The Complete Cannabis Sexing Guide

Cannabis Sexing Guide

Understanding marijuana gender and reproduction is crucial to produce the optimum crop since it cannot be evident if you’re a beginner. You must understand what feminized seeds are and how to successfully regulate the gender of your plant to cultivate marijuana in order to understand cannabis sexing. 

To begin with, a marijuana plant might be hermaphrodite or either female or male. Each organism is dioecious if it has either female or male reproductive parts. When a plant is monoecious, it has both the male and female reproductive systems in the same person.

We’ll discuss those characteristics in this cannabis sexing guide so you can identify whether your plant is female, male, or “hermie” and take the appropriate action moving forward.

The Difference between Male and Female Cannabis Plants

Are weed plants gendered? What distinguishes cannabis plants that are male and female? Let’s discuss it further in this cannabis sexing guide. 

Female marijuana plants can only produce potent, high-THC buds. Therefore, it is unnecessary to market male marijuana plants as having less psychoactive activity and giving little high when used.

Additionally, male plants may fertilize female plants, contaminating a crop of female plants. After fertilization, a female plant will focus more energy on making seeds than developing juicy THC nugs and flowers. More so, male plants may stifle the growth of female plants, preventing them from producing to their maximum capacity.

Cannabis Plant Reproduction

Let’s first discuss gender. Cannabis plants are dioecious, meaning they have separate male and female plants. This is unlike most flowering plants. Every plant has two sets of X-chromosomes and Y-chromosomes, the sex chromosomes.

XY chromosomes are found in male plants, whereas XX chromosomes are found in female plants. There is a natural 50/50 ratio between males and females, much like humans.

Developing new cycles by seed and sexual reproduction in cannabis are two biological processes. Cannabis is a plant that has both sexual and asexual reproduction methods.

Taking clippings or cloning are terms used to describe the asexual propagation process. The union of male and female gametes within the female flowers to create a new, genetically different plant is the act of sexual reproduction.

Difference between Male and Female Cannabis Plants

Female and Male Cannabis Plants


Female or male plants vary primarily because female cannabis plants produce buds while male cannabis plants do not. Let’s examine further specifics relating to both genders.

Early Signs of Male Plants

Identifying male cannabis plants in the initial stage is easy; you have to check if it has flowers and is bigger than the female plant. 

General Signs of Male Plants

50% of cannabis seeds are typically male. The pollen sacs on male cannabis plants will grow before the buds on the female plants do. You must see where the branches emerge from the stalk to determine the sex of a cannabis plant. These are called nodes, which have rounded balls if the plant is a male.

In most cases, male plants start to display their gender before female plants do. Three to four weeks after germination is the usual time for male pre-flowers to emerge. The plant usually has at least five internodes at this point.

Additionally, as opposed to the young female bud’s teardrop shape, the male pre-flowers have more of a spade-like appearance. The male plant often grows taller and has stronger stalks to carry its weight than the female plant.

Early Signs of Female Plants

The early sign of female plants is that they include pistils and are shorter than male plants. 

General Signs of Female Plants

Females take about 2-4 weeks to reveal their gender. Your plant will have little flower clusters with protruding long “hairs” if it is female. Pre-flowers are the variations that become noticeable four weeks into the plant’s growth cycle.

Female pre-flowers resemble a pair of white hairs in the shape of a V that emerges from the calyx to form the pistil, which will subsequently group into female flowers or buds. The majority of growers seek these pre-flower indications. Four to six weeks after germination, the thin, white hairs of the female stigma are visible and gradually turn darker.

Although they can develop in the lower areas, pistils and stigmas are more likely to appear near the top of the plant, nearer to the light source.



After your plants develop their sex, they are prepared for reproduction. Here are some of the changes that occurred during the development.

The female plants display a big bunch of cola, including various subunits of buds. The female cannabis plant is moderated during the process of reproduction by the pistils included in each cola. These pistils incorporate stigmas which interrelate with male pollen.

When the flowering stage starts, cola is formulated for reproduction when the plant elasticities and matures its bud sites. These sites store clusters of cannabis flowers that will be fertilized. The top of the subunits has new flowers growing on them with little stigmas from pistils. 

