Male Vs. Female Cannabis Plants

close up photo of plant, Marijuana, Leaf, green cannabis buds

Did you know there are male and female cannabis plants? For growers, knowing the difference between the two is extremely important since only female cannabis plants produce buds.

Cannabis plants go through two stages of life. These are the vegetative state and the flowering state. Most growers give their plants 18-24 hours of light a day during the vegetative stage. The vegetative state can be described as the ‘childhood’ state, when the plant is mostly focused on growing. At the beginning of this stage,  it is hard to tell the gender of the plant. Once the plant is about 6 weeks old, it starts to produce ‘pre-flowers’ which may allow you to tell the gender before the flowering stage.

green marijuana leaf in close up photography

What is the difference between male and female marijuana plants?

The difference between the male and female pre-flowers is that the males contain a pollen sac that has a similar shape to a ball. The female plants have a calyx, or bud, that’s more sphere shaped. Male plants do not produce the cannabis buds that we are all familiar with.

After this, cannabis plants change to the flowering state, which means they spend all their effort growing ‘flowers’, or ‘buds’ as we better know them as. When a plant is about half the final size you want it to be, you should change it over to the “flowering” stage. The flowering stage can be described as the “adult” stage of a cannabis plant since at this point it’s only interested in growing their buds and pollinating.

Unfortunately when buying seeds, there is no way to tell the difference between male and female seeds. Make sure you’re purchasing seeds from a reputable source if you’re interested in growing your own cannabis. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with a bunch of male plants and no marijuana buds!

What are male marijuana plants like?

Usually people think that male marijuana plants are pointless, due to their poor reputation. The truth is, if you don’t separate them from female plants in your crop, they will end up ruining them. Male plants also don’t grow cannabis buds so some people might be thinking, why would I keep a male cannabis plant? If you want to grow your own weed, the male will contribute to 50% of the genes. This means you should select the strongest male plant out of the bunch. Look for ones that grow at a steady pace and have good quality stems and leaves. You can also do a classic sniff test and choose the ones with the best scent.

Male Vs. Female Cannabis Plants

What are female marijuana plants like?

Female plants are what every grower wants. They are the ones that actually produce the smokeable cannabis buds that we all know and love. They take a little longer than males to show their gender. Once they do, a few small white hairs will appear where their buds are going to start growing. In order to grow cannabis, a male plant needs to fertilize a female plant. But once that process is done, it’s important to separate the female plants from the male plants to ensure a healthy crop.


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If you’re interested in learning more about cannabis and CBD, check out our daily blog! There, you’ll find other articles like:

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