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how to detect female cannabis seeds

However, cannabis is primarily cultivated for buds, not seeds, so the practice of growing sinsemilla, or “seedless” cannabis, is prevalent today: Females and males are grown separately, or males are even discarded, to prevent pollination. This allows female plants to focus their energies on bud production instead of seed production.

Pre-flowers begin to develop four weeks into growth, but they may take a little longer depending on how quickly the sprouting phase occurs. By the sixth week, you should be able to find the pre-flowers and confidently determine the sex of your plant.

These are the first leaves to grow from the seed after germination. They usually come in pairs, and seeing them is a sign of successful germination and that your plant is on its way to growing healthy and strong.

Male vs. female marijuana plants

Cannabis really stands out in its flowers—or buds—where unique and intricate formations occur: fiery orange hairs, sugary crystals, and chunky buds enveloped by tiny leaves.

“Herming out,” as some call it, is something that generally happens when a plant becomes excessively stressed. Some stressors include:

Fan leaves are the large, iconic leaves of the cannabis plant. They capture light for the plant and typically have little-to-no resin and are usually discarded when trimming.

Females are the prizes of cannabis plants—they are the ones that grow the buds that we all know and love. Anytime you see a picture of a cannabis plant with buds, you are looking at a female plant.

Hermaphrodite cannabis plants develop both female and male reproductive organs

When left to grow, these balls will eventually open up like a flower and release pollen into the air. As we’ve explained, this pollen is only interesting when you’re trying to make your own strains or seeds. If you’re not making seeds, make sure to remove every male plant from your garden or grow room before this happens. Do it with the upmost care, as rocking the plant could force it to release the pollen.

Before we dive into the more complicated matter when it comes to sexing a cannabis plant, let’s start with some basics. Cannabis plants are so called ‘dioecious plants’ (‘di-‘ is ‘two’ in Greek; ‘oikia’ means ‘house’). This means they produce either male of female reproductive organs, known as the flowers. In contrast to ‘monoecious plants’, which produce two different types of flowers on the same plant.

Hermaphrodite Cannabis Plants

You don’t have to be an expert on the plant to at some point have encountered the term ‘feminized’ in relation to cannabis seeds. As the name suggests, this means cannabis plants can be either female or male and in some cases have both sexes. This is what you need to know to spot Male, Female and Hermaphrodite cannabis plants in your garden:

If for whatever reason you do spot hermaphrodite cannabis plants, all is not lost. You just have to act fast and be cautious. To avoid hermaphrodite cannabis plants from pollinating themselves, carefully remove the male reproductive organs that form on the nodes. You can do so by gently taking a pollen sac in between two fingers and twisting/pulling it off. Wash your hands thoroughly before you go near your female plants – you don’t want to cause accidental pollination because of your dirty fingers! This way you can still have a satisfying harvest from any hermaphrodite, without having to pluck the seeds from your buds.

Female cannabis plants are easy to spot once they start showing the first signs of flowering

The first paragraph of this article explains cannabis plants grow only one set of reproductive organs. Although there is still a ‘but’ to this. Because there always remains the possibility that female cannabis plants form male reproductive organs too. This usually happens when the plant(s) experience excessive stress. And in times of stress, they try to guarantee the survival of their species. Cannabis plants can do so by turning hermaphrodite, or ‘herma’ in grower terms.

Think about it. Why would breeders across the globe go to all the effort required to produce feminized cannabis seeds if they could simply look at regular cannabis seeds and categorize them? It isn’t some conspiracy or well-kept trade secret.

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?

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.

DETERMINING THE SEX OF YOUR CANNABIS BEFORE IT COMES A PROBLEM

Well, let us tell you now, it is all a load of bollocks. There is no way to tell the difference between male and female cannabis seeds by looking at them. In fact, it is widely accepted that the sex of a cannabis plant is not determined until a few weeks before flowering.

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.

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.

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.