Male Cannabis Seed

Some see male cannabis plants as nothing but an inconvenience, if not a threat to their crop. In reality, male cannabis plants display some beneficial uses. If you're interested in growing cannabis, determining the sex of your plant is a critical aspect in the cultivation process. Learn whether or not you can tell if a marijuana seed is male or female and more information about feminized seeds. How to Pick Male Plants and Make Cannabis Seeds Why Every Home Grower Should Make Seeds (At Least Once) I encourage growers to make seeds for themselves. A lot of people have been asking how,

Best Ways To Use Male Cannabis Plants

Male cannabis plants sure don’t have the best reputation. In fact, what most growers learn early on is to spot them and toss them out to avoid pollination of their precious ladies. The truth is, male cannabis doesn’t deserve its poor image. Before you discard them, learn some good uses for male cannabis plants.

Cannabinoids, terpenes, phytochemicals, organic cultivation

Contents:

  1. Can you smoke male plants?
  2. You need a male for breeding your own strains
    1. How to select a good male plant for breeding?
    2. Male cannabis plants ensure a strong genetic line
    3. Male cannabis plants produce strong fibres
    4. Male cannabis plants make good companions
    5. Use your male plants to make a healthy cannabis juice or tea
    1. To make hashish and concentrates
    2. To use them as mulch
    3. To harvest edible seeds
    4. To use their roots

    Male cannabis plants are normally seen as something undesirable, at least if you ask the average cannabis grower. No one wants their precious crop accidentally pollinated and then ruined, as we’ve learned will happen if we don’t separate the males from the females early on. This negative stigma and the hassle associated with male plants are the reasons that feminized seeds have gained popularity. It’s true, they do make things easy on the grower.

    The thing is, male cannabis plants don’t really deserve the poor image that they have. They have some valid uses, which you may want to consider before you go tossing them. Here are some of the best ways to use your male cannabis plants.

    CAN YOU SMOKE MALE PLANTS?

    Sure. But male plants don’t contain many cannabinoids or terpenes—the main constituents that make smoking weed worthwhile. Female cannabis flowers contain the highest concentration of these compounds. Male cannabis plants do produce some of the small glands that manufacture these chemicals (trichomes), but their quantity pales in comparison to the amount found on female plants.

    Allowing a male plant to grow to the stage where it produces cannabinoids will put your female plants at risk. If the male releases pollen and fertilises the female flowers, the plants will cease resin production and start producing seeds instead. Therefore, the risk far outweighs the benefits of smoking male plants, unless you have no other choice.

    YOU NEED A MALE FOR BREEDING YOUR OWN STRAINS

    Yes, growing cannabis is awesome, and very few would question such a fact. But growing pretty much the same identical bud from clones may not be the most interesting thing for you, the cannabis enthusiast. How about breeding your own, top-quality cannabis strains? For more advanced growers, breeding new strains can well become an exciting passion. Imagine creating your own special bud that is more flavourful, more resinous, has better yields, and delivers a better high. You can achieve this when you combine the best qualities of different strains with careful breeding. To do this, however, you need to keep your males!

    When you start breeding your own top-shelf bud, the male will contribute 50% of the genetic material. It just makes sense that you’d want to select the best male that you have as the donor.

    HOW TO SELECT A GOOD MALE PLANT FOR BREEDING?

    We don’t smoke males, so it’s harder to find the perfect plant with the best flavour. Usually, breeders select their male through process of elimination. Here is some criteria to help you determine which one to keep, and which to discard.

    Don’t use males that grow especially fast or tall. Most of the time, these plants may be lacking when it comes to the quality of their bud.

    Eliminate those male plants that flower too early, and rid yourself of those that autoflower. Plants that flower at unexpected times may have a higher chance of becoming intersex.

    One thing that breeders do is select good males based on their stems. Large, hollow stems are normally a good sign, while you should toss those plants with a pithy stem. Experienced growers say there is a positive relationship between the type of stem and THC content.

    Eliminate those male plants with an airy bud structure and keep those with dense and tightly-packed buds to ensure good yields.

    A simple sniff test is yet another easy but effective way to find a promising male. Keep those plants that have the best scent.

    MALE CANNABIS PLANTS ENSURE A STRONG GENETIC LINE

    Unlike other plants that can grow both male and female flowers on a single plant, cannabis is what’s called a dioecious plant, which means the females and the males grow separately.

    Always eliminating the genetically distinct males at the earliest time leads to decreased diversity. The presence of the males is important to the continued strength and vitality of a strain.

    Many hobby growers use one single feminized strain, or base their entire grow on essentially identical clones.

