Do male weed seeds grow

Female vs. Male Cannabis Plants: How They’re Similar (and Different)

The main difference between male and female cannabis plants is that male cannabis plants do not yield buds, whereas female cannabis plants do. This means that female plants produce usable cannabis (buds) and male plants do not. There are many other obvious as well as subtler differences between male and female cannabis plants that can affect a cultivator’s crop.

Learn how male and female cannabis plants differ, how to tell them apart and whether or not you should grow them together.

What Are Female Cannabis Plants?

Female cannabis plants are the most sought after plants for most cannabis cultivators. They contain the prized bud that comprises all cannabis products, whether smokable, topical or otherwise. Female cannabis plants also contain the lion’s share of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. Male plants, in contrast, contain only trace amounts of THC.

The output of female cannabis plants is far more potent than that of male plants. While male plants can be used on occasion to make concentrate products like hash, female plants are widely preferred for this purpose. The coarse, tough hemp material derived from female cannabis plants is also useful for making rope and other products that require a strong fiber.

What Are Male Cannabis Plants?

Male cannabis plants grow pollen sacs rather than buds. They pollinate female plants with their pollen sacs. Cannabis grown from male plants is not usable, as it contains no “bud.” Male cannabis plants are essential in breeding programs and provide 50% of the genetic material that the seeds inherit. This is why, for breeders, strong fathers are as sought after as strong mothers. Male cannabis plants also tend to contain more phytocannabinoids on their leaves. Male cannabis plants with particularly high cannabinoid concentrations in their leaves combined with strong roots can become key parts of a breeding program.

In addition, male cannabis plants are useful for making hemp fiber, especially for clothing. The hemp material of male plants is softer than that of female plants, making it desirable for shirts, tablecloths or bed sheets. Finally, male cannabis plants are also effective at keeping harmful pests away.

How to Tell Male and Female Cannabis Plants Apart

Determining the sex of a marijuana plant is a visual process that you can begin early in the plant’s growth cycle. During the first four weeks of growth, you may be able to observe pollen sacs on the male and stigma or “pre-flowers” on the female. By the sixth week of growth, you will be able to clearly distinguish between male and female cannabis plants. The pollen sacs and pre-flowers will be in full view by this point, allowing you to pinpoint male or female.

In rare instances, you may observe a cannabis plant with both male and female reproductive organs. These hermaphroditic plants often develop due to environmental stressors including inhospitable weather and nutritional deficiencies. Hermaphrodites are distinguishable by sets of pollen sacs and pre-flowers. A healthy marijuana plant grown in optimal conditions will not turn hermaphroditic.

There are other clear physical characteristics that will help you tell male and female cannabis plants apart at any stage.

Characteristics of Male Plants

Look for these physical traits in a male cannabis plant:

  • Thick, sturdy stalks
  • Sparse leaves
  • Taller than female plants
  • Pollen sacs that form green and white flowers

Characteristics of Female Plants

Look for these physical traits in a female cannabis plant:

  • Slender stalks
  • Abundant leaves
  • Fine translucent hairs in white or orange
  • V-shaped pistils with protective layer (calyx)
  • Shorter than male plants
  • Resinous buds

Growing Male and Female Plants

The first principle of growing male and female cannabis plants is to keep them apart. Male cannabis plants can overtake a garden and drain female plants of vital energy. Specifically, male plants may over-pollinate the females, which will stop or slow bud development and severely reduce your yield.

Generally, male cannabis plants are less desirable than female ones. So, you will want to keep emale cannabis plants in your growing medium. If you are starting a breeding program, you will definitely need both male and female cannabis plants. But even in a breeding program, you need to keep your male and female plants apart.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do male or female weed plants grow faster?

Male weed plants tend to grow at a much faster rate than female weed plants. Fourteen days into the growth cycle, male plants will already be taller than female plants. In addition, male cannabis plants will start the flowering stage approximately 30 days before their female counterparts.

What’s the difference between male and female weed seeds?

Weed seeds that grow into female plants produce more THC compared to their male counterparts. Furthermore, female cannabis plants produce flowers while male cannabis plants produce tiny buds that resemble balls. V-shaped pistils will also appear on female cannabis seeds at the beginning of the flowering stage, but there are no such structures on male seeds. Finally, there are fine white and orange hairs present on female weed seeds but not on male ones.

