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Difference Between Male and Female Weed Plants | Sexing Marijuana

Sexing marijuana plants

Growing weed plants is more than just planting seeds. It’s quite a technical process that involves the careful selection of the right type of plants. When these plants grow, there can be male and female weed plants, or you may have hermaphrodites, which is a hybrid of both genders.

If you want to grow weed at home and maximize your production, it’s necessary to know how to differentiate among these types.

When it comes to sexing marijuana plants, there is a lot to learn. When you know your stuff, it’s much more convenient to plan the growth cycles and the right nutrients to support during the growth phase.

In this post, we will talk all about male and female marijuana plants. We will see how to know if you have a male or a female weed plant. There are significant highlights of the differences between the two genders.

Moreover, if you don’t want hermaphrodites in your weed garden, we will share some tips about that too.

If you have been confused with male vs. female pot plants, you will find your answers here today.


Cannabis, A Unique Plant

The majority of the plant species have both male and female reproductive organs. Monoecious is a technical term that defines such plants. So, such plants can fertilize with their pollen and flower set, so there is no external dependency. Corn, squash, and many edible plants fall into this category.

On the other hand, Cannabis comes from the lesser-known dioecious plants that have well-defined genders. So, there are both male and female weed plants. What’s even more interesting is that Cannabis is one of only 7% of all plants that have such highly defined genders.


Identifying Male and Female Marijuana Plants

Although there is more than just one difference between male and female weed plants, the first thing to do is to identify each plant’s gender. This section will go through the tips to determine a male or a female weed plant.

Identification is key to successful weed grow. The primary aim is to find out the male weed plants and remove them from the growing area. It’s essential for two reasons.

Firstly, it prevents any chances of fertilization between the male and female weed plants, so the growth cycle doesn’t affect it. Secondly, the female plants get extra space so that they can grow bigger and healthier.

It’s a skill to figure out the plant’s gender at the earliest. To identify the gender, focus on the area between the nodes. Male and female weed plants grow in different parts, which becomes evident after four to six weeks.


Male Weed Plant

To find the sex, look at the pre-flowers. These are small parts that grow during the later vegetation cycle in the nodal area of the stalk. A male pre-flower resembles small eggs or balls. These are pollen sacs without any hair.


Female Weed Plant

The female grows in a similar region and is relatively easy to distinguish. Females have a Calyx that has a slightly pointed shape. They have hair known as pistils. The pistils are the sex organs as they capture pollen from the male.


Hermaphrodite Weed

In many cases, the females start producing pollen sacs. So, they no longer rely on males for fertilization. Hence, they turn into hermaphrodites. So, you can see both pollen sacs and pistils in such a plant.


Female weed plant


The Growth Stages of Marijuana

Marijuana plants go through two major growth stages. Here is a quick summary:


Vegetative Stage

Also known as the childhood stage, it’s the time when the seeds start sprouting. Usually, the vegetative cycle lasts up to six weeks. In this stage, you will see the pre-flowering in the plants. So, you may figure out the gender of the plant in this stage.

During the vegetative cycle, the crop focuses on strength and height. So, it doesn’t primarily work on flowering just yet.


Flowering Stage

After the vegetative growth, once the pre-flowering begins, the crop will go into the flowering stage. Now, it will start reproducing. The females produce calyx and pistils, while the males have sacs to promote reproduction.


The Sweet Spot for Sexing Marijuana Plants

Growers believe that there is a brief period between the vegetative and the growth cycle where you can best identify the gender of your plant. It’s around the pre-flowering time when the sexual organs start developing in both males and females.


Male vs. Female Pot Plants

Since we know the identification of gender, we can confidently enter the next part of our discussion. Is there any other difference between male and female weed plants apart from sex organs? Well, it’s a lot more technical than you think. So, here are the significant differences:


Male Cannabis

The male plant exhibits rapid growth and maturity. Compared to females, they are quick to flower and may be taller than females. They are faster in growth by as much as two weeks. Being fast is essential for male plants because then their pollen will find female sex organs.

Also, males’ early growth is vital for plant growers because it gives ample time for sexing pot plants. Hence, they can identify and remove males for smoother female development.

The male weed plants have the following distinguishing features that set them apart from females:

  • Males form tighter and greener clusters than the females
  • Produce more seeds
  • Flowers are present at the top of the plants
  • They are less flowery than the females
  • They grow straighter and taller than the females because they must drop pollens
  • Males produce THC but in smaller amounts


Are Male Weed Plants Useless?

Often, people are mistaken about male pot plants. Even though you might remove them in the early stages, they are quite useful. If you’re growing weed to sell, the males won’t cover it, but they have other uses such as:

  • Making hemp
  • Produce seeds for further weed growth
  • Their soft fiber promotes cloth making


Female Cannabis

Female weed plants are the preferred gender when it comes to commercial growth. They tend to grow bigger and yield sound output for the growers. In terms of maturing, females are slower. They bloom much later than the male plants.

Unlike the males, they have a hairy appearance. Generally, weed farms will be loaded with female plants only. So, in a way, they rule the fields and not their male counterparts. Some female plants can grow as tall as three meters, so they appear much like small trees than plants.

Some of the general female characteristics that distinguish them from the males are:

  • Females produce white or yellow flowers
  • They take a couple of weeks longer than the males to blossom
  • Female plants can be very different from one another visually
  • The females produce buds that have ‘trichomes,’ a factory for Cannabinoids.


Avoiding Hermaphrodites

Hermaphrodites develop due to two main reasons. Firstly, if your plant doesn’t have a stable genetic history, it is likely to pollinate. Also, a lot of genetic variation can result in Hermaphrodites. Therefore, it is essential to buy quality seeds.

The other one is the weed plant’s survival tactic during extreme heat, damage, or a disease. As a survival stunt, the plant decides to take up the reproduction job in its own hands instead of waiting for the male pollen.

Therefore, it is essential to maintain a sound growing environment for your plants. Maintain temperature, humidity, and proper light to make sure that your plants grow properly.



Male and Female Seeds

From the outset, you can’t tell the difference between a male and a female plant seed. So, if you were thinking of sexing marijuana plants from their seeds, it’s not possible. It requires DNA testing to determine the seed gender.

If you buy regular seeds, they produce up to 95% female plants. Also, some percentage of these are auto-flowering plants. However, remember that regular seeds won’t help you with the breeding process.

So, if you want to try breeding, you may have to look for male seeds and feminized seeds. Although you may not need it, breeding seeds allows you to experiment and develop different methods for more effective sexing of marijuana plants.


Male and female weed plants


Last Thoughts about “Sexing Marijuana Plants”

Marijuana plants require scrutiny and care for the best harvesting results. If you don’t pick the gender in the earlier stages, your plants will fertilize, and it can be damaging for you. Therefore, as a grower, it is critical to developing an eye that can pick the gender at the earliest stages.

Both male and female marijuana plants have benefits of their own. If you have been throwing away the male plants, you better start using them for other products mentioned earlier.

The basics of weed plants’ genders aren’t too complicated. Once you know them, you can significantly benefit and churn out more cannabis products.

Moreover, you can also try sexing marijuana plants in a smaller and more controlled environment to understand their vegetative cycles better.

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