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How to identify female cannabis seeds

Hey 🙂 In this guide we’re going to help you figure out **how to sex your plant** and understand **differences between male and female cannabis plants**. tldr: we recommend starting out with feminized photoperiodic seeds Our guide will go over how to identify female seeds. Female seeds are the much preferred of all marijuana strains. Easy to grow and big buds. How do you tell if your marijuana plant is male or female? This is a very important step to learn in the growing process. Maybe the most important.

Male vs female why it matters

Cannabis is a dioecious plant, meaning your plant can be either male or female. The resinous buds that will get you high are produced by female plants, males role is to pollinate flowers.

The fact that genital organs can be set apart will allow you to isolate female plants and grow higher quality flowers without seeds in it: Sinsemilla flowers.

If you’re growing with regular cannabis seeds or “bagseeds” approximately 35% of your plants will end up being males, but why?

That’s because cannabis spreads its pollen through the air – without the need for pollinating insects – 1 male can pollinate a large area thus not needing as many males as females to perpetuate the species.

Resulting in the actual ratio of Females:Males when growing a regular seed being 65:35 .

To avoid wasting time growing a male you’ll need to remove, you should look for feminized seeds, this type of seed will 100% end up as female plants.
To keep things simple, we recommend growing feminized seeds

If you want to grow regular seeds, the next steps will show you how to determine your plant’s sex.

Key takeaways:

  • Feminized seeds: 100% guaranteed female plants, no wasted time growing a male
  • Regular seeds: 65% female 35% male

Male and female genital organs

Male and female genital organs

Male and female cannabis plants will both look the same during seedling and vegetative stages.

Gender reveal starts during pre-flowering, females will work on producing calyxes and pistils while males will grow pollen sacs or “balls”.

Both genital organs look alike during pre-flower and can be easily confused; wait a bit and check regularly until you can tell the difference or ask for help on the SuperGreenLab Discord.

Once your plant enters the flowering stage, gender will fully reveal and you’ll be able to separate male and female. If your not planning to pollinate/breed your plants you should throw out your male plants to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Now let’s see what each sex look like during their different stages.

Male and female pre-flower

Male and female pre-flower

Male pre-flower looks like small balls that will grow as pollen sacs. At this point they cannot pollinate females yet.

Female pre-flower are cup-like shaped, it’s where the seed will develop if pollinated. They will develop white hairs on the tips to capture pollen. At this stage females cannot be pollinated either.

Male and female mid-flower

Male and female mid-flower

Both genitals will develop and expand, pollen sacs and calyxes will multiply and stack up.
At this stage, both are near ready to pollinate and get pollinated.
If left to ripen pollen sacs will burst, releasing pollen everywhere.

âš  This is your final chance to spot males before spread pollen in the air.

Tips&Tricks to remove a male plant that has already developed pollen sacs;
gently place a trash bag over the plant to prevent pollen to spread if a sac were to burst open

Male and female late-flower

Male and female late-flower

During late flower, females expect to be pollinated, boosting flower growth to increase their chance of capturing pollen and the males’ pollen sacs will burst.

If pollinated, females will stop putting energy into making buds and will instead focus on producing seeds which ruins the overall quality of the buds.

Hermaphroditism

Hermaphroditism

Okay you’re now able to distinguish cannabis gender and you know that it’s a dioecious plant, however it can also be hermaphrodite.

I know what you think, indeed this is the complex part of this guide, but not as complex as it seems.

First, let’s explain what hermaphroditism means for cannabis plants.
When stressed, female plants which haven’t been pollinated can start producing their own pollen sacs to self-pollinate as a last resort to perpetuate their genes before winter kills them.

“Hermie” flowers will develop both male and female genital organs (pollen sacs and calyxes) and will self-pollinate and likely other female plants around.

If your looking for quality seedless bud aka sinsemilla: set your “hermies” apart from your female plants as soon as you spot them. Buds will mature and can be consumed, however they’ll be filled will seeds and you risk pollinating your other females.

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We recommend getting rid of “hermies” when you spot them like we do for males.

How to avoid your plant to turn hermaphrodite

How to avoid your plant to turn hermaphrodite

tldr : To avoid “hermies” you must stress your plants as little as possible.
tldr : To avoid your whole grow space getting pollinated by a herma you should regularly check your plants and the buds looking for ball and banana sacs that contain pollen.

Hermaphroditism can be caused by two things : genetics and stress

  • Genetics: can affect cannabis on many points, buds aspect, taste, potency or density. Thus hermaphroditism can come from genetics (hybrid, indica, sativa) or breeding techniques. At this point, you cannot do anything to prevent your plant to turn herma except choosing stable genetics, good quality seeds.
  • Stress: a cannabis plant can turn herma when exposed to stress. Hermaphroditism is a survival instinct and work as a way to protect the plant and it’s persistance over time.

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How To Identify Female Seeds | Our Guide To Feminized Seeds

Identifying the gender of marijuana seeds is the trickiest thing for every potential grower. You may ask, is it possible to know the difference between male and female seeds? Well, it’s possible.