Can male and female weed plants grow together?

While the plants technically can grow alongside one another, in general, you should not grow male and female weed plants together. Separate your male and female cannabis plants if you want to harvest buds from the females. This does not mean that male plants are useless; indeed, male cannabis plants can be an important part of a cultivator’s crop but should be mostly kept separate from females to allow the females room and energy to grow.

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How to Pick Male Plants and Make Cannabis Seeds

Why Every Home Grower Should Make Seeds (At Least Once)

I encourage growers to make seeds for themselves. A lot of people have been asking how, so I put together these basic tips. Hopefully, it helps a lot of people and is fairly straightforward. This isn’t meant to make you a breeder or share all my techniques or secrets, this is to familiarize you with the process of creating seeds.

It’s easy to make your own cannabis seeds at home!

It’s a shame that many grow books tell you only to throw away your males. New growers may not know, but anyone who’s grown for even just a few years gets to the point where they wish they still had something they grew in the past, which is no longer available in seed or clone for whatever reason. The older you get the more it happens. Seed lines disappear entirely once they run out, and due to people not making their own. It’s good to be self-sufficient.

While it’s always fun to check out the hard work of your favorite breeders and their strains, it’s equally as important to pollinate a branch or two for yourself here and there and see what magic you can create or preserve. Please share this article if it helps or inspires you. Big agriculture is coming to the cannabis growing world and has the ability to change the plant forever once contamination happens, just like in the veggie world. We are losing genetic diversity fast as thousands of unique strains are lost. Please do your part if you are passionate!

Make your own seeds to save special or unique genetics

How to Make Your Own Cannabis Seeds at Home

These are basic starting points for the home grower. I believe every person who grows cannabis needs to have this skill. Every strain goes away over time when people don’t make more seeds. Growers should know how to make their own seeds for preservation and sustainability. These skills can go a long way. The precursor to serious breeding is the basic technique of creating the seed.

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1.) Grow Male Plants

Male plants can be grown in very basic conditions in an isolated space, then flowered for pollen. Males can be started flowering next to females with a close watch for the first week or two, but be careful and remove them before pollen sacks form, bursting open and pollinating everything.

Branches can be cut off and put into a cup of water on a windowsill or under a CFL bulb, even under veg light cycle once they are in bloom. Pollen can be collected within a week from these branches, saving lots of space. Males can also be cloned or flowered very small based on your needs.

Best, however, is flowering the males in their own tent or space. With a carbon filter and negative pressure, and careful practices, you can avoid spreading pollen to unwanted spaces. The longer you flower a male out past its initial beginning release of pollen, the more of its flowering traits you will see! (More on best male plant selection below)

A beautiful male cannabis plant

2.) Collect Pollen

Pollen can be collected by tapping a budding branch gently over a piece of paper. Pollen will spread easily in the air, so make sure to turn off all fans. Visit males only after tending to female plants so you don’t accidentally bring any stray pollen on your clothes or hair!

A male plant right as pollen sacs start opening

3.) Pollinate Buds

Take out your female to be pollinated or shut off all circulation fans. Gently apply pollen to a labeled branch. The pollen must meet the white flowering hairs to create seeds. Week 3-5 is best to pollinate, and you can do a single bud or branch per plant and keep the rest seedless.

Every pollinated branch should be labeled properly, your memory will not last as you think it will. A proper branch label includes dates, strain names, breeder/sources, and has the female listed first and male listed second. An example label looks like this: 4/20/2015 – Star Pupil (Mass Medical Strains) x Prayer Tower Sativa 9 (Bodhi Seeds) and the label should be kept with the seeds when they are finished. As years go by, you will be thankful for the dates and breeder information, which can escape our memory on occasion.

Overhead shot of a seeded cannabis plant. Strain is “Star Pupil”

4.) Deactivate Stray Pollen

Water generally deactivates pollen, wash clothes and shower if needed after handling. 3+ hours after pollination, the plant can be sprayed down with water to deactivate stray pollen and can be brought back into grow room and fans turned back on.

