How to Sex Marijuana Plants?

Sexing marijuana plants simply means identifying the gender of your plant. 

This is very necessary for weed gardening. 

Because, to avoid male plants during the cultivation, you have to identify the male plants earlier and avoid them ASAP before they pollinate the female ones.

This is where your observation skills and sexing knowledge about marijuana comes into play. 

Well, in this guide, we are going to discuss how to sex marijuana plants and some other topics as well. Therefore, if you are a noob on this then be ready to be a pro after this guide.

Let’s get started:

How to Sex Marijuana Plants

Cannabis Plant Genders

Cannabis plants are dioecious. That means just like humans it has a separate male plant and female plant. Although these weed plants also have hermaphroditic in themselves. This means the plant having both male and female genitalia (a pistil and stamen). 

Apart from this, male plants have XY chromosomes and female possesses XX chromosomes. So, in the case of different genders in marijuana, they are quite similar to humans. 

However, sexing marijuana plants before they get mature is a tough task. 

Well, don’t worry! We will help you out with that.

Importance of Female Cannabis Plant

In the weed world, the preference of a female cannabis plant over a male is quite above. 

This is because of mainly this reason:

Female cannabis plants (if not pollinated) they fetch high concentration of cannabinoids (THC, CBD, CBN) in themselves, which is an ideal state for having a better quality of weed beds. 

This is one of the major reasons that why weed growers around the world love female cannabis plants more. 

Although during gardening, if male and female cannabis plants were kept together then the female plants will be pollinated by the male ones, which will ultimately result in further seed production. Hence, whole gardening efforts to get weed buds will go into vain. 

That is why it is necessary to identify the male marijuana plant earlier and keep them away from your female plants to get a better harvest. 

However, to identify a specific marijuana plant’s gender at the earliest you need to have some gardening skills!

Identifying Male and Female Cannabis Plants

Female-Male Marijuana Plants

As of now, you know why it is necessary to identify the gender of a weed plant earlier to take the action accordingly. Therefore, it’s a perfect time to know what are things to look for while identifying different marijuana plant genders.

Tip: Take a magnifying glass with yourself while identifying a particular plant. It will help you observe the parts of plants easily and accurately. 

How to identify Male Plants?

Doesn’t matter you are looking for a male or female cannabis plant, these plants never reveal their gender completely until they mature. And, once they mature, you can’t do anything. So, you have to be a step forward to identify the gender of your plant. 

See also  Autoflowering vs Feminized Seeds: Which Is Best for You?

First coming to the male plants then they have some different traits by which you can catch them. These are:

  1. Male weed plants are generally taller than female plants. 
  2. You can also differentiate between male and female plants with the help of flowers and pistils.
  3. The male flowers will generally be at the top of the plant. 
  4. Also, keep in mind that male plants grow straight and don’t develop as many flowers as females.
  5. Male plants usually mature faster. Even male plants grow so quickly that their flowering stage starts one month before the female plants. The same goes with the height, in which they grow taller which helps them to pollinate female plants. 

So, within these traits, you must be able to find out whether a cannabis plant is male or female. However, to be honest, identifying a cannabis plant gender is a skill that comes with experience.

You cannot be an expert just after knowing the traits a specific strain possesses. Instead, you have to get your hands dirty in the garden then perhaps you might be able to even guess the gender right. 

Initially, you have to get detailed knowledge and practice to know things accurately. 

How to identify Female Plants?

Unlike male plants, female plants are generally easier to catch out. Though female cannabis plant has different traits. 

  1. Female cannabis plants will form white, yellow, or cream flowers. 
  2. They will have whitish and hairy pistils which usually trap the pollen from males. 
  3. Comparatively male plants, female plants will have shorter height with a bushier appearance and more leaves. You can observe the growth pattern as well. 
  4. Observe if the raised calyx on a small stem or stalk is present then most probably it is a male. If it is not raised then it’s a female. 

So, these are the traits that you should look out for in a female cannabis plant. However, again, it might seem simple at first but while proceeding it can be tough. Well, there’s nothing to be worried about as every grower out there gets better with experience and so does, you will be!

Other ways of sexing marijuana plants

Yes! Apart from the physical traits and appearance, there are some other ways by which you can identify a specific marijuana plant. 

First of all, it’s the growth pattern. Even we have given slight hint above by which it is easy to differentiate between the cannabis plant genders. 

However, let’s talk about it in detail:

1. By Cloning

There are many other options by which you can identify and catch a specific gender of the marijuana plant. However, cloning is the 100% foolproof method that can give you surety about the gender of your plant. 

So, this is how it works:

  1. Take out a clone of your plant for which you have to determine the sex.
  2. Now, plant it into the soil and let it grow.
  3. Force it to reach a flowering stage earlier by giving 12hr light and 12hr darkness.

Now, here’s the catch. 

As the clone has the same genetics as the mother plant, therefore, it will have the same gender. And, as it will reach the flowering stage earlier than the host plant, you can observe the grown clone’s gender. 

This is a 100% working method. Although you have to keep certain things in mind. Like, you have to keep the cloned plants separate from the host plants. 

See also  How to Find a Weed Dealer?

