Cannabis Plants: Males and Females and Spotting them - The Stone

Cannabis Plants: Males and Females and Spotting them


There are many misconceptions about Cannabis plants, most of which surround the difference between male and female plants. Male and female cannabis plants may look completely identical in their vegetative state..save one or two distinguishing features. These distinctions can make a huge impact on the end product that you will eventually enjoy from your garden. It’s more important than ever now that we understand this important difference. Especially with the recent onset of imminent federal Cannabis legalization.

Cannabis: Males and Females, how to tell the difference?

First let’s establish a couple facts about gender specific plants. The first is that whether a cannabis plant will be male or female depends on its sex chromosomes and genetics. What exactly do we mean by ‘sex chromosomes’? Sex chromosomes are chromosomes that determine if a marijuana plant will be male, female or in some cases hermaphrodite. The difference is determined by the presence of something called SRY (Sex determining region Y). This is typically found on the Y chromosome. If a cannabis plant has SRY present it will be what we consider to be ‘male’.

The second thing we need to understand is that, sexually speaking, female cannabis plants are ‘perfect'(Yeah Ladies!). Males are considered the ‘imperfect’ sex. This of course has nothing to do with how good or bad they smell or taste! It has more to do with sexual reproduction. The end result of having a male or female plant in your garden.

Males and Female Cannabis Plants

Male cannabis plants are pollen donors and have staminate sex organs that include flowers. Female cannabis plants will develop pistillate buds which contain all the seeds or ‘potential’ offspring. Cannabis is a perfect example of a dioecious plant, meaning there are separate male and female plants. This sexual reproduction process has been going on for eons. The end result has produced a plant that is easy to grow. Also a marijuana plant that produces copious amounts of seedless buds and can be grown almost anywhere in the world.

Its All in The Pistils

So what exactly are some of the differences between male and female plants? Male cannabis plants have one or two clusters of small balls at the base of their leaves. These balls are called pollen sacs or stamens and contain the male reproductive plant parts. The female plants will have one or two long protruding hairs (pistils) sticking out of a small green growth at the end of their leaves. These are their stigmas that produce seed. Both male and female cannabis plants flower when they reach a certain age. They can be easily identified as a male or female plant.

Male and female cannabis plants are identified by the different shapes of their pistils. Female Cannabis flowers have white, yellow, or red hairs while males do not.

Male flowers resemble small upside-down triangles. Females usually grow in bunches of twelve to fifteen with ten stamens (male parts) and one pistil (female part). Pistils look like thin short blades protruding from a central spot on the flower.

How to Determine the Sex

A close examination could be done under a magnifying glass to determine sex. Young plants can also be easily sexed by looking for pre-flowers which appear approximately one week after sprouting. Look at the nodes on your plant where the leaf stems meet the stem of the plant. After about a week or two you should see tiny little flowers or pre-flowers.

Male plants usually start out with white fuzzy pollen sacs and turn into green flowers. Females will remain mostly green except for the reproductive parts which become red/orange when ready to pollinate.

Cannabis plants are dioecious, meaning that there are separate male and female plants. Cannabis females will produce large amounts of resinous flower clusters. Whereas males grow small balls between their leaves resembling grapes called pollen sacks or “smudge sticks”. If left un-pollinated, the plant begins its flowering stage within 6 weeks. This is in an attempt to self fertilize via male pollination. Otherwise known as hermaphrodites . A male cannabis plant is fairly useless during the flowering stage unless pollinated.

Males Have Pre-Flowers

Male Cannabis plants can be identified by their pre-flowers, which appear a week or two after the seed germinates. Male flowers look more like pinched balls and have thin white hairs coming from them. Males also have a small stem underneath the flower while females have a longer stem underneath the flower with pistils growing from it. Females produce little fuzzy hairs called pistils which are short and red or pink depending on maturity .

Once pollen has been released these turn to a creamy yellow color – wait until you see pollen sacks on your males before cutting off branches for sinsemilla (seedless) cultivation—the female plant will not produce seed if pollinated!  Cannabis is dioecious, which means that the sexes are found on separate plants. Female cannabis flowers can be identified by their white or orange hairs.

Females and Their Resinous Flower Clusters

Females produce large amounts of resinous flower clusters during the flowering stage. Males grow little balls between their leaves which resemble grapes called pollen sacks or “smudge sticks.” If left un-pollinated, the plant begins its flowering stage within 6 weeks in an attempt to self fertilize via male pollination otherwise known as hermaphrodites. A male cannabis plant is fairly useless during the flowering stage unless pollinated.

Cannabis, like hops and mulberry trees, is dioecious – meaning there are distinct male and female plants. Flowers appear on new growth at branch internodes between one and twelve. The first sign of sex starts with pre-flowers that look like an upside-down triangle or diamond, which appear on the main stalk at the third or fourth nodes from the branch tip over a week to two weeks after germination. The male flower resembles a small upside-down triangles, whereas female flowers are usually found in groups of ten stamens (male parts) and one pistil (female part). When pollination occurs, male flowers release pollen onto sticky stigmas located inside female flowers.

We hope this helps you know and understand the difference between male and female Cannabis plants. At [] we always encourage people to grow their own seedless, high quality cannabis so you know what your getting every time you buy from our online store.

If you are looking for where to get cannabis seeds please check out our awesome selection of feminized seeds and regular cannabis seeds here.

Happy Gardening!



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