Investing all of your time and money into cultivating your own cannabis only to have it ruined by a male plant is AWFUL!
This doesn’t have to be the case, though.
If you learn how to spot a male vs female plant, you can rest easy at night knowing that your plants are working their buds off to produce high-quality marijuana.
How to tell if you plant is male or female before flowering
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Female Marijuana Plants
Female plants are where all the magic happens.
The female's produce the flowers that grow into the buds that we smoke or cook with.
You’ll be able to spot a female plant by looking for the following signs:
- Fuller body of leaves; especially near the top.
- When compared side by side with a male of the same strain, a female is always going to be shorter.
- Now for the dead give away; look for small white or translucent “hairs” at the joints—where the branches meet the stalk. These hairs—also known as pistols—will grow from a tear shaped bulb.
Male Marijuana Plants
Male plants are not what you want to grow unless you’re trying to use them for breeding.
However, most of us learning to grow are just looking to grow some buds we can smoke.
Male plants can quickly ruin your harvested if not caught in time.
They’re males after all, so you know what's on their minds…
You can quickly tell your plants a male by looking out for these telltale signs:
- Males have thick stalks when compared to females of the same strain.
- They are going to be taller than your females and will have fewer leaves.
- The best way to tell, though: There will be little balls that grow at the joint of your plants. These bud into flowers that release pollen—which will knock your females up, causing the females to spend wasted energy making seeds instead of THC. (Big no no)
Hermaphrodite Marijuana Plants?
Believe it or not, plants can be hermaphrodites…
What this means is, essentially, the plant is both male and female.
However, the plant should be treated as a male and disposed of as soon as it's been properly sexed.
You’ll be able to spot a hermaphrodite the same way you would any male.
When can I tell what sex a plant is?
This is going to depend on how exactly you’re growing your marijuana plants.
Whether indoors or outdoors, though, the male plant will show their sex first.
So you can rest easy knowing if you checking for any signs of sex every day, you’ll be able to get the male out before it does any damage!
6 weeks, that is the typical time it takes for a plant go from seed to showing sex.
Once around six weeks, though, the plants will really start to make their intentions be known.
When grown outdoors, a male plants will start to show their sex a whole three weeks before a females.
Indoors, however, that window shrinks down to only 7-10 days.
So when growing indoors, make sure you are much more diligent in checking your plants every day.
Why does the plant sex matter?
I alluded to this a little bit earlier, though it's an important enough question that it should be drilled into your head.
Male plants will pollinate your female plants, which will significantly impact the quality of your marijuana.
Female plants only have so much energy, and we want it exerting all of that energy into the flowering process.
Once pollinated, though, the females will start wasting energy on growing seeds, which means less energy will be devoted to THC.
Non-pollinated females flowers are what's known as sinsemilla. You know; the good stuff.
Properly removing males from your garden=fatter yields and better buds.
Males aren’t as THCless as we thought….
While we don’t want them in our garden shooting their pollen all over our females, they aren’t entirely without use.
In fact, there have been multiple studies done, that have found male marijuana plants do actually—contrary to popular belief—contain both THC and CBD.
Though is varying, albeit low, quantities.
This study done in Thailand found that “The male plants grown in trial fields had the range of THC contents from 0.722% to 0.848% d.w. and average THC/CBD ratio of 1.9”
Plus, there is this study from 1971, that tested the cannabinoids in both male and female plants.
Male marijuana plant uses
If you’re like me, then, aside from your herb garden, you have a veggie garden too.
Did you know that marijuana plants act as a pesticide!?
If discovered to be a male, take the plant to your garden, and it can serve out its days as an organic pesticide.
There are some caveats to this, though.
Don’t do this if your weed garden in right next to the veggies outdoors.
Also, after you handle your veggie garden make sure you wash up and change clothes before going into your female grow room, so you don’t accidentally spread the pollen of the male to your plants!
The number of strain possibilities is endless…
I’m sure you know this if you’ve spent any time at all in a dispensary—or have a dealer that likes to “name” all of his stuff—that there seems to be a new strain every week.
This is because growers work tirelessly developing new strains that will be stronger, more resistant to disease, and of course tastier!
If you’re a health nut, or just into some weird stuff, you can always juice the stuff.
There is plenty out there on the science of juicing your marijuana instead of smoking it or eating it.
Let it be known now; this isn’t going to get you high.
Instead, you’ll be reaping the benefits of Tetrahydrocannabinolic-acid (THCA) and Cannabidiolic-acid (CBDA), which is what THC and CBD are before they’re burned.
Thanks to the way THC interacts with your CB1 receptor, you can only absorb ~10 mg of THC at a time.
However, with juicing, you can absorb anywhere from 500 mg to 1,000 mg of non-psychoactive THCA and CBDA.