Despite their minute size, it’s hard to miss the blanket of crystal resin on a cannabis bud. This resin is secreted through translucent, mushroom-shaped glands on the leaves, stems, and calyxes.
Seeds are produced in female cannabis plants and carry the genetics of a male and female. Seeds need to germinate to sprout and will grow a taproot, which will become the main root that anchors the plant.
Mycorrhizae, a beneficial fungus, can be added to soil to improve root systems.
Because this occurs when cannabis is under stress, it’s important to monitor plants after they have been exposed to stressors: indoors, high temperatures or light leaks are often the cause; outdoors, a snapped branch might be repaired and then turn into a hermaphrodite.
When determining the sex of a cannabis plant, pre-flowers, or the beginnings of male and female sex organs, will appear at the nodes.
Enclosed by these bracts and imperceptible to the naked eye, the calyx refers to a translucent layer over the ovule at a flower’s base.
Cannabis is a dioecious plant, meaning it can be male or female, and the male and female reproductive organs appear on different plants. What’s in your stash jar now are the flowers of a female marijuana plant.
Hermaphrodite cannabis plants come in two different forms: true hermaphrodites and “bananas”.
Female pre-flowers also develop at the nodes. You can distinguish them based on one obvious visual characteristic: hairs. Female pre-flowers feature tear-drop shaped calyxes with small hairs protruding from the tip. These small hairs, known as pistils, are the sex organs of female cannabis flowers.
Within a matter of weeks, these small pre-flowers swell into dense nuggets and begin churning out cannabinoid and terpene-rich resin. Since you the removed males and prevented pollination, your flowers will continuously produce resin until the end of the growing cycle.
TYPES OF HERMAPHRODITE CANNABIS PLANTS
See, the vast majority of plant species are monoecious, a term meaning they possess both male and female reproductive organs. These include edible plants, such as corn and squashes, that can readily fertilise their own flowers using their own pollen.
Several factors can cause female plants to start to develop pollen sacs—or exposed stamens—alongside their flowers. This trait means that plants don’t need to rely on a nearby male to burst their sacs and fertilise them. As we’ll discuss in a bit, this is actually a savvy survival mechanism and a display of nature’s genius. However, hermaphrodites aren’t desirable in the grow room or garden. Now, let’s discuss both types and how to avoid the issues they cause.
Male plants, in contrast, don’t produce flowers. This makes them less valuable for growers seeking only buds. However, they do produce pollen sacs. These small vessels create the genetic material required to fertilise female flowers and create hybrids. This makes the males extremely important for breeding new cannabis strains.
Cannabis belongs to a minority of species that are dioecious in nature, meaning they produce separate male and female plants. Specifically, it should be noted that only 7% of all angiosperms (flowering plant species) possess this rare and interesting trait.
You can either throw the plants directly onto the soil using the crude chop and drop technique, or add them onto your compost pile to accelerate their decomposition through the magic of aerobic microbes.
Don’t use males that grow especially fast or tall. Most of the time, these plants may be lacking when it comes to the quality of their bud.
We don’t smoke males, so it’s harder to find the perfect plant with the best flavour. Usually, breeders select their male through process of elimination. Here is some criteria to help you determine which one to keep, and which to discard.
TO HARVEST EDIBLE SEEDS
Those male plants took shape by pulling a lot of nutrients out of your soil. They mainly consist of carbon and nitrogen, but they harbour lots of other goodies too, such as valuable micronutrients. If you don’t plan on using them elsewhere, be sure to return those compounds back into your garden.
Cannabis seeds are super nutritious. Rich in amino acids, fatty acids, and vitamins, they make a healthy snack and provide a pleasant nutty taste. Female cannabis flowers only produce seeds when exposed to male pollen. If you plan on raising weed for seeds, you’ll want a few males dispersed throughout your garden to make this possible. Whereas most growers seek to identify and remove males, seed producers rely on them.
Eliminate those male plants with an airy bud structure and keep those with dense and tightly-packed buds to ensure good yields.
Many hobby growers use one single feminized strain, or base their entire grow on essentially identical clones.