What Does a Marijuana Plant Look Like?

What Does a Marijuana Plant Look Like

Marijuana plants are some of the most popular and widely-used plants in the world. They come from a plant that is often called cannabis, but it can go by various street names, as well.

The drug has been legalized in many different places around the world, leading to an increased demand for information on how these plants grow. That’s why in this blog post, we’ll talk about what a marijuana plant looks like so you’re better able to identify these fascinating plants!

Marijuana Plant Anatomy

Cannabis has a variety of components, many of which may be observed in other flowering plant species. Here’s what you can expect when you’re looking at these plants:

A Root System

The cannabis plant’s roots extend into the soil from the main stem. The major root is known as a “taproot” when growing from a seed.

Roots are the lifelines of a cannabis plant, bringing water and oxygen to them so that they may thrive healthfully and robustly.

Stem & Branches

A cannabis plant’s main stem, often known as the stalk, grows straight up from the root system and supports all lateral branches. The stem gives these plants structure and strength.

Branches sprout from the main stem and support fan leaves and buds. To make more bud sites, growers frequently train their cannabis plants by pruning branches.

Fan Leaves

The big, recognizable leaves of the cannabis plant are called fan leaves. They capture light for the plants and usually have little resin.

These are typically trimmed away while trimming. However, the fan leaves can be used to make bubble hash and other concentrates, as well as edibles.

Sugar Leaves

Sugar leaves are the little, resin-coated leaves that grow near the buds. During harvest, sugar leaves are generally kept as “trim.” and can be used for pre-rolls, extracts, and other cannabis products.

These leaves are far more potent than fan leaves, which is why they’re more commonly used for concentrate creation.


The buds, or female flowers, contain the cannabinoids and terpenes that make you high and provide health benefits. They’re covered with sticky trichomes rich in CBD, THC, and various other cannabinoid compounds.

The flower or buds are the most valuable part of the cannabis plant. Females are prized for these buds, and if you’ve ever gone to a dispensary and made a purchase, you’ve probably bought flowers.

Pollen sacs

Male cannabis plants produce pollen sacs, which are also known as male flowers. Female plants do not have these sacs. However, hermaphrodite cannabis plants are problematic because they possess both pollen sacs and female parts.

Male and hermaphrodite plants don’t contain a lot of THC. Therefore, while they have applications, they are not desirable for consumption.

Bract and calyx

A bract encloses the female’s reproductive components. They resemble green tear-shaped leaves and are heavily coated with resin glands, which produce the greatest quantity of cannabinoids of any plant component.

The calyx, which is enclosed by the bracts and is difficult to see, refers to a translucent film covering the ovule at the base of a flower.

Stigma and pistil

The pistil is the reproductive component of a flower, and the bright, hair-like strands on its tip are called stigmas. Stigmas collect pollen from male plants.

The stigma of the pistil begins with white color and gradually darkens to yellow, orange, red, or brown as the plant matures.


Trichomes are the translucent, mushroom-shaped glands that look like tiny hairs found on cannabis buds. They secrete the biggest concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes.

Different Cannabis Strains

Pure-breed cannabis strains have distinct characteristics, while hybrid varieties have blurred the lines between them. Here’s a bit more about the different cannabis strains and their effects.

Cannabis Sativa

Cannabis sativa is a tall-growing, lanky with airy buds and long, thin leaves. The majority of popular culture’s pot leaves are from the Sativa plant.

These plants can grow up to 10 feet tall or taller. They have up to 13 long and thin leaf fingers with ragged and jagged serrations.

The leaves on Sativa marijuana plants are typically a lighter green color due to a lower level of chlorophyll. However, Sativa flower is usually brighter and lighter in color than Indica’s.

Cannabis Indica

Indica plants are the opposite of Sativa. They are short and stocky with dense flowers. Indica plants generally grow to only 3 to 6 feet tall.

The leaves are wider than Sativa with 7-9 leaflets. The darker color of the leaves reflects a higher level of chlorophyll. Since it’s grown in colder temperatures, Indica flower colors are deeper and darker than Sativa’s.

Cannabis Ruderalis

The smallest of all cannabis species is the ruderalis, which grows to be only 1 to 2.5 feet tall. They’re tiny and rounded with thick stems and wide leaves.

The leaves have just four or five leaflets. Ruderalis buds are generally smaller than other cannabis plant types.

The Ruderalis plant is an autoflowering variety, which means its flowering cycle is not determined by the amount of light it receives.

Concluding on What Does a Marijuana Plant Look Like

Cannabis plants are fascinating, beautiful organisms that can be appreciated for their aesthetic qualities. They grow in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the strain they belong to or the hybridization process that has taken place.

For those who didn’t know what a cannabis plant looks like, you should now have the insight you need to identify these incredible plants.

If you have any questions about these plants’ aesthetics, feel free to reach out to us! The Alpacannabis team is always ready to answer questions about cannabis!


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