Marijuana Plant Anatomy | The Various Parts of Weed

Marijuana Plant Anatomy

Knowing Your Weed

Knowing the anatomy of the cannabis plant is a skill that we expect anyone and everyone who calls themselves weed enthusiasts to possess. Such knowledge is important when it comes to taking proper care of the plant, understanding their growth cycle, telling the males from the females and so much more.

Speaking of genders…

Male and Female Plants

Marijuana plants have something in common with the animal kingdom. What this means is that they can also exist as either male or females sexes. The interesting part of this is that in some cases, hermaphrodites are even found.

It becomes significant to know the sexes of the plants when deciding which sex to cultivate.

Gender Characteristics

The males are usually far weaker than their female counterparts when it comes to cannabinoid content. Even THC – which is the primary ingredient that produces the ‘high’ consumers seek – is more present in the female plants than it is in the males.

However, that does not mean the male cannabis plants are useless.

In fact, the quality of the weed produced by the females is largely dependent on selecting a good male partner for breeding. With practice, savvy breeders are able to identify which male species do better than others, pass the best pollens and make better offspring.

The quality of such offspring would be recorded in terms of their growth rate, state of health and resistance to pests, among other things.

Parts of the Cannabis Plant

Cannabis anatomy


The cannabis plant might exist as one single stalk to you. However, there is more to it than meets the eye. The marijuana plant is made up of different parts – all important in their own ways.

More importantly, these parts contribute to the grade of the final consumable product (marijuana strain).

The following are various parts of the cannabis plant.


Botanically, this would be referred to as the terminal bud since it is where the flowers come together at the stem’s tip on a female cannabis plant


Calyx was adapted from a Latin word (kalyx) which means covering. In practice, it is the part of the cannabis plant which when fertilized, forms a protection for seeds to grow within. Left unfertilized, they will serve as home to a lot of trichomes


Trichomes are those translucent, bulbous globes that coat the flowers of the cannabis plant. They are to be thanked for the ‘high’ and therapeutic effects that users get from cannabis.


Usually referred to as hairs on the cannabis plant, these start out by growing as white extensions on the calyx. As they go through the growth cycle, they start morphing into colours of orange, red and brown. Primarily, they work to pick up the pollen grains being spread by the male cannabis plants

Fan Leaves

They are the most noticeable feature on the cannabis plant. Usually containing a total of five to thirteen leaves (depending on the species: sativa, indica and ruderalis), they show up as large leaves growing along the length of the plant.

RELATED: Marijuana Seeds

There you go! A quick roundup of all the moving parts (not really) that come together to make one mound of the marijuana plant.

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