bud with crystals

Basic Cannabis Plant Terminology

Firstly, there’s plenty to learn about cannabis.

Our goal is to help educate our audience about the science behind Cannabis sativa L. This is one of the oldest plants used as a medicine. In the coming days and weeks, we’ll touch a range of topics, such as:

  • the cannabinoid system
  • the bio-chemistry of Cannabis
  • optimal growing conditions
  • therapeutic benefits
  • challenges of the market-place
  • fiber, food, oil production, etc.
  • plus much, much more


Appears on female plants as well as male plants. Flowers may contain both stamens and pistols. That is to say, that plants can produce both a male version (staminate) or a female version (carpellate).  Flowers without stamens are female. Flowers without ovaries are male. A plant with both staminate and carpellate characteristics are known as dioecious plants. Flowers (that haven’t been munched on by pests, such as caterpillers) are covered in trichomes.


Crystals located on the buds and sugar leaves. Globe-like structures located on long stalks. Clear as first, becomes amber as it matures. Contain the a range of cannabinoids, terpines and other important phytochemicals.

Fan Leaves

Large compound leaves, with smaller units called ‘leaflets’. Attached to the leaf stalk, at the Petiole. Leaves can be made up of 3-9 toothed (serrated) long leaflets.

Sugar Leaves

Small leaves that surround the buds. Well-nurtured plants will exhibit a plethora of trichomes.


The point from which a branch grows from the main stem. By the same token a node can occur where one branch grows out of another.