Ask a Stoner: Why Are Marijuana Buds Called "Flower"?

Dear Stoner: Why do you and all of the media refer to marijuana buds as “flower”? The flowers on the marijuana plant are produced by the male plant. The real magic happens when you successfully eliminate all of the males and their flowers and keep the females from getting pollinated.
Old-School Grower

Dear Old School: Some older growing guides refer to a male plant pollinating a female (resulting in a seed) as “flowering,” but that isn’t the case for the majority of cannabis literature nowadays. And while you’re defining a marijuana flower as when a seed is born, the true definition of a flower is “the seed-bearing part of a plant,” so that doesn’t mean an actual seed needs to spawn; it just has to be something that blooms, and that includes the buds we smoke. Also, most marijuana growing guides recognize the term “flower” in both female and male plants, with the female version turning into resin-coated calyxes and the male turning into a seed. That’s why so many grow guides refer to the last six to ten weeks of growing as the “flowering” stage. Some growers even refer to the stage as “blooming.”

As for the media part of this newish fad: After weed became legal, the terms “marijuana” and “marijuana product” suddenly took on much broader meaning. Today, going into a dispensary and asking for pot could mean that you want any of a dozen different products: edibles, hash, topicals, tinctures, pre-filled vaporizers and, yes, flower — most of which are consumed in different ways. To make things less confusing, the industry started referring to buds as “flower,” and we followed suit to keep our readers on track. Besides, usage rules aren’t eternal, bro. Airplanes used to be called aeroplanes, but that term isn’t making a comeback anytime soon.
Dear Stoner: A friend got busted for growing pot in his back yard, which was surrounded by a very high vegetable wall and was not visible from the outside. But the sheriff proceeded to confiscate weed and issue a summons to my friend. Something is not right here.
Boris C.

Dear Boris: If your friend’s grow wasn’t enclosed and locked, then it was illegal. All Colorado marijuana grows, indoor or outdoor, must be private and enclosed so that no one under the age of 21 can access them. I haven’t seen your friend’s vegetable walls, but I doubt they created a private area (four walls, a ceiling and a locked entry) as defined in, and required by, Amendment 64. If it did indeed fit those requirements, then tell your friend to lawyer up and fight!

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Herbert Fuego is the resident stoner at Westword, ready to answer all your marijuana questions.
Contact: Herbert Fuego