As a grower, you are interested in marijuana female seeds since they are viable and produce greater yields. These females’ seeds yield buds with great THC levels and CBD, which gives weed its potency. Furthermore, these female seeds mature fast and have a shorter vegetative and flowering period. With this, we can see why it’s essential to know how to differentiate marijuana seeds and choose the female ones always.

But what if a grower isn’t able to identify the gender of the seeds? No problem, because this article is specifically for you.

Female Seeds

A marijuana plant is a dioecious plant meaning that it has female and male reproductive organs in different plants. These plants can either produce male or female seeds.

To know the gender of seeds during early periods is very hard. However, when the plant starts to flower and produce buds will be the best time to see the difference. The seeds will look identical at the early stage of growth until they reach flowering is when it will be possible to see the difference.

When the plant starts flowering, the female cannabis plant starts to grow pistillate, which is feathery and white in color. The female flowers are more ovate in shape. The male cannabis plant will produce pollen sacs called staminate, which are round, long, and tiny hanging sacs.

In some cases, male cannabis plants grow tall, narrow with few leaves and long spacing between branches. Female cannabis plants are concentrated together with busy leaves and dense buds than males

Most marijuana growers find seeds that have mixed gender, but they always grow to ale plants and have low-quality yields.

The best and sure way is to buy feminized seeds from reputable seeds retailer stores. Due to the inability to differentiate regular seeds from male to female is what has made feminized seeds popular. Feminized seed is a hybrid that has been altered to prevent male chromosomes from fertilizing.

Feminized Seeds

Feminized seed is a hybrid that has been altered to prevent male chromosomes from fertilizing. Additionally, feminized seeds will grow and produce only female buds, and no need to worry about cross-pollination with male plants. The hybrid of feminized seeds is done by causing the monoecious condition in female weed plants hence having a self-pollinated plant. The self-pollinated plant contains only the same set of genes. Even if cross-pollination occurs from a male cannabis plant, there will be no fertilization occurring since male chromosomes have been inhibited.

Why Are Female Seeds More Preferred?

  • They grow buds rich in THC and CBD.
  • They mature fast
  • produces a maximum level of potency and aroma
  • Have a short flowering period
  • They are best to produce cannabis for medicinal purposes
  • Reliable genetic strains
  • Good for both indoors and outdoors growing

There are a lot of popular feminized weed seeds strains, such as

These feminized seeds are mostly preferred since they give quality yields. They produce high cannabidiol (CBD) and THC levels, which are ideal for plants.

Characteristics Of Quality Cannabis Female Seeds

Quality health female seeds are important for plant health and quality yields. These seeds have to be viable to meet your demand and expectations.

1. Appearance and color of the seed

High-quality seeds have their distinguishing features from unhealthy seeds. For example, healthy female cannabis seeds have a brown/black color. They have stripes that resemble tiger-like or spots on the entire seeds. Immature cannabis seeds have a green or white color, and if planted, they might not grow or have stunted growth. As a grower, you must be in a position to distinguish these features.

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2. Coating

High-quality cannabis seeds have a waxy coat around the entire surface of the shell. As an experienced grower, you should see this since if the seeds are held in the light, the shell will have a healthy sheen on the surface.

3. Size and the shape of the seeds

The largest cannabis seeds which are symmetrical or have a teardrop shape are the best to grow. This is because immature cannabis seeds are always small and irregular in shape. The biggest seeds have more energy stored within them hence have greater chances of survival and the potential to mature.

However, as the size and shape of cannabis strains are always associated with being a quality one, it does not apply to all cases. Some cannabis strains produce smaller seeds than others or varying sizes of seeds in the same plant. It’s recommended that you do your research and seek consultations from experienced dealers’ reputable retailers.

4. Cannabis seeds hardness

The best and mature cannabis seeds have a hard shell that can withstand all kinds of pressure and conditions. The outer shells are smooth have an uncracked surface. If you press the seeds within your figures, they don’t damage easily

Low-quality marijuana seeds have a weak or soft shell that would disintegrate easily if pressed on. These immature seeds tend to be green and crack easily. If planted, they won’t grow since they were already dead before being planted.

How To Determine The Quality Of Female Cannabis Seeds

With all the characteristics observed sometimes, they may mislead you and are not always accurate. Some simple process like packaging and storing cannabis seeds may affect their appearance and durability. Moreover, changes in temperature and humidity may make some seeds lose their color and be lighter but do not affect the quality.

We can determine their quality by using simple methods such as:

1. Germinate the seeds

Germinating seeds will give us accurate results since we will be able to observe and judge. If the germinating seeds are healthy and blooming faster, they are viable, and we expect quality yields. Seeds can be germinated by directly planting into the soil or by use of a wet paper towel.

2. Perform a float test

This is a scientific approach where you fill a glass with water and soak your seeds inside. The seeds take in water for about 2-3 hours, then seeds which float on water are assumed to be of poor quality and discarded. Seeds that have sunk are of good quality.

3. Buying from reputable seed banks

This is the sure way since you will buy seeds of high quality that will meet your desires. These seeds produce high-yielding plants and mature faster.

Is Your Marijuana Plant Male or Female?

