Cannabis Gender: Growing from Seeds? Here’s how to tell if you have a male or a female cannabis plant! ⠀⠀⠀⠀ Many growers believe they cannot correctly identify the sex of their cannabis plant until the flowering stage. Good news! Cannabis “pre-flowers” will help you to identify the sex of your plant within 3-6 weeks of Just like humans, cannabis and hemp plants are considered dioecious, meaning they have either male or female reproductive organs. Depending on the goal of the When it comes to harvesting home-grown marijuana, female plants are the name of the game. Not only do female plants produce the coveted buds needed for medicinal purposes, but they also have higher potency and THC content compared to their…
Cannabis Gender: Male Versus Female Plants
Many growers believe they cannot correctly identify the sex of their cannabis plant until the flowering stage. Good news! Cannabis “pre-flowers” will help you to identify the sex of your plant within 3-6 weeks of germination. These pre flowers can show up on male plants as early as 3-4 weeks from germination and on female plants as early as 4-6 weeks from germination. These results may not always be accurate so it is always best practice to wait until flowering to be 100% sure on the sex.
Yes! Female cannabis plants will create seeds when a male plant pollinates them.
Only female cannabis plants produce buds!
How to tell if your cannabis seeds are male or female?
Cannabis seeds are normally 50% male and 50% female. If you are wanting to grow a female plant from seed, you can order feminized seeds online. If male cannabis plants are introduced into a garden with females, this will cause pollination which will result in the female plants producing seeds. Buds with seeds produce a harsh smoke and a low quality product.
It is possible to get hermaphrodite cannabis plants. That would be a plant that developed both male and female sex organs. So the plant is capable of pollinating itself, and every plant in the grow room!
Male cannabis plants produce pollen which can fertilize female plants and cause them to produce seeds.
How to identify the gender of your cannabis plants?
Male cannabis plants will develop their pollen sacks before the females produce buds. It only takes 1-2 weeks for pollen sacks to show up on the male plant. Females show their gender around 2-4 weeks.
When looking to tell what sex a cannabis plant is, you have to look at where the branches grow off the stalk. These are called nodes. If your plant is a male, it will have round balls on the nodes. If your plant is female, it will have small flower clusters with long “hairs” poking out. These differences will be apparent around 4 weeks into plant growth, they are called pre-flowers.
Examine your plants carefully as identifying sex in the first month of grow can be very difficult.
Things to look for when determining gender:
- Male plants are normally taller
- The calyx (center part of flower) on female plants will be large and have white hair. On male plants it will be small with no hair.
* You may need a magnifying glass to tell the distinction at this stage!
To get the highest quality buds, growers will want to do everything they can to prevent pollination!
MALE CANNABIS PLANT
How to identify a male cannabis plant:
Male plants will mature much faster than female plants. They will grow faster and within 2 weeks should be taller than the female. They will begin their flowering stage almost a month before the female plants.
Features of Male Plants:
- Less flower development
- Straight growth
- Flowers will be close knit green clusters
FEMALE CANNABIS PLANTS
How to identify a female cannabis plant:
Male plants have what is often referred to as “false buds” but they are in fact pollen sacs!
Female plants, on the other hand, have flowers that will resemble sacs. These sacs open to have yellow or white flowers. Additionally, they will have pistils (resembles hair).
Features of Female Plants:
- Flower development
You can guarantee females by getting feminized seeds or female clones!
What about hermaphroditic cannabis plants?
Some cannabis plants can be hermaphrodites. This is when the female plant will develop both the male and female sex organs! A hermaphroditic plant can result in the plant pollinating itself and your entire grow. This most often occurs when your plant is stressed out. Monitor the temperature, humidity, and pH closely! And always look out for pests, pathogens, diseases, and other factors that may cause your plant stress.
Male and female cannabis plants must be separated unless you want to produce seeds!
What to do when you get a male cannabis plant?
Most growers find and terminate all male cannabis plants in their grow. This is understandable if you want to ensure no female plants get pollinated. However, male plants are still of value. If you want to continue to grow your male plants we recommend growing them in a separate room from the females to discourage pollination. Male cannabis plants can be used for breeding, concentrates, hemp, and more.