Also, keep the track of cloned plant and its host, so that the things will not be mixed further. 

So, apart from the basic traits, this is another way by which you sex the marijuana plant. 

2. Vegetative Stage

For a weed plant, the vegetative stage is one of the crucial stages. As in this stage, a plant starts to expand to its fullest capacity. And, therefore, you can identify the sex of the marijuana plant by observing its growth pattern. 

Depending upon your observation skills, you can also get earlier signs from your plant.

As hinted before, male marijuana plants are generally taller and less bushy comparatively the female plants. While female plants have more complex branching. 

Although this method is not ideal. It is because this method is based upon observatory skill. Still, it has a success rate for experienced growers. Although this method works best for outdoor grown plants. 

3. During germination

This is one of the methods which give you a hint of the sex of the marijuana plant to the earliest i.e.,s during germination of a seed. Although this method has been discovered by some growers making it one of the newest ways. 

Therefore, it has a 90% success rate according to the growers who have opted for this method but you will have a way to get an idea of sexing for 9 out 10 seeds. 

According to this method, if the sprout comes out of the bottom or top of the seed then it turns out to be a female cannabis plant. However, sprouts which have germinated through sides of seed they are generally a male plant. 

Well, this method does have some chances to give you an idea about your plant’s sex but still, we recommend you not to take any decision or action based upon such early signs. Rather you should let your plants show you some traits within a few weeks then perhaps it will be the right time to take a step. 

What are hermaphrodites?

In simple words, hermaphrodites are plants that have both male and female genitalia. Although it is a rare chance that a plant turns out to be hermaphrodite. 

If you are gardening for female cannabis plants to get weed buds then perhaps you might don’t need male plants. While hermaphrodites have nearly no use. Male plants can still be used for different purposes. 

According to Hermaphroditism in Marijuana research, there are many reasons for which a weed plant can turn out in hermaphrodite. Such as light leak during the flowering stage of the plant, or disbalance in pH levels, or even in fertilizers can cause your female plants to produce male sex organs. 

 It is also believed that if a female cannabis plant is left unpollinated for a longer time then sometimes the plant produces male sex traits to pollinate itself. 

Whatever the reason, if you are opting for weed cultivation to get buds then you must avoid hermaphrodites in your garden. Especially if you are growing at a large scale then you should be more aware. 

What to do if your Garden has Hermaphrodites?

Somehow, if your weed plant has turned out to be a hermaphrodite then you can do the following things:

  1. As the plant has produced male sex organs then there are high chances that it can pollinate the other plants as well. Therefore, you must isolate the hermaphrodite plant to other locations from your main cultivation area. This will ultimately protect your garden. Some growers opt to destroy the male “bananas” though it is not an ideal way. While by the first way, you will have complete surety that you have avoided hermaphrodite plant from your garden. 
  2. Avoid disbalance in environmental factors of your garden, which can lead to hermaphrodites. As once you got the hermaphrodite unnecessarily then you are left with no option other than to pull them off from your garden. As they have no use if you are growing female cannabis plants for producing weed buds. 
See also  How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in NC

Is the Male Plant Completely Waste?


A big no!

Because male plants have their importance in weed gardening. Although if you are cultivating just for weed buds then you might have to deal with mostly female plants but male plants are actually used in different aspects.

The major role in gardening is for breeding purposes. Even male plants help to work as gardener protectors as well. For detailed knowledge about male plants, you can read out this guide of 7 ways to use male plants!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some most asked queries related to the same topic:

1. What to do with male cannabis plants?

Male cannabis plants are one of the best sources of hemp fiber. Even with the rise in the fiber industry, male plants have got more importance in the weed world. Apart from fiber, male cannabis plants have an equally important role in the breeding process or producing some unique cannabis strains. For a detailed guide on the usage of male cannabis plants, you can read this guide!

2. How do sex seeds?

Well, there is no foolproof way by which you can sex seeds. However, some growers have come up with a way through which you can get the idea of the sex of your plant at the earliest stage – during germination. If the sprout has come out from the top or bottom of the seed then it should turn out as a female cannabis plant. Although sprouts which have germinated through sides of the seed are more likely to be male. 

However, as said before, this is not a foolproof method of determining sex but still, growers who have tried this, have reported around a 90% success rate.

3. How to avoid hermaphrodites?

Keep the growing environment ideal for your specific marijuana strain. Avoid waiting for harvest for a longer time as it also causes a plant to produce male sex organs. Although hermaphrodite is a rare chance that happens in gardening but still if you got any then you have the solution for the same as mentioned above. 

How to Sex Marijuana Plants: Final word

Male or female cannabis plants both have their importance in the marijuana world. However, for specific purposes scientists, growers, and breeders have to be aware of the traits, signs that can help them determine the specific sex of a plant. 

Well, as a grower, apart from all of the traits, knowledge of sexing marijuana plants, it is the observatory skills that will help you sex the weed plant earliest. Though you will learn that with regular practice of gardening, patience, and ultimately experience. 

About Boe Staff
Hey, I am Dr. Boe. I have done Ph.D. in micro-biology. I am closely researching marijuana for the last 10 years.

Leave a Comment