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Definitions and Uses of the parts of the cannabis plant

Definitions and Uses of the parts of the cannabis plant

Although Cannabis has the notoriety of being abused as an illicit drug, its application is far more versatile than just getting people high. Looking back at history, the weed has a broad application in the textile and healthcare industries, among many others. This article expounds on the various parts of the plant and its uses so you can make the best use of this magical weed. After reading the lines below, you will no longer discard any part of the plant – everything is useful; from the stalk to the seeds.

Parts of the Cannabis plant

The cannabis plant consists of the vegetative parts (stalk and leaves) as well as the flower parts. The plant itself can either be male or female. While the male plants are the best for hemp production due to its robust parts, the female plant stands out for its psychoactive effects. Bear in mind that the parts of the plant without THC are not psychoactive; thus, it cannot give the high effect typical of smoking weed.

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The Flower

As the name infers, this is the flowery portion of the plant that matures after about three months of careful tending of the weed.  Although many people consider the flower to be the most valuable part of the plant, it is just one of the many useful parts of marijuana.

The Bud

This is the dense cluster of the cannabis flower that is located at the top of the plant, and it is the part of the plant with the highest concentration of THC, because it has the highest density of trichomes. The bud of the plant is mostly applied to add the psychoactive effect in cannabis-derived products such as oils, tinctures, and concentrates. 


The seeds of cannabis are derived from the male plant pollinating the female plant. The seeds do not induce the high feeling and can make someone feel sick when it is smoked. However, the seed is useful for the propagation of the plant. This is what cannabis breeders use in cross-breeding and creating strains for propagation.

Sugar Leaves

The small trichome leaves which usually grow close to the cannabis buds go by the nickname Sugar Leaves. Unlike the larger fan leaves, sugar leaves are highly psychoactive but not as potent as the buds. This part of the plant can be smoked, made into concentrates for edibles, and applied for many other uses.

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These are the crystalline resin glands that are located in the flowering parts of the plant. They are most common on the mature buds. The trichomes are the THC reserve of the plant which means the more resin on the plant, the higher psychoactive effects it produces. The trichomes do not have any other use for humans besides getting people high.


The large fan leaves, the stem and the stalks are the vegetative parts of the plant and are typical for the absence of the THC compounds. These parts are dominant during the vegetative growth stage of the plant and remain after flowering. The vegetative parts have the least commercial value in the market.

The Stalk

The thick stem of the cannabis plant is commonly referred to as the stalk and runs from the root of the plant to the tip. The stalk is the most resilient part of the plant due to a large amount of fiber. The stalks are used commercially to create textile materials called hemp. Besides its use in the textile industry, it is also used to make paper products, clothing, and rope, among other applications. 

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The Stems

The stem refers to the smaller branches that extend from the stalk. The tip of the branches is the place where the cannabis flower grows. As a result, this is the only vegetative part of the plant that can get you high. Moreover, the stems are also used to brew cannabis-infused alcoholic drinks due to the trace amount of THC it contains. You should not discard the stems when trimming the plant, you can save them for use in the future. Perhaps you can make a cannabis-derived tea infusion.

The Fan Leaves

The fan leaves are the elongated petals that are iconic to the marijuana plant.  This is the part of the plant that uses energy from the sun to produce nutrition for the plant. You can derive high nutritional value from the fan leaves trough nutritional juicing. This part of the plant does not induce the high feeling.  Since the fan leaves are usually pruned, it can as well serve as a source of nutrition. For those who do not fancy juicing, the leaves can be used as compost for the farm.

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