Male vs Female Marijuana Plants

Do weed plants have genders? What are the differences between male and female cannabis plants? Find out in this article.

Like most living creatures such as humans, animals, and other plants, the cannabis plant also has male and female genders and reproductive systems. Being able to distinguish between male and female marijuana plants is important for breeders and growers as the type of weed plays an important role in the value and quality of the final product that is being sold.

What's The Difference Between Male and Female Marijuana?

Only female marijuana plants can produce potent high THC buds. Thus, it is redundant to sell male marijuana plants as if will have minimal psychoactive effects and will not provide much of a high when consumed. Additionally, male plants can contaminate a crop of female plants by potentially fertilizing them. Once a female plant is fertilized, it will spend more of its energy on producing seeds rather than growing juicy THC nugs and flowers. Male plants can also crowd female plants, restricting the space for female plants to grow to their full yield potential. Therefore, growers will only plant crops of female seeds if they intend to cultivate marijuana into a sellable product.

So how do we know which seeds will grow into which gender?

Well, regular seeds have a 50/50 chance of growing into a female or male plant. So if you pull seeds from a nug and decide to plant them, there is no guarantee as to which gender the seeds will produce. This is why the production of feminized seeds has grown into a large market, allowing growers to know that the seeds they plant will grow into female plants.

Physical Differences Between Male and Female Marijuana

Say you found a few seeds in a nug you were about to grind and decide to try growing them. How do you identify and tell the difference between female and male plants?

How To Identify Marijuana Plants As Male or Female

male vs female

To identify the gender of the cannabis plant, you must examine what grows in between the nodes. The nodes are the part of the plant where the branches extend from the stalk of the plant. Male plants will have small pollen sacs for the purpose of spreading seeds while the female plant will have stigmas, which catch the pollen that male plants spread. It is best to identify the sex of the plant before the plant's reproduction cycle become active. Usually, it is possible to determine the sex of the plant by 4-6 weeks into plant growth.

What About Hermaphrodite Marijuana Plants?

When a female plant is exposed to or put under a lot of stress, it can ultimately develop both female and male sex organs, thereby creating a hermaphrodite plant for self-reproduction. A hermaphrodite plant can pollinate the entire crop and is best removed when discovered.

Therefore, it is crucial to continuously monitor your plants whilst stressors are distinguished and minimized so that your plant or crop can flourish. Plant stressors can include:

  • Plant damage
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Extreme weather
  • Disease or pests

Growing a marijuana plant is a patient but rewarding process, so it is best to ensure you get the best yield by identifying and removing male plants from your crops and taking care of your female plants to ensure nice healthy plants with juicy nugs.

Find out how to grow weed at home here.

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Sylvia Hu
Sylvia Hu

Sylvia is a writer based in Sydney with an interest in learning more about the cannabis industry. Sylvia is currently researching cannabis culture as well as local and global legislation & reform.