Cannabis is not just a bunch of buds and leaves. Whether you use this plant for medical purposes or are just interested in what comprises the controversial weed, cannabis anatomy is something worth reading about at least because it’s curious.
As far as medical purposes are concerned, one of the most important aspects of cannabis anatomy is the difference between indica and sativa strains. The latter is more effective if used for treatment of PTSD and other kinds of depression, while the former proved to be a better option for patients with cancer and arthritis. The indica strain contributes to pain management and has a sedative effect, as well as stimulates appetite.
It is possible to distinguish one from another by looking at their structures and forms. Indicas are usually shorter than sativas, which are lanky and tall. Sativas are ellipse-shaped, whereas indicas are more rounded.
From the botanical point of view, cannabis is a dioecious plant. It means its flowers can be either female of male, and they appear on separate plants. Most growers are interested only in female plants, because it is them that produce the substances used in medicine, including THC. Male plants are usually eliminated, because their pollen leads to decrease in substance production, as pollinated females are busy forming seeds, not cannabinoids. The only group that seems to be interested in male cannabis is breeders who want to get new strains.
This part of the cannabis plant has nothing to do with Coca Cola. The term denotes cannabis flowering buds, with the main cola being the apical bud, i.e. the one found at the top of a branch. Regardless of plant size, colas are usually multiple and grow in abundance. Growers usually strive to increase the number of these buds to boost substance output.
This term denotes the bud itself – not the one crowning major branches, but the small leaves with nodules and hair-like pistils. If the strain is a high quality one, these leaves have trichomes on them.
These are “hairs” sticking out from the calyx. This part of the plant specializes in catching the pollen emitted by male cannabis. Pistils can be of different colors depending on their maturation stage: from white to brown, there are many shades of pistils. The common assumption that orange pistils indicate large amounts of substances is wrong: such plants are usually low in THC and terpenes, because there are not enough trichomes to be considered a substance-rich plant.
The large leaves of cannabis have become a symbol of many a product. It is used as an element in design patterns, advertisements, etc. However, their primary purpose is not to look unique – the leaves, which grow in groups of give to seven and more, are used to make extracts and juices, which are sometimes used in therapies.
This is the plant part people cultivate it for. These resin glands are translucent and remind of droplets. Inside these beautiful glass-like orbs are terpenes and cannabinoids. Trichomes are found within cannabis flowers and on fan leaves.
These are the cannabis plant parts that are currently used for medical purposes. While the most popular way to use cannabis is to extract the substances found in trichomes, juicing leaves has potential too, because it does not affect the mind, i.e. does not cause euphoria, but provides THC-A, a precursor to THC. That is why juicing is being researched, since it can help enhance cannabinoid-based therapies.
Used for a variety of medical purposes, cannabis can provide useful substances, and eliminating the psychoactive effect can help expand its area of use.