Interested in growing hemp for CBD or CBG? You’ll need to learn as much as you can about the hemp plant itself. That starts with understanding the difference between male and female hemp plants.

Every hemp farmer must be able to identify males and females out in the field. Why? Because if your goal is to produce as much resin as possible (which can be processed for its CBD or CBG), then it’s all about the ladies. Keep reading to learn why your profits lay with female hemp plants.

MALE VS. FEMALE HEMP PLANTS

Hemp (also known as cannabis) is a dioecious plant, meaning that individual plants form female or male reproductive organs. Hemp plants can be male, female, or hermaphrodite.

Many hemp farmers would love to be able to tell whether a hemp seed will eventually grow into a male hemp plant or a female. This is possible through DNA testing of a seedling that is just a few weeks along. Outside of this genetic test, the way to tell a hemp seed’s sex is to plant it in the ground and wait four to six weeks until the hemp plant reaches the “pre-flower” stage.

At around six weeks of growth, farmers should be able to accurately sex their plants by looking closely at the crux of the plants’ branches, also known as the plants’ “nodes.” Male hemp plants grow small pollen sacs at their nodes, while female hemp plants grow bracts. As the female plant matures, wispy, hair-like stigma grow from her bracts, which catch the pollen released by the male. Hermaphrodite hemp plants will typically grow both male and female sex organs.

MALE CANNABIS

Male plants essentially produce pollen which is needed for cannabis plants to naturally reproduce; seeds occur when there are male plants in the mix. If you want to make your own seeds you will need a male plant However, if you’re growing regular plants and want to harvest flowers, we recommend getting rid of any males as soon as possible. You won’t be able to tell them apart until they begin to flower, which is when plants begin to show their sex.

Male weed plants grow “balls” that open up to let their pollen out, ending up looking like a small bunch of flowers. You’ll need to get rid of them way before this happens. If they manage to release their pollen it’ll be too late. They can take up to three weeks to burst. If you’re still not sure how to tell them apart, male flowers do not have any pistils on them at all.

FEMALE CANNABIS

Female plants are basically what everyone is after when growing cannabis, as these are the ones that make buds, which is the part of the plant that contains the most THC. With just one male plant and a miniscule amount of pollen, your plants might end up filling their flowers with seeds. If you have male and female plants in the same growing area, the buds grown there will only produce seeds so you won’t be able to smoke any of it.

You can tell females apart due to the fact that their flowers don’t fully close, they’re actually quite open and they produce little hairs called pistils. They’re incredibly easy to recognize, as the first thing they produce are their pistils, which male plants do not have at all.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW

Before we conclude, we have to include a quick story of a good friend of ours that recently carried out his first grow. He was a total rookie and came to us with all the basic “first-timer” questions:
  • “How long does it take to get the buds?”
  • “How much weed will I get?”
  • “Can I smoke it straight off the plant?”
Anyway, after spending almost a month setting up his operation, he was ready to get started. He chose a lovely spot for an indoor grow, a nice walk-in closet (probably about 8 ft x 4 ft) that was easily sealed off from all external light sources. He even went to the trouble of “foiling out” the inside walls and installing an external ventilation fan to keep the temperature and humidity at optimal levels.

The first few weeks went perfectly, and he kept the seedlings in their vegetative state for almost an entire month (he was growing four plants in total). Finally, after several painstaking weeks of relentless love and care, he invited us for the “pleasurable chore” of helping him trim the buds. He was disappointed that one plant “didn’t produce any flowers at all.”

‘Oh no,’ we thought.

Sure enough, as soon as we got there, we saw that one of the plants in the closet – a tall, skinny sativa variety – had fully “hermed out.” It had pollinated the other three plants!

While he was pretty devastated, he chalked it up to a learning experience and vowed not to make the same mistake the next time around.

You can smoke buds that have seeds in them; it’s just that they are a royal pain in the ass to work with.

HOW CAN YOU DETERMINE A CANNABIS PLANT’S GENDER?

After the first six weeks, you will begin noticing little pre-flowers near the growth tips. They will either appear slightly pointed at the ends or more rounded. With some strains, it is more challenging to see a difference right away. A female plant will have a calyx – which is the slightly more pointed option. A male will have the aforementioned mini pollen sacs that are round or roughly oval.

If you cannot tell the difference yet, wait a few more days. If the green pre-flower grows a white hair, known as a pistil, it is female. Pistils are never green in color, so look for something light-colored and fuzzy.

Females typically take a bit longer to express their gender than the male cannabis plant does. As a result, be patient with your crops and regularly check them so you can manage any males in the bunch accordingly.

The male plant’s “little green balls” will continue to grow larger, filling up with more pollen until they eventually burst and leak pollen everywhere. You need to catch the male before this happens, as the spread of pollen will fertilize the females. At this point, their buds will stop developing. Picture From left to right: Male, Female, and Hermie

HOW TO PREPARE YOUR GROW SPACE

Some growers in search of high performance buds remove all the male plants from the marijuana grow room or marijuana grow tent to prevent a transfer of energy. Once the pollen sac ruptures, and females are pollinated, they will convert all the energy that would have gone to flower production into seed production. This makes for a lower cannabinoid concentration in the buds and low yield if this is your end goal for harvest time.

However, seed production is still very important as cannabis and hemp are both annual plants. This mean they grow from seed, flower, and die all within a year. Where as perennial plants like trees grow from a seed and have many years of fruit or crop production throughout their life. This is why hemp/cannabis seeds are still very valuable and are becoming more of a mainstream crop.

These seeds are sought out not only for cannabis growers and hybridization, but also for the food industry. More and more frequently, hemp seeds are being used in kitchens and restaurants across the world for their high protein and fat content. They add a little more nutrition to each plate or smoothy.

Whatever your harvesting goals are, the ability to tell the male and female plants apart can go a long way.

Have you alread grow marijuana indoor ? If you haven’t been growing marijuana indoors yet,We suggest you to choose a indoor marijuana grow kits, the grow kits are simple to set up and makes it easier to begin growing. The first benefit of buying a complete grow tent kit is that it’s compact. Even if you have a small apartment with little closet space, you can set up a complete grow kit there. The second benefit is that you don’t need to go shopping for extra parts.

These complete grow tent kits come with everything you need to start growing. This includes all electronics such as grow light with hangers, a circulation fan with carbon filters, and other necessities like nutrients for the plants. Full spectrum LED grow light provides plants in all stages from veg to flower with everything they need in the natural sunlight.

Finally, grow tent kits are movable, so you can take them with you wherever you go. This is especially useful because grow tent kits are a big initial investment. Being able to pack up them up with you saves costs of setting up a new growing operation.

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you plan to grow a lot of good weed, we advise you to buy feminized or autoflower seeds. This way you avoid a failed harvest. It also saves a lot of work because you don’t have to worry about separating the male and female weed plants anymore.

Pollen is potent and good at travelling so the grower needs to be aware of this. It is highly recommended to keep the males being used for pollination away from the growing area and be cautious when working with that pollen.

Also, you can choose a best LED grow light for your cannabis.

Hopefully, now that you understand the difference between male and female hemp plants, you understand the value of feminized hemp seeds. Have more questions about male vs. female hemp plants? Contact us. We’d love to help you learn more about hemp seed genetics as you plan your next hemp crop.