Females are the prizes of cannabis plants—they are the ones that grow the buds that we all know and love. Anytime you see a picture of a cannabis plant with buds, you are looking at a female plant.
Cannabis really stands out in its flowers—or buds—where unique and intricate formations occur: fiery orange hairs, sugary crystals, and chunky buds enveloped by tiny leaves.
Female cannabis plants receive pollen from males to produce seeds, which will carry on the genetics of both plants to the next generation.
Branches grow out of the main stem and support fan leaves and buds. Growers often train a cannabis plant by topping branches to create more bud sites.
A cola, also called a “bud site,” 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 top of the plant.
Males and females are usually only pollinated when crossbreeding plants or creating new strains.
Check out Johanna’s full video series on how to grow weed on Leafly’s YouTube .
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These pictures show marijuana, also known as cannabis or weed, in varying stages of growth, processing, and use. You may be concerned about plants you find growing in and around your home. Or, you may wonder whether what you discovered in your child’s room is marijuana or indicates your child may be using marijuana.
If you find a larger quantity of processed marijuana buds in your home, someone either has an expensive habit or they are selling weed to their friends.
Close Up of Marijuana Bud
If you see plants like this growing around your home, chances are they did not just pop-up in the wild—they were purposely cultivated. Cannabis plants have a palmate leaf with serrated leaflets. You are likely to recognize them from popular art. While there are plants with similar leaves, the serration pattern for Cannabis is distinctive.
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Marijuana is dried and chopped up to prepare it for use and sale. The stems are usually removed.