The Anatomy of a Marijuana Plant

By Rolling Up

Nature encompasses a lot of complexities and beauties. Cannabis plants are one of the many wonders that inhabit this planet. Cannabis plants have evolved, mainly thanks to human kind. Due to regulations, most people have not seen a real marijuana adult plant before. This guide is intended to inform old and new enthusiasts to understand the plant from the ground up.

Male vs. Female 

Cannabis plants are dioecious, meaning there are significant differences between the male and female plants. Cannabis that is rich in cannabinoids are female, and the plants that produce pollen sacs are male. It is possible for a plant to emerge as hermaphroditic and be monoecious. Male plants are less favorable because they are not rich in cannabinoids and produce seeds in their plants.

Anatomy Breakdown


A healthy seed will be well-rounded in shape with one pointed end and one flat end. Seeds can vary in size, from really tiny (800 seeds per gram) to absolutely massive (15 seeds per gram). Inside the seed, you’ll find the embryo which will emerge when it’s met with the right moisture and lighting conditions. 


Healthy roots are absolutely essential for any plant. The cannabis roots are classified into three types: tap root, fibrous roots, and adventitious roots. The tap root is the principal component of the root system, shooting up upward branches as it grows. Fibrous roots extend outward and form an underground network for the substrate. Adventitious roots are the thick roots and they’re usually used for cuttings and cloning. 

Branches and Stems

The branches and stems provide vascular support to the plant with water and nutrients. They support the weight of the plant. 


Cannabis leaves are shaped like an open hand and form a fan like shape, ranging anywhere from 3 to 13 fingers or leaves. They contain little THC and help the plant absorb sunlight. They also help shade the buds from sunburn. 

Pre-sex structures

The last thing anyone wants is seeds in their bud. That’s why it’s important for breeders to pollinate under intensely controlled conditions. Sexing plants and making sure that the plant is female is key to maintaining a crop. A female plant will form white hairs on the bracts (where the flowering develops) and male bracts will form a more bulbous shape and produce pollen sac. 


This is the smokable part of the plant. This part is dried and cured for consumption. Each female plant will end in a flowering top called the cola. It’s the central flower cluster and is the most prized among growers and consumers for their THC content and active resin, as well as their photogenic qualities. 

Pistils, Calyxes, and Trichomes

Pistils are the hairs on the flowers and these are the organs that function to receive flowers and produce seeds. Calyxes are the base of the flowers that form the first and they support the flower and are responsible for physical design of the plant. It’s the protective platform for the entirety of the plant. Trichomes are the star of the show and they’re responsible for terpenes for their medicinal outputs. 

We hope you have learned more about the wonderful cannabis plant and have learned something new. 

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