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5 Things You Can Do with Your Male Cannabis Plants

In the wide world of weed, the female of the species is more useful than the male. The marijuana plant is like many other plant species in the world. It needs both a male and female plant to reproduce (it is a dioecious species). Admittedly, there are self-pollinating cannabis plants (i.e., monoecious plants). In general, however, most marijuana plants express female or male-specific sex organs.

It is the female plant that produces the buds we dry, cure, and use. As a consequence, the average weed garden is populated by female plants only. It is considered marijuana growing 101 to discard and destroy male plants as soon as you uncover their growth. If you don’t, they will pollinate the females. Their seeds end up in the bud and reduce the amount of THC found in the plant after harvest.

If you usually expel male plants from your cannabis garden, you are missing out! Contrary to what you believe, they do have a beneficial purpose to gardeners. They have several, and we outline five of them below.

1 – Breeding Cannabis

As a beginner, you have the option of cloning the mother plant and creating a ceaseless line of consistent buds from identical female plants. However, as you become more skilled, you will begin to find flaws with your bud. For example, you may want it to be more resinous and potent. Alternatively, you might love it if the flowering stage ended a bit sooner.

Fortunately, male cannabis plants are around to come to your rescue! As you know, their primary function is to breed seeds. When a male plant pollinates a female, it provides 50% of a seed’s genetic makeup. With this in mind, do some digging into the genetics of the males in your garden. Do they grow quickly? Are they highly resistant to mold and pests? If so, these positive traits can be passed on to boost the quality of new generations.

Since you can’t smoke a male plant to find out how good it is, you must go through a different process to find suitable genetics.

Here’s a 5-step guide to eliminating unwanted males and finding ideal plants for breeding:

  1. Get rid of early flowering or auto-flowering males as they are more likely to produce monoecious individuals.
  2. Remove any males that grow extremely quickly or are very tall. In general, these particular plants are best for producing fibers rather than flowers.
  3. Keep plants with large and hollow stems and get rid of any stems with too much pith (spongy white tissue). There is a link between stem type and THC content.
  4. Pick males with tight, dense flowers and get rid of any with a loose and airy structure.
  5. Focus on males with the best odor.

2 – Use Male Cannabis Plants to Create Hemp Fiber

When it comes to creating hemp fiber, there is no better option than male plants. This is mainly because of their firm and fibrous stalks. Males provide soft and fine fibers capable of weaving the most delicate fabrics. Weaving might not be top of your list of hobbies! However, it is still cool to note that male plant fiber is the best option when making hemp products. Examples include tablecloths and clothing.

3 – Concentrate Production

Don’t assume that male plants are entirely devoid of THC. Males are indeed far less potent than females. However, they still have THC, and thus, can have psychoactive properties. Male plants don’t produce buds, the same flower buds, anyway. But you can find cannabinoids in their flowers, leaves, and stems. You can also benefit from a gentle buzz by drying and pressing the pollen you find in a male plant.

Incidentally, male plants have a higher THC concentration in their leaves than females during the vegetative growth phase. By the adult stages, females have taken over and produce a far higher THC ratio. The main issue with males is their limited lifespan. Also, there are no techniques available to delay pollination and boost resin production. Perhaps that will change one day. For now, extract the existing resin and create hash oil, BHO wax, dabs, or other concentrates.

All you need to know…

4 – Male Weed Plants Can Enhance Your Garden!

Did you know that farmers have used marijuana plants as ‘companions’ for garden vegetables for centuries? Male plants, like females, produce terpenes, the aromatic oils found in weed that account for the delightful scent and taste.

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Terpenes, especially pinene and limonene, are also excellent for pest and disease control. With this in mind, you can introduce male plants in vegetable or flower gardens. Make sure they remain far away from female cannabis plants!

You can use dried material from male plants to create a terpene-laden oil. Use this oil to keep insects and other pests at bay.

In the old days, farmers would allow up to two vigorous male marijuana plants to grow. They knew to keep them well away from the females, and placed them at the far end of the garden. They also made sure that the plants were sheltered from the wind.

Next, they planted corn, sunflowers, or beans between the two plant genders and enjoyed healthy crops with a few seeds in them. There were just enough seeds to grow the following year’s crop without reducing that year’s THC content.

Also, cannabis plants have long taproots that can dive deep into the ground and break apart low standard soil. As a result, nutrients and moisture can infiltrate and improve quality. As a bonus, taproots keep the soil in place and ensure there are no issues with soil loss and nutrient run-off during spells of heavy rain.

