If you grow cannabis, it is definitely good to know how to distinguish male from female cannabis. The differences between male and female flowers are very important for growing cannabis, as they will tell you about the quality of your cultivated flower. So the question is, how to know?

You will also learn what female plants are suitable for, when it is best to throw away the males, what are hermaphrodites and how we know them. You can read all this and much more in today's article on the sex of cannabis.

A little about cannabis genetics

The sex of cannabis is an inherited trait . Cannabis is a diploid organism. This means that it has two types of chromosomes . These determine whether it is a female (marijuana) or a male (pollen).

Males are born from XY chromosomes and females , which form sticks full of resin, and THC are born from XX chromosomes . The proportion of chromosomes in seeds can be changed, so it is possible to influence what sex the resulting plant will have. There is only the X chromosome type in the female seed , while there is either X or Y in the male pollen.

Male plants

The male plant can be identified already in the growth phase , as it usually blooms one to four weeks earlier than the female. The flowers develop gradually in a short time interval within one to two weeks, but not all at once! Immature flowers tend to be closed , usually forming a tight clump of inflorescence, which is often greenish.

The main part is five calyx leaves, where the genitals are hidden. Upon maturation , these leaves open to release the overhanging anthers by cracking through the top slit. Inside, pollen develops , which is then released into the wind , which is considered to be the last manifestation of the life of a male plant. This is often devastating for growers, as the male plant pollinates the female and it turns the active ingredients into seeds. Pollen from male plants can fly several kilometers.

Signs of a female

The female flower consists of two erect scars, which may be white or cream, sometimes reddish. They grow out of the so-called flower leaf, in which one egg is hidden . This leaf may be overgrown with glandular hairs that secrete cannabinoid resin . After pollination, a single seed develops.

The so-called seedling (seed) is about 2-5 mm long and 2-4 mm wide with a whitish, gray or black surface, often with a mosaic pattern. The nail gradually enlarges, and eventually bursts under the pressure of the expanding mature seed (when pollinated by a male and transformed into seeds).


How to distinguish a female plant from a male?

One of the main features of distinguishing males from females is the small male seeds hanging on the plant with a thin fiber. Female plants , in turn, form small white hairs, which are the main difference in sex separation.

Gender recognition at the time of maturation is almost impossible in the first phase of growth. However, experienced "growers" can divide the female from the male between about the second to fourth week of growth.

The female plant can vitally develop flowers ten days to eight weeks after switching to the flower. Switching to bloom at autoflowering species occurs automatically after about 21 days from sowing non-autoflowering seeds (regular photoperiod), then at the time of the autumnal equinox. In females, flowering time depends mainly on the variety, sowing time or amount of fertilizer.

The female flower usually does not grow in height , rather grows in width. Male plants, on the other hand , tend to be taller , but are less branched and poor. Female flowers do not need as much nitrogen, so it is necessary to reduce it, on the contrary, I need more phosphorus , which appears in fertilizers.

The female tops of the main stem and viable branches can be densely covered with clumps of flowers. We call such parts " sticks ". They are usually up to 60 cm long and 10 cm thick.

In the trough of the leaf and at the ends of the shoot, they have bunches of stalked flowers with fused inflorescences .

Basic sexual characteristics in a nutshell

Female characters

  • marijuana production, more medicinal substances

  • larger weight, denser plant

  • amount of "sticks"

  • higher quality and quantity of substances

Male signs

  • pollen formation

  • lower yield

  • skinny taller plant

The seeds are a bad signal

The seeds themselves do not contain any active ingredients. Any seed production is a negative sign for growers , the seeds are formed at the expense of the substances contained and means that the female plant has come into contact with male pollen . If seed formation occurs and is not a plant seed from feminized seeds, you can keep the seeds dry and at a constant temperature for further sowing. It can be quality seeds.

When do we know the sex of cannabis?

In the stage of early vegetative development (growth phase), recognition is practically impossible . However, the female develops branches, while the males are taller and the plant is sparse.

In the middle stage (about the second and fourth week) of growth, the female flower resembles a leaf and is without a stalk ( small narrow leaves, hair on the stem, where the plant branches ). The male flower is on a thin stalk and the "bud" is symmetrical. It usually remains at this stage and does not develop into its own flower .

But beware! The fact that a female flower appears on the plant at this stage does not mean that the cannabis is female. Check the whole plant, it may be the third sex - a hermaphrodite !

Hermaphrodite is formed when a plant experiences some shock, which can be a symptom of even poor quality seeds (you will be able to read more about this topic in the forthcoming article on how to recognize a hermaphrodite ).

In the late stages , the sexual characteristics are already fully visible. It is necessary to watch only males and possible release of pollen . Pollen is only suitable if you breed cannabis or grow it primarily for seed.

The sex can also be distinguished by the place on the stem between the leaves, about two weeks before flowering or even in flowering. In females, the strength of growth is clear. The leaves grow close together, so the top is hidden under a cluster of leaves. Males typically have a looser, thinner appearance of the plant - which is considered to be the first manifestation of the male sex .

Cannabis production

Marijuana consists mainly of sticks from female flowers that have not been pollinated by a male. Marijuana consists of all types of cannabis, especially Indian cannabis , which is the most common variety but also sown cannabis . The proportion of specific cannabinoids and their effects differ. There is also a variety of rum cannabis, which breeders combine with previous varieties to achieve self-flowering cannabis .

Feminized seeds

Feminized seeds are genetically modified seeds so that 99% are a guarantee of the female plant . For most growers, they are a significant cost and time saving. There is no need to differentiate between the sexes and there is no risk of pollination . This makes growing easier. But they have one disadvantage, feminized seeds are exclusively disposable!

How do feminized seeds form?

The seeds are formed by pollination of female flowers . Unfortunately, it is never certain whether a Y chromosome or an X chromosome will appear in the seed. So we cannot know whether the plant will be a male or a female. Female flowers contain only X chromosomes.

So if we get pollen that has only X chromosomes and fertilize the female with it, we get feminized seeds. This pollen can be obtained from female plants, which we force to form male genitals.

However, feminization is a long and complicated process. You can buy quality seeds of this kind only from good seed banks .

Attention! Feminized seeds cannot be used for mother plants. These seeds are mutated and there is an increased risk of hermaphrodites during cloning.

Classical seeds without feminization are so-called regular  (in other words standardized). They are more suitable for breeding and other seed production.