When a male and a female cannabis plant are bred, the male provides 50% of the genetics. This can be helpful in breeding strains that are mold resistant, have more resin, higher THC content, etc.
Most growers dispose of male plants
While male plants often contain less THC than female plants, you can still find cannabinoids in the leaves, stems, and flowers. You can extract resin from male plants to create concentrates like hash, oil, and wax. Even the pollen contains THC! Male plants produce copious amounts of pollen, which can be collected, pressed, and consumed to give you an adequate high.
Male vs. Female Cannabis- Why it’s important to know before you grow
Just like humans, cannabis and hemp plants are considered dioecious, meaning they have either male or female reproductive organs. Depending on the goal of the cultivator, it’s crucial to know the gender of their plants prior to harvest.
Both male and female cannabis plants have their benefits; growing both can result in cross-pollination and thus seeds, resulting in new genetics or seeds for the next crop. However, if your goal is to produce quality buds rich in cannabinoids, it’s crucial to isolate the males from the females to avoid pollination and seed production. Cannabis pollen is extremely potent; studies have shown that pollen can drift across 3 to 7.5 miles, and can reach over 30 miles if high winds are present.
Removing males will allow the female plants to grow abundant, seedless buds (called sensimilla ). When female plants are left unfertilized, they use that extra energy meant for reproduction to produce higher levels of cannabinoids like THC or CBD, depending on the strain. The resinous buds consumers purchase at dispensaries are all sensimilla.
How to Visually Determine the Sex of a Cannabis Plant
Cultivators can visually determine the gender of their plants about 4-6 weeks into the growth cycle (though this may differ for indoor grows) when the plant is transitioning from its “vegetative” stage into the “flowering” stage. At this time, the plant is no longer focusing its energy on growing bigger and taller and instead spends all its effort growing flowers for pollination and reproduction.
When a cannabis plant is beginning to enter the flowering stage, cultivators should pay careful attention to the area between the nodes of the plant, where the leaves and branches extend from the stalk. Pre-flowers will begin to form in the nodes of the plant, and characteristics of the pre-flower will vary based on gender.
Pre-flowers can initially be difficult to examine with the naked eye, but growers can use a magnifying glass to get a closer look. Female cannabis pre-flowers grow as tiny bracts which will eventually produce hair-like stigma; male plants produce small, round balls as the nodes.
In some cases, a plant may exhibit both male and female pre-flowers. Hermaphrodite cannabis plants can occur when a plant becomes excessively stressed due to things like plant damage, bad weather, disease, nutrient deficiencies, and poor genetics. Hermaphrodites can also produce anthers, often referred to as “bananas” due to their appearance. It’s important to monitor plants that have been exposed to stressors to ensure they don’t begin to develop both male and female genetics. Hermaphrodites are capable of producing pollen and can ruin an entire crop.
How to Determine Gender Before the Pre-Flower stage
Lab genetic testing can determine a plant’s gender as soon as it begins to sprout its second set of true leaves. Knowing sooner can help cultivators save money, increase canopy space, and decrease labor costs associated with transplanting, watering, monitoring, training, and removing unwanted male plants.
Just as humans have X and Y chromosomes, cannabis also has a genetics system that determines the plant’s gender. However, figuring out the gender based on the DNA of a plant prior to the flowering stage is not as simple as looking for an X and Y. Luckily, the specific genetic sequence that differs between female and male plants has long been discovered, so using quantitative polymerase chain reactions (qPCR) allows labs to determine the gender of any plants with 100% confidence.
When a sample is brought in to Infinite Chemical Analysis Labs for gender identification, qPCR analysis is used to determine if the plant is female or male. A small hole is cut out of the leaf of the plant and added to a lysis solution to destroy the plant cell walls, exposing the DNA. After isolation of the DNA, it is transferred to another plate that contains reagents to amplify and cause the sample to create a fluorescent light that our qPCR instrument then quantifies, and determines the gender of the sample based on the amount of fluorescence.
Between sufficient lighting, proper nutrients, a detailed watering schedule, and constant monitoring, identifying the sex of your plants is another tedious yet crucial task that could make all the difference come harvest season.
Gender identification testing is now available at InfiniteCAL to help cannabis and hemp cultivators take the guesswork out of their grow. If you’re interested in learning more about Gender Identification Testing, reach out to our team at [email protected] .
