Cannabis Plant Anatomy and The Stages of Cannabis Growth - G2VAPE

Cannabis Plant Anatomy and The Stages of Cannabis Growth


Are you ready to dive into the fascinating world of marijuana plant anatomy and the stages of cannabis growth?

It equips you with the knowledge needed to optimize the plant’s growth, health, and overall yield.

The Life Cycle of a Cannabis Plant

The life cycle of a marijuana plant can be broken down into four distinct stages:Sourced from

  • Germination Stage: (3-10 Days) Where seeds start to germinate and grow into seedlings
  • Seedling Stage: (2-3 Weeks) The Birth of a Cannabis Plant
  • Vegetative Stage: (3-16 Weeks) A Period of Rapid Growth
  • Flowering Stage: (8-11 Weeks) The Culmination of Growth

Anatomy Structure of a Cannabis Plant

Cannabis plants possess a unique anatomy, composed of three main parts – roots, buds/flowers, and leaves – that work together to ensure the plant’s health and growth.Sourced from

Seeds – Where It All Begins

cannabis seeds

A cannabis plant begins its life as a seed. Each seed contains the potential for an entire plant, and therefore is incredibly valuable.

As it grows, new leaves emerge from the stem carrying out photosynthesis to supply energy for growth and development of the rest of the plant.

Stems – The Branches Of Life

cannabis plant stem

The stem of a cannabis plant provides structural support for all parts of the plant that grow above ground. It carries water and nutrients up from the roots to feed all other parts of the plant.

Stems can range in size from very thin and delicate to thick and sturdy depending on strain, age, and other environmental factors.

Roots – The Plants Anchor

The root system anchors the plant into the soil or grow medium while also providing structural support. The main root grows downward and branch off to form a web-like structure that absorbs water and nutrients from the soil.

Roots are incredibly important for overall health of cannabis plants as they provide essential minerals for photosynthesis. The plant relies on these nutrients to survive, and without them, it cannot absorb them.

Buds/Flowers – Where THC is Produced

Cannabis buds are produced at nodes (areas where leaves attach to the stem) and can range in size, color, and smell depending on strain. Trichomes, small glands that produce cannabinoids and terpenes, are responsible for producing THC and are considered the most crucial part of a cannabis bud.

Leaves – The Plants Food Factory

Cannabis leaves are large, serrated, and typically range in color from dark green to light green based on the types of strain. Leaves act as solar panels collecting light energy which is used for photosynthesis; this process produces glucose which provides fuel for the plant.

Leaves also regulate temperature by releasing water vapor when it gets too hot or taking up water when it gets too cold. Without healthy leaves, photosynthesis would be inhibited leading to poor growth and health of the plant.

Parts of Cannabis Flower

The cannabis flower has various of parts incuding the pistils, bracts, calyxes, trichomes and resin. By understanding the anatomy of a cannabis flower, one can gain a greater appreciation for this amazing plant.

Stigma and Pistil

The stigma and pistil are the reproductive parts of the cannabis flower. The stigma is a stalk-like structure located at the center of the flower, while the pistil is a long, slender filament that extends from the base of the stigma to reach out and pollinate other flowers.

Trichomes and Resin

Trichomes are small hairlike fibers found on cannabis buds, stems, leaves, and roots. Trichomes have significant quantities of cannabinoids including THC and CBD, along with terpenes produce distinct fragrances and tastes. Resin is a sticky substance secreted by these trichomes; it’s what makes marijuana sticky to touch.

Bract and Calyx

The bract is a modified leaf that encases the cannabis flower. It’s often mistaken for the calyx, which is the small cup-like structure located at the base of the pistil where flowers develop and pollen accumulates.

Both parts are important in terms of reproduction as they protect the plant against harsh climates and keep it safe from pathogens. They also give us an indication of when marijuana plants are ready for harvest.

How to See if Your Cannabis Plant is Female or Male

To determine if your cannabis plant is male or female, you should look at the nodes on the stem of the plant.Sourced from

Female plants will have two thin hairs (stigmas) growing from a slightly open tear-dropped bulb (bract), while male plants will have two to three pollen sacs surrounded by flowers (no stigmas). By 8 – 10 weeks after germination, the sex should be obvious and flowering stage should be underway.

It’s possible for plants to show both male and female signs, in which case they are known as hermaphrodites and can be caused by genetic predisposition or environmental stress during the flowering period. To lower the risk of this occurring, it is best to choose a feminized autoflowering strain.

Female Cannabis Plant

Cannabis plants that produce the buds with the highest concentration of cannabinoids and terpenes are the female ones, and they are highly valued. Sourced from

The regular and feminized seeds can be used to grow them. But, it’s crucial to keep a close eye on the plants when growing with regular seeds. This is because it may be necessary to remove any male plants to avoid pollination.

Female cannabis plants typically reach their peak maturity at around 8-10 weeks and must receive adequate light, airflow, water and nutrients in order for them to produce quality flowers.

To grow and produce buds, female cannabis plants do not need pollen from male plants. However, if growers want to cross-breed different genetics types or create new strains, both male and female plants are necessary.

Male Marijuana Plants: How to Use Them

Male cannabis plants are an important part of the cannabis life cycle. They produce pollen to fertilize female plants and propagate the species. Male weed plants have thicker stalks, fewer leaves, and their flowers are characterized by small, dangling, bell-shaped clusters.Sourced from

While some people suggest that male weed plants may produce enjoyable cerebral effects, more research must be done to confirm this. Male marijuana plants can be used for a variety of purposes including propagating the species, producing hemp fiber, making hash and concentrates, creating edibles and cannabis juice/tea.

Their seeds and roots can also be utilized. Thus male cannabis plants are an integral part of the industry as a whole due to their essential contributions to longevity and growth within the plant community as a whole.

By-products of Cannabis Plants

An understanding of the marijuana plant anatomy and life cycles is incomplete without delving into the by-products of cannabis plant anatomy.

  • Cannabis Buds: The bud, or the cannabis bud as it’s commonly known, is the plant’s reproductive organ, home to a plethora of cannabinoids, including THC and CBD.
  • Cannabis Flower: The cannabis flower, a product of the flowering stage, is where these buds form, often used in its raw form or as an ingredient in cannabis products.
  • Cannabis Products: From medicinal oils to recreational edibles, the cannabis plant’s offerings are vast, each boasting unique benefits and uses.

A significant component of the cannabis plant’s allure is its unique, often pungent, aroma. This smell comes from the aromatic oils or terpenes produced in the plant’s resin glands.


Cannabis is more than just a plant; it’s a dynamic ecosystem that offers a wealth of benefits, from medicinal properties to its role in numerous industries.

By understanding its anatomy and life cycles, growers can cultivate healthier plants, produce better yields, and ultimately, more quality cannabis products.


How long after switching to 12 12 will I see buds?

After switching to a 12/12 light cycle, buds typically start to appear within 2 to 4 weeks.

What is the progression of a marijuana flower?

Germination leads to vegetative growth, which transitions into flowering where pollination/fertilization occur, ultimately resulting in seed development.

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