When looking at a cannabis plant at Herbarium, you’ll notice a complex binding of different parts: the fiery orange hairs, the sugary crystals, chunky knobs encased by tiny leaves. But what exactly are all of these and what do they do?
The cannabis plant is comprised of several structures, many of which we can find in any ordinary flowering plant. Cannabis grows on long skinny stems with its large iconic leaves extending out of areas called nodes. The beauty of the flower comes out when unique and complex formations start developing and that’s when we get ready to harvest our cannabis plant at Herbarium.
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. Cola’s are the buds you see on our stores shelf’s in Herbarium.
Stigma and Pistil
The pistil contains the female reproductive parts of the flower, and the vibrant, hair like strands of the pistil called the stigma. Stigmas serve to collect pollen from male flowers. The stigmas of the pistil begin with a white coloring and progressively darken to yellow, orange, red, and brown over the course of the plant’s lifespan. 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 plant’s female reproductive parts. They appear as green tear-shaped “leaves,” and are heavily covered in resin glands which produce the highest concentrations of cannabinoids of all plant parts. Enclosed by these bracts and unnoticeable to the naked eye, the calyx refers to the 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 known as “kief” when dry) is secreted through translucent, mushroomed-shaped glands of 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.