Importance of sexing pot plants

Every seasoned cannabis grower knows that marijuana sexing is an important process as it enables them to establish whether they have a i) female plant that will produce the delicious flowers everyone is looking for, or ii) a male plant, which is solely reserved for releasing pollens into the air for fertilization and breeding, or iii) a hermaphrodite. Knowing the sex of each plant in a room is important for cannabis growers as if you are trying to produce useful flowers for consuming, having a male or hermaphrodite plant in your grow space will mean that the female plants will most likely be pollinated and growers will be left with only seeds instead of THC filled flowers.

Depending on what type of cannabis grower you are, pollination for the female plants can be good or bad. If you are a grower that likes to crossbreed strains and develop your own varieties, pollination is great. The pollinated female flower will produce seeds with traits and characteristics from both parent strains. For growers who are strictly trying to grow cannabis flowers and have no interest in breeding their plants, however, it is important to identify the gender of the plants early on and eliminate both male and hermaphrodite plants immediately from the growing space. Removing these plants will eliminate the risk of the female plants getting pollinated. Once they are pollinated, the female plants direct a large portion of their energy towards seed production and in effect will produce low-quality, weak flowers with a low concentration of cannabinoids, such as THC, CBD, and CBN.

Difference between female, male, and hermaphrodite pot plants

Female Cannabis Plant

So, how to tell if your plant is male or female before flowering? The female cannabis plant commonly begins to reveal its gender by having small preflowers during the first 4 to 6 weeks from seed. 

Check out these facts about female cannabis plants:

  • You may notice that the pre-flowers grow like a small white hair that comes out from a green-colored, compact shape calyx. This formation is commonly known as pistils. The small pre-flowers will grow into cannabis flowers that have the biggest content of cannabinoids concentrates. 
  • The female plant will grow into three different kinds: automatic, feminized, and photoperiod.
  •  The small hairs of the female cannabis plant are called bracts. If the cannabis plants have small bracts, this will definitely a female plant. It is the popular sign to help you reveal the gender of your plant before flowering. Similar to male plants, females also grow their sex organs in an area where the leaves connected to the stalk. 

Before the flowering stage, both male and female plants have the same looks that can make you confused about knowing their gender. One way to help you reveal your plant’s gender before it reaches its flowering stage is by looking for small hairs. Those who have small hairs are female cannabis plants.

Male Cannabis Plant

Male and female cannabis plant both grows flowers that look different. The cannabis plant will grow a flower that seems like a small ball that usually appears after 3 to 4 weeks from the seed. When the male plant matures, it grows pollen sacs with pollen grains inside that no trichomes content. 

Check out these facts about male cannabis plants:

  • You can see the pollen sacks near the leaves that connected the stalks. The nodes will until the cannabis plant becomes fully mature. You always need to check the nodes as it can possibly burst, and the pollen within will goes everywhere. 
  • The male cannabis plant is not responsible for producing high-quality flowers. Still, they are very reliable when it comes to pollinating female plants in order to develop more cannabis seeds and flowers. 
  • Another method that you can use to help you reveal the gender of your plant before flowering is by using a small hand-held microscope. With this material, you can see a closer look where you see the spot of pollen sacks develops. 
  • Other early signs if the plant is male is they are commonly growing taller and less bushy compared to the female cannabis plants. 
  • Moreover, the male preflowers develop fast about 3 to 4 weeks. When the pollen sacs open, they certainly begin pollinating that burst not only in your existing crop but range about 5 km around.

Hermaphrodite Plant

Sometimes, the hermaphrodite cannabis plant will occur. The plant will develop both male and female flowers. If the plant becomes stressed, it begins to develop flowers that have the opposite sex on each part. 

Hermaphrodite in male plants still works with no issue, but in female plants, this will worsen the plant resulted in fertilizing itself. In a garden with all-female plants grows, there is one hermaphrodite plant develops resulted from many growing seeds used. 

Here are the good-to-know things about hermaphrodite marijuana plants:

  • Hermaphrodite plants that need to get rid of your garden once you detect it as it can possibly begin to pollinate some other female or male plants. It will result in producing more hermaphrodite plants. 
  • To help you check for hermaphrodites plant in your growing area, the first thing you need to do is to check each node of the plant where you check about the gender. This technique is ideal if you have less number of cannabis plants. However, if you deal with different garden annoyances, checking each node will definitely give you a hard time.
  • Another sign to check in your plant is if it has growing anthers. These anthers are also known as bananas. Once you notice an anther in your plant quickly remove them as it can make your crop a mess. 

Anthers or bananas are consists of yellow-colored broaden sexual organs that look like the growth of female cannabis flowers. Anthers develop pollen that pollinates your plant and develops many hermaphrodite seeds. If you are aiming to produce other kinds of seeds, it is better to kill all the male and hermaphrodite plants first.

Separating male and female pot plants

It is important that once a male, or hermaphrodite, the plant is spotted, they are immediately removed from the grow room before the release of any pollen. The most common and usual way people do to eliminate the risk of pollination is to cut male plants down and discard them in plastic bags, making sure to avoid any leakage of pollen into the air. Research has shown that pollen can travel over 10 miles from its source. And while these plants are often regarded as useless and immediately thrown away, recent surveys have shown that males do not belong to the compost heap. Instead, they should just be grown in separate controlled spaces from the females. And if a male plant is spotted in a female grow room, cover the plant in a plastic bag and slowly move them out of the space, making sure not to shake the plant when transferring and unnecessarily releasing any pollen.

Aside from the obvious function of breeding, male plants also serve several uses that could benefit cannabis growers. For one, male cannabis plants produce a finer and softer material for hemp fibers. Chinese texts from the 16th century BC showed that ancient people saw the use of male hemp plants in the production of several products, including clothing. A study made in 1996 supported this belief showing the difference in the properties between female and male hemp. Another use for male cannabis plants is in the terpenes they produce, which are associated with unwanted pest control. Some growers plant their males among their vegetable crops instead of consigning them to the compost bin.

Growing your cannabis crop is a very rewarding experience. If you can do it well, you can take pride in your bountiful harvests of high-quality flowers. Sexing pot plants is a vital step in any cannabis growing journey. The good news is that it is a relatively simple and easy process – just make sure to look for signs of gender before the plants begin flowering.

How to Determine the Sex of Your Cannabis Plant: Final Thoughts

If you are new to the world of growing cannabis, you must know how to determine the sex of your cannabis plants. A rogue male or hermaphrodite could pollinate your female plants and potentially ruin the quality of your crop.

There are plenty of different uses for cannabis plants, regardless of their sex.

However, there is no need to let half of your precious harvest go completely to waste. There are plenty of different uses for cannabis plants, regardless of their sex. Although males may not be as potent as females, they still contain a variety of beneficial compounds.

So, if you find a male cannabis plant in your garden, don’t despair. Get creative, and you may open the door to a whole world of new and exciting ways to use your weed.