5 – Delicious, Healthy, Nutritious THCA Juice

Have you ever tried raw cannabis juice? It appears as if the cannabolic acids (specifically THCA and CBDA) in weed juice have many benefits. Indeed, they provide many of the same benefits as marijuana consumed in other ways. Male plants have the same concentration of these potentially healthy juices as their female counterparts. Therefore, you can drink the juice, enjoy a dose of healthy cannabinoids, and not worry so much about getting high.

Final Thoughts on Male Cannabis Plants

Most marijuana growers throw away their male plants as a matter of course. We think you shouldn’t be so hasty. Females produce the buds that allow us to either get high or benefit from the apparent medical properties of weed. However, male plants are far from being useless.

As well as providing you with a healthy juice, males make for ideal garden companions. They are great for making clothes from hemp fiber, are necessary for breeding, and you can use them in concentrates.

Do you intend to benefit from one or more of the uses outlined above? If so, remember that cannabis pollen is capable of traveling a long way to fertilize a female. Make sure you keep your crop protected!

The Difference Between Male and Female Weed Plants

Cannabis plants have evolved enormously over the past couple of decades, mainly thanks to human kind. We’ve spent years combining different species from all over the planet. Every strain has its own specific characteristics, such as structure, type of buds, flavor and effects. When you combine male and female weed plants that are different strains, the new creation takes on characteristics from both, allowing us to create totally new plants.

One of the biggest achievements has been the appearance of feminized plants; after years and years of work, cannabis seeds can be created to have a 99% chance to be female. You need to know how to tell male from female plants when growing regular seeds, as you’ll only get actual psychoactive weed from the female flowers. Male plants pollinate female plants, which fills their flowers up with seeds so if you’re looking to make the most of your plants you’ll want to keep them away from each other. Hopefully we can help you to tell the difference between male and female weed plants by the end of this article; it’s not that hard, but if it’s not explained correctly it can be a bit confusing.

What’s the difference between male and female weed plants?

Male Cannabis

Male plants essentially produce pollen which is needed for cannabis plants to naturally reproduce; seeds occur when there are male plants in the mix. If you want to make your own seeds you will need a male plant However, if you’re growing regular plants and want to harvest flowers, we recommend getting rid of any males as soon as possible. You won’t be able to tell them apart until they begin to flower, which is when plants begin to show their sex. Male weed plants grow “balls” that open up to let their pollen out, ending up looking like a small bunch of flowers. You’ll need to get rid of them way before this happens. If they manage to release their pollen it’ll be too late. They can take up to three weeks to burst. If you’re still not sure how to tell them apart, male flowers do not have any pistils on them at all.

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Female Cannabis

Female plants are basically what everyone is after when growing cannabis, as these are the ones that make buds, which is the part of the plant that contains the most THC. With just one male plant and a minuscule amount of pollen, your plants might end up filling their flowers with seeds. If you have male and female plants in the same growing area, the buds grown there will only produce seeds so you won’t be able to smoke any of it. You can tell females apart due to the fact that their flowers don’t fully close, they’re actually quite open and they produce little hairs called pistils. They’re incredibly easy to recognize, as the first thing they produce are their pistils, which male plants do not have at all.

Hermaphrodite Cannabis

Hermaphrodites are a type of plant that contains both male and female flowers, so they will produce buds but they will also pollinate those buds and the rest of your plants. Plants may naturally become hermaphrodites or be turned into one due to stress. Both female and male plants can turn. Thai strains are more genetically inclined to become hermaphrodites, although any strain can turn when stressed enough. There are many factors that can stress out your plants and end up turning them, such as extra light when they’re supposed to be in the night cycle, too much or not enough water, certain insects or pathogens, watering with cold water, or even a badly done transplant. Hermaphrodites aren’t the best type of plants to keep around, as they can produce buds but it’s definitely a risk because they might pollinate the rest of your plants. We recommend getting rid of them; it’s not worth it just for a little bit more weed.

It may seem confusing, but it really isn’t hard to tell male and female weed plants apart; they are quite different. Planting regular seeds has its benefits, as well as feminized has its inconveniences; you can get much larger yields with feminized plants as you’re guaranteed no male plants. Although, keep in mind that feminized seeds haven’t been through a 100% natural process to become female, which may affect the quality of your weed. This is why many cannabis connoisseurs haven’t made the leap from regular to feminized yet; they prefer to harvest slightly less yield that’s more potent and delicious.

However, feminized strains are a great option for rookie growers. Some seed banks, such as Nirvana seeds, Seedsman, Barney’s Farm, Ministry of Cannabis, Exotic Seeds or GB Strains offer amazing and affordable seeds that will provide fantastic results. If you are on a budget, check out our Cheap Seeds section. CBD Seeds are a great alternative for users interested on cannabis therapeutic uses.

