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how to tell male and female cannabis seeds apart

Males are important in the breeding process, but that is generally best left to expert breeders. When pollinating females, males provide half of the genetic makeup inherited by seeds.

A node is a point at which a branch grows off of the main stem, or one branch from another branch. Fan leaves and buds can grow on some nodes, but not necessarily all.

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.

How to determine the sex of a marijuana plant

Branches grow out of the main stem and support fan leaves and buds. Growers often train a cannabis plant by topping branches to create more bud sites.

Sugar leaves are the small, resin-coated leaves that buds form around. Sugar leaves are usually saved as “trim” during harvest and can be used for pre-rolls, extracts, and other cannabis products.

Despite their minute size, it’s hard to miss the blanket of crystal resin on a cannabis bud. This resin is secreted through translucent, mushroom-shaped glands on the leaves, stems, and calyxes.

Cannabis really stands out in its flowers—or buds—where unique and intricate formations occur: fiery orange hairs, sugary crystals, and chunky buds enveloped by tiny leaves.

This will mostly happen when a plant is stressed by its environment. When this happens, the plant may think it’s going to die and as a result, will change itself into a hermaphrodite plant. By doing so, it will be able to self-pollinate itself and survive.

Typically, marijuana plants cannot be sexed until they have already begun to grow. Cannabis seeds will look somewhat identical and plants in the vegetative stage will also look identical,. As the plants move into their flowering stage, they will start to show very clear signs as to what sex they are. While it would be much more convenient for growers to be able to determine sex before this point. The sad truth is that it’s just not possible.

While growers may not be able to determine the sex of a seed, does the environment have anything to do with it? This is something else that has been hotly contested online.

Environment determines sex debate

Unfortunately, there’s not much truth to any of these interpretations. It’s simply impossible to tell just by looking at them what the sex of any cannabis seed is. If it was that easy, feminized marijuana seeds would not be as popular as they are. People could simply buy regular seeds and look at them themselves.

One of the biggest myths of sexing cannabis seeds comes from a popular chart online.

We know that determining the sex of cannabis seeds cannot be done. However, it’s unclear as to whether environmental factors have any place in determining the sex of marijuana plants.

Of all the things that can trip a grower up, sexing marijuana plants may just be the trickiest. Sexing plants is so important because growers are typically after the female plants, that produce the huge THC covered buds. Or the medicinal relief that CBD strains can bring. With such opposite effects of male and female plants, it’s easy to see just how important sexing plants is. But what if growers didn’t have to wait to sex their plants? While it would certainly make life easier, is sexing cannabis seeds possible?

Some old school growers and breeders prefer to use regular cannabis seeds which will produce male and female cannabis plants. But 95% of cannabis seeds sold are feminised seeds or autoflower seeds. These will usually only produce female plants.

If you grow from feminised cannabis seeds or autoflowering seeds you may rarely see male plants. Male pollen sacs are easy to see, allowing males to be easily identified. Sexing cannabis pictures are a useful reference if you are new to the subject.

If you grow regular cannabis seeds you will find the resulting plants to be a mix of male and female cannabis plants. Apart from breeders, most people discard the male plants as soon as they are identified. This prevents them pollinating the female plants, which would fill the buds with seeds.

How and when to tell if your cannabis plant is male or female

But before you throw any plants away, you need to be confident about the differences between male and female cannabis plants. Identifying male and female cannabis is known as sexing cannabis plants.

Those interested in learning more about the various forms of DNA testing of cannabis plants may wish to check out Delta Leaf Laboratories. As well as offering a $10 DNA test for plant sex, they can also test for the types of future cannabinoids that are likely to be produced by your plants.

Pictures of male and female cannabis plants are a useful reminder to the novice grower should there be any doubt identifying male and female cannabis plants. Sexing cannabis, and understanding the difference between male and female cannabis plants prevents the disappointment of finding seeds in your buds later.

Male vs female cannabis plants look different and grow a little differently too. Male plants are often taller, giving them a pollen distribution advantage when their pollen sacs eventually open. The pollen sacs form at the nodes on the stem. Pollen can be collected and frozen if required e.g. for breeding purposes.