Individual parts of the cannabis plant

Cannabis plant does have a few certain characteristics which are typical for these species. You have thin stem and one and only fan leaves coming out of the layers, also known as nodes. The main parts are cannabis flowers consisting of small fire like hair, tiny white crystals and juicy buds enclosed by small leaves. Do you know every part

Cannabis plant does have a few certain characteristics which are typical for these species. You have thin stem and one and only fan leaves coming out of the layers, also known as nodes.

The main parts are cannabis flowers consisting of small fire like hair, tiny white crystals and juicy buds enclosed by small leaves.

Do you know every part of a cannabis plant?

cannabis plant anatomy


Cannabis seeds are produced by female cannabis plants and carry the genetical coding of both male and female, unless they are feminized, in that case the seeds carry only chromozomes XX, which predestinate them to be females as adult plants. Seeds have to germinate in order to produce roots. The rooting system serves as an anchor for stabilizing the plant at certain space and as a feeding machine.

Cotyloden leaves

Those are first leaves you spot after succesful germination. They serve as the sign of healthy plant. So if you spot those leaves, you can chill out.


The rooting system of the plant functions as feeding machine and anchor in one place. They keep the plant stable in one place a feed it with water, nutrition and oxygen.


The main stem grows directly up in the air supports all other branches. Healthy stem gives the plant stability and proper structure. Almost every other grower cutts the stem between fourth and fifth node in order to have better branching which results in having more buds.


They come out of the main stem and hold most of the fan leaves and flowers. Growers usually use many training techniques to achieve as much branching as they can. Here speak about bending, tying up, cutting and many others.


The node could be taken as a layer. It is the place where the branches are coming out of the stem. Nodes serves well for determining the sex of the plant. So called pre-flowers are in the connecting spot between stem and branch and they are showing us a sex of the plant usually earlier than buds.

The space between nodes is called internodal spacing and you will have the image of the probable height of the plant.

Fan Leaves

The most iconic part of the cannabis plant. They transform the energy from the light scource. They do not have any significant level of cannabinoids, but can be used for tee or oil.


This is it. This is what you want. Flowers are commonly known as buds. Inside of this treasure you will most of the cannabinoids and terpenes. This compounds do have many benefits for your health. You will find flowers only on female or hermafrodite cannabis plants.


Cola, also known as the budsite describes places containing many buds at one place. Small colas are at the low levels and bigger colas are at the top parts of the branches.

Bract and calyx

Bract serves as a protection for reproductive parts of the plant. It looks like leave in a shape of the teardrop it is heavily covered by resin glands where is the highest concentration of cannabinoids.

Calyx is covered by bracts. It is a translucent layer above the ovule at the flower base.

Stigma and pistil

Inside a stigma you will find reproductive parts of the plant a shinny little hair called stigmas. Stigma serve as a collectors for pollen from male cannabis plants.

Stigmas do have a white coloration at the beginning of the growth and tend darken when the plants grows. Ideal colour is somewhere between the yellow and brown. They have the main role in the times of reproduction as cathers of pollen but they are not so potent.


Despite their diminutive size, it’s hard to miss the crystal resin coverage on the cannabis bud. This resin is secreted by translucent, sponge-shaped glands on the leaves, stems and calyx.

Plants originally developed trichomes for protection from predators and the elements. These clear bulbs ooze aromatic oils called terpenes as well as therapeutic cannabinoids like THC and CBD.

Male vs. Female cannabis plant

cannabis plant anatomy

Cannabis is a dioecious plant, which means it can be male or female, and male and female reproductive organs appear on different plants.

Female plants produce a resin-secreting flowers and males produce pollen sacs near the base of the leaves. The male plants pollinate the females to initiate seed production but the buds we consume come from seedless female plants – these are called “sinsemilla”, meaning “seedless”.

Growers can ensure the sex of their plants by growing clones or genetically identical cuttings from the parent strain. Feminised seeds are also made available through a special breeding process, like we do here at Nukaseeds.

How can I tell if it is a male or female cannabis plant?

All you need to do is to look at the nodes in the right time. Then you can easily identify what it is going to be. Male plants do have small pollen sacs for pollen distribution and female cannabis plants do have stigmas for cathing the pollen. You can see the difference weeks before they start to serve its purpose in a reproduction and in this point you may call them pre-flowers.

Pre-flowers begin to emerge within the fourth week of the growth. Sometimes it takes a bit longer. Everything depends on the growth itself. After six weeks you should be able to find them and determine the sex of the plant.

Take a closer look at the plant and seek for a small sacs or two sword-like statures which form a stigma.

Female cannabis plant

cannabis plant anatomy

Female plants are the crown jewels. This is what you want because our precious buds are on these plants. So everytime you see a plant with huge buds, it is most likely female cannabis plant. Female plants gathers the pollen from male plants to create seeds. Seeds carry the genetical code of both plants.

Reproduction cycle is important but female plants are bred only for buds. That is why seedless (sinsemilla) cultivation is very popular these days. Males and females grow separately. Sometimes males are thrown away, because you do not want females to pollinated when you seek to have huge buds.

Pollination occurs only when plants need to be crossed or when a new variety is created. Then the best possible plant material is used, preceded by very important selection.

When creating new varieties, the best plants with the best possible genetic code must be selected.

Male cannabis plant

cannabis plant anatomy

Male cannabis plants grow pollen sacs instead of stigmas. Male plants are usually thrown away because you don’t want them pollinating the females that produce the seeds – no one wants to smoke a buds full of seeds.

The males are important in the reproduction process, but it’s generally best left for experienced growers. When pollinating females, males provide half of the genetic code inherited by the seeds.
For this reason it is important to monitor the genetics of male plants. Their shape, growth rate, resistance to pests and fungi and climate resistance can all be passed on to improve the quality of future generations.

Male plants are not entirely useless in other respects. They can be used for processing hemp fibre and have a certain amount of THC. The individual parts can then be used to make hash or oil.

What are hermaphrodite cannabis plants?

cannabis plant anatomy

These types of cannabis have both male and female sex organs. They can therefore pollinate themselves.

The plant “herms” if it is subjected to excessive stress. Stressors include damage to the plant, bad weather, disease or nutritional deficiency.

There are then two types of hermaphrodite plants. The first is a plant with both sexes and the second type is plants with so-called banana plants (by appearance).

While both lead to pollen production, true hermaphrodite cannabis plants produce anthers that need to be ruptured; anthers are naked pollen-producing stamens.

Because this occurs when cannabis is stressed, it is important to monitor plants after they have been exposed to stressors: the cause is often high temperatures or light leaks indoors; outdoors, a broken branch could repair itself and then turn into a hermaphrodite.

And there you have it. We’ve described the cannabis plant as best we can. All that’s left to do is pick the right cannabis seeds and put your new knowledge into practice. So let’s do it.

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