Male And Female Weed Seed

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Learn how to tell the difference between male and female cannabis plants, so you can properly sex your cannabis in the early pre-flower stage. {"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"FAQPage","mainEntity":}

Sexing Cannabis: How to Tell the Difference Between Young Male vs Female Cannabis Plants

Are you growing cannabis at home, but aren’t sure if your plants are male or female? Then you’ve come to the right place! This article is going to show you how to tell the difference between male and female cannabis plants to properly sex them.

In particular, I want to show you how we determine the sex of our cannabis plants while they are still quite young. It gets significantly more obvious as the plants begin to mature and flower. On the other hand, it can be a bit more tricky to sex cannabis plants in the early pre-flower phase, but it is definitely possible! We’ll also talk a bit about why it is important to determine the sex of cannabis plants, the difference between regular and feminized seeds, how we treat our plants up until the time we know their sex, and what to do with unwanted male plants.

If you’re new to Homestead and Chill, be sure to check out our other cannabis-related articles! We primarily grow outdoors, 100% organic, and aim to provide helpful information that is easy to follow – both for new and experienced growers alike. As a disclaimer, this article is intended for those who can legally grow cannabis at home.

Feminized vs Regular Cannabis Seeds

If you are growing from feminized seeds, you shouldn’t need to worry about sexing your cannabis plants all that much. While not 100% guaranteed, there is only a very slim chance that a feminized seed will produce a male plant. About 1% in fact. In all of our years growing, we have never had a cannabis plant grown from feminized seed turn out to be a male – though we only grow a handful of plants per year. Folks who grow hundreds of plants could potentially end with a rare male now and then.

Feminized seeds are highly desirable to most growers. They’re efficient. It is almost sure-fire that you’re spending your energy and resources raising ladies. However, some growers accept or even prefer regular (unsexed) seeds! We grow a little of both.

Why grow regular cannabis seeds? Well, maybe a particular breeder or strain you want to try only carries regular seeds. Some growers feel that the feminization process is unnatural, and prefer to kick it old school by growing regular seeds only. Some enjoy the gamble and challenge. Whatever the reason, when you grow cannabis from regular seeds, the odds of getting all lady plants are not in your favor. You will end up with some males. Therefore, you need to learn to sex your cannabis plants! Also, we always start several extra “regular” seeds – assuming a 50/50 chance that some will be culled because they are male.

How are feminized cannabis seeds made?

Curious about how feminized seeds are created? In a nutshell: most feminized seeds come from cannabis plants that have been treated and altered in a manner that inhibits male chromosomes. The most common method is to spray the plant repetitively (daily or more) with colloidal silver. Other chemicals and compounds can be used too, but are far less accessible. Colloidal silver is technically “non-toxic”, but you do not want to smoke it! Thus, the plant is sacrificial – used for the production of pollen and seeds only.

Repeated colloidal silver treatments cause repression of the plant’s ethylene, which is the stuff that creates male flowers. Instead, the treated female plant will grow pollen sacks full of FEMALE pollen (XX rather than XY). Then breeders use the female pollen to pollinate female flowers, resulting in the development of all-female seeds.

Another way to create feminized cannabis seeds is called rodelization. It is a more natural but unreliable method, and less frequently used by breeders. Near the end of a growing season, an un-pollinated female cannabis plant will sometimes produce pollen sacks in a desperate attempt to pollinate herself. That pollen can be used to try to create feminized seeds, but because ethylene hasn’t been repressed, may also result in male seeds.

Okay, back to sexing cannabis.

Why Sex Cannabis Plants? The Role of Male and Female Plants

For the most part, the average home grower wants female cannabis plants. The ladies are the ones that produce the fattest, most resinous and most potent flowers – aka buds. Male cannabis plants are only desirable if someone wants to breed cannabis and save seeds (which is a whole other topic for another day). Even then, the grower will want to spot the difference between the male and female plants and separate them early on, unless they want free cross-breeding and pollination between many types of strains.

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Not only are the males less desirable, but male cannabis plants interfere with the quality and production of your female plant. Males grow pollen sacks, and produce pollen. When a female cannabis plant becomes pollinated by a nearby male, her energy shifts into producing seeds.

Like most things in nature, female cannabis plants have a biological drive to reproduce. After the deed has been done, she will sit back and relax. While a pollinated female cannabis plant WILL still develop decent size buds, they are usually lower quality and contain less THC and other desirable cannabinoids. Not to mention, they’ll be full of seeds. When left un-pollinated, a female cannabis plant’s flowers (buds) will continue to swell, develop more trichomes and become increasingly resinous. She is trying to get as sticky and large as possible to catch pollen in the wind. That sweet sinsemilla – aka unfertilized, seed-free cannabis.

When to Sex Cannabis Plants

Our goal here today is to learn how to tell the difference between male and female cannabis plants early on, so you can get the males away from the females as soon as possible! It will help protect your lady plants – but also spare you the wasted time, resources, and energy of tending to male plants that you don’t intend to keep.

