Anatomy of the Cannabis Plant

Main source of chemicals found in cannabis is the flowers.  Stems, branches, stalk, leaves and roots are other parts of the plant that are used for different purposes.

Stems and branches contain little useful chemicals and are considered unusable parts of the plant.  The stalk also contains little useful chemicals but the fibers used for producing paper, rope, fabric and oil are found in this part.  The plant has two types of leaves: vegetative and flower leaves.  Vegetative leaves have very little useful content, whereas flower leaves are the main source of cannabinoids.  Roots are also considered unusable parts of the plant.

Parts of the plant

The cannabis plant has flowers in its apex and they are usually covered with a frosty coating of trichomes.  The main flower at the end of the plant’s stem is called the “cola” and is composed of many small floral clusters.  The more densely covered in trichomes, the more preferable the flower.  Tricomes are hair-like structures found on the plant’s surface.  They contain the valuable resin with cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes.  They are the structures that shine like crystals under the microscope.   The small leaves that surround the plant’s reproductive cells are called bracts

Nodes are the point where the stem and leaves intersect.  One or multiple leaves can emerge from each node.

Fan leaves are large leaves that occur along the length of the plant.  They are removed from the finished product.  Sugar leaves are found in the colas.  They are trimmed after harvest.  The name sugar leaves is due to high volumes of trichomes and they can be made into edibles and concentrates.

Pistils and stigmas are often confused with each other.  Pistils are the female flower’s ovule with two stigmas extending out.


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