The Ultimate Guide to Cannabis Flower – Strains Effects and Consumption
Cannabis flower is the most popular and versatile form of medical and recreational marijuana. Cultivators breed strains to produce unique qualities that allow consumers to customize their experience based on desired effects and benefits.
Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid flowers offer many qualities that can affect users differently. These differences include varying levels of THC and CBD as well as oils called terpenes.
Trichomes are the cannabinoid and terpene-producing glands of the cannabis flower plant. They’re also what gives marijuana its odor. But these tiny glands aren’t just about aroma and taste. They’re where the majority of cannabis’s therapeutic effects come from.
One of the most essential trichomes to look for is the capitate sessile trichomes, which resemble mushrooms. They are the only trichomes that can be viewed with the naked eye and are the most abundant of all three trichome types. Capitate-sessile trichomes initiate cannabinoid and terpene biosynthesis.
These trichomes have a stalk (made of epidermal cells) and a spherical head of resin glands surrounded by a waxy cuticle layer. These trichomes secrete the vast majority of cannabinoid and terpene compounds that make up a cannabis plant.
Milky and opaque trichomes indicate that cannabis is close to harvest time and may be expressing higher concentrations of THC alongside terpenes that contribute to a more energetic and cerebral high. Ample grow ops will start their harvest preparation months in advance, including staff training and detailed standard operating procedures for what happens on harvest day.
Pistils are the orange-red hair-like structures that cannabis buds as a plant enters the flowering phase. These female organs are a critical component of plant reproduction, as they catch pollen from male plants. They can also be a valuable tool for growers to know when their crop is ready to harvest, with some experts suggesting that a cannabis plant is ready to be picked when more than half of the pistils have turned milky brown.
Pistils tend to showcase a range of color variations throughout a marijuana plant’s life cycle. They typically begin as white strands and then transition to hues of orange and red. These vibrant shades result from flavonoid pigments called anthocyanins, responsible for the vibrant colors of berries, peppers, and other vegetables and fruits. These phytochemical changes signal the plant is in its peak reproductive stage and nearing its harvest readiness.
When you think of cannabis plants, you probably imagine a green leaf and a flower. But another element is a bit of both, called a bract.
Bracts are tear-shaped growths heavily coated in resin glands that produce cannabinoids. They encapsulate the female plant’s reproductive parts and house seeds in fertilized flowers (known as colas). Bracts also give flowers their aromas and flavors.
A bract may also contain trichomes that grow on its surface, which gives it a “frosted” appearance. These trichomes can be harvested and used in extracts and other products.
Male plants produce pollen sacks that blossom into flowers, and when they fertilize a female plant, the result is hermaphrodite marijuana plants. These plants produce male and female cannabis plants, which help breed new weed strains with specific traits over time.
We examined 2306 user-reported real-time administration sessions to determine which cannabis product characteristics—including flower subspecies/subtype, inhalation method, and significant cannabinoid content—were associated with changes in momentary feelings of distress symptoms.
A flower’s outermost layer comprises green leaf-like structures known as sepals. Together, they form an indistinguishable ring of petals called the corolla. The number of sepals and petals varies between monocots and dicots, with most flowers containing three or more petals in various shades of color. The calyx, or perianth, is also the site of the female plant’s reproductive structures.
Located under the sepals and pistils is a teardrop-shaped cluster of leaves known as a bract. These are where most trichomes reside and produce a large amount of cannabinoid resin. The bract also encapsulates the female plant’s ovule, the source of a flower’s aroma.
Cannabis plant flowers are usually dried to be sold at dispensaries or used in other methods of consumption. This is why it’s essential to store a properly prepared batch of marijuana flowers in an airtight container. It helps to protect the delicate trichomes and keeps them from absorbing moisture, heat, and light that can cause degradation.