Plant reproduction is a fascinating thing, particularly when it comes to cannabis plants. When you decide to start growing, you are going to need to know some things about gender when you’re growing your own cannabis. Much like humans, plants are fairly gender fluid.They can be male, female, or hermaphrodite (exhibiting both male and female characteristics). It’s important for you to know how gender affects your growing process. 

Look Between the Legs

Not to be crass, but the best way to determine the gender of your cannabis plants is by looking at what grows between the nodes, aka the area between the stalks and stem of the plant. If you see a pollen sac, which looks like a sac and dispenses pollen, then you have a male plant. Female plants come with what is called a stigma, which catches pollen. When you look at it this way, plant reproduction is pretty similar to mammal reproduction.

Gender is 50-50

Seeds are either male or female, so you have a fifty fifty chance of getting female seeds which will grow into beautiful plants that will yield lots of delicious sticky buds, or male seeds which will not produce any buds. The best way around this is to purchase feminine seeds from a respected seedbank. You can find many good seedbanks online.

Cannabis Plants Reveal Their Gender Before Flowering

Contrary to popular belief, cannabis plants actually reveal their gender before they flower. Cannabis plants have two stages in their life cycle: vegetative and flowering. During the vegetative stage the plant is still young, it is growing, but not budding. At week 6, the plant enters what is called the “pre-flowering” stage. This is when you can begin to see precisely what will be growing between your plant’s nodes.

hermaphroditic cannabis plant
Does your plant have both male and female parts like this one? Image powered by YouTube

Some Plants Have More Than One Gender

Some plants are reveal themselves to have more than one gender, i.e., hermaphrodites. This means that they grow both male and female flowers. For obvious reasons, you don’t want hermaphroditic plants when you’re  growing cannabis. You will not only yield fewer buds, but they will be lower quality too. Some strains are much more likely to produce hermaphroditic plants than others, but stressors in your growing environment can also cause your plants to become hermaphroditic. One positive outcome from hermaphroditic plants is that they produce a large quantity of seeds, which is great when you need more seeds for growing. It’s not so great when you’re growing a crop to sell or smoke.

Male Cannabis Plants are Useful

Despite what you may have been told, male cannabis plants are not completely useless. Obviously if you are growing a crop to smoke or sell, then you want females. If you’re growing for the purpose of making hemp, the male plants make for a softer fiber, which is great for making clothing. Male plants also produce far more seeds, which you need to grow more plants.

Featured Image: YouTube

You are well on your way to becoming a gender expert! Was there anything we didn’t cover? Share in the comments!

Marijuana is more than an herb, it’s a lifestyle, and Sarah is your professional hostess. Our resident “stonette” writes commentaries on the latest news, shares relevant news for marijuana lovers, and generally writes about stuff she knows other cannabis enthusiasts will enjoy. With all the... [read more]


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  1. By perry ,24 Nov 2017
    do male plant only produce male seeds or do male plants produce male and female seeds i dont know im a beginner
    1. By Stacy ILGM ,27 Nov 2017
    2. By Dennis ,29 Apr 2018
      Male plants only produce pollen. The females produce the seeds. And the seeds will be varied sexes
      1. By 562_420 ,16 Jul 2018
        Dennis...correct me if im.wrong but im.pretty sure it's the males tjat peoduce seeds...and pollinate the female. Which I think you don't want that to happen..
  2. By Don FRancis ,28 Jan 2018
    i have three strains of weed. One is a cotton candy clone which is growing good and is getting close. I germenated seeds . Its obvious there are two strains. The healthiest and most rapid growth strain might be hymorphadite. […]Read More
    1. By latewood_ILGM ,30 Jan 2018
      Don, We would have to see your plant, and we are not set up for that type support here in the BLOG. Join us at: support.ilovegrowingmarijuana.com After some reading time and a few postings, you will be able to start […]Read More
  3. By Dazz ,11 Feb 2018
    Hii all, on the subject of seeing your plants. There is an old wives tale on how to tell the sex of the baby whilst still in the womb. You get a long hair of the expecting mother. thread it […]Read More
  4. By Mike ,15 Jun 2020
    So do I just get rid of the male plants and just keep the female or I'm not understanding how are you get the female plants to start budding
  5. By Mary ,17 Jul 2020
    I think I'm screwed. I'm still not sure what I have. Lol
    1. By Stacy ILGM ,20 Jul 2020
      Hi there, If you are not sure about it, feel free to post some pics of your plants on our forum so our grow experts can take a look and help you out! :) https://support.ilovegrowingmarijuana.com/

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