The cannabis plant’s popularity is growing fast. It’s a flowering plant whose buds are not only beautiful to look at, but extremely beneficial to anyone in search of alternative forms of medicine.

The seeds of the cannabis plant can be used for foods, the stalks of most strains can be used to craft paper, clothes, and other construction materials, including rope. The leaves and roots of the cannabis plant are also said to offer medicinal benefits. But how much do you know about the anatomy of the cannabis plant?


Cannabis Flower Anatomy

Did you know, for example, that there are male and female plants, and that only the female plants can actually flower, growing the famous cannabis buds? While this may seem insignificant, it’s in fact one of the most important facts related to marijuana plant anatomy. Why? Because we’re talking about what part of the weed plant is smoked.

Cannabis is all about the buds. The term used to describe the plant’s “bud site”, the place from which tight female flowers bloom, is called the cola. Colas form at each and every budding site across the plant, but the larger, firmer colas are usually found closer to the top of the plant. The main cola is always found at the very top of every plant and it’s sometimes referred to as the apical bud.

The buds are also where you find the trichomes, the terpenes, and the greatest concentration of cannabinoids. Growers and seasoned consumers want to see cannabis with glistening trichomes that sparkle in the sun and they want to taste the magic of the terpenes with each smoke.

The trichomes are the translucent or white-looking crystals that form on the buds. Incredibly small glands, they look a little like mushrooms. They ooze highly fragrant oils, the terpenes, and house most of the plant’s cannabinoid content. Pretty cool, right?

What do Calyxes Look Like?

The calyx is the most resin-dense part of the cannabis plant and you can find great numbers of calyxes pictures all across the internet, as it’s also an incredibly beautiful element of the cannabis plant. 

In simple terms, the calyx is the first part of the bud to form and is made up of a set of small leaves. These leaves create a spiral-like structure close to where the flower blends into the stem. Essentially, the calyx is the part of the cannabis flower that holds everything together, providing stability to the flower structure and a protective cocoon around the reproductive organs of the cannabis plant.

Here’s a little bit of cannabis trivia for you… the calyxes on the female cannabis plants are far more sought after than those on the species’ male counterparts. How can you tell the difference between a male and a female calyx? Easy! The tiny flowers that begin to sprout when a cannabis plant is in bloom will be accompanied by a calyx with long, white pistillate hair. If the hair isn’t long and white, then she isn’t female.

What are the Orange Hairs on Weed Called?

Commonly known as the vaginas of the cannabis plant, the red hairs on weed, which are sometimes orange or brown, depending on the strain and other factors, are actually called weed pistils. Pistils grow out from the calyxes, and can sometimes stretch along for around 10mm or more in length.

Growers get excited when they see pistils on their plants because the pistils are the first indication that the cannabis plant is about to flower. Pistils are charged with trapping pollen to help make the buds grow bigger and stronger, something that the cannabis consumer is always in favor of.

Cannabis and Hemp

Just to make sure that there’s no confusion, cannabis plant anatomy is the same as hemp plant anatomy. There’s nothing innately different between the cannabis and the hemp plants. In fact, the only difference between them is a government-imposed distinction, coming into force as a result of the 2018 Farm Bill. 

Hemp is part of the same cannabis family and is the term given to the cannabis plant that has been specifically bred to only contain 0,3% of THC or less. Indeed, all cannabis strains exhibit differing cannabinoid profiles, some with super high levels of THC, others in which CBD is the dominant player, and others in which the full range of cannabinoids are given the chance to shine.

The more we learn about the anatomy of the cannabis plant, the more we explore and do our very best to exploit the cannabinoid profile of each strain in turn. It’s one of the industry’s current focal points and a hotspot for innovative cultivation.