As a grower, it is important to know how to identify male and female cannabis plants. Female marijuana plants are much more valuable to growers because they produce the desired smokable buds (cannabis). Male plants don’t so when growing you want to know how to recognize the difference between the two sexes. Still, it can be a bit difficult to distinguish them from each other because cannabis plants don’t start with showing their gender and you can’t tell from the seeds either.
When you want to grow cannabis plants it is good to understand the difference between male and female cannabis plants. Without going into too much detail, we explain how to recognize male and female marijuana plants and what the differences are. This way you can buy your regular seeds and/or feminized seeds in a well-considered way.
When and how do you recognize male and female weed plants?
Male plants are in most cases not useful and therefore undesirable when growing weed indoors. This also applies to most growers when growing weed outdoors. As said before, they do not deliver beautiful full and smokable buds. So for a weed yield they are worthless.
In rare cases, a cannabis species develops two sexual organs (male and female). This is called a hermaphrodite. In fact, this is a species that can fertilize itself. A hermaphrodite occurs when the growing conditions are bad and/or when the plant is under too much stress, but also when genetics are poor. In addition, some species are more susceptible to Hermie than others.
The gender of the cannabis plant only becomes visible in the pre-flowering period, which in most cases lies between the 4th and 8th week of the vegetative phase. The moment the genus becomes visible, however, depends on the species. Some species show their genus earlier, while others need more time to show their true identity. It is therefore very important to be extra alert to the male and female characteristics during the pre-flowering stage. As soon as you notice male marijuana plants, you have to remove them immediately (see: wherefore you have to remove male marijuana plants).
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.
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.
How to Tell the Difference Between Male and Female Cannabis Plants in Pre-Flower
Okay, back to sexing cannabis.
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.
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.