When determining the sex of a cannabis plant, pre-flowers, or the beginnings of male and female sex organs, will appear at the nodes.
Mycorrhizae, a beneficial fungus, can be added to soil to improve root systems.
These are the first leaves to grow from the seed after germination. They usually come in pairs, and seeing them is a sign of successful germination and that your plant is on its way to growing healthy and strong.
However, cannabis is primarily cultivated for buds, not seeds, so the practice of growing sinsemilla, or “seedless” cannabis, is prevalent today: Females and males are grown separately, or males are even discarded, to prevent pollination. This allows female plants to focus their energies on bud production instead of seed production.
Despite their minute size, it’s hard to miss the blanket of crystal resin on a cannabis bud. This resin is secreted through translucent, mushroom-shaped glands on the leaves, stems, and calyxes.
The females produce fibre that is rough, which is more suited to making things like canvas and other types of rough textile.
By keeping the male cannabis plants, we’re actively helping to support cannabis’ continued genetic survival. If we ignore the importance of this for the sake of convenience, some strains may just disappear.
We don’t smoke males, so it’s harder to find the perfect plant with the best flavour. Usually, breeders select their male through process of elimination. Here is some criteria to help you determine which one to keep, and which to discard.
USE YOUR MALE PLANTS TO MAKE A HEALTHY CANNABIS JUICE OR TEA
Sure. But male plants don’t contain many cannabinoids or terpenes—the main constituents that make smoking weed worthwhile. Female cannabis flowers contain the highest concentration of these compounds. Male cannabis plants do produce some of the small glands that manufacture these chemicals (trichomes), but their quantity pales in comparison to the amount found on female plants.
Cannabis juice is a valuable source of nutrients, which makes it increasingly popular among the health-conscious. Your male cannabis plants contain the same cannabinoids as female plants, although in lower quantities. This makes male cannabis optimal for juicing. You can use them in pretty much the same way as you would females, except that you don’t juice the thicker stalks and bigger leaves so you can avoid a bitter “plant taste.”
Because the hemp fibres from males are softer and thinner, they are better suited for high quality cloth like bed linens or towels.
You might not get much of a high from smoking male plant material, but power comes in numbers. By processing male plants to make hash and concentrates, you’ll condense a small number of cannabinoids into a potent extract. You can make hash by sifting dried plant material, but you should know: you’ll need a lot of it to make the endeavour worthwhile.
Hermaphrodite cannabis plants come in two different forms: true hermaphrodites and “bananas”.
To avoid this issue, try to maintain a stable environment in your grow room. Use a thermo-hygrometer to monitor temperature and humidity, keep your light schedule strict, and ensure your plants get all the nutrients they require.
Even if you have all of these bases covered, plants can still pollinate themselves due to poor genetics. Plants with a bad genetic history and too much genetic variation are prone to becoming hermaphrodites. For this reason, it’s important to shop with reputable companies that offer high-quality seeds with stable genetics.
TYPES OF HERMAPHRODITE CANNABIS PLANTS
These protruding structures are designed to capture pollen, which leads to fertilisation. They stick out away from the flower to capture pollen from the air, and to await being brushed up against by pollen-covered insects.
Male pre-flowers look like tiny green eggs or “balls”. These young pollen sacs will look smooth and won’t possess any fine hairs, or any distinct point. Later into the flowering stage, pollen sacs begin to form larger and denser clusters. They’ll become easy to identify with the naked eye by this point. However, pollen sacs usually begin to disperse their contents around 2–3 weeks after forming. Be sure to remove them from your space with haste if you don’t plan on crossing your plants.
Growers identify plant sex by identifying pre-flowers, which are small structures that form at the nodes during late vegetation.
Female pre-flowers also develop at the nodes. You can distinguish them based on one obvious visual characteristic: hairs. Female pre-flowers feature tear-drop shaped calyxes with small hairs protruding from the tip. These small hairs, known as pistils, are the sex organs of female cannabis flowers.