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Marijuana Plant Anatomy

We all know that flowers and leaves are the two main parts of marijuana.  However, there are some other organs that you have never heard of.

When growing marijuana, you should learn about the anatomy of the plant. It is critical to understand the functionality of each plant portion. The way it interacts with the other sections of the plant is important too.

Besides, a marijuana plant includes distinct anatomy according to its sex, just like us. It can be a male or female.

To learn more about the plant, let’s read on!

Parts Of The Cannabis Plant

Parts Of The Cannabis Plant
Parts Of The Cannabis Plants


To defend the embryo, cannabis seeds feature a hard shell. When subjected to the proper environmental circumstances, such as humidity and heat, the seeds grow into seedlings.

The seedling develops cotyledons, a set of tiny round leaves.

See also: Clones vs Seeds: Which Is Better For Growing Cannabis?

The green hue of the seedlings is the symbol for the existence of chlorophyll. This substance permits the small leaves to undergo photosynthesis.

Serrated leaves appear after a few days. The vegetative developmental stage is the name given to this period. This is where the plant collects all of the necessary nutrients available and sends them to an upward development of the stems and leaves.

The nodes of the marijuana plant are equal to the stems while it is young. However, as the plant matures, the space of the nodes gets uneven. The marijuana plant anatomy at this stage includes roots, stems, and leaves.


The tail emerges from the seed first. Then, within the stages of marijuana growth, it widens and hardens. Finally, it becomes the plant’s taproot.

cannabis root
The tap root

Lateral roots grow from the taproot, producing a fiber system of roots in the ground. The roots are in charge of acquiring nutrients and water. Both of them are necessary for the plant’s development.

Marijuana roots are tiny and white. They prefer to fill up their potting media. The root network can cope with the plant’s high water requirement and is an important element of its structure.

Cotyledon Leaves

Cotyledons are the first leaves that emerge from the seeds. They generally arrive in pairs. Seeing them indicates that your plant has germinated successfully. It is on the way to becoming robust and robust.

Fan Leaves

The cotyledons expose to the sun after breaking out from the seedling and reaching the surface. This is significant because cotyledons provide the energy necessary for plant development through photosynthesis. After that, the marijuana plant sprouts its first set of leaves.

marijuana fan leaves
Marijuana fan leaves

As the plant develops, more leaves arise and flourish until the plant achieves its maximum leaflets. This might be five or more. This figure depends on the plant’s strain.

See also: Indica vs Sativa vs Hybrid: Which Is Suitable For You?

The leaves use the sun’s energy to produce plant sugars. These chemicals provide energy to the marijuana plant, allowing it to develop and carry out its biological activities. The THC content in marijuana leaves is minimal.

This goes against the views of some cannabis fans, who think that THC comes from the leaves. Regarding marijuana plant anatomy, the leaves’ job is to convert sunlight. They also provide shade, which protects the fragile buds from sunburn.

Sugar Leaves

Sugar leaves are tiny. They have a resin coating around them. During the harvest session, people often preserve sugar leaves as trim. They utilize the leaves for extracts, pre-rolls, and some other cannabis goods.

sugar leaves
sugar leaves

The genetics of a marijuana plant influence the thickness of its sugar leaves. Marijuana users can consume the leaves, although they are low in cannabinoids. Growers also use them to make consumables like marijuana cookies.


These features may appear in the leaf structures that contain pollen sacs in the early stages of the cannabis plant blooming. They take the form of tiny pear-shaped formations. Then, they emerge around the branches away from the stem.

The existence of white hairs on the bracts indicates a female tree. Meanwhile, the inclusion of full ones indicates a male.

Branches And Stems

The branches support buds and fan leaves. To increase the number of bud sites on a marijuana plant, farmers often trim branches.

Branches and stems
Branches and stem of a cannabis plant

A cannabis plant’s main stem grows straight from the plant roots and nourishes all branches. The stem provides structure and support to the plant.

Farmers frequently cut the stem after approximately five nodes, forcing the plant to spread out and create new buds.


A node is where a branch emerges from the central stem, or one branch emerges from another. Some nodes can support the growth of fan leaves and buds.

Pre-flowers will develop at the nodes when identifying the sex of a plant.


Flowers serve a variety of functions in plants, including attracting insects and generating seeds. Marijuana is dioecious, which means they have either female or male flowers.

cannabis flowers
Flower is an important part of the plant

When determining whether a marijuana plant is female or male, the flowering phase is critical.

We can call marijuana flowers “buds”. They include terpenes and cannabinoids. These components can make you high or provide beneficial effects.

Only female marijuana has flowers. These blooms must dry before use.


The cola is the blooming tip of a female plant. A plant usually has only one major cola. However, recent marijuana producers have devised several ways to produce additional main colas to increase harvests.

The main cola is the highest. It is the location where the buds congregate to create a mass. Along the length of the plant, little bunches of colas develop between fan leaves.

