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Most growers discard male marijuana plants. The common opinion is that male bushes are a waste – both because they produce no THC-filled buds and because they can pollinate female cannabis plants and lessen the potency of their buds. While all this is true, don’t rush to throw your male weeds down the drain. For a more experienced grower, male plants can do more than most imagine.
This article explains how to identify a male pot plant early on, how to make use of the male bushes, and whether you can turn a male plant into a female one with no extra hassle. Let’s get started.
What Is the Difference between Male and Female Weed Plants?
If you're into growing cannabis, then you know that the female plants are where it's at. Female cannabis plants are in high demand because they're the ones that produce the coveted buds that are used to make all sorts of products, from joints to topicals. Plus, they pack the most punch when it comes to THC, which is the chemical responsible for getting you high.
On the other hand, male weed plants don't really have much going on in terms of THC. They grow the pollen sacs instead of buds, and their main job is to pollinate the female plants with their pollen. You can spot male plants and separate them early on.
What Does a Male Marijuana Plant Look Like (Key Signs)?
Identifying male pot plants can be challenging at first. Male and female marijuana plants look almost identical until they reach the early seedling phase. It's only after about three weeks of growth that they begin to show their sexual characteristics, which can be difficult for novice growers to spot. However, with a magnifying glass and a little practice, you can learn to differentiate between the sexes.
Male weed plants have a few telltale signs that give them away. They begin showing male pre-flowers at around three weeks into the growth cycle, and these pre-flowers are small and smooth orbs that appear at the node where the stem meets a leaf branch. They also produce male pollen sacs instead of female buds, which is another easy way to tell them apart from females. These male cannabis flowers grow in small, bell-shaped clusters that open up to release pollen. Female plants, on the other hand, produce teardrop-shaped flowers that later develop into buds.
Besides, male cannabis plants are usually taller and have a wider internodal spacing – the distance between the points where the branches meet the main stem is greater. However, pollen sacs are the main sign you should pay attention to.
It's important to isolate male plants as soon as you recognize them because once their sacs mature and release their material, they can pollinate female plants.
Early Signs of Female Plant
Now you know how to tell a male pot plant. But what about female ones? As you know, male and female cannabis plants appear physically identical at first and differentiate only during the vegetative state. Generally, female plants are shorter and have slender main stems. They typically have more foliage than male plants as well.
Female plants usually show their sex four to six weeks later than male plants. Female pre-flowers appear as tiny balls at nodes. They have two white hairs growing from them in the form of a V. This is called a pistil. Pistil clusters will develop into buds, which will provide usable marijuana.
If you're having difficulty identifying female reproductive organs, keep in mind that female pre-flowers usually grow on the nodes closest to the grow light. Monitoring your plants on a regular basis is critical for avoiding pollination.
Benefits of Male Cannabis Plants
While male cannabis plants are oftentimes discarded by growers, they aren’t useless at all. Here are some of the ways to use male weed plants to your benefit:
- Breeding: Male cannabis plants can help retain specific characteristics in plants and diversify the gene pool for future generations, allowing growers to select qualities, including cannabinoid and terpene profiles, to produce a variety of strains.
- Create hemp fiber: Male plants have firm and fibrous stalks that are perfect for creating soft and fine fibers. You can even use the fibers to weave your own DIY cannabis clothes!
- Concentrate production: Don't assume that male plants are entirely devoid of THC. While they may not produce big buds like females, they still contain cannabinoids that can be used to create unique concentrates like hash oil, BHO wax, or dabs.
- Pest and disease resistance: Like females, male plants produce terpenes that can be used for pest and disease control. You can use the dried material from male plants to create a terpene-laden oil and keep insects and pests away from your flowers or vegetables.
- Delicious and nutritious THCA juice: Raw cannabis juice contains THCA and CBDA, which have a range of health benefits. You can use your male plants to produce raw-pressed cannabis oil and add it to smoothies, tea, or coffee for a super nutritious cannabis-inspired snack.
See? Next time, don't be quick to jump to conclusions and discard your plant! Always read a PlantIn article first.
Ways to Use Male Weed Plants
Did you know that male marijuana plants can be just as useful as their female counterparts? While they may not produce the coveted buds that female plants do, they can still bring value to your garden and your smoking experience. Here are some great ways to make use of those male weed plants:
- Retain specific characteristics in plants and diversify the gene pool for future generations.
- Create hemp fiber for soft and fine fibers, even to make your own DIY cannabis clothes!
- Use the cannabinoids from male plants to make unique concentrates like hash oil, BHO wax, or dabs.
- Use the dried material from male plants to create a terpene-laden oil to keep insects and pests away.
- Make delicious and nutritious THCA juice by pressing raw cannabis juice, which contains THCA and CBDA for a range of health benefits.
So, don't underestimate the value of your male marijuana plants. Get creative and make the most out of your garden!
Why Are Male Marijuana Plants Undesirable?
Male marijuana plants are not growers' favorites because they pollinate female plants and prevent them from growing buds. When a male weed plant is flowering, you should immediately remove it from the female plants.
How to Make a Male Plant Female
It is impossible to turn a male cannabis plant into a female plant. A female cannabis plant can't transform into a male plant as well. However, it can become a hermaphrodite. This happens when a female plant takes on some male traits, but there is nothing good about it. Hermaphroditic plants tend to self-pollinate, which can lead to the development of seeds that make the cannabis less potent and harder to smoke. That's why cannabis growers work really hard to prevent their plants from becoming hermaphroditic. They want their plants to stay true to their gender, so they can produce the best quality cannabis possible. So, there is only one way of transformation – from female to hermaphroditic – and it's not a good one.
Do Male Plants Produce Buds, Seeds?
Do male plants bud? Do male marijuana plants produce seeds? The answer to both questions is no. Male marijuana plant buds don't exist. Only female plants produce buds, and only female plants produce seeds. When a male plant pollinates a female one, it boosts seed growth.
Do Male and Female Marijuana Plants Smell Different?
No. Even though female plants are typically known for their aroma, male plants develop faster and have similar terpenes that contribute to that distinct cannabis scent. However, using the plant's smell as a way to identify the plant's gender is not very effective. Both male and female plants can smell.
How Many Leaves Does a Male Weed Plant Have?
How many leaves does a male pot plant have? Male plants typically have fewer leaves than their female counterparts. Male plants usually have around 5 to 9 leaves, whereas female plants tend to have more leaves, usually towards the higher end of that range.
When Do Male Plants Pollinate Females?
Pollen sacs start to develop during the late-vegetative stage. Once a male marijuana plant reaches maturity, which typically happens around 4 to 5 weeks into the flowering stage, the pollen sacs burst open and release pollen into the air. This pollen can travel on the wind and land on a female cannabis plant, fertilizing it.
Can We Grow Male and Female Weed Plants Together?
You can grow male and female cannabis together until the male plants reach maturity. You need to know how to spot a male weed plant to separate them on time and prevent pollinating. Otherwise, you risk throwing your future harvest down the drain.
Tell us about your experience with male marijuana plants in the comments!