Understanding The Cannabis Flower's Anatomy

Cannabis plants can be male, female, or both (hermaphrodite). However, most of the focus is on the resin-bearing female plants that are used for both medicinal and recreational purpose. On the other hand, male marijuana plants serve their own purpose, to pollinate the female plant which initiates seed production in addition to providing users with an excellent source of hemp fiber.

The cannabis plant consists of several structures, many of which are similar to that of any ordinary flowering plant. The most important part of cannabis though is its flower. Here are some important parts of the cannabis flower to help understand its anatomy:

1. Cola

Cola refers to the collection of clustered buds at the end of a stem or branch that grow tightly together and look like a giant bud. The topmost bud is considered the main cola and is known as the apical bud.

These aren’t just present at the top though, they can develop at any end of the branch of the plant where the buds have the most access to the sun and any potential pollinators. It is also called the 'terminal bud' because it always appears at the end of the branch and never along the mid-section.

2. Pistil

The pistils are long, hair-like structures that contain the reproductive parts of your cannabis flower, and the vibrant, pollen-catching hair strands of the pistil are called stigmas. The stigma of the pistil first appears white and progressively morphs to yellow, orange, red, and eventually brown as the plant matures.

Even though they play an important role in reproduction, they don’t contribute to the flower’s popular potency and taste. Each cannabis flower has only one pistil, but two stigmas.

3. Bracts

The cannabis flower has bracts which has the appearance of a tubular sheath shape and appear as a translucent layer over the ovule at a flower’s base. They’re made up of individual plant segments that provide the flower with a base of stability and create a protective cocoon for the plant’s reproductive organs.

4. Calyxes

Calyxes are tear like nodules, that constitutes a cannabis bud. The calyx is the part of the flower that forms first and is heavily covered in resin glands which produce the highest concentration of cannabinoids of all plant parts.

The calyx and pistils are the most resinous parts of the cannabis plant so they are generally harvested and sold as cannabis bud.

5. Trichomes

The eye-catching, sometimes awe-inpsiring blanket of crystal resin on a cannabis bud are called trichomes. Trichomes are rich in therapeutic cannabinoids like THC and CBD and aromatic oils called terpenes. Trichomes protect the plant from predators and fungal attacks and gives them a unique aroma. Cannabis strains like Orange Kush are found to contain a lot of trichomes that creates a generous euphoria.

Trichomes are medically rich resin and are used to create a variety of cannabis concentrates like kief (dried loose powder trichomes), hash (pressed trichomes) and BHO (Butane Hash Oil) that is used for medicinal purposes.


An interesting piece of information about preserving the genetics of the cannabis plant is that pollination is the key to any grower. Pollination occurs when pollen from the male marijuana plant reaches the female stigmas and finds its way to the egg cell of the female plant that is inside the pistil.

If you are interested in growing the plant yourself, then you must know that pollination can be done with parts cut from the male plant at the peak of their maturity, or the whole plant can be used to spread pollen to the female plant. After the process of pollination, the seed is produced. Light, moisture and temperature variations can damage their reproductive qualities and germination capacity of pollens. They must be conserved well to carry out further pollination.

Once harvested, be sure to keep your cannabis stored in optimal conditions. Cannaseur humidors provide the ideal environment for your bud, maintaining its quality and life.

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