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If you are growing marijuana for medicinal purposes, you need to know how to identify female and male marijuana plants. Almost all growers prefer female marijuana plants because only females produce the coveted buds needed for medicinal purposes. Male plants have low potency and THC content compared to the female plants, and they are kept to mostly produce seeds.
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If you’re growing marijuana plants, it’s important to be able to tell male and female plants apart, since only the females produce the buds that contain high concentrations of THC. To identify male and female marijuana plants, make sure they’ve been growing for at least 6 weeks, since both types of plant look the same in their early stages. Then, look for male plants to have thicker stalks and fewer leaves than their female counterparts. You can also tell if a plant is male by checking for little flowers or bulbs at the joints of the stalk and branches. By contrast, you’ll see small, translucent hairs on the same areas of a female plant. Once you’ve identified that a plant is male, remove it from your growing area to prevent it from pollinating the female plants, which will result in your THC harvest being reduced. For tips on what to do with plants that have both male and female organs, read on!
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.
If you’re looking for more precise, science-based methods to tell your plant’s gender, there are several labs that can sex your plant right after germination – eliminating the lengthy (usually around 6 weeks) wait to learn its gender. Portland, Oregon start-up Phylos Bioscience is in the business of studying cannabis genetics, and they sell a “plant sex kit” that’s pretty simple to do, even for the not scientifically-inclined. Simply press a cotyledon, or embryonic leaf, onto the kit’s filter paper and send it to their lab. They then test the leaf for the “Y” chromosome to determine its gender, just as would happen for a human male.
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.
What are Feminized Seeds?
There are many companies that sell feminized seeds, but, buyer beware, do your research to make sure the seller is reputable, especially if purchasing online. Thanks to modern technology, most feminized seeds from reliable brands will be 100% female as advertised – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t people selling low-quality seeds out there.
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 what you’ve got is a handful of seeds, it’s pretty much impossible to tell which ones are male or female. The only way true way to tell the plant’s gender is to plant some seeds, then wait. After a period of several weeks, it will begin to pre-flower, or form a small bud in the crux of a branch. One of the first signs your cannabis plant is female is the appearance of pistillates that are wispy and generally white in color.
Feminizing via the silver thiosulfate technique involves carefully selecting a nearly mature female plant, then spraying it with 50/50 mix of sodium thiosulfate and silver nitrate. This triggers a gender change, from female to male. Place this plant back with the others to pollinate other female plants, and female seeds are created.