What is a Cannabis Bud?
A cannabis bud is a cluster of trichome-covered flowers produced by the female cannabis plant. Cannabis buds vary in appearance, aroma, color, and density of the flowers and pistils depending on the specific strain.
Cannabis Bud Anatomy
Cannabis buds, which can also be referred to as nuggets (nugs) or flower, are the consumable part of the cannabis plant. The buds are a bit like the fruit produced by the plant because this is the part of the plant primarily harvested for smoking or further processing to make cannabis-based products. The exact growth location and formation of the cannabis bud can vary depending on the plant’s lineage. However, the bud most often develops at the top of the plant.
While the overall bud looks like a tightly woven cluster of leaves, a typical bud is actually made up of several parts of the plant, including:
- Calyx (bract) – Tiny structures with a teardrop shape that normally house a seed in a pollinated plant
- Pistils and stigmas – The hair-like structures that stem from the calyx are stigmas, which are produced by pistils
- Sugar leaves – The small leaves that are coated with resin around the blooms
- Trichomes – The resinous, cannabinoid and terpene-rich material that covers the different parts of a cannabis bud
When the Cannabis Plant Produces a Bud
The exact stage when a cannabis plant produces a bud can vary depending on both growing conditions and the specific genetics of the plant. Nevertheless, the flowering stage usually takes place between 8 and 11 weeks of age. Flowering stages can also be manipulated by adjusting the light exposure in an indoor grow operation. This is because cannabis plants will normally start to produce buds when they are getting 12 hours of light per day. The process of producing a bud may look something as follows:
- The plant starts to develop white pistils
- The buds around those pistils will get bigger
- The bud continues to grow and trichomes start to develop
Buds are said to be ready for harvest when the pistils have changed from white to an orange or reddish hue and have started to curl inward.
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