Knowing the plant’s sex is helpful because most hobbyist cannabis growers would like to identify and remove male plants from the grow room early in the growing process. This is because only female plants make potent buds/flowers, while male cannabis plants make non-potent pollen sacs where female plants would grow buds. Additionally, female buds need to avoid pollen from male plants in order to make the highest quality cannabis (sinsemilla or “no seeds”).
This male plant was only 3 weeks when it made its first pre-flower. Notice how tiny it is compared to the giant-sized thumb! Often it’s unclear what the sex is when a pre-flower is this small (unless you’ve got a lot of experience) so if you’re not sure, it’s a good idea to wait and see how it develops, just in case.
Variability of Cannabis Plant Sex – How to Increase Ratio of Female Plants with Regular Seeds
This is the exact same picture as above, but with the pre-flower made bigger so you can see it. Pretty tiny, isn’t it?
Here’s a picture that shows a pistil right as it’s emerging from the calyx!
Female cannabis calyxes with pistils, under an LED grow light
While standard seeds give you a 50/50 shot at growing a female plant, feminized cannabis seeds provide a 100% guarantee that you will cultivate only what you need, making your cultivation more efficient all around.
Here are the top three reasons you might want to grow seeds that have been feminized:
You can purchase feminized seeds from reputable suppliers. Online seed banks and other internet marketplaces carry a variety of seeds. Just pick your favorite strain , from Blue Mystic to Super Skunk, add to your shopping cart, and get growing!
Besides the higher cannabinoid content, feminized cannabis seeds have several other distinct advantages for growers. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
If your definition of bad is genetically engineered, then no, feminized cannabis is not bad. The parent plant could be classified as genetically modified, but the seeds are all-natural and produced through pollination rather than engineering.
However, if you wish to breed marijuana plants, then only using feminized seeds clearly will not help accomplish this goal. In this case, the male cannabis plant is essential. But if breeding is not on your agenda, feminized cannabis seeds can be advantageous.
Feminized seeds produce exclusively female plants. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
When determining the sex of a cannabis plant, pre-flowers, or the beginnings of male and female sex organs, will appear at the nodes.
Plants originally developed trichomes to protect against predators and the elements. These clear bulbous globes ooze aromatic oils called terpenes as well as therapeutic cannabinoids like THC and CBD. The basis of hash production depends on these trichomes and their potent sugar-like resin.
The roots grow down from the main stalk of the plant into the soil. When growing from a seed, the main root is called the “taproot.” Roots are the lifelines of a cannabis plant, pulling water and oxygen into the plant so it can grow healthy and strong.
A cola, also called a “bud site,” refers to a cluster of buds that grow tightly together. While smaller colas occur along the budding sites of lower branches, the main cola—sometimes called the apical bud—forms at the top of the plant.
The rare hermaphroditic plant contains both female and male sex organs. These plants can sometimes self-pollinate, but this is typically bad as it will create buds with seeds and also pass on hermaphroditic genes.