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how do you sex cannabis seeds

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When it comes to growing cannabis, seeds can be male, female or hermaphrodites. Females produce the resin-secreting flower, and males make small sacs of pollen near the base of the leaves. Over the years, cultivators have learned that un-pollinated females (remember, males produce pollen) continue to make resin and flowers that have not been pollinated are much more likely to produce high-potency cannabis. But is there a way to know if a seed is female before growing?

While it’s basically not possible to determine the sex of a seed from a random bag of seeds, a practice known as feminizing is becoming quite popular. Feminized seeds are selectively bred to produce female plants, however, some growers do worry about some feminized seeds turning into hermaphrodites.

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How much time you want to spend figuring out the sex of your cannabis plants really depends on how much time and energy you’d like to devote to growing your own marijuana. If you are a medical cannabis patient or caregiver, for example, and need to know what kind of cannabis you are getting every time, buying feminized seeds from a trusted seller is the way to go. But, if you have some time, consider yourself a green thumb, and want to experiment with your grow, you could simply plant your seeds and see what comes up. Happy growing!

Feminizing via the silver thiosulfate technique involves carefully selecting a nearly mature female plant, then spraying it with 50/50 mix of sodium thiosulfate and silver nitrate. This triggers a gender change, from female to male. Place this plant back with the others to pollinate other female plants, and female seeds are created.

If what you’ve got is a handful of seeds, it’s pretty much impossible to tell which ones are male or female. The only way true way to tell the plant’s gender is to plant some seeds, then wait. After a period of several weeks, it will begin to pre-flower, or form a small bud in the crux of a branch. One of the first signs your cannabis plant is female is the appearance of pistillates that are wispy and generally white in color.

If you are a veteran of the cannabis community, or spent a lot of your time reading up on cannabis, you may have heard that it is possible to tell the sex of cannabis seed simply from its appearance. There is even a chart floating about out there that describes the physical differences between male and female seeds.

Even feminized seed, which have been bred to have 99.9% chance of growing female, can turn into male or hermaphrodite plants if put under a ton of stress while growing. This is very rarely a worry for feminized growers, as they don’t tend to stress out their plants to this extreme extent – but it is possible.

DETERMINING THE SEX OF YOUR CANNABIS BEFORE IT COMES A PROBLEM

Normally, you would wait until your cannabis plants are done with vegetative growth, and switch them over to flowering. You then watch like a hawk for any signs of sex, and move the males as soon as possible. This is risky, though, because if you leave it too long, you risk the chance of pollination – turning your bud into seeds. Unless you are getting into breeding yourself, this is something you probably want to avoid.

While being able to determine the sex of a cannabis seed by looking at it is a myth, being able to sex your cannabis early isn’t.

For those who don’t use feminized seeds, being able to tell the sex of a cannabis seed by looking at it would be a pretty handy skill. But is it possible?