Last updated: May 19, 2021

What Does Bud Mean?

Physiologically, a bud is an embryonic plant shoot. Most buds are classified according to several different criteria such as location and function. Generally most buds are formed on the tips of stems or at the base of leaves. Buds can develop into flowers or small shoots, and can also contribute to general shoot growth.

In cannabis culture, the term 'bud' is commonly used to refer to the flower before harvesting, and the dried, cured, and consumable portions of the marijuana plant after harvest. These are what would be found in storage containers and on display at dispensaries. Hence the term, 'budtender'.


Maximum Yield Explains Bud

Buds are often classified through several different criteria. These criteria can include morphology, location, and function. For example, some of the most well known types of buds (terminal, axillary, and adventitious) are location classifications, such as:

In cannabis cultivation, 'bud' is often used to refer to the actual flower as well as developing growth.

When a cannabis plant is about six weeks old it starts to leave the vegetative stage and develop buds. Initially, the plant develops two white hairs. This is the location where a bud will form. Once the formation begins, buds usually take about two to five weeks to fully form. The hairs develop on the main stems where the branches meet. The female bud produces ample resin that is rich in terpenes and trichomes to attract pollinating insects.

The main region of cannabis bud development is known as the cola. The first part of the bud that develops on the cola is often referred to as the calyx. Buds feature white hairs known as the pistils that age to shades of red, brown, and tan. The pistils on the bud are designed to hold onto any male pollen that falls onto the bud to ensure pollination. The resin glands on the bud develop sticky trichomes and terpenes to attract pollinating insects and deter grazing herbivores from devouring the buds.

The male buds only have pollen sacs that are used to fertilize the female and do not have the ample cannabinoids (THC, CBD) found in the female buds. Once a female bud or flower is fertilized the plant will put all of its energy into developing seeds instead of more buds. This is the primary reason that most growers discard male plants in an effort to avoid female bud fertilization.

In cannabis culture, 'bud' is a synonym for the harvested and ready-to-smoke flower of the female cannabis plant. Quality bud is judged by its aroma, stickiness, trichome quality, and level of dryness. Nug or herb are other common slang terms for cannabis flower.

In general horticulture, a bud is a condensed shoot. It has a very short stem and its leaves are wrapped tightly and densely around it, overlapping, with the inner leaves folded and compacted inside. The outer leaves are tough and thick, serving as protection for the delicate foliage inside. These resilient outer leaves protect the inner leaves from possible bird and insect damage, drying up, and extreme temperatures.


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Plant ScienceCannabisCannabis Slang

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