Cannabis Glossary – Terminology and Plant Anatomy

Welcome to this guide on cannabis plant anatomy and related terminology. On this page, you’ll find clear explanations for a selection of key terms that will enhance your understanding of the cannabis plant and its components.
Whether you’re new to cannabis cultivation or looking to refresh your knowledge, these terms offer insights into the plant’s structure and the language commonly used in the growing community.

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Bud

The bud of a cannabis plant is the actual flower part that many users are familiar with. This is where you find the highest concentration of cannabinoids like THC and CBD. When a cannabis plant blooms, the buds are what’s harvested and used for smoking, vaporizing, or creating different cannabis products.

cannabis calyx

Calyx

The calyx is the first part of a flowering cannabis plant that forms. It’s a small, usually green structure that looks a bit like a protective layer and houses the reproductive parts of the flower, including the pistil and developing seeds. When you look at a cannabis bud, what you’re seeing is mainly a cluster of these calyces.

cropped cannabis clones

Clone

A clone is a cutting from a cannabis plant that is used to grow a new plant with the same genetic makeup as the original. This means that the new plant will have identical traits, such as flavor, growth pattern, and cannabinoid content. Growers often use clones to keep growing their favorite strains.

Cola

A cola refers to a cluster of tightly grouped buds that grow at the top of a cannabis plant. Also called the terminal bud, the cola is where you’ll typically find the most significant density of flowers, which means it’s often the most coveted part of the harvest.

Cotyledon

Cotyledons are the first pair of leaves that sprout from a cannabis seed when it begins to grow. These leaves are quite different in shape from the later serrated leaves, and they serve an important role in starting the plant’s growth by providing initial energy before true leaves develop and begin photosynthesis.

pistils white hairs

Pistil

Pistils are the reproductive parts of a female cannabis flower. They consist of a hair-like structure called a stigma, which protrudes from the calyx. You can see them as little hairs that sometimes appear white, yellow, orange, or red. These stigmas are vital in the pollination process.

Re-veg

Re-veg, short for re-vegetation, refers to when a cannabis plant that has already flowered is induced to re-enter the vegetative phase of its growth cycle. This is done by manipulating light cycles, providing the long light hours typical of the plant’s growth phase. Re-vegging can help keep a mother plant alive for cloning purposes.

cannabis terpenes

Terpene

Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in many plants, including cannabis. They are responsible for the plant’s different smells and flavors. Besides offering unique fragrances, terpenes may also contribute to the varying effects of cannabis strains due to their role in synergy with cannabinoids – a phenomenon known as the “entourage effect.”

Trichome

Trichomes are the clear or opaque crystal-like structures that coat the surface of mature cannabis buds and leaves. They are tiny glandular hairs that produce cannabinoids, terpenes, and other valuable compounds. Trichomes give the plant a frosty appearance and significantly contribute to the potency of the flower.

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