Keeping in mind that every strain and grow set-up (e.g. indoors, outdoors, daylight hours) creates varying circumstances, most cannabis plants begin to pre-flower as early as 4 weeks after germination. By week 6, the pre-flowers begin to reveal their gender and you should be able to identify the sex using the tips to follow. Once the plants go into full flower (8 to 10 weeks on average, for a natural outdoor grow) the differences between male and female plants will be glaringly obvious. We’ll talk more about exactly what each sex looks like in a moment.

Until we can tell the sex for sure, we continue to treat the plants equally. We start our seeds in small 4-inch nursery pots. About two weeks after germination, we pot the seedlings up into an approximately two-gallon (trade size) “sexing pot” like these BPA-free nursery pots. This enables everyone to continue to grow in a happy and healthy manner for several more weeks*. Then, once we can surely tell the difference between the male and female cannabis plants, only the ladies move into their forever home – 15 to 25 gallon grow bags full of recycled organic living soil. To learn more about our soil recipe and how we maintain it, see this article.

*Note that our feminized seedlings go from a 4” pot to an 8” pot, and then more quickly into large grow bags, using less soil in the potting-up process.

This little girl (or boy) is far too young to tell, but needs to be potted up soon. The two in plastic pots in the background were determined to be male and culled the next day. The two on the left in grow bags are definite females (one from feminized seed, and one we sexed from regular seed).

How to Tell the Difference Between Male and Female Cannabis Plants in Pre-Flower

In order to correctly sex cannabis plants, you’ll need to become familiar with their anatomy in general. Both males and females produce pre-flowers and flowers in the junctions between stems or branches. The very first pre-flowers show up in the crook between the main plant stalk and a fan leaf stem (petiole), usually near the top of the plant. The good news is, the males usually begin to develop and show sooner than females. I guess the idea is that the dudes want to have their pollen ready and waiting for when the ladies join the party?

Look for plant pre-flowers at the higher stalk/branch junctions, as described above. If needed, use a jeweler’s loupe to get a better look! That is the same magnifying tool commonly used to examine trichomes and determine plant readiness for harvest. Then, locate the stipule, which is a leafy pointed flap that protrudes from the junction. Don’t confuse that for a pre-flower! The cannabis sex parts are located just behind the stipule. Behind the pre-flower sex parts, taller growth tips will emerge – future auxiliary branches that produce buds.

Identifying a Male Cannabis Plant

Very early, the male pre-flower (early pollen sacs) simply looks like a more round version than the female pre-flower part. It is often referred to as a “spade”, like the spade suit in cards – squatty with a bulbous bottom and very slight tip. As it becomes slightly larger, the male pre-flower resembles a ball at the end of a stick. The male pre-flower is called a staminate. Then, the staminate eventually develops into a long hanging sack of baby bananas – the pollen sacs. Hopefully you can ID and cull the males before they get to this stage.

A 4-5 week old male cannabis plant in our garden, showing his stick and ball. Note that this is a really early and obvious example. Most of the other males in this age group show a round ball, but protruding less and more nestled flat against the stalk.

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A more advanced male pre-flower, courtesy of Dr. Weedly (We never let our males get this far to photograph)

Did someone order a banana hammock? The male flowers are about to open and shed pollen, if they haven’t already. Photo from Green Cultured

Identifying a Female Cannabis Plant

In contrast, the very early female cannabis pre-flowers are more ovate in shape: pear-like, but with a longer slender pointed tip. That is called her calyx. Extending from the tip of the calyx may be a pair of pistils, or white hair-like protrusions. However, please note that not every female cannabis plant in pre-flower produces pistils.

If you are still unsure of the sex of your cannabis plant, wait to make any drastic decisions! Yet if you’re fairly certain, consider some of these other common differences between male and female plants. Perhaps it will help you more confidently make a decision.

Other Common Differences Between Male and Female Cannabis Plants

Aside from the clear-cut flower differences, there are a few (potential) trending characteristics between male and female cannabis plants. In many cases, male cannabis plants tend to be more gangly. They may be tall, narrow, have fewer fan leaves, and longer spacing between branches – also referred to as greater inter-nodal spacing. On the flip side, female cannabis plants are usually more compact and bushy than males.

Please keep in mind that these traits are not guaranteed, and shouldn’t be the only way to sex cannabis plants! Variations among strains and phenotypes can lead to all sorts of crazy things. The general plant structure simply may help give you a clue if you’re on the fence.

My Cannabis Plant is Male! Now What?

I hope you started a few extra seeds, and have plenty of ladies left to grow! Once you determine that you have a male cannabis plant, get rid of it. Again, unless you want pollination and seeds, it is best to cull the males as early as possible. Simply separating the plants isn’t enough. Even if you relocate the male plant to another part of your yard, the pollen can carry in the wind. There are stories of female cannabis plants becoming pollinated from neighbors growing several blocks away.

However, the culled males don’t need to go to waste! One option is to chop up the male plant and use it to mulch other plants – much like we do with borage, fava bean greens, yarrow, and comfrey. You could also juice the leaves, which are full of nutrients. Heck, you could even steep the plant material in water to create a natural fertilizer as we do with stinging nettle. Finally, I’m sure your compost pile will welcome the male plant with open arms. Or would that be… with open worms?

