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Male and Female Weed Plants – Determine the Gender of your Plant

February 22, 2020

In the plant kingdom, reproduction can happen in different ways. Monoecious plants create two different kinds of flowers on one plant. Hermaphrodite plants produce single flowers that contain both female and male sex organs. And, there are dioecious plants such as cannabis, which create either female or male sex organs.

Since cannabis grows as either female or male plants, cultivators can take advantage of the benefits of cultivating females with or without interference from male plants. Isolating male and female weed plants in one grow room will lead to cross-pollination and production of seeds, which is the fastest way for breeders to access new genetics.

But the benefit ends there because seeded buds are technically considered as a poor-quality weed. With seeds, the smoke tends to taste bitter and unpalatable. In contrast, eliminating all males from the grow room supports the growth of females. It allows them to grow big and produce seedless buds known as sensimilla. Resin-packed buds also come from female plants.

Difference between Male and Female Weed Plants

Cannabis plants reveal their gender in between their nodes – where branches and leaves extend from the stalk. What begins as a stigma on females and pollen sac on males will become what snags or spreads the pollen, respectively. Fortunately, this distinction is already visible weeks before they begin doing their task in the reproduction cycle. Generally, these are referred to as “pre-flowers.”

Pre-flowers start to unfold four weeks after germination. Some take a while longer depending on how fast the sprouting stage occurred. During the sixth week, you should be able to see the pre-flowers and surely distinguish the gender of your plant. Pre-flowers are extremely tiny and difficult to discern using the naked eye. To see the pre-flowers of your plant, you can use a magnifying glass.

Inspect the nodes of cannabis and determine if there are signs of the early growth of two bracts for female and small sacs for males, which usually create hair-like stigma.

How To Identify Male Plants

Thicker and stronger stalks with fewer leaves, that’s what male plants look like. Generally, if you compare females over males, the latter is much thicker. This is because it grows taller overtime and its sturdy structure will support its additional weight. Besides this, they also have fewer leaves than females.

Closely monitor your plants from July to September to determine their gender. If male plants are condoned to pollinate, they will decrease the possible crop of your female plants.

This is because of the moment that females are fertilized, they use all their energy to create seeds rather than THC, resulting in the undersized harvest. If you are cultivating in an indoor setting, you should inspect your plants daily for the following reasons:

  • Check if your male plants have already revealed their gender after 3 weeks in an outdoor setting and 7-10 days in an indoor setting before female plants.
  • Check each plant to determine early signs of their gender, since a single male plant can ruin your entire harvest.
  • Male plants will have the tiny buds known as pollen sacs, however, it will not have any hair growth.
  • Cannabis plants can develop both pistols and pollen sacs. If it does, it is treated as hermaphroditic and should be considered as male.

Furthermore, you should also inspect the joints on the stalk of male flowers. The tiny balls that develop on the joints are the number one indicator that the cannabis plant is male. Remove them from your growing space as soon as possible since these flowers release pollen that could damage your entire crop.

However, if you are planning to reproduce, you can leave these balls as is. Female plants will have these bulbs as well, but it will have long and translucent hairs. If you notice two or more of these on your plant, wait a little longer to see if more develop before you remove them.

Take note that hermaphroditic plants exist and they should be considered as males. Cannabis plants can have both reproductive organs. If you notice any tell-tale male buds, you should cut them just like what you normally do with male plants. After all, they can still produce pollen that can damage your crop.

Trim all-male plants unless you need them for seed production. The moment that you identified a plant as male, you need to remove them or else they will annihilate your harvest. Do not attempt to eliminate the buds using your hand, since missing even a tiny portion will drastically sabotage your yield.

Most cultivators throw away unnecessary plants, while others preserve them for breeding. If you do, make sure you separate males and females in a different room. You should also see to it that there are no excess pollens on your hands or clothes that might get into the wrong plant.

How To Identify Female Plants

Cannabis plants reveal their gender after six weeks. During this period, it is only when the plants start to develop their reproductive organs for you to see and identify. You can always spare yourself from doing this risky gender identification procedure and purchase feminized seeds instead.

However, despite growing all-female plants, there is still a tiny chance that males could develop, so make sure you inspect your plants regularly. Female plants have bushier leaves compared to their male counterparts. If you are going to identify the gender of your plant, look at the thickness of its leaves.

Male plants have dense and firm stalks with thin and narrow leaves. On the other hand, female plants have full and shorter stalk with thick and bushy leaves.

Also, make it a point to examine the joints of the stalk of your plants. Once cannabis is fully-grown, females will start flowering. At the joints, where the main stalk and branches meet, you will notice tiny, translucent hairs – which are called pistols – emerging from a little, drop-shaped bud connect to the joint.

From time to time, you will also notice “growth tips.” They are newly-developed branches and a group of leaves.

Pro tip: if you want to get the best out of your female plants: separate them from any males or hermaphrodites. Females are responsible for producing THC that can be used as medicine and this wouldn’t be possible if they will be pollinated by males.

