Seed Co.

Cannabis as a plant

Thu 27, 2023

Table of Contents


Cannabis as a plant



When we think of plants, we typically envision vibrant, green structures with solid stems, a bushy canopy of leaves, and long white roots. However, our planet’s plant life history extends far beyond this image. The first photosynthesizing organisms emerged more than 3 billion years ago, living in water long before plants evolved into the forms we recognize today.


Over time, those organisms gradually acquired a range of essential adaptations to suit their changing environment. As competition for light and nutrients intensified, plants developed new mechanisms to help them colonize unhabituated land outside of warm coastal waters and thrive in new unwelcoming conditions. These adaptations are now visible in every plant we see.

  • One essential adaptation was the development of leaves, specialized organs which allowed plants to capture as much light (energy) as possible while driving the flow of liquids inside the plants’ bodies. This light is the primary (and in most cases only) source of energy for plants, which they convert into sugars through photosynthesis. Cannabis plants have two main types of leaves: larger fan leaves that grow around the plant body and more petite “sugar” leaves that grow alongside the buds during flowering. The leaves of cannabis plants typically feature 5, 7, 9, or even 11 fingers, making them easily recognizable.
  • Plants developed stiff stems that could hold the leaves upright and deliver water, nutrients, and sugars between tissues. Stems consist of nodes, where leaves and other stems grow, and internodes, which give the plant its height and shape.
  • Lastly, plants develop strong roots, which keep them firmly in place while drawing water and nutrients from the soil. Cannabis plants require fertile, well-aerated substrate to thrive and drink much water. Achieving the proper balance between soil lightness (oxygenation) and wetness (water content) is crucial to growing a vigorous plant.


Cannabis is a fascinating and complex plant with a life cycle centered around sexual reproduction and the creation of offspring. As a perennial plant, cannabis lives for one season and dies shortly after producing seeds. The life cycle can be divided into two main stages: vegetation and flowering.

  • During the vegetation stage, the cannabis plant focuses on germination and building green mass. This process is crucial for the plant’s growth and development, preparing it for the flowering stage.
  • The flowering stage is the most crucial part of the cannabis plant’s life cycle, as it is during this time that the plant produces buds. Cannabis calyxes are female reproductive structures containing pistils, hair-like structures that protrude from the calyx. These calyxes, surrounded by sugar leaves, create the primary form of a female flower or a bud that is typically consumed.




During flowering, the inflorescences hypertrophy and expand to catch as much pollen as possible for fertilization. Keeping female plants away from pollen sources is essential to ensure high-quality buds. If the inflorescence becomes pollinated, the plant will prioritize seed production over resin which ruins the process of growing high-quality buds. This means the buds with seeds inside are lower quality and unsuitable for consumption.

While male cannabis plants only produce pollen and are not helpful for smoking or consumption, they play a crucial role in breeding. Pollen, produced by male plants, pollinates female plants, allowing growers to develop new cannabis strains and produce seeds.

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