and you might see smaller yields.
There are over 300,000 jobs in the cannabis industry. CTU trained me for one of them!
– Johanna Rose
Makes $24.50 @ THC +
Sometimes, it is best not to keep plants with cannabis albinism because the plants may struggle with producing high levels of cannabinoids. If you want to prevent cannabis albinism in your garden, it is best to order your cannabis seeds from a reputable seed bank.
Enroll in Cannabis Training University’s marijuana classes to learn more.