Hemp Seeds, on the other hand, are perfect to produce sustainable fibers and make CBD products.

Why Are Male Cannabis Plants Important?

Male cannabis plants serve an important purpose in cultivation.

When it comes to psychoactive cannabis, people have historically sought out female plants, often discarding male plants. Not only would male plants pollinate any nearby female plants in the vicinity (with the effect of producing seed rather than flower, which is not ideal unless you’re breeding), but they would also take up valuable time and space in small grow operations.

However, male cannabis plants can play a vital role in your cannabis cultivation and breeding programs. Learn about the crucial benefits of male cannabis plants and how to get the most out of them.

How Male Cannabis Plants Differ From Females

Before flowering, there are ways to tell if your plant is male or female. Once the vegetative stage is over and you start flowering your plants, they will usually display whether they are male or female within one to three weeks. Indoor grows tend to indicate their sex quicker. You can check the nodes or joints of plants to determine the sex. If there are sacs, the plant is male. If there are two hairs or bracts, the plant is a female. Other telltale signs of a male plant include thicker stalks and fewer leaves.

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Male Cannabis Plant Anatomy

One way to recognize a male cannabis plant is by looking for what are called “pre-flowers.” During the vegetative stage, pre-flowers show up in fewer than four weeks in males, and longer than four weeks in females (this takes a little practice to distinguish). Pre-flowers can be found at the “V” where stems meet the stalk, particularly at the top of the plant, closest to the light. Female pre-flowers tend to have pistils or hairs, whereas males have small sacs.

Close-up shot of a female cannabis plant.

Benefits of Male Cannabis Plants

Male cannabis plants have many essential benefits, including gene pool diversity, pest control and potency.

Gene Pool Diversity

Cannabis is dioecious, an evolutionary advantage in breeding programs. “Dioecy” is when a species has distinct male and female characteristics. Unusually among the plant kingdom, cannabis also displays this characteristic, although cannabis can also self-pollinate.

Some people have taken advantage of this self-pollinating aspect to retain the characteristics of a specific female plant, but this also means that future plants will be prone to hermaphroditism, which will eventually become a weakened gene pool from inbreeding.

Keeping good male plants can ensure a specific gene pool can stay alive for generations to come. This way, you can retain specific characteristics, like growth patterns and terpene profiles.

There’s a greater number of characteristics to choose from when you have more variety. Not only does this mean the gene pool is kept alive, but we can also start selecting for resistance to pathogens, growth rate, general health and even different cannabinoid and terpene profiles. This results in a variety of strains that have unique and specific effects and aromas.

Pest Control

Some outdoor breeders will use male cannabis plants not only to stay stocked up on seeds, but also to use terpenes that male cannabis plants produce, like pinene, limonene and borneol, which act as insect repellents for other crops. Male plants will not fertilize if they are kept separated from female plants (unless you handle pollen and handle a female plant immediately afterward).

Potency

Cannabis plants carry half of the genetics from the mother and the other half from the father. Although cannabinoid concentration is generally higher in female plants, this doesn’t mean that the fathers don’t have some amount of CBD, THC and other cannabinoids and terpene of their own.

Male leaves also tend to contain more cannabinoids than their flowers (the opposite is the case with female plants). This means that, yes, males produce their own resin glands, and can be used to make limited amounts of hashish when harvested in large quantities.

However, most breeders would be looking at the resin and cannabinoid-terpenoid content of a male plant in order to create strains that are disease-resistant, high-yielding and potent. Male plants can also breed strains for specific cannabinoids, essentially breeding a male plant that contains a high CBD concentration with a female plant that contains a high CBD concentration.

Download Our 7 Page Guide to Growing Cannabis

The Bottom Line

Male cannabis plants are an important part of any good breeding program. Male plants offer pest control and increased potency while contributing to gene pool diversity. While female plants are still the most desirable to cannabis cultivators, male plants definitely play their own vital roles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do male hemp plants produce CBD?

Yes, male hemp plants do produce CBD, but female plants produce higher amounts of CBD. In addition, the strength of the CBD that male plants produce is lower than that of more potent female plants.

How many leaves does the male marijuana plant have?

Male marijuana plants have between five and nine leaves, generally fewer than female marijuana plants, which are generally towards the higher end of that range.

What happens if you don’t separate a male from female plant?

If you don’t separate a male plant from a female plant, then pollination can occur. The presence of male cannabis plants can overtake a crop and drain the female plants of energy, resulting in a much lower yield or destroying the crop entirely.

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