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And that is how you determine the sex of cannabis plants.

In closing, I hope this article is interesting and useful in your homegrown adventures. Please feel free to ask questions in the comments below, and spread the cannabis sex love by sharing this article. Even if you like to grow mostly feminized seeds, don’t you find this stuff fascinating? I sure do. Thanks for tuning in and nerding out with me a bit. Best of luck this growing season!

Difference Between Male and Female Weed Seeds

Plants, like mammals, come in both male and female types. Weed seeds are also classified as either male or female.

Male seeds generate pollen, which pollinates female plant buds. Pollinated flowers give birth to seeds.

It has been shown that 30-50% of weed seeds are male.

Male vs Female Weed Seeds

The main difference between male weed seeds and female weed seeds is that the function of male weed seeds is to produce pollens and the function of the female weed seeds is to reproduce. The male weed seeds cannot produce buds, and they do not possess pistils. The female weed seeds possess several pistils and can produce buds.

The male weed seeds are more prevalent in terms of their growth. Most weed seeds are male more than female.

They grow naturally and produce pollens from their sacks to fertilize the female weed seeds. They do not have pistils attached to themselves, and they also cannot produce buds.

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The female weed seeds are less prevalent than the male weed seeds. They can be created artificially, too, to increase their numbers.

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Female weed seeds receive pollens and get fertilized, and they can also produce buds. They possess a number of pistils that look like white and tiny hair-like structures.

Comparison Table Between Male and Female Weed Seeds

What are Male Weed Seeds?

Male weed seeds essentially generate pollen, which is required for female weed plants to reproduce organically. The presence of small pods on the internodes of the main stem distinguishes male weed seeds.

It does not have any white hair. When these pods mature, they open and release pollen.

Male plants are not only less appealing, but they also interfere with the quality and output of your female plant. Males generate pollen and develop pollen sacks.

Male weed seeds are often more gangly than female weed seeds. They can grow tall and thin, with fewer fan leaves and wider spacing between branches (also known as larger inter-nodal spacing).

Male seeds begin to generate pollen between mid-July and mid-September, depending on the hemisphere. Male weed seeds and plants grow vertically and have fewer branches and leaves than female weed seeds and plants.

As a result, they appear fragile and sickly.

Male plants are often tall with robust stalks; they have fewer leaves and scattered stems. They are utilized in the harvesting process.

To pollinate the female plant, several plants that are utilized for breeding are pollinated.

Male plants are harvested before they begin pollinating and shake as little as possible to minimize inadvertent pollination of female plants if they are in close proximity.

What are Female Weed Seeds?

Female marijuana seeds are marijuana plants with tiny, white hair. They emerge in pairs, internodes, and branches at the apex of the stem.

During the flowering process, these hairs increase in quantity and thickness, eventually becoming orange.

The plant’s sexual identification may be identified by the end of July in the Northern Hemisphere and the end of January in the Southern Hemisphere.

Female seeds are easily distinguished from male seeds once the plant shows the “v” shaped structure known as the pistils. The pistils protrude from the third to fourth internodes of the stem.

Female weed seeds are often more compact and bushier than males.

Female weed seeds that have not been pollinated are referred to as “sinsemilla,” which translates as “without seeds.”

The blossoms are left to grow and mature so that the psychoactive ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol may be produced (THC). When a female plant is pollinated by a neighboring male, her energy switches to seed production.

Marijuana is generated by the female marijuana plant’s resinous blooms. They become delicate in flavor if they are not pollinated.

Thus gardeners aim to maintain the female and male plants at a safe enough distance so that the female plant does not be pollinated.

Main Differences Between Male and Female Weed Seeds

  1. Male weed seeds produce pollen, whereas the primary function of female weed seeds is to receive pollens or reproduce.
  2. Male weed seeds don’t have any pistils. Female weed seeds do have several seeds.
  3. Male weed seeds are more prevalent, and female weed seeds are less prevalent.
  4. Male weed seeds cannot be artificially created and only tend to occur naturally. On the other hand, female weed seeds do occur naturally, but they can also be created artificially.
  5. Male weed seeds are not capable of producing buds, whereas female weed seeds are capable of producing a number of buds.

Conclusion

It may appear difficult, yet male and female weed seeds are easily distinguished; they are significantly different. To accurately sex weed seeds, you must first become acquainted with their anatomy in general.

The main differences between male and female weed seeds are that of their function and anatomy.

Apart from the flower variations, male and female weed seeds share a few potentially related features.

It is critical to determine the sex of weed plants as soon as possible because if the female plant pollinates and the male plants are not picked on time, the fine herb is collected much less, and the plants with a lot of seeds are left to deal with.

Planting ordinary seeds has advantages and disadvantages; you can receive considerably bigger yields with feminized plants since you are assured no male plants.

Keep in mind, though, that feminized seeds have not gone through a completely natural process to become female, which may impair the quality of your weed.

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