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Parts of A Weed Plant

The anatomy of our Beloved Cannabis Plant

Photo by BXXXTY from Pexels

Cannabis is universal and this article is meant to inform readers on the different parts of a weed plant. We all love smoking that good stuff, and guess what? The green that heaps of people enjoy smoking, otherwise known as recreational marijuana comes primarily from the flowers of the female cannabis plant.

Since the female cannabis plant produces the resin rich flowers that yield the buds that most people love to smoke, they are largely coveted and sought after, as opposed to male cannabis plants. The males have received a terrible reputation throughout the years because of their lack of THC and other cannabinoid production. According to research, male cannabis plants are just good for breeding and for their fibers. If one desires to grow and create a new cannabis strain, one would need a male cannabis plant to pollinate with the female.

For this breeding method, you would need the male version of one strain to pollinate with the female strain of another. Interestingly enough, one male plant can pollinate tens of female cannabis plants. Nate Pennington, a breeder with Humboldt Seed Company, spoke to Leafly about cannabis plants. He mentioned that one healthy male plant can pollinate up to 20 female cannabis plants. As mentioned earlier, the male version of cannabis plants are also good for their fibers. The fibers from the male are much softer and can thus be used for the manufacturing of linens, clothing, tablecloth and more. This is very useful to the cannabis industry since the influence and popularity of hemp fashion is on the rise and becoming a sustainable alternative to fashion.

When examining the female cannabis plant, you will notice the orange or purple hairs, its crystal like texture, and its small leaves. These different characteristics consist of the various parts of a weed plant that serve unique functions.

Courtesy of Snappy Goat

Parts of a Weed Plant: Colas

Colas are clusters of buds that grow in a knotted form tightly together. The female cannabis plant contains numerous colas throughout its structure, ranging from small to large. The largest cola is located at the very top of the cannabis plant, while the smaller colas are usually located further down near the leaves.

Pistils and Stigmas

The pistils are parts of the weed plant, in which the stigma forms. Stigmas are the white crispy hairs that grow out of the pistil, the white hairs that eventually mature into an orange, yellow, and brown color as the cannabis grows during the flowering stage. Interestingly enough, the stigmas collect the pollen in the atmosphere that's been released by the male plant. Pistils play a part in the reproductive system of the female cannabis flower, which are necessary for pollination. But, it's important to keep in mind that if the stigmas get exposed to the male’s pollen, you will no longer grow marijuana. You’ll have to wave goodbye to marijuana this time around because instead of growing buds, only seeds will occur. This can be a nuisance for growers who simply want to grow marijuana, which is why most growers quickly toss out the male plants during the pre-flowering stage when the plants develop into their genders.

Bract and Calyx

The bract is what actually contains and houses the reproductive organs of the female cannabis plant. The bract looks like tear shaped leaves that are covered in resin, which is a sticky organic compound that forms on the leaves, flowers, and buds of a female cannabis plant. The resin glands on the bract are very dense and thus contain the highest concentration of cannabinoids than any other part of the plant.

Meanwhile the Calyx is the clear layer that covers the ovule of the flower. Its the first part of the cannabis plant as it transitions to the flowering stage. Calyx protects the reproductive organs of the female cannabis plant.

Trichomes

The trichomes on weed occur on many parts of a weed plant; there are other names for it like resin and kief. They are very small in size, but can still be viewed with the natural eye. Trichomes on weed were originally meant to protect the cannabis plant from external disruptors like pests, predators, and other environmental elements. With more informed research, we can now thank trichomes, for not only their protection, but for its bulb like structures that are responsible for the cannabis terpenes and cannabinoids like THC and CBD.

Stem and Nodes

The cannabis stem, also referred to as stalk, keeps the stem firm and upright, supporting the plant’s mass. The stem also transports water and key nutrients from the roots to the leaves of the cannabis plant through xylem cells. The xylem cells are considered the vascular system in plants that transports the nutrients in an upward direction while also maintaining the sturdiness of the stem itself.

However, the nodes are the focal point of the cannabis plant that connects the leaves and branches. The pre flowers come from the nodes of the male and female cannabis plant.

Roots

The roots of a cannabis plant are a very essential part to its life, growth, and development. The roots of the cannabis plant are white; they need oxygen, good temperatures, and nutrients to remain in healthy shape. A good dose of oxygen is needed for the plant to breathe and allow chemical energy to be transported throughout the plant. A way to do this is by giving enough water to your plant, without over watering so that you can avoid pathogens.

Roots also serve as a primary function in maintaining the well nourished hydration of the cannabis plant. They absorb water and other nutrients from the soil. As this continues, a taproot will form and become the network in the soil which helps transport water throughout the plant.

Fan Leaves

The fan leaves are the biggest leaves that protrude out of the cannabis plant. They contain the lowest concentration of THC and other cannabinoids and are not the go-to area for bud picking. But they are essential for capturing sunlight for light energy for photosynthesis. There are some trichomes that exist more on the fan leaves of some cannabis plants than others. So, if you happen to grow a cannabis plant with more trichomes on them, that's good for you because you can use them to make hash, Canna butter, and even weed tea.

Sugar Leaves

Sugar leaves are known to be the small leaves that grow out of the buds of the female cannabis plant. They are quite distinguishable from fan leaves; as fan leaves are larger and extend outwards to absorb the sun’s light energy. However, sugar leaves are much smaller; their stems are hidden and you can only see their leaf tips. The name ‘sugar’ became a part of its name due to the large amount of white-coated, sticky trichomes they have.

Due to the restrictive laws on cannabis in some states, you may or may not ever encounter or observe an actual cannabis plant. But fortunately, now that you know the different parts of a weed plant, you can easily identify its parts and characteristics.

science
Christine Okoro
Christine Okoro
Read next: What is Black Cannabis?
Christine Okoro

Expressing myself through written word about Cannabis. Cannabis Advocate. Cannabis Education. Cannabis Writer.

See all posts by Christine Okoro

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