The female bloom, on the other hand, includes additional hairs called glandular trichomes. On the adjacent leaves and blossoms, they secrete resin. Some trichomes can come off the buds if you handle them roughly.

Read More: Cannabis Seeds Kansas


Once a male cannabis plant is ripened, it discharges pollen and finds the female stigmas. The egg cell pistil is traveled to by the pollen, which produces a seed. In case the method is unsuccessful, the female flower goes through changes.

Cannabis plants are created mainly to pollinate. The pollen derived from male plants can endure for some time when trying to grasp a female, and this increases the existence of the cannabis plant.

The deficiency of fertilization causes resin synthesis to drop or stop entirely, and the trichomes start to disintegrate. The plant will eventually die; it won’t happen suddenly. Slow pistil maturation gives you adequate time to yield.

To know more about harvesting your cannabis plants, you can check out when is your cannabis plant ready to harvest?

Cannabis Plant Fertilization

Once the nucleus of the pollen grain blends with an ovule, fertilization occurs. Later, when the pollen has landed on the stigma, the pollen tube is developed beyond the style to the ovary. The nucleus of the ovule is fertilized when the nucleus of the pollen grain journeys in the tube. The pollinated ovule will grow into a seed there. You can collect your seed after fertilization for use or breeding.

Is Determining the Sex Different with Autoflowers?

After emerging from seed, auto-flowering cannabis plants show their sex 2 to 3 weeks later, with male plants showing their sex a little earlier than female plants. However, none of these traits is necessarily true, and male auto-flowering plants could first appear to be identical to female auto-flowering plants before they show their sex. 

Male auto-flowering plants are frequently taller, have fewer leaves, and have branches that are farther apart. Preflowers of auto-flowering plants start appearing as they prepare to flower; however, it is impossible to tell if the plant is male or female.

These “balls” or “balls on a stick” pre-flowers will develop into a ball-shaped object that looks like a “crab’s claw” in a few days. These ball-shaped structures can suddenly burst open anytime, from a few hours to several days.

Pollen is discharged from those balls as they open, and the wind then carries it to female plants. Cannabis plants that autoflower produce a golden-white powder known as male pollen. 

Hermaphrodite Cannabis Plants

We have now discussed how to distinguish between female and male plants. Hermaphrodites, however, are a third “gender” choice for cannabis plants.

There are two sorts of hermaphrodite plants: those that exhibit both sexes continuously and those that do so due to stress.

Since the first group typically produces both sexes at the same time from the beginning, they are simple to distinguish. This is more challenging for the second group because these plants can grow very few male flowers depending on the stress level and genetic sensitivity.

Maintaining good environmental conditions in your growing space, maintaining perfect hygiene, regularly checking your timers, inspecting your plants for insects and mites, and periodically watering them with a balanced nutrient solution are all things you should do to reduce the likelihood of getting hermaphrodite plants. To ensure you don’t miss the harvest window, thoroughly inspect the trichomes after blooming.

What are Nanners?

In cannabis plants that are blossoming, nanners typically emerge from the center of a bud. It is a type of hermie (hermaphrodite); if it isn’t treated right away, it can produce seeds. The cannabis plant’s final attempt to reproduce and create seeds is to grow bananas.

The shape of bananas can be straight or curved. They are tall, yellow growths that can cluster together to resemble real bananas. They can look white or lime green rather than yellow.

In essence, bananas are the exposed “masculine” portions of a pollen sac called a stamen. Usually, the stamen is encased in a sac that collects all the pollen before it bursts open.

A female cannabis plant may produce bananas as a last-ditch effort to self-pollinate and generate seeds for the following year if let to grow past the point of harvest.

Understanding marijuana plant reproduction can be challenging, especially given that, under some circumstances, cannabis can self-pollinate. As a grower, you must exercise caution. Before your plants begin to reproduce, learn to identify their sex.

One way to get the right seeds for growing plants by distinguishing the gender is by trying out the variety offered by United Cannabis Seeds.

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