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Cannabis plants can be male, female, or both (hermaphroditic), but if you’ve got a canister full of it at home, those are the large, sticky, resin-producing female flowers.
The male plants are used for pollination but the ladies are the true powerhouses, full of helpful, intoxicating buds. The hermaphroditic plants have the power to pollinate themselves during the flowering stage, but are not popular in the grow houses as they can spread pollen, altering seedless plants and passing on hermaphroditic genes!
While there are many different parts to the plant, we’re going to focus on the female flower, since it’s the most powerful and popular part of the genus. What makes the female plant so awesome and which components contribute to that?
Parts of the Plant
- Cola A.K.A the “terminal bud”: This is the bud site where the female flowers bloom. It usually forms at the top of the plant, however smaller versions may bud further down the plant.
- Calyx: These tiny leaves compose the flower and have dozens of mushroom-shaped nodules on the surface – they contain high concentrations of trichomes (glands) that secrete THC and other cannabinoids.
- Pistil: Underneath those calyxes, tiny reddish orange, pollen-collecting hairs peek out. While they play an important role in reproduction, they have little to zero effect on the flower otherwise.
- Trichome: Tiny but mighty, this resin substance is secreted through glands on the leaves and calyxes. Do you smell those aromatic oils? Yeah, that’s because of trichomes. This sticky stuff is oozing with powerful aromas & active compounds.
If you have any frame of reference for choosing cannabis, you’ve probably heard the terms “sativa” and “indica” a lot. That’s because the two distinct species have traditionally been the way people choose their varietal. The growing regions, and appearance of these species of cannabis are quite different, and representative of the varying effects the plant can have. Hybrid plants will look like some combination of the two, just as their name implies.