    This lack of diversity leads to weakened defences and an increased sensitivity to diseases and pests.

    MALE CANNABIS PLANTS PRODUCE STRONG FIBRES

    There is a distinct difference in the type of fibres that male and female cannabis plants produce. Farmers normally separate them when they desire different plants for different uses.

    For example, making textiles or other goods from hemp fibre. Fibre from the male hemp plant is more flexible and has a higher resistance, whereas female fibres tend to be sturdier.

    Because the hemp fibres from males are softer and thinner, they are better suited for high quality cloth like bed linens or towels.

    The females produce fibre that is rough, which is more suited to making things like canvas and other types of rough textile.

    Who knows, you may at some point want to get started with textile making! This is definitely another area where you would want to keep your males, as they are especially useful for certain distinct purposes.

    MALE CANNABIS PLANTS MAKE GOOD COMPANIONS

    You don’t always need to smoke cannabis to get some good use out of your plants. Cannabis plants have various natural defences, including their aromatic terpenes, which are great pest repellents. Cannabis really is an excellent companion plant. A few strategically placed male plants between your veggies may be all that’s needed to keep them pest free, without having to use potentially harmful pesticides!

    If you have a rather large garden, you can potentially locate a dedicated space for your male plants. Keep them as far from your females as you can. You can further help reduce the risk of accidental pollination by planting sunflowers to create a natural barrier between your males and females. This allows you to cultivate incredible, smokable cannabis, without having to toss your male plants in fear of accidental pollination.

    USE YOUR MALE PLANTS TO MAKE A HEALTHY CANNABIS JUICE OR TEA

    Cannabis juice is a valuable source of nutrients, which makes it increasingly popular among the health-conscious. Your male cannabis plants contain the same cannabinoids as female plants, although in lower quantities. This makes male cannabis optimal for juicing. You can use them in pretty much the same way as you would females, except that you don’t juice the thicker stalks and bigger leaves so you can avoid a bitter “plant taste.”

    Cannabis juice acts as a great vessel for delivering the benefits of cannabinoids like CBD without the high or other unwanted side-effects. If you want to have it really simple, you can also make a tea from the leaves of your male plant.

    WHY YOU SHOULD KEEP YOUR MALE CANNABIS PLANTS

    Male cannabis plants really don’t deserve their bad reputation. They have numerous good uses, from breeding new strains to making your own cannabis-based health drinks, or for crafting high-quality hemp material.

    But the benefit of keeping male plants goes beyond these criteria and really serves a greater purpose. Eliminating male plants poses a great risk to the healthy diversity and therefore, sustainability of cannabis as a whole. A similar example can be observed with bananas and other selectively bred plants. By breeding them into a few commercially-appealing types, bananas as we know them are now on the path to extinction. The same has already happened with corn and wheat.

    By keeping the male cannabis plants, we’re actively helping to support cannabis’ continued genetic survival. If we ignore the importance of this for the sake of convenience, some strains may just disappear.

    TO MAKE HASHISH AND CONCENTRATES

    You might not get much of a high from smoking male plant material, but power comes in numbers. By processing male plants to make hash and concentrates, you’ll condense a small number of cannabinoids into a potent extract. You can make hash by sifting dried plant material, but you should know: you’ll need a lot of it to make the endeavour worthwhile.

    Male plants also make good ingredients in the kitchen. Decarboxylate your plant material and use it to infuse moderate levels of cannabinoids into drinks, cakes, and savoury dishes by whipping up a batch of cannabutter.

    TO USE THEM AS MULCH

    Those male plants took shape by pulling a lot of nutrients out of your soil. They mainly consist of carbon and nitrogen, but they harbour lots of other goodies too, such as valuable micronutrients. If you don’t plan on using them elsewhere, be sure to return those compounds back into your garden.

    You can either throw the plants directly onto the soil using the crude chop and drop technique, or add them onto your compost pile to accelerate their decomposition through the magic of aerobic microbes.

    TO HARVEST EDIBLE SEEDS

    Cannabis seeds are super nutritious. Rich in amino acids, fatty acids, and vitamins, they make a healthy snack and provide a pleasant nutty taste. Female cannabis flowers only produce seeds when exposed to male pollen. If you plan on raising weed for seeds, you’ll want a few males dispersed throughout your garden to make this possible. Whereas most growers seek to identify and remove males, seed producers rely on them.