Avoid spreading pollen unintentionally. It can get everywhere!

A male cannabis plant exploding with pollen. Strain: Prayer Tower Sativa (below)

5.) Collect Seeds

Seeds are done in 2-6 weeks and should be dried in the bud when the plant is harvested. Seeds should be sproutable within one month of drying.

Female buds become swollen with seeds

A cannabis seed peaking out

What strains should I use?

Any strain with traits that you like, which speaks to you, or seems like a good cross, means your intuition is telling you something. Starting with stabilized or homogeneous lines is always a benefit. Certain genes such as Cookies, OG, and Diesels, are full of hermaphrodites and should be used with caution, only to be bred with if they are really your #1 passion. Follow your heart.

Crossing two unrelated strains for the first time is called an F1. Crossing a brother and sister F1 of the same strain creates an F2, and so on. Selections play a huge role in what the outcome will be. Making F2 seeds of an F1 you purchased, will not give you the same seeds. Rather, you will see new phenotypes resembling some of the parents and their parents, etc. With huge potential to find new special plants within.

Many combinations will work great, and some will not. If you fail, try again, selecting new parents. Each combination is unique. A and B might work great together, and C and D might work well together, there’s still a possibility that A and C combine to create junk. Every parental combo is unique!

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If you see a unique trait that you like, make seeds!

Selection Techniques

Female Plants

Selecting a good female is easy, flower female plants from seed and again from clone to test stability. Smoke test is important. A potential mother plant should have all the high-quality traits that matter to you. Hermaphroditic plants are to be avoided.

Female plants to be pollinated should have all your ideal traits. Use only your best females.

Male Plants

Selecting a male, you have to use your senses a lot. The ones who grow best and smell best are a good starting point. Structure and root growth are important. Hollow stems may indicate high THC potential. Cut the top off a couple nodes down and find out. First showing or fastest flowering males are generally discarded. Very slow blooming late males are often times more recessive although not always. I like them. Males will start to drop pollen before they are “done” flowering enough to see their true traits. As a beginner, you can use the pollen at any stage, but those doing real selections are advised to always flower your males for weeks after the pollen starts.

For male selections, a strain you’ve grown before and enjoyed the females is a safe starting point.

Watch for resin production, look at how the flower clusters stack and produce. The male flowers form similarly to female flowers, large yield potential is often apparent in largely formed male clusters that can look almost like female buds from a distance. The more males you have to choose from, the more fun you will have!

Male plants can be a lot of fun to grow, too. Just like the females of the genetics they come from, they all have their own characteristics and unique traits. Once you get into “hunting males” you could get hooked! Some of my prized male selections from over the years are shown here. You’ll see resin production and traits of large floral clusters, as well as unique coloration!

This male Weapon X cannabis plant is about to pop!

Male Blue Magoo BX looking trippy under LEDs

Strain: Mr. E Reversed

For more advanced breeding selections, I recommend starting ideally a few hundred seeds. (For beginners, as many as you can is great, will help you find the best ones you can. Use your intuition!) Plants can be weeded out every few weeks selecting only the best contenders to flower out, and a lot can be achieved in a spare tent or closet this way, while still selecting through large populations! Clones of a prized breeding male may be kept in veg the same way females are, to be used again and again once their offspring are proven good! This is how a breeder can create the same batch of seeds for years and years, by using the exact same parents held in clone form.

Conclusion

These tips are just the beginning, and the purpose isn’t to teach you how to breed, but to teach you how to learn your own path and style of creating seeds and preserving our very special plant. The seeds you create will always be a very special grow for YOU.

Making your own seeds is more important than ever. We must do our part to preserve the natural genetic diversity of this healing plant as it has evolved for millions of years. Home growing is an important skill as commercial and medical cannabis is increasingly full of toxins and scary new technology. Please grow responsibly with love.

About the Author

Star Pupil strives to copy nature while incorporating breeding techniques and plant knowledge passed down from generations of experienced growers. Mass Medical Strains is located in western Massachusetts and all breeding and growing methods are 100% organic. Each and every plant is grown and harvested with wholesome intentions and positive vibes.