What do male and female weed seeds look like

Can You Tell if a Cannabis Seed is Male or Female?

W hen it comes to growing cannabis, sex is important. Not that kind of sex! We’re talking about the sex of the plant, and whether it is male or female. The reason for this is simple enough: only female seeds produce flower, also known as the buds you might have in your stash as we speak.

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Cannabis seeds can be male, female or hermaphrodites. Females produce the resin-secreting flower, and males make small sacs of pollen near the base of the leaves. Over the years, cultivators have learned that un-pollinated females (remember, males produce pollen) continue to make resin as they grow, and flowers that have not been pollinated are much more likely to produce high-potency cannabis. This is the basis of all modern medical and recreational cannabis cultivation, so determining the sex of a plant is highly important. But is there a way to know if a seed is female before growing?

Table of Contents:

  1. Determining if a Cannabis Seed Is Male or Female
  2. What Are Feminized Cannabis Seeds?
  3. Methods for Feminizing Cannabis Plants
  4. Separating Male and Female Cannabis Plants
  5. How Important is Your Plant’s Sex?

Determining if a Cannabis Seed Is Male or Female

The straightforward answer is that, if what you’ve got is a handful of unmarked seeds, it’s pretty much impossible to tell which ones are male or female. The only true way to tell the plant’s gender is to plant a seed, then wait for it to mature.

After a period of several weeks, the plant will begin to pre-flower, or form a small bud in the crux of a branch. One of the first signs your cannabis plant is female is the appearance of pistillates that are wispy and generally white in color. Male plants will instead produce pollen sacs that look rounded with distinct splits running lengthwise, a bit like a tiny crab claw. These are the structures that growers typically look for to determine a plant’s sex.

If you’re looking for more precise, science-based methods to tell your plant’s gender, there are several labs that can sex your plant right after germination – eliminating the lengthy (usually around 6 weeks) wait to learn its gender. Portland, Oregon start-up Phylos Bioscience is in the business of studying cannabis genetics, and they sell a “plant sex kit” that’s pretty simple to do, even for the folks that aren’t scientifically inclined. Simply press a cotyledon, or embryonic leaf, onto the kit’s filter paper and send it to their lab. They then test the leaf for the “Y” chromosome to determine its gender, just as would happen for a human male.

What Are Feminized Cannabis Seeds?

While it’s basically not possible to determine the sex of a seed from a random bag of seeds, a practice known as feminizing is quite popular. Feminized seeds are selectively bred to produce only female plants.

While the process is very effective, it’s not perfect. There’s a chance that a small fraction of the seeds produced via the feminization method will sprout hermaphrodites, which are still capable of producing pollen.

Despite the potential for ‘hermies,’ knowing your seeds are female from the beginning is probably your best bet.

There are many companies that sell feminized seeds, but buyer beware, do your research to make sure the seller is reputable, especially if purchasing online. Thanks to modern technology, most feminized seeds from reliable brands will be 100% female as advertised – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t people selling low-quality seeds out there.

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Methods for Feminizing Cannabis Plants

If you have some experience growing cannabis and would like to bend a crop to your will to ensure that the seeds will be female, there are a few feminizing methods you might try. One such technique is to literally stress out a healthy female plant by interrupting the light cycle during flowering, called Rodelization Feminizing.

In the colloidal silver feminizing method, distilled water is mixed with pure silver and sprayed on female plants. This method works best when the plants are flowering. This results in pollen sacs being formed, which will allow the seeds to produce female plants.

Feminizing via the silver thiosulfate technique involves carefully selecting a nearly mature female plant, then spraying it with a 50/50 mix of sodium thiosulfate and silver nitrate. This triggers a gender change, from female to male. Place this plant back with the others to pollinate other female plants, and female seeds are created.

Separating Male and Female Cannabis Plants

As anyone with seasonal allergies can attest, it only takes a little bit of pollen to have a big impact. The reason that growers are so intent on weeding out male cannabis plants is that a single pollinator can negate an entire potential harvest.

How? The reason is that once pollinated, cannabis plants will cease devoting energy to growing flowers and will tell the existing flowers to stop producing resin, which translates to making less buds and less THC. That energy will be devoted to producing seeds instead. Think of the plant as a battery with a set amount of power. When that supply is spent in one area, it won’t be available for another.

Now consider that a single male plant can spread its pollen to an entire room of females.

If a grow is accidentally pollinated, that means the resources that were spent to bring the plants to that stage — the water, soil, electricity, fertilizers, not to mention the price of the seeds themselves — will have been wasted growing weed that can’t be smoked.

All of those male plants will have to be carefully separated from the grow space and destroyed, or else the growers risk another disastrous accidental pollination. It takes minuscule amounts of pollen to pollinate a plant, so growers must take extensive precautions to eliminate potential contamination. In addition to helping mitigate other contaminants, this is one of the main reasons that many workers will don full-body suits when working in a grow room, ensuring that accidental pollen exposure is kept to a minimum.

How Important is Your Plant’s sex?

How much time you want to spend figuring out the sex of your cannabis plants really depends on how much time and energy you’d like to devote to growing your own marijuana. If you are a medical cannabis patient or caregiver, for example, and need to know what kind of cannabis you are getting every time to keep a reliable supply, buying feminized seeds from a trusted seller is the way to go. It may even be worth it to have your plants tested for sex before they mature. However, if you have some time, consider yourself a green thumb, and want to experiment with your grow, you could simply plant your seeds and see what comes up. Happy growing!