The pistols are supposed to catch pollen. If it does, it will produce seed and all the nutrients and energy of the plants will be used in creating more seeds. When this happens, you can bid goodbye to your chunky, THC-packed buds. Female plants are the only ones that can create such premium-quality buds, so protect them from male plants at all costs.

There are a few methods that you can use to find out the gender of the plant, however the most reliable is inspecting pre-flower formation. Eliminating males as early as possible is vital for two reasons: it prevents males from fertilizing females and provides more space for females to grow.

Seed Banks to Order From

Today, many cannabis seed banks operate online. Some of them are reliable while others are total scams, but of course, most of them are somewhere in between. With this type of system, how will you be able to know if the seed bank is worth trusting before you place your order? Any vendor can create an appealing website, but that doesn’t generally mean that the product they will send is in good quality – or if they will send anything at all. The best seed banks to order from a guarantee that orders are delivered. If for any reason that the customer does not receive the seeds, the seed bank will try again. They also have an extensive list of seeds on sale.

To guarantee that the cannabis seeds you will order are viable, fresh, and top-rate, there are a few factors that you need to consider. These factors include product quality, reputation, customer service, payment method, seed section, and shopping experience. All of these will determine the strength and weakness of every cannabis seed bank that you will find online. As the marijuana industry evolves, you will have more access to wide-ranging options, but that doesn’t mean that you can do business with anyone, it’s always a smart choice to go for proven and tested brands when you are looking for the best place to shop for cannabis seeds.

The thing about online seed banks is that they cater to all types of consumers. If you are a beginner looking for a fast-growing seed or an experienced cultivator who wants to find new strains, seed banks offer a broad spectrum of options for everyone. Chemdawg seeds and the Thai Stick strain are favorites among cash croppers for their excellent yields.

When choosing among various seed banks to work with, it doesn’t matter if it is one of the most popular seed banks in the world if it doesn’t have the strain that you are looking for. This being said, choose a seed bank with a large selection of cannabis strains, including autoflowering, feminized, or regular seeds. Gelato seeds are popular feminized seeds sold by seed banks The Gelato comes from the same family as Girl Scout Cookies Strain seeds. When you order feminized seeds, the seed bank gives an assurance that all of the seeds are female. Shopping in top-notch seed bank means having access to a wide-array of cannabis seeds. On top of that, you can also guarantee that the seeds that will be delivered to your doorstep are workable and high-quality.

When do Cannabis Plants first show off their Real Gender?

Male and female cannabis plants exist and they are called hermaphrodites. The gender of a cannabis plant is a huge deal for growers. This is because female plants are the only ones that can create quality buds.

Regular cannabis seeds will be 50% female and 50%, male. This means that half of the seeds will not be used for producing buds. So how can you grow female plants? The easiest way is buying feminized seeds online. These seeds are accessible in legitimate online seed banks and it produces all-female plants, with zero possibility of having males.

Marijuana plants undergo two stages of growth, the vegetative stage and flowering stage. The vegetative stage is considered as the childhood of the plant since this is when the plant focuses on growing larger and taller.

At this stage, gender doesn’t play a vital role yet. This is because growers are still unable to identify the gender of the plant. After six weeks, it will display early signs of pre-flowers, which will tell the gender before the plant transitions to the flowering stage.

After this, cannabis will enter the flowering stage, which means that it will stop growing, instead, it will spend all of its energy-producing flowers which is the term used to refer to its buds.

The flowering stage is somehow the adolescent stage of the cannabis plant because it is where adult stuff is given importance, such as producing male and female reproductive organs and pollinating.

During the flowering stage, cannabis starts to produce pollen sacs and buds. Female plants are the only ones who can create the buds that are well-loved by everyone, so cultivators only want to grow female plants.

Regular marijuana plants unveil their sex in two conditions:

  • After spending a lot of time in the vegetative stage – some plants develop pre-flowers. Even if they are exposed under vegetative light setup, once they mature, the males will develop balls while females will grow pistils during the vegetative stage. For instance, clones can emerge from plants that are several years old. This is why they usually have visible female pistils, yet they will continue to produce flowers, even after they are exposed to flowering light setup (12 hours of light-12hours of darkness.)
  • Otherwise, the remaining cannabis plants will show their gender 1-3 weeks after the lighting schedule is changed to 12-12 and the plants transitioned to the flowering stage.

When you notice that your plant is about to disclose its sex, you need to focus on its pre-flowers. These commonly appear when the plant is around 6 weeks old from germination, but they always grow right after the plant enters the flowering stage.

Male and female pre-flower don’t have the same appearance, that’s why it is easy to confuse them at first. Usually, it’s difficult to determine which is which, and when this happens, you just have to wait for a few more weeks until more flowers appear.

Female cannabis plants take longer than males to reveal their first indications after it transitioned to the flowering stage. And when they do, they show one or two thin white hairs where their flowers are going to begin forming.

