Inside Edition on the Hemp Flower and Plant
A hemp plant and flower provides compounds for non-drug use. Narrow leaf hemp includes varieties of cannabis containing 0.3% or less of THC dry content weight are called hemp. The Agricultural Act of 2018 legitimized the legal definition of the hemp flower and plant. Even though evidence of hemp use has been recorded through centuries of history, only recently has knowledge and use of it exploded.
Hemp Plant and Flower Species
The three species of the hemp plant are as follows:
- Cannabis sativa L,
- Cannabis indica,
- Cannabis ruderalis,
Cannabis sativa L
This hemp flower species is a variety with less than 0.3% THC. Cannabis sativa L is tall and randomly branched, high in both fiber and grain but always low in THC. The species provides material to make fiber and grain products.
Cannabis Indica flower species on the hemp plant has poor fiber quality so is generally used to make recreational drugs and medicinal drugs. This plant species is short and conical in style has a dense array of branches. Hemp flower cannabis Indica species has a higher THC percentage and lower CBD content than the species above.
Cannabis Ruderalis species is not common in North America. It produces flowers based on its age rather than the light cycle and referred to as auto flowering.
The Hemp Plant and Flower
The pistil, the female organ, has the ovary, the style and the stigmas which are white and upright but subsequently curl into a spiral turning into yellow, orange then brown in the maturing process. The calyx collects pollen which in turn, triggers the seed creation process.
The Colas of the Hemp Flower
Buds or flower clusters forming at the top of the plant are referred to as colas. The main cola or apical bud is the biggest in size. Smaller colas growing from the nodes remain mostly hidden between all the leaves. Because the apical bud is on the top of the plant, it matures faster with a higher degree of light for more hours throughout the day. The smaller colas will mature much slower inhibited by their positioning among the leaves of the hemp plant.
Trichomes cover the sugar leaves in a dense, whitish coat resembling a covering of sugar. The sugar leaves have a high resin content but are discarded because they are very sticky and the chlorophyll content renders an unpleasant taste. Sugar leaves make great concentrates because they are laden with the valuable trichomes.
Trichomes have a powdery white hair-like strands appearance to the naked eye. Take a look at them with a microscope and the tiny stems with a mini globe on top are clearly to see. The trichomes are rich in terpenes. Terpenes are the naturally occurring compound which gives the hemp products so much distinction and many of the health benefits. Mini globes sitting on top the stems progressively grow taller and change from a translucent to an amber hue as it matures.
The effectiveness of the hemp cannabis product depends on how and when the trichomes mature. Trichomes are actually mini cannabinoid factories which the grower watches closely to determine harvest time.
If the trichomes are harvested when they sport a transparent appearance, the potency is compromised because cannabinoids are still in the production stage. The flavor, the aroma and the essential oil content are all peaking when the color of the trichomes changes to amber.