In the wide world of weed, the female of the species is more useful than the male. The marijuana plant is like many other plant species in the world. It needs both a male and female plant to reproduce (it is a dioecious species). Admittedly, there are self-pollinating cannabis plants (i.e., monoecious plants). In general, however, most marijuana plants express female or male-specific sex organs.
1 – Breeding Cannabis
Incidentally, male plants have a higher THC concentration in their leaves than females during the vegetative growth phase. By the adult stages, females have taken over and produce a far higher THC ratio. The main issue with males is their limited lifespan. Also, there are no techniques available to delay pollination and boost resin production. Perhaps that will change one day. For now, extract the existing resin and create hash oil, BHO wax, dabs, or other concentrates.
3 – Concentrate Production
You can use dried material from male plants to create a terpene-laden oil. Use this oil to keep insects and other pests at bay.
Cannabis plants are monecious. This means they have the ability to be either male or female. Or in the case of hermaphroditism, they can be both. The reason to make sure there are no males or hermaphrodites in your garden is because male flowers make pollen. When pollen touches the white hairs on a flower, it makes a seed, and seeded weed gives you headaches. Even though there are reasons in nature hermaphroditism could be important, such as continuing the species in case there is no male present, hermaphroditism is generally a bad thing when talking about cannabis plants.
Negative stressors can combine with small interruptions of the light cycle to cause hermaphroditism, especially with less-stable, clone-only hybridized strains. When the night cycle is abnormally interrupted, it sends a mixed hormonal signal to the plant. This can cause a full female plant to throw some male flowers. Male flowers are easy to identify, especially when side by side with female flowers. Male flowers look like small bunches of bananas, which will take a week or two to swell before they burst and release their pollen.
Finding a hermaphrodite in your growroom can happen at any stage of the flowering cycle and is indicated by the presence of male flowers growing on the same plant as female flowers. As with all species in nature this can occur in varying degrees. A plant can become slightly or majorly hermaphroditic. In cases where singular male flowers are found between the branch and stalk nodes, you should be diligently removing them as they grow. You must re-inspect the plant top to bottom every few days to be sure pollination and seeding doesn’t occur. If you find male flowers (anthers) actually growing from within the female flowers (buds) the situation is a little more dire. You can still remove all the male anatomy as it appears, but it will be harder to find and much more prevalent. This is a horrible discovery that leads to a tough decision: Should you let the plant live and risk the whole crop being ruined by seeds?