The Anatomy Of A Cannabis Plant: A Guide For CBD Enthusiasts
Cannabis is one of the world’s most controversial plants due to its active compounds that produce psychoactive effects, particularly tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, not all of its compounds are psychoactive. This is especially true when it comes to cannabidiol.
Cannabidiol, popularly known as CBD, is one of the active compounds that can be extracted from cannabis plants. It doesn’t contain THC , but it offers the same health benefits , such as relieving chronic pain, alleviating anxiety symptoms, and inducing sleep.
Since CBD isn’t psychoactive like THC, its use in different fields has been recognized and gradually legalized in many parts of the world, including the United States. However, the debate about whether it should be legalized is still a point of contention for many.
Now that cannabis has been legalized in a number of countries, more and more people are becoming interested in it. This post will explore cannabis plant anatomy, which serves as basic knowledge not only for CBD enthusiasts, but also for those who want to explore the plant further. Keep reading to learn more.
Cannabis Anatomy 101: The Plant Basics
Cannabis plants contain around 80-100 cannabinoids. Two of the most popular cannabinoids are THC and CBD.
As mentioned earlier, THC produces a psychoactive effect similar to some illegal drugs. However, it’s also known for its significant health benefits, such as stimulating mood and appetite, inducing sleep, controlling nausea, and relieving pain.
A popular variant of THC is delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol. It’s similar to its delta-9 counterpart, which also produces feelings of relaxation and euphoria. Its effects are much milder, though, which makes it ideal for people who want to avoid a strong “high.” Understanding whether delta 8 is indica or sativa can enable you to grow cannabis plants best suited to your recreational preferences and/or medical needs.
Types Of Cannabis Plants
There are two common types of cannabis: sativa and indica. Sativa cannabis has high THC and low CBD levels, which makes it perfect for daytime use thanks to its energizing and stimulating effects. Also, its leaves are long, thin, and light in color with reddish buds.
On the other hand, indica cannabis has low to medium THC and high CBD levels. Unlike sativa, this type is ideal for nighttime use thanks to its calming, relaxing, and soothing effects. In terms of physical attributes, its leaves are short, broad, and dark in color with dense, purple buds.
Furthermore, it’s important to know that some types of cannabis can be a combination of sativa and indica. These are called hybrid cannabis plants, which offer the benefits of both indica and sativa plants.
Terpenes are one of the aromatic compounds found in most oils of different flowering plants, including cannabis. These high-quality compounds strengthen the medicinal benefits of cannabis, producing what’s known as the “entourage effect.” This refers to the phenomena that occurs when different cannabis compounds work synergistically to produce positive effects.
Cannabis Anatomy 101: The Parts Of The Plant
Here are the different parts of the cannabis plant:
- Cannabis Seeds: Cannabis seeds are produced by female cannabis plants, carrying the genetic profiles of both male plants and female marijuana plants. Once the seeds germinate, they’ll become taproots. Then, they’ll become the main root of the plant.
- Cotyledon Leaves: These are the first leaves that sprout after the seeds germinate. You want them to grow in pairs because that indicates proper seed germination, meaning the plant will grow strong and healthy.
- Roots: Roots stretch from the primary stalk of the plant to the soil. Roots are important because they carry water and oxygen to feed the plant so that it grows strong and healthy. You can add a fungus like Mycorrhizae to improve your plant’s root system.
- Plant Stem: This is the main stem of the plant, which is responsible for supporting all the lateral branches, giving it stability and structure. Usually, cannabis growers chop off the stem to force the plant to grow laterally, producing more buds.
- Branches: Branches grow out from the main stem, supporting all the buds and leaves. Usually, cannabis growers top the branches to produce more buds, resulting in a healthier and more beautiful plant.
- Nodes: This is where branches grow from the main stem or another branch. Also, some buds and leaves may grow from the node, but not necessarily. In addition, you can check the space between each node to determine whether your cannabis will grow short or tall.
- Fan Leaves: These are the iconic leaves of the cannabis plant. These cannabis leaves are large and have the ability to capture light and conduct photosynthesis. However, they’re usually disposed of during trimming.
- Sugar Leaves: Unlike fan leaves, sugar leaves are smaller and coated in resin. Also, growers often keep them during trimming because they can be used for producing different cannabis products, such as pre-rolls and extracts.
- Flowers: These are the buds of the cannabis plant and the fruits of your pure hard work. Cannabis flowers contain most of the plant’s terpenes and cannabinoids, which are responsible for feelings of relaxation and euphoria.
- Cola: This is where buds (or clusters of buds) grow. Smaller ones can be growing sites of new branches.
- Calyx And Bract: The bract covers the female plant’s reproductive system. They’re coated in resin glands and look like green tear-like leaves. Inside the bract is the calyx, which the naked eye can’t see. It’s a transparent layer at the top of the plant’s ovule.
- Stigma And Pistil: Stigma is a hair-like strand that collects pollen from male cannabis plants. It starts as white and gradually becomes yellow, brown, red, or orange over time. The pistil is where the reproductive organs of the flower are contained.
- Trichomes: These are a small yet important part of the cannabis plant. They produce a crystal-like covering to protect the buds of the plant from anything that may harm them.
Cannabis is a controversial plant endowed with compounds known for their medical benefits, such as relieving pain, inducing sleep, and improving mood. Some people opt to carry out their own cannabis cultivation, while other patients with medical marijuana cards take advantage of the cannabis industry by visiting dispensaries where they can buy edibles, topicals, cannabis flower, and more.
The most popular compounds that are extracted from marijuana plants are THC and CBD. CBD offers no euphoric effects, making it ideal for medical purposes. Still, make sure to ask your doctor before consuming cannabis products to determine the right dosage and prevent any unwanted side effects.
John DiBella is a medical marijuana advocate, owner of The Sanctuary Wellness Institute, and a writer. When he’s not writing blogs about medical marijuana, he enjoys hiking, camping and sailing.