How To Identify Male and Female Cannabis Flowers

Professor DeBacco

Growers should first look at the nodes (junction of leaves/branches and the stalks of the plant).
Pre-flowers begin to develop 4-6 weeks into the growing cycle at the nodes and during this time growers should be able to identify the gender of the plant as male or female.
These are immature flowers and will show the male or female morphology well before they are able to produce viable components for seed production.
Removing males at this time will help ensure no chance of accidental pollination will occur.
Male pre-flowers: Look for small pollen sacs
Female pre-flowers: Look for two stigmas (typically white)

Female Plants
Females are the plants that will produce the cannabinoids in the greatest concentrations in the flowers.
If female plants receive pollen from male plants seeds will be produced which will drastically reduce cannabinoid production.
Cannabis is grown via sinsemilla (“seedless”) by removing male pollen producing plants to prevent seed production.
This allows for the cannabis plant to focus its energy on cannabinoid production instead of seeds.
Female plants will only be pollinated to produce seeds for breeding purposes.

Male Plants
Male cannabis plants grow pollen sacs instead of buds and are often discarded to avoid female plants from being pollinated.
Males are important in the breeding process
Pollinating male plants shape, rate of growth, pest and mold resistance, and climate resilience can important for breeding purposes.
Male plants can also be used for:
Hemp fiber and in some cases concentrate production but concentration is much less than female plants.

Link to Lecture Slides:

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