Think about it. Why would breeders across the globe go to all the effort required to produce feminized cannabis seeds if they could simply look at regular cannabis seeds and categorize them? It isn’t some conspiracy or well-kept trade secret.
If you are a veteran of the cannabis community, or spent a lot of your time reading up on cannabis, you may have heard that it is possible to tell the sex of cannabis seed simply from its appearance. There is even a chart floating about out there that describes the physical differences between male and female seeds.
If you don’t want to take the risk, then sexing your cannabis early is pretty easy, and stress-free. It basically involves placing a black bag over a small section of the plant during the vegetative stage to force pre-flowering, before allowing it to revert back. This gives you a clear idea of what sex your plants are, without undue worry, wasted time, or effort.
DETERMINING THE SEX OF YOUR CANNABIS BEFORE IT COMES A PROBLEM
Well, let us tell you now, it is all a load of bollocks. There is no way to tell the difference between male and female cannabis seeds by looking at them. In fact, it is widely accepted that the sex of a cannabis plant is not determined until a few weeks before flowering.
Normally, you would wait until your cannabis plants are done with vegetative growth, and switch them over to flowering. You then watch like a hawk for any signs of sex, and move the males as soon as possible. This is risky, though, because if you leave it too long, you risk the chance of pollination – turning your bud into seeds. Unless you are getting into breeding yourself, this is something you probably want to avoid.
While being able to determine the sex of a cannabis seed by looking at it is a myth, being able to sex your cannabis early isn’t.
For those who don’t use feminized seeds, being able to tell the sex of a cannabis seed by looking at it would be a pretty handy skill. But is it possible?
When a Cannabis seedling has been left to grow for up to 5 weeks under 18/6, the plant will begin to exhibit very small preflowers. Typically these preflowers reveal themselves once flowering is induced, however it is possible to see which sex you have when knowing what to look for.
Male preflowers will look like a small cluster of green, oval-shaped growth. They will be noticeable between the internodal growth and can even look like a female preflower minus the pistil. By this point there is zero need to worry about male pollen sacs and cross pollination, and after several weeks, it will be evident if you have an abundance of tiny male preflowers forming.
There are plenty of old school genetics that have stood the test of time, and due to the marketplace during that era, were never feminized. It was from around early 2000 onwards, when the advantages of feminized seeds were becoming commercially popular. Many cultivars that existed during the last 50 years are often preserved in regular seed form, either as a first generation or as a stable IBL. Back crossing or producing a new generation of cultivar should only be done with regular seeds, especially when in-breeding.
Characteristics of Male Preflowers
Regular sexed Cannabis seeds represent a breeding line that expresses an equal balance of male and female chromosomes. Working from seed using regulars is an excellent way to grow out large selections of either male or female plants. Knowing which plants belong to which sex, how to identify them early on and understanding the life cycle of a Cannabis plant, will give you the advantage when pheno hunting for an upcoming breeding project.
For those who have the desire to make your own custom genetic crosses, starting your own breeding project in the comfort of your own home is easily achievable. For this you will need to invest in regular seeds that will allow you to grow either male or female plants. It is a good idea to start with at least 10 seeds to allow for a much wider variation, and greater choice of male to females. Some seedlings may underperform and be discarded early on, however with 10 seedlings, there is a good potential desired ratio. Labeling your pots with numbers and strain names, will make life much easier when sorting through the different plants, especially when taking cuttings before flowering for preservation purposes.
Working through a bunch of seeds and narrowing down the best female plants to one keeper, will reward you with the ultimate mother plant, and can often soften the blow of paying three figures for a pack of seeds in some cases. If you truly want to find the best of the best, using regular seeds will allow for the most genetic diversity.
There are also commercial advantages when flowers are sold with a dedicated number such as Gelato #33, Gelato #45, KM11, or O.G #18.
One of the biggest myths of sexing cannabis seeds comes from a popular chart online.
MSNL Team / 3rd February 2017
5 Tips on How to Sex Marijuana Plants
Typically, marijuana plants cannot be sexed until they have already begun to grow. Cannabis seeds will look somewhat identical and plants in the vegetative stage will also look identical,. As the plants move into their flowering stage, they will start to show very clear signs as to what sex they are. While it would be much more convenient for growers to be able to determine sex before this point. The sad truth is that it’s just not possible.
While environmental factors may not necessarily determine the sex of marijuana plants or cannabis seeds, it is known that certain environments can change the sex of a plant.
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