Hemp is a biparental plant, meaning it has two sexes, male and female. The different sexes such as louisiana medical card differ from each other in appearance, flowering and life cycle, as well as in the functions they perform.
Today, feminized cannabis seeds are very popular – the result of the work of breeders. Feminized seeds produce female plants 97% of the time. If the seeds are not feminized, they are equally likely to produce male or female plants.
Female cannabis plants
The female sex of cannabis (maturka) is characterized by the appearance of female-type inflorescences. It is these plants that are valuable to the grower, as their trichomes secrete large amounts of resin with cannabinoids and terpenes. The main biological role of female plants is to form offspring in the form of new seeds.
Male cannabis plants
The male sex of cannabis (popcorn) is also evident in the peculiar shape of the inflorescences, which produce pollen for pollination. Male bushes also secrete THC, but in negligible amounts compared to “girls”. Male plants are not really very useful to the grower when it comes to yields, but they are indispensable for the development of new varieties.
Sometimes under the influence of various stress factors male cannabis inflorescences may appear on female plants. In nature, this helps “girls” to self-pollinate and give offspring even in difficult conditions – for example, when the temperature drops, excessive moisture, violations of the light regime.
For growers, the appearance of hermaphrodites is an extremely undesirable phenomenon, which must be carefully monitored, otherwise the crop can be hopelessly ruined.
How to distinguish “girls” from “boys”?
The question of how to distinguish between male and female plants worries many growers. Unfortunately, it is impossible to do this at the stage of vegetation of bushes. You can only say exactly what sex you are looking for when the plants are flowering.
So, male and female bushes are distinguished by the following signs:
Preflowers. The first signs of “boys” and “girls” can be determined by their time of appearance. The female bushes have their preflowers by the 6th week after sprouting, while the male bushes have them 1-4 weeks sooner. In both sexes, the preflowers are bulging, bud-like formations that appear at the junction of the leaves and stem. The first inflorescences are usually between 4-6 knots.
Inflorescences. The appearance and structure of the inflorescences is the most important indicator of sex. Female flowers are pear-shaped and produce two long tendrils that are designed to catch pollen. Male flowers are clustered in 5-6 pieces, forming a ball on a stalk that eventually turns yellow and becomes like an oblong banana.
Height of bushes. “Boys” always grow taller than “girls”, which is determined by biological expediency. Taller male plants find it easier to disperse the ripened pollen so that it reaches the female flowers.
Plant structure. “Girls” form more branched bushes with more side shoots. Comparing female and male bushes of the s
ame variety, you can see that “boys” always have fewer leaves and longer internodes.
Why is it important to find out the sex as early as possible?
It is very important for a grower to identify the sex of the plants as early as possible. Otherwise you won’t get the sensimilla, the longed-for harvest of non-pollinated female flowers. It is precisely in these inflorescences that the maximum possible amount of THC, which has a psychoactive effect, will be contained.
This is why it is important to identify the sex of the plants in time! Male plants need to be isolated as early as possible so they don’t have time to pollinate the “girls”. If a female plant is pollinated, it stops producing THC resin and puts all its energy into seed formation.
Can I increase the number of “girls”?
When regularly planting cannabis seeds, growers never know how many female or male plants will grow from the seed. There is no 50/50 chance that 10 seeds produce exactly 5 “boys” and 5 “girls”. The ratio can be anything, and it depends not only on genetic factors, but also on growing conditions.
Many people ask, “How to increase the percentage of female bushes?” Experienced growers are happy to share their observations on this subject.
Below are described some proven ways to help increase the likelihood of “girls”.
The simplest method is to provide the bushes with optimal growing conditions at the vega stage and maintain them for 2-3 weeks:
The air temperature during the day should be in the range of +20+25ºC, and at night it should not fall below +18 ° C.
The relative humidity should be kept at 70-75%.
Plants in grow boxes should be illuminated with lamps with a predominance of the blue spectrum.
For growing bushes, the nitrogen content in the soil is very important – it should be 3-4%.