Whether you are growing cannabis for recreational or medicinal purposes, or even hemp flower for similar reasons, you absolutely have to know how to properly identify and dispose of male plants. Only females produce the highly resinous and Cannabinoid laden buds that you really want. With that being said, it’s still important to remove the males from your ecosystem when producing smokeable flowers (for THC or CBD) due to the natural phenomena called cross pollination. Cross pollination, while being the way new strains and seeds are created, will ruin your crop when growing for premium flower.
Male Vs Female Cannabis Attributes
Cannabis plants and high CBD hemp plants have very noticeable differences in between sexes. This difference in sex is noticeable beginning as early as 3 weeks to 10 weeks but may appear later in some cases. We will cover the differences between the two below.
What Do Male Cannabis Plants Look Like?
Male cannabis or hemp plants have thicker stalks than females of the same strain as well as noticeably fewer leaves. As male cannabis matures, it begins to produce small clusters of pollen sacks on the nodes. These pollen sacks are readily identifiable by their round or oval shape. Some people even say they look like a little cluster of bananas.
If you look closely it is fairly easy to see the small pollen sacks beginning to form. Note: The white powder is Diatomaceous Earth for Organic Pest Control
What Do Female Cannabis Plants Look Like?
Female cannabis or hemp plants have thinner stalks than males of the same strain, as well as more leaves. As female cannabis matures, it begins to produce small stipules with pistils on the nodes. The pistils are readily identifiable by the white hairs coming from the stipules.
Notice the Female Cannabis Plant shows "hairs" known as pistils as opposed to the male with its pollen sacks.
How To Remove Male Cannabis Plants? The Right Way.
Removing male cannabis from the grow is as easy as it sounds but there is definitely a few tricks to doing it the safest way possible. The process can vary slightly dependent on how mature the plant and pollen clusters are. Don’t just pull them out! You may disturb the clusters and spread the pollen! If the clusters look small like the ones in the picture above it’s probably safe to just give the plant a cut at the soil line and take it out. If the pollen clusters have begun to hang from the nodes and look like they may be close to bursting, it is very critical that you take a large plastic bag and place it carefully and completely over your male plant and tape it off at the bottom. After bagging and taping your plant, cut the stalk at the soil line. If you can’t fit it in a bag without disturbing your plant too much, carefully pick it up and take it as far away from your other plants as possible before making the cut at the soil line.
How To Dispose of Male Cannabis Plants?
Regardless of which method you use to remove the male cannabis plant, how you dispose of it needs to final. Just tossing it on the ground after cutting may not be enough. After you’ve made your cut, place the male cannabis plant direct in a trash bag that can be tied closed permanently and then throw away, or if you really wish, burn them. Doing either will nearly guarantee you avoid cross pollination!
Premium Flower Ready
Using the short guide above will nearly guarantee your success time and time again as long as you maintain your diligence and pay close attention! Identifying a cannabis plants sex is easy after you’ve got the hang of it! Practice will make perfect. Now get out there and grow some premium flower!