Hemp is a dioecious plant on which female and male inflorescences form on different bushes. The sex of cannabis can be determined by the appearance of the inflorescences and the plants themselves in general. Today, feminized cannabis seeds are very popular, of which 97-99% of cases are female. They are important for growers, because only girls can get a good powerful harvest.
Regular marijuana seeds are equally likely to grow both females and males. When growing these seeds, growers should identify male plants as early as possible and prevent female bushes from pollinating.
THC in female and male plants
Cannabis lovers most value sensimilla – (from the Spanish “sin similla” – “seedless”) – unpolished inflorescences of female hemp. It is in them that the maximum concentration contains resin with cannabinoids, the main of which is the psychoactive THC. The levels of THC, CBD and other cannabinoids in male plants are extremely low and are not capable of producing psychoactive or medical effects.
Why are male cannabis plants needed?
Male plants are essential for obtaining seeds and breeding new varieties. The boys’ function is to produce pollen. Getting on female inflorescences, pollen fertilizes them and gives a start to the formation of fruits, namely, new hemp seeds.
To get viable offspring with high potency of impact, original aroma and yield, the genetic material of both parents – both female and male cannabis plants – is important.
Why Isolate Male Cannabis?
“Boys” should be removed from the plantation or from the grow box as early as possible – from the time the signs of sex are visible. This should only be done if the grower is not going to plant seeds, and his goal is to obtain a powerful and aromatic marijuana. When pollinated, seeds begin to form in female inflorescences, and plants stop spending energy and effort to release resin with THC. This significantly affects the quality of the crop.
How to distinguish between “boys” and “girls”
This question is very important for those growers who grow regular marijuana strains for harvest.
It is possible to determine the sex of plants not earlier than the period preceding their flowering. There are several indicators that will help distinguish between male and female bushes:
Height. “Boys” grow taller than “girls” of the same sort. This is provided by nature on purpose so that pollen can more easily spread to lower female plants.
Ripening speed. Male plants develop faster than female plants, ahead of them by about 1-3 weeks. So, if you have several plants of the same variety, you can easily identify “boys” – these will be those bushes that will form pre-flowers earlier than others – thickenings between the stem and the shoot growing from it.
The shape of the inflorescences. If it is difficult to distinguish between male and female pre-flowers in appearance, then the shape of the inflorescences is more indicative. Female inflorescences gradually take on a pear-shaped shape, white hairs of stigmas appear from them. Male inflorescences have no stigma. They gather in clusters that resemble a ball on a leg, and then gradually stretch out in length and acquire an oblong shape, like a banana.
The structure of the bushes. “Boys” have longer internodes and fewer branches, while “girls” have a more branched, compact and squat structure of the bush.
Clone method – for outdoor growers
There is an unmistakable early sexing method that is suitable for outdoor marijuana cultivation. This is the clone method. A clone cut from a bush must be planted in the ground and placed under lighting in 12/12 mode. After 2 weeks, the clone will begin to bloom and will clearly show its sexual characteristics. This will happen before the mother plant blooms in the open air.
Hermaphrodites and how to deal with them
Hermaphrodites are cannabis bushes that show both male and female sex characteristics at the same time. The emergence of such plants should be carefully monitored, as cannabis bushes with traits of both male and female can pollinate themselves and nearby female plants. Of course, in this case, you will have to forget about a good harvest!
Both cannabis grown from regular seeds and from feminized cannabis, including autoflowering varieties, can become hermaphrodite. Most of all, cannabis with a predominance of Sativa genes is prone to hermaphroditism. Among the Indica, hermaphrodites appear less often, but even here this risk cannot be excluded.
Hermaphrodites develop as a reaction of plants to stress – too hot microclimate, unstable photoperiod, excess or lack of moisture and fertilizers. If you find the hermaphrodite early in the flowering stage, it is best to remove the plant right away to save the rest of the girls. If germik appeared when the harvest is almost ready, you can remove the male inflorescences. This should be done as carefully as possible so as not to shake the pollen.