May 31, 2023

So you decided to try your hand at growing marijuana and now you find yourself in a great quandary. You purchased the best seeds, identified and purchased the most reputable equipment, followed all the appropriate growing instructions and expected the best results. Never once did you consider that all plants are not created equal and that you might have to reduce your production by almost half. Yes half.

ALL MARIJUANA PLANTS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL. That should be everyone’s new mantra. The female plants are the only plants that will be kept till harvest. They are the good plants. The male plants will need to be removed, terminated, killed off. Kill Al The Males……. And If you don’t rid your grow of ALL the male plants they will pollenate the female plants and drastically lower the potency of your final product..

So why are we here reading this? To look at the pretty pictures or to get a better understanding of sexing your grow. Cannabis plants, as you know now, are dioecious, meaning there are separate male and female plants or said another way the male and female flowers do not occur on the same plant. The one exception being a hermaphrodite which we can talk about later.
There are a variety of ways of determining the sex of a cannabis plant but 1st things first. What do the male and female flowers look like.

The male flower resembles balls hanging from a stem. How apropos!

And the female flowers are identified by the presence of their pistils.

The pictures above are from what’s called the pre-flower stage and although it’s entirely possible to sex the plants at this stage it is difficult and prone to error like removing female plants along with the male plants.
Another method for sexing that many growers use is to just wait for the plant to enter the ‘flowering stage’ and feast your eyes on your beautiful girls. One big drawback to this method is the care and feeding of the male plants which will eventually be destroyed.
Here’s a good one ‘Cloning and Sex’. Sounds like a movie on the Sci-Fi Channel. With this method a cutting is taken from each plant, the cutting is rooted, and then the light cycle is adjusted to force the plants to flower. Voila! You have now identified the sex of your grow thru an intermediary. Just make sure you label very well.
There are other sexing methods that use light manipulation and as with any naturally occurring event there will always be some caveats to the overall act of sexing be it unusual strains, abnormal photosensitivity etc. But of all sexing methods out there my favorite has to be DNA testing. With a small sample of a cannabis leaf testing laboratories can sex your plant for you and along with the sex of your plant can come genetics and cannabinoid ratios. The THC to CBD ratios which are your final product.