Cannabis Anatomy: The Parts of the Plant

Updated: 8/23/17

En examinant un bourgeon de cannabis, on observe une sorte de nœud complexe avec différentes parties : des brins oranges, des cristaux sucrés, et des nœuds ronds enveloppés de feuilles fines. A quoi servent ces différentes parties?

This brief guide to cannabis anatomy is meant to familiarize you with the plant in its full form. Unfortunately, the sight of real, living cannabis is made rare for many by restrictive laws, but we hope we can bring you just a little closer to your favorite strain’s source.

Male & Female Plants

Les plantes de cannabis peuvent être mâles, femelles, ou les deux (hermaphrodites), mais ce que vous consommez provient des plantes femelles.

Female plants produce the large resin-secreting flowers that are trimmed down to round or pointed buds while males produce smaller pollen sacs near the base of the leaves. The male plants pollinate the females to initiate seed production, but the potent flowers we consume come from the seedless female plants, called sinsemilla, which grow large cannabinoid-rich buds while without seed.

Les rares plantes hermaphrodites contiennent des organes mâles et femelles qui leur permettent de s'autopolliniser pendant la floraison. Cette autopollinisation est perçue négativement par les cultivateurs, car elle gache la sinsemilla sans graines et transmet les gênes hermaphrodites.

Les producteurs peuvent assurer la reproduction de leurs plantes en faisant pousser des clones ou des coupures génétiquement identiques d'une souche parent. Il est possible de produire des graines féminisées grâce à un processus de culture spécifique.

Cannabis Plant Anatomy

Deborah Ro/Leafly

La plante de cannabis est composée de différentes structures, dont la plupart sont communes à toutes les espèces florales. La plante de cannabis est composée d'une tige longue et fine, avec de larges feuilles au bout des nodules. Le cannabis commence réellement à apparaître quand ses fleurs prennent leurs apparences uniques.


A cola refers to a cluster of buds that grow tightly together. While smaller colas occur along the budding sites of lower branches, the main cola (sometimes called the apical bud) forms at the very top of the plant.

Stigma and Pistil

The pistil contains the reproductive parts of a flower, and the vibrant, hairlike strands of the pistil are called stigmas. Stigmas serve to collect pollen from males. The stigmas of the pistil begin with a white coloration and progressively darken to yellow, orange, red, and brown over the course of the plant’s maturation. They play an important role in reproduction, but stigmas bring very little to the flower’s potency and taste.

Bract and Calyx

A bract is what encapsulates the female’s reproductive parts. They appear as green tear-shaped “leaves,” and are heavily covered in resin glands which produce the highest concentration of cannabinoids of all plant parts. Enclosed by these bracts and imperceptible to the naked eye, the calyx refers to a translucent layer over the ovule at a flower’s base.


Despite their minute size, it’s hard to miss the blanket of crystal resin on a cannabis bud. This resin (or “kief” when dry) is secreted through translucent, mushroom-shaped glands on the leaves, stems, and calyxes. Trichomes were originally developed to protect the plant against predators and the elements. These clear bulbous globes ooze aromatic oils called terpenes as well as therapeutic cannabinoids like THC and CBD. The basis of hash production depends on these trichomes and their potent sugar-like resin.