Early Signs Of Male Plant And Female Plant-How To Identify The Difference? 

Like a few other plant species, cannabis plants can be male or female and sometimes hermaphrodite. For growers of these dioecious plants, it’s crucial to determine their gender on time. 

To the untrained eye, these plant genders have no obvious differences. However, expert growers can identify some early tell-tale signs of the plant’s gender. 

Thus, contrary to popular belief, you can tell a plant’s gender even before its flowering. After a while of growing cannabis plants, it becomes easier to tell which of your plants are male and female. 

Even after four weeks of germination, while plants are still in a vegetative phase, some signs could help you identify the gender of your cannabis plants. The difference between both genders is apparent in the appearance of their pre-flowers, just 3 to 6 weeks after germination.

Why Do Cannabis Growers Prefer Female Plants?

The gender of a cannabis plant would determine its potency. Female cannabis plants grow highly resinous buds that are rich in cannabinoids such as delta-9 THC. On the other hand, male cannabis plants have low levels of THC.Some of the delta-9 THC products include delta-9 gummies, vapes and tablets. 

For this reason, many growers focus on growing only female plants. Growers would prefer the entire crop to be female cannabis to prevent seed production due to male and female plant fertilization.

Plants that have been fertilized have a lower cannabinoid content than unfertilized female plants. With fertilized female buds, you’ll find more seeds in the crop and fewer THC-rich buds.

The seedless female plant, Sinsemilla, is loved by many for its high THC content and for the duration of time it keeps producing buds. 

Some growers use feminized seeds to ensure that every one of their plants is female. If you plant regular cannabis seeds, your harvest will likely be equal parts male and female.

Do Male Cannabis Plants Bud?

An important identifier of the male cannabis plant is that it does not produce buds. Instead of buds, the sex organ of these male marijuana plants produces pollen sacs. These pollen sacs are responsible for fertilizing the female buds to produce seeds.

Growers do all to avoid having seedy female buds, as these buds produce poor-quality cannabis. This cannabis is not potent and has low levels of cannabinoids. Growers are wary of this situation. 

Thus, they always remove the male and hermaphrodite cannabis plants from the crop. If you do this early enough, you can protect your female buds and reap a bountiful harvest.

How To Identify A Female Plant Before It Flowers

During a cannabis first sign of flowering stage, you can identify a female plant by its buds. The plant’s teardrop-shaped buds begin to produce white hairy strands called stigma. 

These stigmas protrude from the buds of a female plant, forming a part of the female reproductive organ (pistil). The pistils are located at the plant’s node, which is the point where the branches grow out of the plant’s stalks.

These wispy white hairs appear four to six weeks after germinating a cannabis plant. Over time, the white hairs begin to get darker. 

Depending on several factors, the female plant’s pistils and stigma can grow at the top or lower regions of the marijuana plant. However, it is more common to see them growing at the top part of the plant, close to the light source.

How To Identify A Male Plant? 

The sex organs of the male and female cannabis plants differ significantly. You can identify that a cannabis plant is male as early as four weeks after germinating. This is unlike the female plant that often gets to six weeks before revealing its sex.

Unlike female plants, male cannabis plants produce pollen sacs. These sacs are situated at the points between the nodes and the plant’s stalk. At first, these sacs appear to look like female buds. 

However, they do not have the white hairs that female sacs are known to produce. Also, the male pre-flowers often resemble the shape of a spade, unlike young female buds that have a teardrop shape.

Besides these, there are other morphological features that each plant produces that can help you easily identify their gender. One of these identifiers is the length of the plant. More often than not, male plants tend to grow taller than female marijuana plants. 

Also, the stalks of the male marijuana plant would be much thicker to provide support for the plant’s weight. Generally, a female plant would look shorter and bushier than a male plant.

These attributes are, however, not a conclusive way to identify gender. Some conditions could cause your plant not to appear how it should. The surest way to identify your plant’s gender remains by the appearance of buds or pollen sacs.

How To Identify A Hermaphrodite Cannabis Plant? 

Certain conditions can cause a cannabis plant to become hermaphrodite. Such a plant would have both male and female reproductive organs. Deficiencies in nutrients, disease and other stressful conditions can often lead to a plant forming both sex organs.

The first way to identify a hermaphrodite plant is when it grows both male pollen sacs and female buds. Another sign is when anthers begin to grow among the plant’s buds. An anther has a yellowish color and is shaped like a banana.

These anthers are capable of fertilizing the female plant as soon as they start forming. Thus, it’s important to look out for any appearance of anthers in your female crop and trim them off to protect your female plants. 

Inspecting your female plants to ensure they do not have male sacs is crucial, as this could lead to self-pollination. It’s essential to do this, as even just one hermaphrodite plant can pollinate your entire crop of plants and reduce the quality of your yield.

How Do You Tell If A Plant Is A Boy Or Girl?

Even to expert growers, it is impossible to tell the gender of a seed by simply looking at it. The only way to tell its gender is to plant it and wait some weeks for it to mature. The growth of buds or sacs will help you easily identify your male and female plants.

However, some seeds called feminized seeds are bred to grow only female plants. You can even grow some of the top rated CBD strains or weed strains to sell them and earn profit. Thus, if you acquire feminized cannabis seeds from a reputable vendor, you are certain to grow female plants.

Note, however, that it is possible for a small percentage of feminized seeds to sprout hermaphrodite plants. This might be a result of less-than-ideal growing conditions and genetics. 

All in all, always ensure to check your female crops frequently to ensure that none are becoming hermaphrodites. If you purchase feminized seeds, also ensure to check your crop to ensure that your vendor mistakenly added no male seeds to the feminized seeds.

Chemical Leaf Testing

Chemical leaf testing has become a popular means of identifying the gender of a cannabis plant. It’s become a popular alternative to visual inspection, as the plants can take up to six weeks to reveal their gender.

A chemical test can be carried out on the plant’s leaves to determine its gender just a few days after germinating. 

This chemical test involves the use of DNA and can identify other features of the plant, like its cannabinoid content. Chemical tests have become the go-to choice for expert growers who wish to identify their plants’ gender early.

FAQs Regarding Early Signs Of Male Plant 

Can you stop a cannabis plant from becoming a hermaphrodite?

To reduce the likelihood of producing hermaphrodite plants, avoid any stress and triggers when the plant is flowering. 

To ensure optimal growing conditions, you should observe perfect hygiene and use a balanced nutrient solution to water the plants.

What can I do with my male cannabis plants?

Some growers will retain their male plants for genetic pool diversity. Inbreeding plants and self-pollination can increase the future probability of hermaphrodite plants. 

Thus, some growers might keep male plants for that purpose. However, it would be best if you did not keep the male plants close to the female or handle the female plant after contacting pollen grains. 

These male plants also produce some terpenes that are great for pest control. Unlike female flowers, male flowers could also contain limited amounts of cannabinoids like CBD and THC and can be used to make hashish. 

Conclusion: Can You Tell A Plants Gender By A Seed?

If you are a hobbyist or expert cannabis grower, you already know that female plants are the most desirable. They produce high-quality cannabis rich in cannabinoids like THC. Thus, it’s necessary to find out the gender of your plants on time.

Wispy white hairs on the nodes of your plant signify a female cannabis plant, while pollen sacs signify a male plant. However, since these signs can take up to six weeks to show, you might want to consider chemical leaf testing. 

All in all, ensure to check your crop often to identify male or hermaphrodite plants and cut them off.


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