    TO USE THEIR ROOTS

    After chopping your male plants at the stem, be sure to reach for your shovel. Dig around the base of your plant and excavate the large root mass from underneath the soil. This network might look like a mess of woody tendrils, but they are packed with interesting phytochemicals that may provide some holistic value. Science still has a lot of work to do when it comes to researching these compounds, but so far we know of some promising triterpenoids and alkaloids that make for a great tea.

    Can You Tell if a Cannabis Seed is Male or Female?

    W hen it comes to growing cannabis, sex is important. Not that kind of sex! We’re talking about the sex of the plant, and whether it is male or female. The reason for this is simple enough: only female seeds produce flower, also known as the buds you might have in your stash as we speak.

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    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 as they grow, and flowers that have not been pollinated are much more likely to produce high-potency cannabis. This is the basis of all modern medical and recreational cannabis cultivation, so determining the sex of a plant is highly important. But is there a way to know if a seed is female before growing?

    Table of Contents:

    1. Determining if a Cannabis Seed Is Male or Female
    2. What Are Feminized Cannabis Seeds?
    3. Methods for Feminizing Cannabis Plants
    4. Separating Male and Female Cannabis Plants
    5. How Important is Your Plant’s Sex?

    Determining if a Cannabis Seed Is Male or Female

    The straightforward answer is that, if what you’ve got is a handful of unmarked seeds, it’s pretty much impossible to tell which ones are male or female. The only true way to tell the plant’s gender is to plant a seed, then wait for it to mature.

    After a period of several weeks, the plant 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. Male plants will instead produce pollen sacs that look rounded with distinct splits running lengthwise, a bit like a tiny crab claw. These are the structures that growers typically look for to determine a plant’s sex.

    If you’re looking for more precise, science-based methods to tell your plant’s gender, there are several labs that can sex your plant right after germination – eliminating the lengthy (usually around 6 weeks) wait to learn its gender. Portland, Oregon start-up Phylos Bioscience is in the business of studying cannabis genetics, and they sell a “plant sex kit” that’s pretty simple to do, even for the folks that aren’t scientifically inclined. Simply press a cotyledon, or embryonic leaf, onto the kit’s filter paper and send it to their lab. They then test the leaf for the “Y” chromosome to determine its gender, just as would happen for a human male.

    What Are Feminized Cannabis Seeds?

    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 quite popular. Feminized seeds are selectively bred to produce only female plants.

    While the process is very effective, it’s not perfect. There’s a chance that a small fraction of the seeds produced via the feminization method will sprout hermaphrodites, which are still capable of producing pollen.

    Despite the potential for ‘hermies,’ knowing your seeds are female from the beginning is probably your best bet.

    There are many companies that sell feminized seeds, but buyer beware, do your research to make sure the seller is reputable, especially if purchasing online. Thanks to modern technology, most feminized seeds from reliable brands will be 100% female as advertised – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t people selling low-quality seeds out there.

    Methods for Feminizing Cannabis Plants

    If you have some experience growing cannabis and would like to bend a crop to your will to ensure that the seeds will be female, there are a few feminizing methods you might try. One such technique is to literally stress out a healthy female plant by interrupting the light cycle during flowering, called Rodelization Feminizing.

    In the colloidal silver feminizing method, distilled water is mixed with pure silver and sprayed on female plants. This method works best when the plants are flowering. This results in pollen sacs being formed, which will allow the seeds to produce female plants.

    Feminizing via the silver thiosulfate technique involves carefully selecting a nearly mature female plant, then spraying it with a 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.

    Separating Male and Female Cannabis Plants

    As anyone with seasonal allergies can attest, it only takes a little bit of pollen to have a big impact. The reason that growers are so intent on weeding out male cannabis plants is that a single pollinator can negate an entire potential harvest.

    How? The reason is that once pollinated, cannabis plants will cease devoting energy to growing flowers and will tell the existing flowers to stop producing resin, which translates to making less buds and less THC. That energy will be devoted to producing seeds instead. Think of the plant as a battery with a set amount of power. When that supply is spent in one area, it won’t be available for another.

    Now consider that a single male plant can spread its pollen to an entire room of females.

    If a grow is accidentally pollinated, that means the resources that were spent to bring the plants to that stage — the water, soil, electricity, fertilizers, not to mention the price of the seeds themselves — will have been wasted growing weed that can’t be smoked.

    All of those male plants will have to be carefully separated from the grow space and destroyed, or else the growers risk another disastrous accidental pollination. It takes minuscule amounts of pollen to pollinate a plant, so growers must take extensive precautions to eliminate potential contamination. In addition to helping mitigate other contaminants, this is one of the main reasons that many workers will don full-body suits when working in a grow room, ensuring that accidental pollen exposure is kept to a minimum.

