Definition - What does Herbaceous mean?
Herbaceous means that a plant’s stem remains supple and flexible. These plants do not develop woody stems.
Most plants are divided into two categories: herbaceous and woody. The terms explain how the plants develop, and whether they remain flexible and supple or if they create woody stems that are rigid and inflexible.
Cannabis plants are herbaceous, which is why the end product is sometimes referred to as 'herb'. However, sometimes cannabis plants are referred to as 'trees', leading to some confusion.
Hydrolife explains Herbaceous
The term herbaceous really applies mostly to herbs – plants that grow but lack a woody, aboveground stem. Note that grasses and similar plants do not fall into this category, although herbaceous plants may be annuals, perennials or biennials. In all cases, the stem will only last through a single growing season (the plant’s growing season, which may be a year, two years, or more).
Cannabis (both indica and sativa) is an herbaceous flowering plant itself. While all other plants in the same family are perennials, including hops, cannabis is actually an annual. This means that plants usually have a lifespan of between five and 10 months.
It is suspected that cannabis was originally a perennial (albeit short lived), but environmental changes, and human interference changed it into an annual.
The herbaceous nature of cannabis plants is beneficial in a number of ways. For instance, the lack of a woody stem means that the plant can be more easily trained to grow in directions other than vertical, which can have a profound effect on the harvest.