Most cultivators get rid of male cannabis plants as soon as possible. But are there any ways to use your male plants? How do you find out whether your plant is male? Below are some tips on how to spot a male flower and what it can be used for.
Cannabis has many unique properties. One of its main distinctive features is that it has two sexes—male and female, which is a rarity among plants. To reproduce and make seeds, a female cannabis plant needs to be pollinated by a male specimen.
When you purchase weed at a retail point, you usually get dried bud made from a female flower. Unfertilized cannabis flowers contain the most resin, which is the main source of psychoactive THC. To increase yields, growers separate female plants from males. Unfortunately, in this case, male plants are usually destroyed.
However, male cannabis plants are exceptionally important in breeding programs. And that is not all. According to a 1971 United Nations report that compared the levels of THC in the plants of different sexes in several parts of the world, male and female cannabis flowers produced almost the same amounts of THC. The highest testing sample produced only 2.8% of THC, which is extremely low by today’s standards as modern female flowers can contain as much as 30% of THC. However, a potent male plant can become a great parent for some knock-out new strain.
Experienced growers can easily differentiate between female and male cannabis flowers. In the early phase of vegetative growth, the plant produces special preflowers that are the main indicators of a specimen’s sex. Preflowers usually grow on nodes near the plant’s light source. A female specimen produces a calyx with one pistillate hair, while the male one looks like a tightly closed bud. Once you have determined the sex of the plant, it is recommended to remove the males and avoid pollination. Otherwise, it can significantly reduce the quality of the crop.
However, do not destroy your male cannabis flowers. Dried stems and fan leaves can be used to make refreshing teas or infused into topicals. Buds can be eaten raw or dried and added to different dishes as a kitchen spice.