Discerning between female and male marijuana plants is a very important aspect of successfully growing cannabis. Knowing if your marijuana plant is male or female enables you to create new genetics, and of course, grow great buds. When can you tell if your plant is male or female? Cannabis is scientifically called a dioecious plant, meaning male or female reproductive organs appear on different cannabis plants.

Apart from those wanting to breed a new strain, most marijuana growers remove all the males to allow females to produce seedless buds or sinsemilla. These are the resinous buds that appear on the dispensary shelf; they all come from female plants. To help you determine the sex of your marijuana plant, read on.

How to Tell the Difference Between a Male and Female Marijuana Plant

To tell the difference between male and female marijuana plants, it is wise to learn a bit more about genetics of the marijuana plant. Female genetics (meaning flowers with zero seeds) are guaranteed by the method of female clones and using only feminized seeds to grow your marijuana. However, if you’re growing with regular seeds, chances are you are unsure of the sex of your marijuana seed.

From the above, we know that determining the sex of your plant is vital to successfully growing cannabis. Sexing cannabis plants is not that difficult. Cannabis plants can show their sex early on in the growth cycle by what grows in between their nodes – the small areas where leaves and branches extend from the stalk of the marijuana plant.

The main differences between a male and female cannabis plant are outlined in the table below.

Male characteristics Female characteristics

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· Develops pollens sacks

· Pollen sacks burst open and pollinate other plants

· Shows pollens sacks

· Produces more seed

· Develops stigma hairs

· Stigma hairs develop into flowers

· Shows little tear drop shaped leaves

· Produces more flower than seed

Pollen sacs will develop on a male plant to spread seeds, whereas stigma hairs will develop on a female plant to catch pollen.

When to Look for Differences Between Male and Female Marijuana Plants

When marijuana plants are in the seedling stage, you have no way to tell which plants are male and which plants are female. You can see these differences several weeks before the flowering cycle, though. Most male plants have grown a pre-flower by the fourth week from seed, whereas female plants usually don’t show their pre-flowers until week six. Generally, vegetative plants reveal their sex around week six from planting from seed.

During the marijuana vegetative cycle, you can start to identify what are known as these pre-flowers. Pre-flowers may take a little longer depending on how quickly the sprouting phase occurs. By week six, you should be able to find the pre-flowers and confidently determine the sex of your plant.

How to Identify the Male Marijuana Plant

Generally, a vegging male plant will have a thicker stalk than its same genetic female. You can start to examine the nodes of the male marijuana plant around 4-6 weeks into growing and look for the early growth of small sacs on a male. Male plants have grape-like pollen sacks which form and fill with pollen. These sacks or seeds are likely to first show up a week or two after changing the plants over to the flowering stage.

Learn How To Grow Cannabis!

If the male is allowed to continue growing, his pollen sacs will burst open and spill pollen everywhere. Remember that removing males early on is very important for two reasons: it not only frees up space in your garden so females can grow bigger and stronger, but it prevents males from pollinating females. To help you identify male cannabis plants in your garden, have a look at the pictures below.

How to Identify the Female Marijuana Plant

The female plants will start producing pistils around 6 weeks of age. Look to identify two bracts on a female, which will eventually produce hair-like stigmas. They usually first show up where the main stems connect to the individual nodes and branches.

If a female plant is kept in the vegetative stage long enough, she will start showing the first sign of female hairs even before you move the plant into the flowering stage by changing the light schedule. If you see wispy white hairs appearing on your plant, then you know you have a female plant.

The Hermaphrodite Cannabis Plant – a combination of male and female

In nature, it is possible for cannabis to be multi-gendered. When a female plant develops both male and female sex organs, it is considered a hermaphrodite. This means your cannabis plant is capable of producing pollen that can pollinate other plants. Plants generally become hermaphroditic when it experiences stress. Some plant stressors that lead to plants becoming hermaphroditic include:

Plant damage
Bad weather
Disease
Nutrient deficiencies
Why are cannabis plants male and female?

If you want to know more detail about the sex of a cannabis plant in genetic terms, this information will do. To briefly explain, each plant has two pairs of sex chromosomes, X chromosomes and Y chromosomes. The difference between male and female cannabis plants is that male plants have XY chromosomes and female plants have XX chromosomes.

There are over 300,000 jobs in the cannabis industry. CTU trained me for one of them!

– Johanna Rose
Makes $24.50 @ THC +

As with humans, there is a natural 50/50 division between males and female cannabis plants. When you grow from regular seeds, you will have a combination of male and female plants, and will need to distinguish between the two by using our methods as outlined in this article.

But How are Feminized Cannabis Seeds Made?

Simply put, most feminized seeds come from cannabis plants that have been treated in a manner that successfully inhibits male chromosomes. The most common method is to spray the plant repetitively with a chemical coined colloidal silver. Colloidal silver is technically non-toxic, but you still don’t want to smoke it! In this case, the plant is sacrificial – used only for the production of pollen and feminized seeds.

All in all, if you want to learn how to grow marijuana successfully and never be confused again as to whether your cannabis plant is male or female, feel free to join a cannabis growing school or institution.