Have you ever wondered what cannabis looks like week to week? Of course, you have! I mean, obviously, a weed plant doesn't just instantly turn into a bunch of big, beautiful buds. There's a process that goes into this. But, just what do cannabis plants look like during the various stages of a weed plant?
A cannabis plant can produce anywhere from a few grams to a few hundred grams. They come in all different shapes and sizes. They can be trained to grow in immaculate ways. Regardless of the size of the plant or what it looks like, all cannabis plants go through different stages of growth to reach maturity.
The Stages of a Weed Plant
- The seed stage
- The seedling stage
- Preteen stage
- Teenage plant stage
- Young adult plant stage
- Flowering stage
- Mature adult plant stage
The Seed StageAll cannabis plants start from seed. Like other plants, a tiny seed contains a very special plant that provides fruits and more seed to be used again. Cannabis seeds are very small. They have a variety of different patterns on them. Some have a leopard pattern, some a tiger pattern, and others are more abstract without consistency to their pattern.
The seed is a critical part of the cannabis plant. It must be germinated in a damp environment. Some people germinate seeds directly in water, some people place cannabis seeds between damp paper towels placed inside plastic bags, and others germinate cannabis seeds directly in soil, or other grow mediums. Once the seed starts the germination process, the magic begins.
(Pictures of germinating cannabis seeds here)
The Seedling StageAs a cannabis seed is introduced to moisture, it will begin to do what is referred to as pop. This is where a tiny plant will begin to emerge. At first, roots will reach out in search of moisture. Within just a few short days' time (4 to 7 days on average) a cannabis seed will start to develop two tiny little leaves that will begin to split the seed shell. Eventually, these two leaves will break free from the casing or outside of the seed.
(Pictures of cannabis seedlings)
After cannabis seeds pop and show themselves to the world, you will witness very rapid growth over the next few weeks.
Preteen Cannabis PlantsWatching cannabis plants grow from day to day, you will start to notice new growth. Your plants will have gone from tiny little seedlings to preteen cannabis plants within the first week to two weeks. During this growth stage, cannabis plants will have developed several fan leaves and typically have two or three nodes.
Different varieties or different cannabis strains grow at different rates. Some plants will take longer than others to reach the various stages of growth. Once your plant has established several nodes, typically four to six, they have reached their teen stage.
Teenage Stage for Cannabis PlantsBy this stage of growth, your young cannabis plant is well established. This typically occurs somewhere between 4 to 6 weeks. Teenage cannabis plants will have healthy stalks with several nodes and dark green leaves when they are healthy. During this time, they will begin to show signs of their sex. Female cannabis plants will display beautiful pre-flower hairs or pistols from the calyx located between stipules at the base of nodes on the plant that looks like this.
(Insert picture of pre-flower hairs here)
Young Adult Cannabis PlantsDepending on the variety of cannabis you are growing, you should have young adult cannabis plants on your hands somewhere, starting at around 5 to 6 weeks. Keep in mind that some plants can take 8 weeks or longer before reaching this stage. Young adult cannabis plants should have fully expressed their sex. This means females have shown pre-flower hairs, and males have begun to express pollen sacs or show no sign of pre-flower hairs.
During the early weeks of your cannabis plant's life, it lives in what is referred to as the vegetative stage. During the vegetative stage, cannabis plants receive more light and different types of nutrients. This is called the vegetative or vegetation stage because this is when the plant grows leaves and new branches. It is also where a plant determines whether or not it is male or female. At 6 to 8 weeks old, female cannabis plants should look like this.
(Insert picture of female cannabis plant)
Once plants have reached their desired height, and have expressed the characteristics of being female, it is time to switch the young adult cannabis plants out of the veg cycle over to the flowering cycle.
Young Adult Cannabis Plants and the Flowering StageAfter reaching the desired height and showing female characteristics, cannabis plants are switched from the veg cycle to the flowering cycle. When this happens, the light cycle changes from an 18-6 or whatever other cycle a grower was using to a 12/12. This means they get 12 hours of light and 12 hours of total darkness.
As young adults, the nutrient intake your cannabis plants require to thrive will also change. You will go from using one type of nutrient during the vegetation stage to a different one during the flowering cycle. The flowering cycle begins between 6 to 8 weeks on average and runs an estimated eight more weeks.
Young adult cannabis plants will start to display an abundance of pre-flower hairs as well as clusters where buds will begin to form that look like this.
As your cannabis plant transitions from young adult to adulthood, it will begin to flower and produce beautiful buds. Buds on young adult plants during the weed plant flowering stages look a lot like this.
Mature Adult Cannabis PlantsWhen cannabis plants reach maturity, they will look much different than they did just a few short weeks ago. The average grow time for growing cannabis plants indoors is estimated to be between 3 to 4 months, sometimes longer. Mature cannabis plants will have gorgeous buds blanketed in trichomes nestled by gorgeous red, orange, yellow, white, or sometimes even pink pistils that will look like this.
What does a mature / adult weed plant look like?
After an average of 60 to 80 Days of the flowering cycle, cannabis plants will finally be ready to harvest. If you have given them the proper environment and nutrients required for them to grow, you will be rewarded with a bountiful crop of potent buds. However, you're not quite ready to enjoy the fruits of your labor just yet. There's still the drying and curing process to go through first. At the end of their adult life span, cannabis plants are harvested or chopped down. They are hung upside down to dry for an estimated 10 to 14 days or until the stems snap.
Some people will trim buds and hang them in a drying rack. Once the buds have dried for several days, they will be placed into jars to undergo the curing process. The curing process can take anywhere from as little as 2 weeks to 6 months or longer. Most growers cure cannabis somewhere between 2 weeks-2 months.
Marijuana curing process - weed buds in mason jars
By the time the cannabis you consume reaches you, you have mature, dried, and cured buds from the adult plant. These buds will have an average age ranging between 4 and 1/2 to six and a half months old. Not too bad from start to finish to enjoy the fruits of your labor from cannabis cultivation. If you were ever curious about what cannabis looks like during the different stages of growth, hopefully, this helps.
Fully cured weed buds
Most of us know what it looks like when it's done but it is still good to put it into perspective on how long it takes from germinating a seed to getting to medicate.