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When it comes to growing 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 and flowers that have not been pollinated are much more likely to produce high-potency cannabis. But is there a way to know if a seed is female before growing?
W hen it comes to growing cannabis, sex is important. Not that kind of sex! We’re talking gender, as in being able to discern male from 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.
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 becoming quite popular. Feminized seeds are selectively bred to produce female plants, however, some growers do worry about some feminized seeds turning into hermaphrodites.
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.
Cannabis plants are not gender neutral. There are female plants, from which the actual bud flower comes. Male plants produce the pollen. However, the cannabis plant is a bit odd in this respect. Female plants can turn hermaphrodite in certain circumstances – meaning they are both male and female. This happens in a situation where the plant is highly stressed, and fears for its ongoing survival. It becomes both genders as a last resort to self-pollinate and continue to spread seeds.
As in the human world, hermaphrodite plants are considered a bit strange. In the cannabis one, they are dreaded. Breeders suggest removing such plants from a grow. The reason? They could create accidental pollination of the buds. If a pollen sac from one of these plants is allowed to come in contact with the buds of other plants, those buds will stop developing. They will instead, produce more flowers and seeds.
Cannabis Plants: Male, female and hermaphrodite
Regular cannabis seeds are usually about 50% male and 50% female. The female plants produce bud cannabis. Male plants produce seed pods. They can also produce tiny amounts of THC via trichomes on the leaves. However, if you are not growing your cannabis as a science experiment don’t mess with male plants. It is a waste of time.
Male plants literally have grape-sized “balls” of pollen. The balls will show up about a week or two after the plant has entered the flowering stage. They also produce a growth that is a distinct yellow colour and look a bit like bananas.
However, this tendency is also considered to be a sign of inferior plants. A good mother plant will not show signs of hermaphroditism even when subjected to this kind of stress. All cannabis can turn, but high-quality genetics will resist the urge the most.