Explore our in-depth guide below to see the cannabis plant like never before.
Mycorrhizae ultimately act as an extension of the root system. Not only do they break down organic matter to release nutrients, but they also transport these important molecules from areas plants could otherwise not reach. Ultimately, mycorrhizal fungi play a fundamental role in plant nutrition and soil biology and chemistry.
This fusion between plant and fungi occurs in the rhizosphere, or root zone. The mycelium forms a sheath-like structure around the root tip that surrounds plant cells in the root cortex. Threads of hyphae—individual strands of mycelium—extend out into the soil where they break down organic matter and even connect one plant to another, forming a biological internet.
After liberating nutrients from the substrate, the mycelium uptakes and shuttles them around to plants. Because cannabis roots aren’t capable of this impressive function themselves, they have to “bargain” with the mycelium to access these nutrients. Luckily, plants produce sugars during photosynthesis, and transport many of these molecules down into the roots. Here, they swap these energy-rich exudates for the nutrients they need to fulfil important physiological functions.
Although the flowers get most of the attention—and rightly so—every part of this complex species has a critical and interesting function. As a cultivator, it helps to familiarise yourself with the anatomy of the cannabis plant. In doing so, you’ll develop an eye for what your plant requires, what it needs less of, and when to harvest.
Female pre-flowers on the left, male flower cluster on the right
Cannabis leaves are palmately compound (shaped like the open hand, with multiple parts), with anything from 3 to 13 veined, serrated leaflets or fingers. Indica varieties will generally have wider and shorter leaflets of a lush dark green colour, but fewer in number, while Sativas will have longer, narrower leaflets and can be of a lighter green shade. Of course, cannabis is a hugely diverse genus and there are exceptions to this rule, most notably the Ducksfoot variety, with its webbed leaves. Autoflowering varieties will tend to have smaller leaves, with the shape depending on the individual genetics, but as a general rule leaning more to the Indica side.
Here at Alchimiaweb we strongly believe that the more we know about our favourite plants, the more success we’ll have cultivating them, and the happier we’ll be with the results! For these reasons here we’re going to take a closer look at the cannabis plant and identify all the different elements of its anatomy to help you get to know this wonderful plant a little bit better.
Leaves and petioles
Adventitious root growing from the stem of a clone
Cannabis is dioecious, meaning the male and female reproductive organs are on different plants. Unless we’re planning on doing some home breeding and making seeds, we won’t be growing any male plants to full maturity, but it’s important to be able to identify them, even if we’re growing exclusively from feminised seeds, just in case.
Leaf and structure comparison of the different cannabis species
The male, staminate flowers effectively resemble green balls on sticks, composed of five petals which open to reveal five pollen-producing stamens. They grow in long, loose bud clusters from internodes on the branch and once pollen is released the male plants will soon die off. Male flowers contain low levels of cannabinoids and terpenes.
Most people who smoke are looking to recycle all of their leftovers. Byproducts of cannabis often have their own value that can be utilized in different products or further smoking or absorption experiences.
Regardless of whether or not you have gone the extra mile and tried it out, the answer to this question is, absolutely not, you’re better off just buying some more cheap weed. Smoking stems is not recommended for several reasons. Here are a couple of the main ones.
Can You Smoke Weed Stems?
If you’ve ever been curious or in a situation where you were running low on cannabis and unable to get more, you have most likely thought to yourself, can I smoke these weed stems?
Whether you’re a candle-lover or someone who prefers to use hemp wicks as a way to light your bud so that you don’t have to deal with the negative effects of butane, you can make candle wick out of your stems as well.
Seeds from cannabis plans are also very high in protein. Plant based products are generally a great source of protein. They are good for the body and very easy to digest. Farmers used to use the seeds to feed their livestock.