Why It's Important To Determine The Gender Of Your Cannabis Plants

Determine The Gender Of Your Cannabis Plants

Luke Sumpter
Luke Sumpter

To successfully grow your own hefty stash of precious bud, it’s important to know your cannabis plants well and be able to identify their sex. Keep on reading to find out all about sexes of Cannabis sativa L. and how to tell them apart. We will also explain when you can start looking for those telltale signs of reproductive organs on your plants and why you should even concern yourself with recognising them.

So, you've taken to growing your own cannabis plants? Congratulations. It's a fine hobby, though we advise you to be mindful of local laws surrounding cannabis cultivation. If you do have a discreet space with ideal growing conditions, you can get started. You can even source a very diverse range of cannabis seeds from us.

Find a strain suited to your needs and prepare the grow room setup that works for you. Like any new endeavour worth doing, it won't be simple at first. As Alan Watts said, "There is no pleasure in life without skill". It will take time to develop cultivation skills. Be patient with the practice and learn through trial and error.

One skill you will have to develop is determining what sex of plant you've got. There are male plants and female plants. There are also, in some situations, hermaphrodite plants; these are (usually) female plants that express traits of both sexes. Although regular cannabis seeds are around 50% male and 50% female, plants ultimately express their gender during growth with visible signs that the cultivator can identify. You just have to know what to look for. This is what our guide is here for.


Cannabis Plant Pollination

Reproduction. Always the amusing part of biology class where we learn how other species of animals and plants get it on. When it comes to the flora kingdom, pollination between male and female plants is everywhere. Pollen fertilises the female reproductive organs of a plant.

This can be done biotically, where bees, hummingbirds, and other animals transfer pollen from plant to plant. It can also happen abiotically, where pollen is simply carried by the wind, for example. This process is crucial for cannabis plants to produce healthy seeds. But for most of us, seedy buds are not what we’re looking for.


Determining the sex of your plant is very important. Female plants are the ones that develop buds which can be harvested, cured, and enjoyed. Males, on the other hand, do not provide the same results. However, they are essential for breeding projects. The gender difference will not be distinguishable during the vegetative phase of the plant's growth.

Only at the end of the veg into the pre-flowering stage will you start to see signs. Keep your plant healthy with the light, nutrition, and water it needs. Once it reaches pre-flowering, you’ll be ready to act. The features will be even more distinguishable as flowering progresses. Be sure you give plants the appropriate treatment!

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Spotting Male And Hermaphrodite Cannabis Plants Early



In the pre-flowering stage, female plants will start to grow small, white, wispy hairs known as pistils at the nodes. This is also eventually where the first small buds will form. Keep in mind that females often express gender a bit later than males; also, pistils are never green, so keep an eye out.

Moving forward into the peak flowering stage, unpollinated female plants will produce sizeable seedless buds that become coated in a thick, sticky resin. This is where cannabinoids, terpenes, and other essential compounds are most highly concentrated. From an evolutionary standpoint, the resin is actually produced to attract and attach more pollen to the plant.

When you have identified which of your plants are female and which are male, separate them. Keeping the female plants together basically sexually frustrates them into producing more resin to attract the pollen they're isolated from. This is the process which delivers the most potent, resinous buds. Keep your female plants with males and they'll simply be pollinated and produce seeds.


Male Cannabis Plants

If high-quality bud is your goal, then you will want to be careful with isolating your female plants. If the stalk of your plant is skinny, it's female. The male plant has a thicker, sturdier stalk with fewer leaves from its branches.

It is at the base of these branches you will see an important indicator. Male plants will have ball-shaped pollen sacs. The vast majority of home cultivators try to separate males from females as soon as physically possible. Once you can distinguish between the two, you’ll want to carefully isolate the males, making sure not to accidentally pollinate your females by agitating the pollen sacs. Even after the males are removed, there are still other factors to consider, such as hermaphrodite plants.


Hermaphrodite Cannabis Plants

Some plants, mostly female, become hermaphrodite due to stressful environmental conditions. In these cases, plants will display both female and male characteristics, once again putting your precious ladies at risk of being pollinated and thus, diverting their energy into producing seeds instead of cannabinoid-rich buds.

You should be vigilant in checking for hermaphrodite plants. Check the base of the branches. If you see a mixture of male sacs and female pistils of hair, that's how you can tell. If you find that one of your plants expresses both traits, remove it from the grow-op.

There is a way to avoid worrying about your female plants being pollinated, and that’s by purchasing feminized seeds. With these, each seed will grow up to be a female plant, hugely diminishing the risk of pollination. Luckily, we have some of the best feminized seeds on the market.

Let's say you want more flexibility, though. We have a great range of regular cannabis seeds as well. The impact of their bud is far from regular, as some of the best Afghan, Haze and Skunk varieties are available from this range. Browse our products online and see for yourself!

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