Male vs Female Cannabis: How to Determine the Sex of Plants

In this article, we want to teach you how to breed male cannabis plants from female cannabis plants. So that we can proceed to seedless inflorescences. When growing cannabis, in addition to female or male plants, hermaphroditic plants can also be obtained. Knowing how to recognize the sex of plants is essential for successful planting.

Hemp plant pollen balls determine the sex of cannabis plants

Premise. Cannabis is a plant like any other.

In the plant world, reproduction can occur in a variety of ways. In cannabis in particular we discover 3 of them, other natural ones created by man during selection. Monoecious plants produce two different types of flowers on the same plant, while Dioica varieties. Cannabis in nature is only found in the dioecious version. Monoecious varieties have been bred by the industry since the 1950s to obtain only hermaphroditic hemp plants. This has allowed us to multiply by 100 the production of seeds for food purposes.

The benefits of male cannabis breeding.

Since cannabis grows as a male or female plant, we can isolate the benefits of growing females without male interference. Introducing both (male and female) will result in cross-pollination and therefore seed production. This is how a breeder achieves new genetics.

On the other hand, removing a male from the garden allows the female plants to produce large seedless shoots (called sinsimilla). The resinous shoots we consume all come from female plants.

Pollinated buds are generally considered lower quality cannabis, and when the seeds are present, the smoke becomes harsh and unpleasant. However, growers can introduce male plants to pollinate females if they are growing a new strain or collecting seeds for next year’s crop.

Female genetics can be ensured by obtaining clones and feminized seeds. If, however, you are working with regular seeds or are unsure of your seed type, knowing how to determine the sex of your plant is vital for the development of new genetics. Or the growth of sensimilla. Fortunately, cannabis plant sexuality is easier than you think if you know when and where to start looking.

Male Cannabis Plant Pollen
Male cannabis plant at risk of pollination

Male Cannabis

The male cannabis plant exclusively produces pockets of pollen that will eventually pollinate the rest of the female cannabis plants generating inflorescences filled with seeds that will ruin them. Therefore, the male cannabis plant is not very popular with growers, so try to recognize it and eliminate it from your crops as soon as possible to prevent it from polluting and damaging other female plants. .

What many don’t know is that these plants can have an important use. For example, the large production of seeds. Female cannabis flowers only produce seeds when they come into contact with male pollen, so if you want to grow cannabis for seeds you will also need to plant some males in your garden. Cannabis seeds are super nutritious and contain amino acids, fatty acids and vitamins.

For example, to make fabrics or other objects from hemp fibers, since the fibers of the male hemp are more resistant and flexible, while the fibers of the female plant unfortunately tend to be much more rigid.

Since male hemp fibers are much finer and softer, they are best suited for quality fabrics like bedding. The females, on the other hand, produce a rough fiber, more suitable for the production of rough textile objects.

Male female hemp plant internodes pollen determines the sex of cannabis plants

How To Determine The Sex Of Cannabis Plants

Cannabis plants show their sex by what grows between the internodes (where the leaves and branches extend from the stem). What starts out as lots of pollen on a male plant or a stigma on a female will become what spreads or catches the pollen, respectively. Luckily, we can see these differences weeks before they actually start serving their purposes in the breeding cycle. These are called “pre-flowers”.

Pre-flowers begin to develop within four weeks of growth, but may take a little longer depending on how quickly the budding phase has occurred. By week six, you should be able to find pre-flowers and confidently determine the sex of your plant.

Preflowers can initially be extremely small and difficult to identify with the naked eye, but you can use a magnifying glass. Examine the nodes of the plant and look for early growth of small sacs (males) or two bracts (females), which will eventually produce a hair stigma.

Although there are other methods to determine the sex of the plant, examining the formation before flowering is the most reliable. Removing males early is important for two reasons: it frees up space in your garden for females to grow bigger and stronger, and it prevents males from pollinating females.

How to Avoid Male Plants With Seed Selection

Problems with male cannabis plants can be avoided by using feminized seeds.

These types of seeds are created in such a way that they do not contain male chromosomes, thus ensuring that every plant grown from them will flower as 100% female and is capable of producing a harvest of resinous buds.

Many cannabis growers decide to grow feminized seeds to avoid the difficulty (especially for beginners) of gender identification and weeding out males early in the flowering period.

What are hermaphroditic cannabis plants?

When a female plant develops both male and female sex organs, it is considered hermaphroditic. This means that your cannabis plant is now able to produce pollen and pollinate the whole garden. Except in rare cases here, genetics and certain plant stressors include:

Determine the sex of cannabis plants. Male or female cannabis? Male female hermaphrodite sex gender
  • Plant damage
  • Weather events
  • Diseases
  • Nutrient deficiencies

There are two types of hermaphroditic plants:

  • A plant that develops both buds and pollen sacs
  • A plant that produces anthers, commonly called “bananas” because of their appearance

While both result in the production of pollen, true hermaphrodites produce sacs which must break apart, while the anthers are exposed, the stamens which produce the pollen.

As happens when cannabis is under stress, it is important to monitor plants after they have been exposed to stressors. Indoors, high temperatures or imbalances during the day are often the cause. Outside, a broken branch could be mended and turned into a hermaphrodite.

Another major cause for the development of hermaphroditic plants lies in plant genetics. A plant with poor genetics or a history of hermaphroditic development should be avoided to protect your garden. If you notice pockets of pollen or anthers at any time, remove the plant from your garden immediately to prevent pollination of female plants.

If you want to pollinate parts of your crop, remember that pollen is extremely potent and very good for travel. Keep your male pollinators away from your garden and work carefully with this pollen.

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Grace Genetics team

Our team of cannabis experts publishes new and updated informational articles on current news from the world of cannabis on a weekly basis, as well as aids and guides on growing marijuana plants.

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