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Marijuana Plant Anatomy: The Different Parts

The anatomy of a marijuana is an important thing to know for growers and breeders.

Marijuana plants may have different anatomy depending on their gender. Cannabis plants are typically either male or female, just like humans. However, they can also be hermaphrodites. This means they have both male and female reproductive parts. These parts are important to know, as determining gender early on can save an entire crop from being pollinated. And knowing which parts to train can also result in bigger, frostier buds from any female plant. When cloning, it’s also important to know marijuana plant anatomy so that a clipping can be taken from a plant without destroying it.



As mentioned, there are many parts of a marijuana plant that are common to both male and females. Roots are one of them. These are essentially the lifeline of the marijuana plant. When the roots are not healthy, the entire plant will suffer. Roots take nutrients and water from the grow medium and deliver it to every part of the plant.

Cannabis roots are long and fibrous. There is one primary root, known as the tap root and secondary roots grow all around it.


The main stem grows from the primary root and then stalks and leaves from there. The stem works with the roots as part of the transportation system. In addition, the stem also acts as the main support for the entire plant. This allows other stalks and leaves to grow up and out, so the plant can reach its full growth potential.

Nodes and inter-nodes

Along the stem are nodes, a very important part for marijuana plant anatomy. Nodes are the points of the stem where other branches will shoot out from. These are important to not only get larger plants, but also for those that want to clone or train their plants. Cutting and training is often done very close to the node. Therefore, it is important that anyone wishing to cultivate marijuana knows where those nodes are. The spaces between these nodes also have a name of their own and are known as inter-nodes.


When a new node is formed a stipule may also be produced. In other plants, such as roses, these stipules often grow in the form of thorns. These protect the plant from things such as pests. In the marijuana plant however, they do look like a small dagger but are harmless. In fact, the stipule is one part of the plant in which no one really knows its purpose.

Fan Leaves

Every marijuana plant, whether male or female, is going to have leaves. The leaves are a backbone of any weed plant. Leaves play a very important role in marijuana plant growth. Weed leaves absorb all of the light the plant is exposed to and even some moisture in the air. Through the process of photosynthesis, they also deliver all those nutrients to the rest of the plant.

Weed leaves can also be defoliated. This means the leaves can be removed at some points during the growth process. This is done when there are many fan leaves. Removing some of them allows light and air to better circulate around the plant. This can result in bigger yields and a healthier plant. As well as decreasing the chances of getting bud rot and mould.

On the top and bottom of each leaf are stomata. This literally means “mouth” in Greek. These stomata open and close, depending on conditions. The stomata may close in order to prevent the plant from becoming waterlogged. When the plant is dry, it may open the stomata fully, in order to absorb as much water as possible.