    How Important is Your Plant’s sex?

    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 to keep a reliable supply, buying feminized seeds from a trusted seller is the way to go. It may even be worth it to have your plants tested for sex before they mature. However, 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!

    What are your thoughts on feminized seeds? If you’ve used them before, how did it go? Share your experiences in the comments below.

    Author

    Erin Hiatt is a New York City-based writer who has been covering the cannabis industry for more than six years. Her work – which has appeared in Hemp Connoisseur Magazine, PotGuide, Civilized, Vice, Freedom Leaf, MERRY JANE, Alternet, and CannaInvestor – covers a broad range of topics, including cannabis policy and law, CBD, hemp law and applications, science and technology, beauty, and psychedelics.

    Erin’s work and industry insights have been featured on the podcasts The Let’s Go Eat Show, In the Know 420, and she has appeared as a featured panelist on the topic of hemp media. Erin has interviewed top industry experts such as Dr. Carl Hart, Ethan Nadelmann, Amanda Feilding, Mark A.R. Kleiman, Dr. James Fadiman, and culture icons Governor Jesse Ventura, and author Tom Robbins. You can follow her work on LinkedIn, WordPress, @erinhiatt on Twitter, and @erinisred on Instagram.

    How to Pick Male Plants and Make Cannabis Seeds

    Why Every Home Grower Should Make Seeds (At Least Once)

    I encourage growers to make seeds for themselves. A lot of people have been asking how, so I put together these basic tips. Hopefully, it helps a lot of people and is fairly straightforward. This isn’t meant to make you a breeder or share all my techniques or secrets, this is to familiarize you with the process of creating seeds.

    It’s easy to make your own cannabis seeds at home!

    It’s a shame that many grow books tell you only to throw away your males. New growers may not know, but anyone who’s grown for even just a few years gets to the point where they wish they still had something they grew in the past, which is no longer available in seed or clone for whatever reason. The older you get the more it happens. Seed lines disappear entirely once they run out, and due to people not making their own. It’s good to be self-sufficient.

    While it’s always fun to check out the hard work of your favorite breeders and their strains, it’s equally as important to pollinate a branch or two for yourself here and there and see what magic you can create or preserve. Please share this article if it helps or inspires you. Big agriculture is coming to the cannabis growing world and has the ability to change the plant forever once contamination happens, just like in the veggie world. We are losing genetic diversity fast as thousands of unique strains are lost. Please do your part if you are passionate!

    Make your own seeds to save special or unique genetics

    How to Make Your Own Cannabis Seeds at Home

    These are basic starting points for the home grower. I believe every person who grows cannabis needs to have this skill. Every strain goes away over time when people don’t make more seeds. Growers should know how to make their own seeds for preservation and sustainability. These skills can go a long way. The precursor to serious breeding is the basic technique of creating the seed.

    1.) Grow Male Plants

    Male plants can be grown in very basic conditions in an isolated space, then flowered for pollen. Males can be started flowering next to females with a close watch for the first week or two, but be careful and remove them before pollen sacks form, bursting open and pollinating everything.

    Branches can be cut off and put into a cup of water on a windowsill or under a CFL bulb, even under veg light cycle once they are in bloom. Pollen can be collected within a week from these branches, saving lots of space. Males can also be cloned or flowered very small based on your needs.

    Best, however, is flowering the males in their own tent or space. With a carbon filter and negative pressure, and careful practices, you can avoid spreading pollen to unwanted spaces. The longer you flower a male out past its initial beginning release of pollen, the more of its flowering traits you will see! (More on best male plant selection below)

    A beautiful male cannabis plant

    2.) Collect Pollen

    Pollen can be collected by tapping a budding branch gently over a piece of paper. Pollen will spread easily in the air, so make sure to turn off all fans. Visit males only after tending to female plants so you don’t accidentally bring any stray pollen on your clothes or hair!

    A male plant right as pollen sacs start opening

    3.) Pollinate Buds

    Take out your female to be pollinated or shut off all circulation fans. Gently apply pollen to a labeled branch. The pollen must meet the white flowering hairs to create seeds. Week 3-5 is best to pollinate, and you can do a single bud or branch per plant and keep the rest seedless.

    Every pollinated branch should be labeled properly, your memory will not last as you think it will. A proper branch label includes dates, strain names, breeder/sources, and has the female listed first and male listed second. An example label looks like this: 4/20/2015 – Star Pupil (Mass Medical Strains) x Prayer Tower Sativa 9 (Bodhi Seeds) and the label should be kept with the seeds when they are finished. As years go by, you will be thankful for the dates and breeder information, which can escape our memory on occasion.

