The rare hermaphroditic plants contain both female and male sex organs that allow the plant to pollinate itself during flowering. This self-pollination is typically deemed a nuisance among growers as it spoils the seedless sinsemilla plants and passes on hermaphroditic genes.
Female plants produce the large resin-secreting flowers that are trimmed down to round or pointed buds while males produce smaller pollen sacs near the base of the leaves. The male plants pollinate the females to initiate seed production, but the potent flowers we consume come from the seedless female plants, called sinsemilla, which grow large cannabinoid-rich buds while without seed.
This brief guide to cannabis anatomy is meant to familiarize you with the plant in its full form. Unfortunately, the sight of real, living cannabis is made rare for many by restrictive laws, but we hope we can bring you just a little closer to your favorite strain’s source.
Bract and calyx
The pistil contains the reproductive parts of a flower, and the vibrant, hairlike strands of the pistil are called stigmas. Stigmas serve to collect pollen from males. The stigmas of the pistil begin with a white coloration and progressively darken to yellow, orange, red, and brown over the course of the plant’s maturation. They play an important role in reproduction, but stigmas bring very little to the flower’s potency and taste.
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.
Stigma and pistil
Growers can ensure the sex of their plants by growing clones or the genetically identical clippings from a parent strain. Feminized seeds are also made available through a special breeding process.
Discover our guide to cannabis plant anatomy that covers the different parts of the plant in its full form, from colas to trichomes.