Cannabis Anatomy 101: Parts of the Plant

Familiarizing yourself with the anatomy of cannabis will make you realize its potential, and perhaps appreciate it on a deeper level.  You'll also be better equipped to grow and make better decisions when you have this basic plant knowledge of the miraculous cannabis plant.

Flower – Located at the top of the plant, and commonly referred to as buds, the flower typically has the highest concentration of THC, making it the ideal part of the plant for consumption.

Cola –  Also known as the terminal bud, cola refers to the mass of clustered flowers at the very top (sometimes called the apical bud) where the female buds bloom.  

Node – The node is the joint where a leaf branches off from the stalk.

Stem – Stems provide the structural support for flowers, while also storing and transporting nutrients for them. Stems aren’t known for containing high levels THC, but they can be re-purposed for their fiber.

Stalk – The stalk is the central stem of a plant. As it lacks high levels of THC, it can also be repurposed for its fiber.

Fan Leaf – The large leaf that has the photosynthetic responsibility for the cannabis plant. It uses energy from the sun to create chemical energy to feed the plant. Fan leaves lack significant levels of THC, but they have become the unofficial symbol of cannabis.

Seed – The cannabis seed is hidden within a flower’s calyx. Besides planting a seed to grow a cannabis plant, oil can be extracted from a cannabis seed to be used in human food or animal feed.

Trichomes – The tiny resin glands located on the flower’s leaves, stems and calyxes called 'trichomes' were believed to have evolved to protect the plant against insects and the elements.  This resin (or "kief" when dry) appears to look like crystalized mushrooms when examined under a microscope.

Pistils – Pistils are pollen-catching hairs that extend out from the calyx.  They begin with a white coloration and progress from yellow, orange, red and brown as the plant matures.  They’re not known for containing high levels of THC but do play a role in reproduction.

Calyx – Calyxes typically contain high concentrations of trichomes, and they come in many different shapes, sizes and colors.  The calyx is what comprises the female flower, and is the floral structure that forms when the flower begins the budding process.

This 'Plant Anatomy' video from Leafly's Cannabis 101 Series goes into more detal: