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Clarice Lispector’s Ghost

Male or Female…how can you tell? Discover how you can determine the good from the bad in your cannabis plants

Plants can reproduce in multiple ways, but the most common method is sexual reproduction. Angiosperms are plants that reproduce sexually with seeds and, approximately 80% of green plants are angiosperms, including our beloved cannabis plants.

Types of Cannabis Plants

Hermaphrodite plants

These plants consist of single flowers that can have both male and female reproductive organs such as tomatoes. In rare cases, weed can also be a hermaphrodite plant.

Monoecious plants

A good example of monoecious plants is bananas. These plants will produce two separate types of flowers within the same main plant.

Dioecious plants

This is where weed plants fall. Dioecious plants are similar to humans, in the sense that, they either have a male or female organ. Cannabis plants can either be male or female.

Identifying the sex of your plant is super important since female plants are more desired as they are the ones that produce the flowers that you can leisurely consume.

Do I Get Rid of Male Cannabis Plants?

Removing male cannabis plants will enable female plants to grow Cannabis Plant: How Soon Can You Tell the Sex?
Removing male cannabis plants will enable female plants to grow

Erm…kind of! Removing male cannabis plants will enable female plants to grow into larger and seedless buds which are known as sinsemilla. Sinsemilla is derived from the Spanish words ‘sin’ meaning ‘without’ and ‘semilla’ meaning ‘seed’. This is considered the highest-quality weed.

The cannabis that is consumed is produced by the female plant only, never the male. If you find seeds in your bud, that means that you might have had some interference from a male plant close by.

Seeded buds are lower quality and that means that a male plant has pollinated your female plant. Smoking cannabis from seeded buds is not harmful, but definitely not pleasant either. 

However, male plants might have some use for them. You might want to introduce male plants to your female ones to collect seeds to grow the following year or simply to breed a new strain of cannabis.

All in all, it is important to identify which are the male plants and which are the female ones. The process is quite simple.

How Do You Identify the Sex of a Cannabis Plant?

Female marijuana, during pre-flowering, will have small bracts that have small stigmas, like hair sticking out. On the contrary, male plants will have smaller and rounder balls at the nodes.

You can start to notice male and female genes as early as 4 to 6 weeks of age Cannabis Plant: How Soon Can You Tell the Sex?
You can start to notice male and female genes as early as 4 to 6 weeks of age

Most plants will reveal their sex during the pre-flowering stage while others are more stubborn and will wait for a while longer. You can start to notice male and female genes as early as 4 to 6 weeks of age. Your plant will indicate its sex by what grows at the nodes.

An additional way to identify female plants is by taking a look at their stems and size. Female plants are shorter and bushier as opposed to their male counterparts.

How Soon Can You Tell the Sex of the Plant?

You can identify the sex of the plan earlier on in their growing stage. The difference will appear weeks before the respective sex organs start to fulfil their reproductive purpose. You will notice whether your plant is male or female before they intend to pollinate. Here you will start to see pre-flowering.

Preflowers tend to develop within four weeks, depending on the sprouting phase. All in all, you might have to wait 6 weeks or more before you can identify the sex of your cannabis plant.

Although the preflowers might be too small at 4 weeks, you can always take a look at the nodes with a magnifying glass. Look for the small and round sacs to indicate the male and the hair-like stigma to single out the females.

New Cannabis Strains?

Cross pollination produces seeds Cannabis Plant: How Soon Can You Tell the Sex?
Cross-pollination produces seeds

This is where the male plants might come in handy! Cross-pollination produces seeds and just like with dog-breeding, you can produce a species that is a mix of two. It can be fun to experiment with breeding with different strains. However, we cannot guarantee that you will be successful every time!


To maintain an all-female crop, it’s essential to understand how to distinguish between male and female Cannabis plants from ordinary seeds. We advise you to take your time before discarding any plants and to be ready to wait until male plants are old enough to view the development of their pollen sacs.

Keep checking out our blog for more tips and updates on cannabis plants! 

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Clarice Lispector’s Ghost

Storytelling is my jam; whether it's through words, visuals or pottery, passing on an important or educational message through any medium is where it's at for me. When not writing a ToDo list with the never-ending tasks this scatterbrain has to get to, you'll probably find me with a weight in my hand or getting messy with some clay. Downtime is writing time which includes anything from facts to fiction. Find me typing away hidden under a whole lot of greenery with some green in my hand.

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