It is very important to determine the sex of your marijuana plants, and preferably as early as possible. Only the female marijuana plants produces the buds which we all know and love, male plants on the other hand do not produce buds. Many people say that the male plants are worthless, but this might not necessarily be true, if used appropriately a male plant could be a valuable resource for your growing endeavors.

Now, for all intents and purposes and to completely contradict what we just said, male plants are absolutely worthless. In any size growing operation you would never need more than one, and as you will learn, it is better to just not keep them around. You also don’t want to be wasting your time and supplies growing a male plant that in the end won’t produce any bud. This means that the sooner you find out which plants are male versus female the better.

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While the female plants produce buds, the male plants produce pollen. If the pollen from a male plant lands on the flower of the female plant (the flower is the bud), then this plant will produce seeds. This could be the reason why you would or wouldn’t want a male plant. In most cases you will not want any seeds in your weed, unless you are trying to create a self sustaining grow operation where with every batch of weed you get a batch of new seeds or if you are trying to cross breed two different strains. But, for now let’s stick with the idea that if you find a male plant you are going to want to separate it from all the other plants and in most cases probably just kill the plant. This is important to do as soon as possible because if the male plant matures it will release its pollen and likely pollinate every one of the plants in your grow room. Not only will this cause your weed to contain seeds but the bud will likely be of lower quality due to the fact that the plant had to sacrifice some of the energy and nutrients that would have gone in to producing bud to produce seeds instead.

There are some more advanced techniques that can be used to identify the sex of your marijuana plants after several weeks of vegetative growth. However, after switching your plants from the vegetative (18 hours of light, 6 hours of darkness) to the flowering stage (12 hours of light, 12 hours of darkness) it becomes much easier to separate the males from the females. But, regardless of when you determine the sex of your plants, you will always be looking for the same which in this case is balls. Believe it or not male marijuana plants actually have balls. During vegetative growth they can be identified with a magnifying glass or loop by looking at the plant’s nodes.

On a male plant you will see something like this…

Or, several weeks later, looks like this…

Identifying the sex of a marijuana plant is one of those things that is difficult to do the first time but that after doing once you will never forget. So, don’t feel bad if you don’t really see what is so special about these pictures. As we mentioned before, when you switch your plants to the flowering stage this as many of you know triggers the female plants to start making buds and likewise triggers the male plants to produce pollen. And, we definitely want to separate out all the males form the females before they release that pollen. You need to look for the little banana looking things that will be hanging down from the nodes of your plant. Check each plant thoroughly, you don’t want to let a male sneak by, and make sure to check several branches on each plant in case one of your plants is a  hermaphrodite (seriously, it happens).

They should look something like this at this stage of the game…

When these bad boys open up, its too late, and the pollen has likely contaminated your crop of sensemilla and turned it into some Mexican brick weed. So, to produce sensemilla make sure to pull males out when you notice them, take them out of the same room as the females at a minimum and better  yet kill it and throw it out. Of course if you are looking to get seeds for another round of growing you could use the male plant and its pollen to pollinate one branch of a female plant so that only that branch will produce seeds. This is best done to one of the lower branches which won’t receive much light anyway and won’t produce huge buds to begin with. To do this separate the male plant or plants from the females once you notice them, when the sacks open and release pollen gather some of this pollen in a plastic bag by either scraping it off the leaves as it falls or by shaking the branch so that the pollen may fall of. Then cover the female branch you would like to be your seed branch with the plastic bag and shake it making sure not to break the branch. Make sure pollen does not get into the air, spill out the bag, etc. when you are done with it throw it out. Mark the branch with  a small piece of string so you know which one has the seeds.

 

Just to keep things fair and balanced we’ll show you what a female marijuana plants sex organs look like in both the vegetative and flowering stages just as we did with the male plants.

On a female plant you are looking for the pistils, or these things…

Or, if you’re lucky some nice labels like these…

 

As always, if you have any questions feel free to post a comment to this post or email us at QUESTIONS@marijuanamythbusters.com. Remember to LIKE us on Facebook. And, tweet at your boys, @mjmythbusters.