Female and male cannabis plants
Only the female cannabis plant flowers and is suitable for consumption. The male plant produces pollen. If he gets the chance to pollinate a female plant, she will mainly produce seeds instead of flowers. Also, the THC-level decreases. Therefore it’s important to get rid of the male cannabis plants in time.
Feminized or regular seeds
These days most cultivators work with feminized seeds. These are seeds which only produce female plants. Feminized seeds are more expensive than regular seeds, but you rule out the chance of having to remove half of your plants.
When you opt for regular seeds the chance of female plants is 50%. In small amounts, it’s possible five out of five seeds are male. Obviously, the other way around could happen as well!
Sexing the plants
An experienced cultivator can see from a cannabis plant whether it’s male or female. Even if you work with feminized seeds, this is important to know as it’s impossible to fully guarantee a seed is feminine. When you choose feminized this is the case in 95% of the seeds. Some suppliers even guarantee 99%.
Two weeks into the flowering period the sex of the plant can be determined. Male plants have small balls in the internodes that contain pollen. In female plants, small thin hairs (pistils) grow in the internodes, on the top and the branches. In autoflowers, these characteristics can be distinguished after three to four weeks.
Unsure? Just wait a couple of days till these characteristics become more visible. It takes about two to three weeks before the balls open. You’re safe until pollination starts.
It’s also possible a cannabis plant exhibits qualities of both sexes. Then it’s a hermaphrodite. Some cultivators remove hermaphrodites along with the male plants. You could also just take out the balls by hand and keep the rest of the plant.