How to Identify Female and Male Marijuana Plants
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When it comes to harvesting home-grown marijuana, female plants are the name of the game. Not only do female plants produce the coveted buds needed for medicinal purposes, but they also have higher potency and THC content compared to their male counterparts. You’re in good hands—we’ve outlined everything you need to know about identifying female and male marijuana plants, so you can easily make the most out of your crop at home.
Look for thicker, sturdier stalks with fewer leaves on male plants. A male plant, compared to a female plant of the same strain, generally has a thicker stalk. That is because it gets taller than female plants and needs to be able to support the weight. They also have fewer leaves than female plants.  X Research source
- You need to check every plant to determine if it is male or female, as one rogue male can wreck your harvest.
- In general, male plants show their sex 7-10 days (indoor) or 3 weeks (outdoor) before female plants.
- If you’re trying to create new plants or reproduce, you need to leave these balls undisturbed.
- Female plants will have these bulbs too, but will also have long, translucent hairs on them. If you only see 1-2 on a plant, wait and see if more develop before cutting them.
- “Hermies” are generally undesirable plants, and they can ruin a small crop with their pollen if you’re not careful.
Throw out or remove male plants unless you specifically want seeds. Once you’ve determined a plant is male, you need to get rid of it or it will ruin your crop. Do not try and remove the buds by hand, as missing even a few will significantly decrease your crop. While most growers simply throw the plants out, a few keep them around for breeding purposes. If you do, put them in a separate room from the females, and make sure you don’t track pollen in from the male room to the female room on your clothes or hands.  X Research source www.theweedblog.com/sexing-your-outdoor-marijuana-plants/
- You can purchase “feminized” seeds as well, which usually create close to 100% female plants. However, there are occasional errors, and you should still keep a close eye on your plants to make sure there are no rogue males.  X Research source www.theweedblog.com/sexing-your-outdoor-marijuana-plants/
Note fuller bodies of leaves, when compared to males, on a grown female plant. If you’re trying to sex mature plants, one of the easiest indicators is how bushy they get. Male plants have thicker, sturdier stalks and very few leaves. A female of the same strain will be shorter and bushier, with more leaves, especially near the top.
- Male plants will have the small buds (pollen sacs) but will not have the associated hair growing out of it.
- Plants can grow both pollen sacs and pistils. If it does, it is hermaphroditic and should be treated like a male.
Separate your females from any males, as only females create buds. Only female plants will produce enough THC to be used as medicine, but they won’t create much if they become fertilized. The pistil is meant to attract pollen. If it gets it, it will create a seed, and all the plants energy and nutrients will be spent making seeds, not making big, THC-full buds. Your female plants are the only ones that will produce a crop, but only if they stay away from the males.
In general it’s not a good idea, because you can bring bugs and other things into your house, but as long as it’s not being kept around indoor plants, it should work. Just make sure to keep an eye on the plant and give it plenty of fresh air, as that is likely what it is used to. Keep in mind that the sun is the best grow light, though, so you should leave it outdoors if you can!
It needs a light cycle with a minimum of 12 hours of uninterrupted, complete darkness every day to trigger and maintain flowering.
Check frequently once your plants have hit the 6-week mark — you want to know you plant’s sex as soon as you can.
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- ↑ www.theweedblog.com/sexing-your-outdoor-marijuana-plants/
- ↑ www.theweedblog.com/sexing-your-outdoor-marijuana-plants/
About This Article
wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 23 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 2,432,359 times.
If you’re growing marijuana plants, it’s important to be able to tell male and female plants apart, since only the females produce the buds that contain high concentrations of THC. To identify male and female marijuana plants, make sure they’ve been growing for at least 6 weeks, since both types of plant look the same in their early stages. Then, look for male plants to have thicker stalks and fewer leaves than their female counterparts. You can also tell if a plant is male by checking for little flowers or bulbs at the joints of the stalk and branches. By contrast, you’ll see small, translucent hairs on the same areas of a female plant. Once you’ve identified that a plant is male, remove it from your growing area to prevent it from pollinating the female plants, which will result in your THC harvest being reduced. For tips on what to do with plants that have both male and female organs, read on!