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What are your thoughts on feminized seeds? If you’ve used them before, how did it go? Share your experiences in the comments below.

Author

Erin Hiatt is a New York City-based writer who has been covering the cannabis industry for more than six years. Her work – which has appeared in Hemp Connoisseur Magazine, PotGuide, Civilized, Vice, Freedom Leaf, MERRY JANE, Alternet, and CannaInvestor – covers a broad range of topics, including cannabis policy and law, CBD, hemp law and applications, science and technology, beauty, and psychedelics.

Erin’s work and industry insights have been featured on the podcasts The Let’s Go Eat Show, In the Know 420, and she has appeared as a featured panelist on the topic of hemp media. Erin has interviewed top industry experts such as Dr. Carl Hart, Ethan Nadelmann, Amanda Feilding, Mark A.R. Kleiman, Dr. James Fadiman, and culture icons Governor Jesse Ventura, and author Tom Robbins. You can follow her work on LinkedIn, WordPress, @erinhiatt on Twitter, and @erinisred on Instagram.

Difference Between Male and Female Weed Seeds (With Table)

Plants, like mammals, come in both male and female types. Weed seeds are also classified as either male or female. Male seeds generate pollen, which pollinates female plant buds. Pollinated flowers give birth to seeds. It has been shown that 30-50% of weed seeds are male.

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Male vs Female Weed Seeds

The main difference between male weed seeds and female weed seeds is that the function of male weed seeds is to produce pollens and the function of the female weed seeds is to reproduce. The male weed seeds cannot produce buds, and they do not possess pistils. The female weed seeds possess several pistils and can produce buds.

The male weed seeds are more prevalent in terms of their growth. Most weed seeds are male more than female. They grow naturally and produce pollens from their sacks to fertilize the female weed seeds. They do not have pistils attached to themselves, and they also cannot produce buds.

The female weed seeds are less prevalent than the male weed seeds. They can be created artificially, too, to increase their numbers. Female weed seeds receive pollens and get fertilized, and they can also produce buds. They possess a number of pistils that look like white and tiny hair-like structures.

Comparison Table Between Male and Female Weed Seeds

What are Male Weed Seeds?

Male weed seeds essentially generate pollen, which is required for female weed plants to reproduce organically. The presence of small pods on the internodes of the main stem distinguishes male weed seeds. It does not have any white hair. When these pods mature, they open and release pollen.

Male plants are not only less appealing, but they also interfere with the quality and output of your female plant. Males generate pollen and develop pollen sacks. Male weed seeds are often more gangly than female weed seeds. They can grow tall and thin, with fewer fan leaves and wider spacing between branches (also known as larger inter-nodal spacing).

Male seeds begin to generate pollen between mid-July and mid-September, depending on the hemisphere. Male weed seeds and plants grow vertically and have fewer branches and leaves than female weed seeds and plants. As a result, they appear fragile and sickly.

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Male plants are often tall with robust stalks; they have fewer leaves and scattered stems. They are utilized in the harvesting process. To pollinate the female plant, several plants that are utilized for breeding are pollinated.

Male plants are harvested before they begin pollinating and shake as little as possible to minimize inadvertent pollination of female plants if they are in close proximity.

What are Female Weed Seeds?

Female marijuana seeds are marijuana plants with tiny, white hair. They emerge in pairs, internodes, and branches at the apex of the stem. During the flowering process, these hairs increase in quantity and thickness, eventually becoming orange.

The plant’s sexual identification may be identified by the end of July in the Northern Hemisphere and the end of January in the Southern Hemisphere.

Female seeds are easily distinguished from male seeds once the plant shows the “v” shaped structure known as the pistils. The pistils protrude from the third to fourth internodes of the stem. Female weed seeds are often more compact and bushier than males.

Female weed seeds that have not been pollinated are referred to as “sinsemilla,” which translates as “without seeds.” The blossoms are left to grow and mature so that the psychoactive ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol may be produced (THC). When a female plant is pollinated by a neighboring male, her energy switches to seed production.

Marijuana is generated by the female marijuana plant’s resinous blooms. They become delicate in flavor if they are not pollinated. Thus gardeners aim to maintain the female and male plants at a safe enough distance so that the female plant does not be pollinated.

Main Differences Between Male and Female Weed Seeds

  1. Male weed seeds produce pollen, whereas the primary function of female weed seeds is to receive pollens or reproduce.
  2. Male weed seeds don’t have any pistils. Female weed seeds do have several seeds.
  3. Male weed seeds are more prevalent, and female weed seeds are less prevalent.
  4. Male weed seeds cannot be artificially created and only tend to occur naturally. On the other hand, female weed seeds do occur naturally, but they can also be created artificially.
  5. Male weed seeds are not capable of producing buds, whereas female weed seeds are capable of producing a number of buds.

Conclusion

It may appear difficult, yet male and female weed seeds are easily distinguished; they are significantly different. To accurately sex weed seeds, you must first become acquainted with their anatomy in general.

The main differences between male and female weed seeds are that of their function and anatomy.

Apart from the flower variations, male and female weed seeds share a few potentially related features.

It is critical to determine the sex of weed plants as soon as possible because if the female plant pollinates and the male plants are not picked on time, the fine herb is collected much less, and the plants with a lot of seeds are left to deal with.

Planting ordinary seeds has advantages and disadvantages; you can receive considerably bigger yields with feminized plants since you are assured no male plants. Keep in mind, though, that feminized seeds have not gone through a completely natural process to become female, which may impair the quality of your weed.