    Overhead shot of a seeded cannabis plant. Strain is “Star Pupil”

    4.) Deactivate Stray Pollen

    Water generally deactivates pollen, wash clothes and shower if needed after handling. 3+ hours after pollination, the plant can be sprayed down with water to deactivate stray pollen and can be brought back into grow room and fans turned back on.

    Avoid spreading pollen unintentionally. It can get everywhere!

    A male cannabis plant exploding with pollen. Strain: Prayer Tower Sativa (below)

    5.) Collect Seeds

    Seeds are done in 2-6 weeks and should be dried in the bud when the plant is harvested. Seeds should be sproutable within one month of drying.

    Female buds become swollen with seeds

    A cannabis seed peaking out

    What strains should I use?

    Any strain with traits that you like, which speaks to you, or seems like a good cross, means your intuition is telling you something. Starting with stabilized or homogeneous lines is always a benefit. Certain genes such as Cookies, OG, and Diesels, are full of hermaphrodites and should be used with caution, only to be bred with if they are really your #1 passion. Follow your heart.

    Crossing two unrelated strains for the first time is called an F1. Crossing a brother and sister F1 of the same strain creates an F2, and so on. Selections play a huge role in what the outcome will be. Making F2 seeds of an F1 you purchased, will not give you the same seeds. Rather, you will see new phenotypes resembling some of the parents and their parents, etc. With huge potential to find new special plants within.

    Many combinations will work great, and some will not. If you fail, try again, selecting new parents. Each combination is unique. A and B might work great together, and C and D might work well together, there’s still a possibility that A and C combine to create junk. Every parental combo is unique!

    If you see a unique trait that you like, make seeds!

    Selection Techniques

    Female Plants

    Selecting a good female is easy, flower female plants from seed and again from clone to test stability. Smoke test is important. A potential mother plant should have all the high-quality traits that matter to you. Hermaphroditic plants are to be avoided.

    Female plants to be pollinated should have all your ideal traits. Use only your best females.

    Male Plants

    Selecting a male, you have to use your senses a lot. The ones who grow best and smell best are a good starting point. Structure and root growth are important. Hollow stems may indicate high THC potential. Cut the top off a couple nodes down and find out. First showing or fastest flowering males are generally discarded. Very slow blooming late males are often times more recessive although not always. I like them. Males will start to drop pollen before they are “done” flowering enough to see their true traits. As a beginner, you can use the pollen at any stage, but those doing real selections are advised to always flower your males for weeks after the pollen starts.

    For male selections, a strain you’ve grown before and enjoyed the females is a safe starting point.

    Watch for resin production, look at how the flower clusters stack and produce. The male flowers form similarly to female flowers, large yield potential is often apparent in largely formed male clusters that can look almost like female buds from a distance. The more males you have to choose from, the more fun you will have!

    Male plants can be a lot of fun to grow, too. Just like the females of the genetics they come from, they all have their own characteristics and unique traits. Once you get into “hunting males” you could get hooked! Some of my prized male selections from over the years are shown here. You’ll see resin production and traits of large floral clusters, as well as unique coloration!

    This male Weapon X cannabis plant is about to pop!

    Male Blue Magoo BX looking trippy under LEDs

    Strain: Mr. E Reversed

    For more advanced breeding selections, I recommend starting ideally a few hundred seeds. (For beginners, as many as you can is great, will help you find the best ones you can. Use your intuition!) Plants can be weeded out every few weeks selecting only the best contenders to flower out, and a lot can be achieved in a spare tent or closet this way, while still selecting through large populations! Clones of a prized breeding male may be kept in veg the same way females are, to be used again and again once their offspring are proven good! This is how a breeder can create the same batch of seeds for years and years, by using the exact same parents held in clone form.

    Conclusion

    These tips are just the beginning, and the purpose isn’t to teach you how to breed, but to teach you how to learn your own path and style of creating seeds and preserving our very special plant. The seeds you create will always be a very special grow for YOU.

    Making your own seeds is more important than ever. We must do our part to preserve the natural genetic diversity of this healing plant as it has evolved for millions of years. Home growing is an important skill as commercial and medical cannabis is increasingly full of toxins and scary new technology. Please grow responsibly with love.

    About the Author

    Star Pupil strives to copy nature while incorporating breeding techniques and plant knowledge passed down from generations of experienced growers. Mass Medical Strains is located in western Massachusetts and all breeding and growing methods are 100% organic. Each and every plant is grown and harvested with wholesome intentions and positive vibes.

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