Sexing Marijuana Plants (telling male from female)
- Make sure plants receive 12 hours uninterrupted darkness each night for 2-3 weeks.
- Examine your plants where the stem splits to make new leaves.
- Look for tiny white hairs.
- If you see white hairs your marijuana plant is female.
- If no white hairs appear after 4 weeks or you see balls instead your plant is male.
Why sex your marijuana plants?
Like humans marijuana plants have male versions and female versions. The female versions produce the beautiful great smelling flowers, while the male versions produce only pollen. If you don’t sex your plants you could end up growing male and female plants together, or even worse all male plants. The problem is the active ingredient we are looking for (THC) is produced in the highest amounts only in the female flower. Male plants can be used for hemp. Also if you don’t sex and separate your males from your females your males will pollinate the females and the flowers will spend their energy producing seeds instead of THC. This leads to less potent flowers and flowers where seeds will need to be removed before consuming.
How to sex your marijuana plants
While the marijuana plants are first growing it will be difficult or impossible to tell males from females. In spring and summer both the male and female plants spend all their energy just growing as big as they can and it will be difficult or impossible to tell them apart. There’s no point in spending a lot of time growing a male marijuana plant so it’s important to sex your plants early. To start the sexing process you simple make sure the plants receive uninterrupted 12 hours of darkness each night. This is the cue mother nature has given the plant that winter is on the way and it should start preparing to procreate for a spring rebirth.
Reading the gender of your plants
Once the plants have been on a cycle of 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness for at least a couple weeks the plants will begin to show their male and female traits. Look closely at the plants wherever the stalk splits off into two leaf nodes. New leaf nodes should be growing out of these areas. Check these areas closely, if you see white hairs then you know your plant is a female. If no white hairs ever appear or balls appear full of pollen then your plant is a male.
What to do with male marijuana plants?
Unless you really love the strain and are trying to produce seeds to share all male marijuana plants should be removed from the garden. Allowing even a small amount of pollen to permeate your garden can ruin many of your female flowers. If you do want to produce seeds, separate out the males and collect the pollen. You can then apply this pollen directly to a few flowers to allow them to produce seeds and harvest the remaining flowers for consumption.
Do male marijuana plants contain THC?
Male marijuana plants do contain TCH but it much lower quantities than the female flowers. They can be used in cooking or extraction but unless you are just growing a bunch outside there is really no reason to let the male plants survive.