Cannabis plants have beautiful features, with dramatic fan leaves and tiny crystals covering their buds. For anyone working with these plants, anatomy is a part of understanding quality, function, and how to determine the sex of the plant.
Potent cannabis plants for consumption come from female plants. Male plants, which pollinate the females, are not consumed as cannabis products, but serve the purpose of breeding new strains. Hermaphrodite plants can emerge due to environmental stress, producing both male and female flowers. These plants need to be removed from the grow. Factors on stress include:
- Timing of pruning
Read on for more about the anatomy of cannabis plants and what purposes the different parts serve!
Professionals with a Cannabis Store Licence Will Be Working with Buds
If you want to apply for a cannabis retail licence, you might be interested to know that the cola is at the top of the stem and is where buds come together in a cluster. They grow very closely together, with tiny buds running along lower branches and apical buds at the very top of the plant.
The calyx is at the base of the flower or bud, and grows first before any other part. This is where the high concentrations of valuable resin exist. The calyx is not visible to the naked eye and is a translucent veil over the ovule of the flower.
Protruding from the calyx is a pistil which contains the reproductive parts of the female flower. Stigmas protrude from the pistil, looking like strands of hair, and collect pollen from the masculine plants. This is an important step because mistakes with pollination lead to male plants and these are not usable for consumption.
Trichomes and How They Work for the Plant
If you look closely at a cannabis plant, you will see a sugar-like resin of crystals. The blankets of resin cover the leaves, stems, and calyxes of plants and are called trichomes. Secreted through tiny, translucent globules that are shaped like mushrooms, the resin is known as “kief” when dry.
For making products, trichomes are what provide terpenes and cannabinoids like THC and CBD. For the plants themselves, these function to protect the organism from predators as well as the elements.
How to Determine the Sex of a Cannabis Plant
Determining whether a plant is male or female is good background knowledge to have, as the products you will work with once you obtain a cannabis store license will all come from female plants.
The parts of the plant where leaves and branches protrude from the stalk are called nodes. Pollen sacs in the nodes grow into pre-flowers, which are usually tough to see at first without magnification. These form either small sacs for pollination or two bracts, which look like green, tear-shaped leaves.
If two bracts appear, the plant is female. The bracts:
- Are where stigmas extend from to catch pollen from male plants
- Are covered in resin glands
- Encapsulate the female reproductive parts
Hermaphrodite plants have the ability to both catch and send pollination, so they are able to pollinate themselves. These plants cannot be used for consumption as they contain the male seed.
The Root of the Plant
Cannabis plants have a single taproot, which is a large, dominant root growing downward vertically. From the taproot, subsidiary roots extend and form a fibrous mass.
Xylem, a transport tissue found in plants, pumps water and minerals into the cannabis plant from the roots. Xylem is characteristic of vascular plants, and works with phloem to provide nutrients to the organism.
Phloem is another type of vascular tissue that contains cells for distributing compounds from photosynthesis, transporting sugars, and metabolic products from the leaves.
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