Sexing Cannabis – Whether you are germinating seeds or taking in new plants for a pheno hunt, you must understand how to identify a cannabis plants sex. Sex Detection Screening Identify and Eliminate Male Plants, Days After Germination With DNA-based testing, it is possible to identify male cannabis plants weeks before they show any visual sex Save up to 8 weeks and reduce operational costs by up to 20% with the LeafWorks Cannabis & Hemp DNA Sex Test. Identify male cannabis & hemp plants as early as 7 days post germination. The LeafWorks Cannabis & Hemp DNA Sex Test is 99% accurate.
Sexing Cannabis Plants
Whether you are germinating seeds or growing new plants for a pheno hunt , it is essential to understand how sexing cannabis plants work.
Sexing Cannabis in the Vegetative Stage
Not all strains of cannabis will display their sex in the vegetative stage. Environmental factors can play a significant role in how your plants develop and mature. For example, if your environment is too hot or cold, or too humid or dry, stress can start to cause your seedlings or young plants to undergo adverse changes. Many people like to follow the VPD (vapor pressure deficit) chart to help them determine the proper environment relative to their temperature and humidity levels.
After germinating cannabis seeds and allowing them to produce a healthy root mass over a few weeks to a month, the plants may begin showing their sexual traits. What you are looking for when identifying the sex of a cannabis plant is the development of either pistil hairs emerging from a pistillate calyx (female) or tiny round-shaped balls (male). You can use a jeweler’s loop or hand scope to get a close-up look. Females will have a calyx on either side, located at the node where each petiole branches off the stem. Not every branch will show sex, so always make sure you thoroughly examine every location along the branches. This is especially important when screening plants for any hermaphroditic traits (both male and female).
Female (Left) & Male (Right) Pre-Flowers – Cannabis Sexing
When sexing cannabis, plants that appear to be female can be hermaphrodites that haven’t shown their true traits yet. The term “hermaphrodite” refers to the presence of two sexes in one plant. Therefore, it is possible that plants displaying female traits in the vegetative stage could become hermaphroditic and produce male pollen once they enter the flowering cycle. If a plant is going to become a hermaphrodite, it will likely happen within the first three weeks of flowering; however, some strains take as long as five weeks. Male parts will form either independently on the plant or from within female parts. As a result, it is often tough to identify these traits if you are not examining every bud site on the plant.
If you see male traits such as the growth of little balls or what many refer to as bananas (staminate), you should immediately remove the entire plant to avoid pollinating the other plants in the grow room. Not all hermaphroditic parts produce viable pollen. Sometimes you can get lucky, and the hermaphroditic plant won’t pollinate your entire grow room. Regardless, you don’t want hermaphroditic plants in the garden. Remove them quickly.
Sexing Cannabis in the Flowering Stage
Once you have entered the flowering phase, all the plants in the room will show their true sexual traits. Over the first few weeks, you will need to pay close attention to the bud sites on your plants.
Although you may have removed all the males during the vegetative stage, female plants can often display hermaphroditic traits rapidly, pollinating entire grow rooms overnight. When flowering phenotypes for the first time, it is recommended to “lollipop” the plants by removing all the lower branches and foliage. You want to do this because plants will often herm on the lower areas if they are unstable. Removing the lower vegetation will also make it easier to thoroughly examine the whole plant every day as you wait for it to reveal its sex.
Many strains will not show their sex until they are a few weeks into flowering, so please be patient. Female plants will display calyxes that will come to a point and surround two pistil hairs that will emerge from within. In the flowering stage, males will display staminate flowers at the same node sites that females form pistillate flowers. Staminate male calyxes will appear around the stamens, where pollen is produced. These stamens are often referred to as bananas because they look like a bundle of bananas hanging off the plant. Males will commonly show one or two balls before they emerge into staminate calyxes. With proper knowledge and practice, you will be able to identify the sex of your cannabis plants quickly and easily.
Now that you know how to determine the sex of your cannabis plants, check out our wide selection of premium regular seeds and put your knowledge to the test!
Sex Detection Screening
Identify and Eliminate Male Plants, Days After Germination
With DNA-based testing, it is possible to identify male cannabis plants weeks before they show any visual sex features. DNA is extracted from one of the plant’s leaflets, as early as the second set of true leaves. Males can then be removed from a grow in order to maintain female flowers rich in cannabinoids. This method is an improvement over traditional visual inspection because it allows growers to identify male plants earlier, more accurately, and with less labor.
Save Weeks Worth of Resources
It takes approximately 6 weeks for a cannabis plant to show signs of sex. By eliminating male cannabis or hemp plants early, cultivators can make better use of their resources, canopy space, and labor.
LeafWorks Cannabis & Hemp DNA Sex Test
Want to identify male cannabis & hemp plants early in the growing cycle?
Save up to 8 weeks and reduce operational costs by up to 20% with the LeafWorks Cannabis & Hemp DNA Sex Test. You can identify male cannabis & hemp plants as early as 7 days post germination.
The LeafWorks Cannabis & Hemp DNA Sex Test is 99% accurate and because we use more biomarkers than the competition, we greatly reduce false positive test results allowing you to confidently remove male plants quickly.
- Turnkey collection and submission kit is provided for every order
- Simply mail your cannabis or hemp plant samples using the collection cards provided
- Up to 4 plants collected per card
- National and international orders accepted
- Tests available for licensing
- Order up to 25 cards: $60 per card; only $15.00 per plant
- Order 25 to 250 cards: $50 per card; only $12.50 per plant
- Order over 250 cards: $40 per card; only $10.00 per plant
3-7 business days after the lab receives your samples, depending on volume of cards to be processed.
LeafWorks only accepts samples through the LeafWorks DNA submission kit. We will not test or receive Schedule I tissue.