Is The Male Marijuana Plant Really THAT Useless?
We’ve discussed the importance of separating the genders of your plants during the vegetation stage.
You don't want your male plant to pollinate your female plants.
After all, female plants that get pollinated can lose their psychoactive properties.
Plus, no one likes to smoke seeds.
Don’t be Quick to Trash Your Male Marijuana Plant
As a result of this line of thinking, growers have been quick to disregard their male plants.
Thinking that the male plant is devoid of any practical or beneficial use.
Today we’ll look a little closer at the properties of the male marijuana plant to understand their place in the cannabis ecosystem.
Why is Pot Gendered?
While it’s common in nature, it’s not common to have gendered flowering plants in the horticulture world. The marijuana plant contains both sexes
The marijuana plant contains both sexes because the plant is dioecious, meaning that it relies on both male and female plants to reproduce.
The main difference between male marijuana plants and females is they don't contain what gets you high: THC.
But, does this mean the male plant should be disregarded?
How to Tell You Have a Male Plant
During the vegetation stage your plant should show signs of its gender.
During this pre-flowering stage, you’ll start to notice small banana-like sacs on the nodes of where your leaves meet your stem.
These sacs will be what your indicator of gender is.
You may not be able to tell the gender right away, so you’ll maybe have to give a few days, or maybe up to a week, to be able to tell what these sacs will turn out to be.
In a female plant, the sac that grows out of the node of your plant will look longer and resemble leaves rather than more pod-like sac for the male plant.
While it’s important to separate your genders as quickly as possible don’t be so quick to disregard your male cannabis.
Jorge Cerventes, a popular grower on YouTube, offers a helpful look at the male plant, and the features you should look for when identifying your plant.
He also touches on a number of the benefits of the male plant as well:
The male plant is still a valuable plant, as it contains CBDs but is not potent in psychoactive ingredients.
Many strains of male plants don't produce THC at all.
In fact, the male marijuana plant has several potential benefits and uses.
Benefits of the Male Marijuana Plant
For growers who are only interested in getting high, the male plant won’t do much for them, and they’ll be inclined to discard the plant.
Not so fast!
Here are a few benefits of the male marijuana plant:
You Need them to Breed
Unless you’re planning on only cloning your female plants, you will need your male plants for breeding.
The matter from the male plants makes up half of the DNA of your female plant.
For male breeder plants, you’ll only want to hold onto those plants that grow with positive characteristics that you’d want to see carried into your new strain.
These characteristics can be observed in traits like grow time, resin production and flavor.
As any marijuana enthusiast would know, cannabidiols (CBDs) are a specific compound found among the many cannabinoids in the cannabis plant.
They are promoted as a popular dietary supplement used to treat a variety of medical issues.
This is due to its use as an anti-inflammatory and its stabilizing properties within the body’s systems.
CBDs are still alive and well in the male plant.
But they do not contain the psychoactive properties, meaning that the male plant can be used as a dietary supplement without the high.
Many will make cannabutter from the male plants to take advantage of the CBDs.
Juice It or Add to Your Greens
Did you ever think about adding a few pot leaves to your morning smoothie or juice?
In addition to boasting the benefits of CBDs, male marijuana plants are rich in fiber.
And more research is currently being done to support the dietary benefits of the acids and fats contained in the plant.
Why not throw a few leaves in your smoothie or juicer to get the benefits of the marijuana plant without getting high?
Since the marijuana plant is widely regarded as a health food, some people choose to make topical ointments, salves or creams out of parts of the male marijuana plant.
In legal states or areas of the world, you will likely be able to find some of these types of products in health food stores.
A Teensy Bit of THC?
It’s no surprise that formal research is lacking.
Studies, however, completed in the 1970s tested male and female plants all around the world comparing their THC levels.
In some cases, there were minimal levels of THC produced in male plants but was later observed that those effects aren’t as relevant today and the levels observed were only minuscule.
Nevertheless, it’s believed that strong male plants when bred contribute to higher THC levels in the female plants.
Don’t Kick the Boys Out
While it’s widely believed that it’s best to kick the boy plants out of the crop, think twice about whether you may have something of value on your hands before you toss it in the trash.
Take the time to assess the quality of the growing male plants, and use that to your benefit when considering further breeding, health uses and horticultural benefits of the male plant.