Weed Plants: How to Tell Between Male and Female

Know which ones to grow!
Nicole Richter Nicole Richter / Updated on June 21, 2019

This article is geared towards new cannabis users but the information in it is quite important to know.
Did you know that there are both male and female marijuana plants? The thing that most people are unaware of is that only female plants produce buds.

In general, the sex of your plant is all to do with genetics, but it can also be influenced by the environment.

As in humans, cannabis plants have two pairs of sex chromosomes, one of which carries the genes that determine the sex. Male plants have the XY chromosome and females have XX.

When cannabis grows in nature, it has a 50:50 chance of being male or female but when growing you should control the sex of your plants, especially if you want to get the most THC out of your garden.

Related Article: 5 Hacks to Increase THC When Growing Weed

When does a plant reveal its sex?

Cannabis plants grow in stages; first, you have the “vegetative” stage, and then you have the “flowering” stage. Roughly after 6 weeks of growing, the plant will enter the flowing stage and start to reveal its sex. At this point, female plants will grow buds. Those are the amazing things you end up smoking, buds that are packed with THC.

Female marijuana plants start showing one or two wispy white hairs where their buds eventually form. Male plants, on the other hand, have grape-like balls which form and fill with pollen. The balls will first show up slightly after the plant enters the flowering stage.

A few things to take into consideration about pollination, especially if you are a grower. If a female plant should receive pollen from the male plant, it will no longer focus its energy on growing flowers, but instead, start to produce seeds.

Related Articles: Help! I’ve Got Marijuana Squatters

A good healthy female plant will produce lots of seeds, but unless you want to breed plants, they won’t really help you in any way. Most growers tend to remove male plants to avoid the female plant from catching the pollen.

Photo source: Howtogrowmarijuana

How to Grow Female Plants

There is no real trick or hack around this. Sure, we’ve heard a few stories of growers that manipulate their seeds using different growing techniques, but your best bet is to simply purchase female seeds.

Related: How to Grow Rainbow Colorful Weed

  1. Lynda Watson
    Master it

    No matter how many articles or books you read, it is difficult to tell. But you will learn to make this out automatically by experience, just by glancing only once. So the best practice is to go by trying it again and again.

  2. Jamie See
    Finally Answered

    Oh, what a great insight. You have provided very crisp and to the mark information above. I always heard that we must trim off the male parts once the flowering starts, but was never sure as to why. Thanks

  3. barry

    how far apart between male and female too stop polinization?

  4. Don

    how many weeks into a indoor grow will you think you can tell the sex of a plant I have four plants that are very thick with leaves and growth on the 3 week mark but also have two that are about 12 inches and very little leaves on them but are 5 inches taller then the short bushy ones that are covered with leaves and very thick plants

    1. Triz

      The taller less bushy ones tend to be male. Sounds like the small one you have is a keeper for sure, but don’t tear any plants out until they show male type sacks.

  5. Latoya Wolf

    Nice article. Find the mentioned facts true

  6. Marcia Martinez

    Great article. Well explained with the help of pictures. I am glad. Thank you!

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