7 go-to Munchies
Cannabis plants have a similar anatomy to many other plants, with long stems and the famous fan leaves that grow out of areas called nodes.
What makes cannabis special, and the reason we love it, is for its flowers, the sticky icky good good that we love to smoke.
But before we get to those delicious elements, let’s discuss all the other bits and bobs that make a marijuana plant tick.
Next up are the cotyledon leaves, which are the first leaves to grow after your seed germinates. Usually found in pairs, they are a sign that your baby plant is healthy and growing up.
The main stalk, or stem, of a cannabis plant grows straight up from its roots, and supports all other branches, giving the plant stability and structure. Sometimes growers will use a technique called “topping” where the top bit of the plant will be cut off, forcing the plant to grow out laterally, in order to create a higher potential for buds.
Nodes are the joints at which branches join to the main stem, or branch to branch. This is where you will find your buds growing from, as well as fan leaves. In order to identify the sex of your cannabis plant, the easiest way is to look at what is growing at the nodes. For females, this would be pre-buds, and for males, you’ll start to see seeds developing.
These are the leaves that actually matter. Buds form around them, and this means that sugar leaves are usually coated in resin. They are usually held on to when it comes to harvest time, as they can be used to smoke, make oils or a variety of other related products.
Bract and Calyx
The bract encloses the female reproductive parts of the plant, and are green, tear-shaped leaves. They are always covered in resin and produce the highest concentration of cannabinoids of all the plant parts. A calyx is invisible to the naked eye and refers to the translucent layer that forms over the ovule at any individual flower’s base.
Stigma and Pistil
Pistils play host to the reproductive parts of a flower, and the beautiful, little hair-like strands that grow on them are called stigma.
The stigma, you will notice, starts off a very light, almost white colour, and will gradually darken as the plant matures.
First up, you get the humble little seed. Seeds can be found in both male and female plants and carry the genetics of both. In order for cannabis seeds to sprout, they need to be germinated, after which they will grow a taproot, which will anchor the plant throughout its life.
Roots are a key ingredient in the anatomy of a cannabis plant, as they keep the plant fed, by pulling water and oxygen up into it. The main root is known as a taproot.
Branches are fairly self-explanatory. They are responsible for supporting the fan leaves and buds.
These are the bad boys you see on all the flags and stickers. The iconic shape of the fan leaf has made it the poster-boy of cannabis anatomy. They are responsible for capturing light for the plant but hold no value when it comes to harvest time and are usually thrown away.
The most important aspect of a marijuana plant, the flowers, also known as “buds”, contain cannabinoids and terpenes that have a variety of effects and benefits. They only grow properly on female plants and need to be dried and cured before being consumed.
A cola can also be called a bud site, and it refers to a spot on the plant where buds form close together. The main cola is also known as the apical bud and grows at the top of the plant.
The part of the bud that looks like a covering of crystals, trichomes are secreted through glands on leaves, stems and calyxes.
Trichomes ooze oils called terpenes, as well as the two most famous cannabinoids, THC and CBD. Trichomes were originally developed by cannabis plants as a defence against the elements as well as predators who might have thought that they looked like a tasty snack.