Flower or most commonly known as the bud is the smokable, trichome-enriched part of the female cannabis plant. The flower is the most popular form of cannabis due to its versatility and the many ways that it can be consumed which include smoking in a pipe, bong or joint, vaporizer or combined with edibles.
What are the common forms of flowers?
A loose flower is just what it sounds like – buds on their own which are not rolled or processed. Loose flowers are generally sold in a jar or sealed in a labelled bag by strain and weight. These can be purchased in a dispensary. After harvesting them from the cannabis plant, they must be dried and cured. Further, the flower must be ground using a cannabis grinder which then makes it ready to be smoked in a joint or bong or can be used in edibles.
Another way to purchase flowers is in pre-rolled joints. This saves a lot of time for consumers as they do not have to go through the process of grinding them and rolling them.
Anatomy of a flower plant
There are two types of cannabis plants: Indica and Sativa and both of these have different THC and CBD levels. Different strains affect people differently and thus one must know which is best suited for them. Indica leaves are wide, broad and dark in colour while the Sativa leaf is thin, long and lighter in colour.
The two main cannabinoids are THC and CBD among many others such as CBC, CBN and CBG. the main cannabinoid receptors are CB1 and CB2. THC and CBD affect users by interacting with specific receptors located at different parts of the nervous system.
Flower or bud is the part of the cannabis plant that contains all the cannabinoids. These are only produced by the female plants in the ‘bloom’ stage which takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks.
Terpenes are organic aromas found in the oils of flowering plants like cannabis. These oils have their advantages and makeup that have a greater effect when ingested. When terpenes and cannabis work together, they create an entourage effect that enhances the medicinal properties of the cannabis plant.
Trichomes are hairlike, glistering growths that crop up along the cannabis buds. They have different functions across different plants. Trichomes function as digestive traps in carnivorous plants. In other plants, trichomes protect plants from encroaching frost, damaging pests or destructive wind.
The bract of a flower encapsulates a female plant’s reproductive parts and in a cannabis plant, they surround the flower’s inflorescence which is a term that includes a group or cluster of flowers arranged along a stem.
The calyx is often confused with the bracts of the cannabis plant. This part of the plant is formed first and is constructed of small leaves that spiral where the flower branches from the stem. Calyxes are made of sepals which are tiny leaves that protect the flower’s base. They provide cannabis flowers rigidity and structural protection safeguarding them from external damage.
Sugar leaves are small leaves that form at the base of the bud. Trichomes give the leaves a white sugar-dusted look. Some growers leave the leaves on while harvesting for aesthetic reasons and some remove them.