Cannabis 101: Get To Know the Cannabis Plant

Posted: October 13, 2016

Guest post by Mike M.

Hey again,

If you’re just joining this blog, please check out my previous entry – Entering The World of Cannabis, – Thanks, now you’ll understand why someone with little knowledge about cannabis is writing on a cannabis boutique’s blog!

Ok, now that’s out of the way, let’s get to the topic of this post, it’s time to get to know the cannabis plant. Until beginning work with Lucy Sky in August, the following is what I knew about the plant – please excuse the ignorance.

dsc_4329I knew that each stem had seven leaves. I knew that there was something called buds, but I didn’t know if it was part of the plant, or parts of the plant put together to sell as nuggets. I knew that there were different strains that were from different genetic heritages.

That is pretty much it. Here are just a few of the many things I had no idea about. I didn’t know good cannabis is dried. I didn’t know you smoke bud and not the leaves. I had no idea how you told the difference between male or female plants. I had no idea how the plants actually grew. I had no idea how beautiful the plant and buds actually are.

So, in my goals to learn more about cannabis and the industry, I thought it prudent to actually learn the anatomy of the cannabis plant. Here we go.

The basic elements of the plant are the same as any other. Stem, leaves (called fan leaves), node (where fan leaves extend from the stem), are all the same. Where cannabis really gets it’s unique traits are in the “bud site” where female flowers bloom.

The bud is the top-most section of the flower, aka the cola. Colas can appear where ever a bud develops, however the main cola is the top-most flower. Within the cola are a number of other specific parts of the plant.

plant_details

The calyx is the part of the plant that the pistils and trichomes originate from. Calyxes tend to contain high concentrations of trichomes.

Pistils are the hair-like orange things that grow off the calyx. They start out white before changing color to orange, red and brown along the lifestages of the plant. Pistils are important to the pollination and reproduction of the plant, but have little to do with the plant’s more popular aspects.

trichome close-up

Trichome close-up

Lastly are the trichomes. These translucent glands on the plant release aromatic oils called terpenes and as everyone’s favorite cannabinoids like THC and CBD. The production of hash is dependent on trichomes and the potent resin.

So, there you have it, the basic anatomy of a cannabis plant! Wondering what terpenes or cannabinoids are? Well, that’s a few other topics for another day. Hopefully, like me, you now understand a bit more and can say you got to know the cannabis plant.