Pistil And Stigma

This is the female flower’s sexual system. It contains stigma, which is bright, hair-like threads. The stigma of the female part collects pollen grains from the male and forms seeds as a result.

pistils and stigmas cannabis plant
Pistils and stigmas cannabis plant

The stigma of the marijuana plant changes its color numerous times during its maturation cycle, from white to yellow, orange, then red, and finally brown. They lack trichomes and so may not deliver the required high impact.

Because pistils do not grow in male plants, they are the greatest predictor of their sex. When they change their color to yellow, it indicates that they are ready to be harvested. The flavor and strength of the cannabis will disappear if you allow them to become brown.

Bract And Calyxes

The female reproductive organs are present in a bract. They resemble green leaves and have a coat of resin gland that generates the greatest amount of cannabinoids of any plant component.

Bract And Calyxes
Bract And Calyxes Cannabis Plant

The calyx relates to a transparent covering above the ovule at the base of a bloom.


Trichomes are the tiniest component of the marijuana plant. However, this part plays a vital role.

trichomes cannabis plants
Trichomes cannabis plants

Plants first produce trichomes to defend themselves from enemies and the environment. Aromatic compounds and medicinal cannabinoids, including CBD and THC, flow from these transparent globular globes. The trichomes and their strong sugar-like substance are the foundation of hash creation.

Anatomy Of Male vs. Female Marijuana Plants

On various plants, you can see the primary sex organs of male and female plants. The blossoms of a female plant are currently in your jar.

Male vs. female marijuana plants
Determine the sex of a marijuana plant

What develops between the nodes reveals the sex of cannabis plants. A male plant’s pollen sacs will grow to disperse seeds. On the other hand, a female plant’s stigma will form to capture the pollen. These variations may show up weeks before they begin to serve a role in the reproduction process. We can call them pre-flowers.

The majority of the components of female and male cannabis plants are quite the same. The reproductive organs, on the other hand, are completely opposite. Females have a significantly higher number of them than males.

Bract and Calyx

The female’s reproductive organs lie in the bract. They’re green, teardrop-shaped, and densely coated in resin glands. The calyx is in the bract and is not noticeable. This is a thin coating that covers the ovule somewhere at the flower’s bottom.

Stigma And Pistil

The pistil and stigma are two extremely essential components of the female cannabis plant structure. The pistil is the female part’s major reproductive organ. It has a coat of stigmas. These stigmas resemble tiny hairs. By releasing the pistils, the female expects to fertilize with a male. It will generate seeds at that time.

Many planters, on the other hand, attempt to prevent this. There will be no flowers when the male plant fertilizes the female. This can only happen if the female has not fertilized and instead concentrates on creating flowers.

Pollen Sacks

Pollen sacks are exclusively present on male cannabis plants. They  are essential for reproduction. The anthers contribute in this stage. These reproductive organs are collectively like the stamen.

A male plant’s pollen sacs are tiny, ranging around five millimeters in length. They have the appearance of a tiny ball or an egg. These sacs will open if the male plant achieves maturity, releasing pollen into the air to any surrounding female plants.

This is advantageous for breeders who want to generate seeds from two robust parent plants. It is not, however, excellent for growers who want to create beautiful buds.

When the marijuana plants reach the blooming stage, growers can sex them and eliminate male plants from the growing area.


Many flowers coated with the trichomes will be available within that cola. The plant’s genetic code contains the trichomes to defend it against insects.

However, they are most popular nowadays for possessing a high concentration of cannabinoids. THC, in particular, boosts the plant’s impacts when eaten.


When the buds mature, they will form a compacted bundle. Colas are the name for these bundles. While there may be many in a plant, the primary cola places at the top.

What Are Hermaphrodite Cannabis Plants?

This uncommon hermaphroditic plant includes both male and female sex organs. Self-pollination is possible in these plants. Yet, it is usually undesirable. It may result in the formation of seeds and the transmission of hermaphroditic genes.

Hermaphroditic plant
Hermaphroditic cannabis plant

Hermaphrodite plants come in two varieties:

  • A flowering plant with both pollen sacs and buds.
  • A plant which can produce the anthers

While both generate pollen, real hermaphrodite plants develop sacs. They must be burst for anthers to be visible.

This happens whenever cannabis is stressed. So, it’s critical to keep an eye on plants after they have faced stressors include:

  • Plant damage
  • Bad weather
  • Disease
  • Nutrient deficiencies

We have to pay attention to the inside, including heat and light. Regarding the outside, a broken branch may grow again and then transform into a hermaphrodite.

The other major source of hermaphrodite trees is genetics. To safeguard your garden, remove the plants with weak genetics. This is to avoid the fertilization of female flowers.


Understanding marijuana plant anatomy is necessary for growers. Each part is in charge of different missions, together with supporting the plant’s development.

For successful cultivation, please read all the information above carefully. If you have any questions, please let us know.

Hopefully, you find this article helpful.


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