First, the hairs appear in the main steam that links to the different branches or nodes. If females are exposed in the vegetative stage for a sufficient amount of time – the duration differs according to the growing environment and type of strain – it will begin to show the first indicator of female hairs even before it can be turned over to the flowering stage by altering the light setup.

The moment that you see wispy white hairs on your cannabis, you can confidently tell that it is a female plant.

Definition of a Hermaphrodite Cannabis Plant

Hermaphrodites are plants that have both female and male reproductive organs. It is easy for cannabis plants to become hermaphrodites, especially if they are under a stressful environment.

They do this in response to the fact that they don’t have an ideal growing condition, which means it would be difficult for them to reproduce. Unfavorable conditions mean that a cannabis plant will have less chance to survive the whole season.

They also transform into hermaphrodites because the opposite gender is not there to help them pollinate. Hermaphrodites or hermies have incredible survival skills and growers often find this distressful. Generally, the ability to turn into a hermie is already engineered the genetic of marijuana, but some plants are more likely to do so compared to others.

When a female plant produces both female and male reproductive organs, it is referred to as hermaphrodite. When this happens, your marijuana plant now can create pollen that can pollinate your whole crop.

Herming out is the process by which cannabis plants develop both sex organs and it is caused by extreme stress. Some of the most common plant stressors include:

  • Bad weather
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Plant damage
  • Disease

There are two kinds of hermaphrodite plants:

  • A plant that develops anthers, commonly known as “bananas” because of their appearance
  • A plant that produces both pollen sacs and buds

Since hermaphrodites are the result of having a stressful growing environment, growers must make it a habit to monitor their plants regularly, or right after it is exposed to stressors.

For indoor growing, the common stressors are light leaks and high temperatures. For outdoors, a simple snapped branched can trigger the cannabis to turn into hermaphrodites.

Another main cause of hermaphrodite plants is found in the plant’s genetic profile. Avoid plants with weak genetics or a history of hermaphrodite development. If you see anthers or pollen sacs, take away the plant from your growing space to combat damaging pollination among plants.

But if you want to pollinate some parts of your crop, always keep in mind that pollen is very powerful and they travel a lot. Keep male plants intended for pollination in a separate area and handle that pollen carefully.

Why Cannabis Plants Turn into Hermies

Out of all the myths and misconceptions about cannabis, the misinterpretation about hermaphrodites is presumably the biggest. Being a flowering plant, cannabis is not specifically one gender or the other. It is peculiar because it is considered as dioecious – having separate female and male flower on a different plant.

However, there is always a possibility that the cannabis plant can develop flowers of the opposite gender due to certain conditions, including:

  • Lighting that is too bright
  • Problems in the light/dark schedule
  • Lack of water
  • Temperatures that are too hot
  • pH problems
  • Poor genetics
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Feminized seeds using rhodelization

Though rhodelization does not usually trigger cannabis to become hermaphrodites than other feminization methods, there is still a high risk of intersexuality. With regards to this, cloning feminized seeds is not recommended.

It comes with a tremendous amount of stress that can cause plants to become hermaphrodite. On another note, when you are breeding, find a mother plant with zero histories of hermaphroditism even when it is exposed to several stressors.

Different Types of Hermaphrodites

There are two primary forms of hermaphrodites and plants can have different levels of hermaphroditism. However, the term is widely used to refer to any plant that is neither male nor female.

    1. True Hermaphrodites
      When a plant has both male and female reproductive organs developing on its different parts, it is a true hermaphrodite. This condition is solely caused by genetics. The plant inherited this ability at birth from its hermaphrodite parent.However, true hermaphrodites don’t always end up as hermies even if they have the genetic makeup for it.When they are well-taken care of, they can develop into females, but they are still sensitive to stressors and can transform into their natural state once exposed to unfavorable conditions. Moreover, these plants will always turn into hermies once they are cloned.Hermaphrodites are not as strong as female plants, even if they undergo the flowering stage. Usually, true hermaphrodites will more likely look like male plants. They will develop tear-drop balls that hold pollens.


  1. Female hermaphrodites
    Another kind of hermaphrodite is a female plant that develops small growths during the flowering period. Since these growths mimic the appearance of bananas, these hermaphrodites are usually termed as ‘bananas.’At first, these plants can be considered as females, but after several weeks – usually because of stress – they transform into a hermaphrodite. The idea of female plants changing into male plants is no longer surprising when it comes to cannabis plants.It usually happens when females are not pollinated or harvested for a long time. Its last option to procreate more species is to turn into a hermie.

    What are the Levels of Hermaphroditism?

    Since hermaphrodite can have numerous flowers of the opposite sex, different levels of hermaphroditism were established.

    • Mostly female flowers: The plant can still act as a female by eliminating the male flowers
    • Mostly male flowers: The plant can still act like a male.
    • Equal number of male and female weed plants: The plant will self-pollinate.
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