How to identify male and female weed plants?


When growing weed from regular seeds, chances are about 60% your strain becomes female, 39.9% male and about 0.10% an ambiguous plant (Hermaphrodite).

As most growers know, only female strains develop smokable buds (when they are not pollinated by a male plant). Such a female plant is called “Sensimilla”.

Why is it important to see the difference between male and female weed plants?

Male plants are in most cases not very useful and often undesirable as male strains will pollinate female strains. When a male strains pollinates the female, your female strain will use all her energy to produce seeds instead of growing buds and the potency of the weed will drastically decrease. The result is a disappointing harvest and in many cases even a completely ruined harvest. A waste of time and effort. Something you will most likely want to prevent, right?

When using feminized seeds or autoflowers you don’t have to worry too much about growing a male plant, but when growing cannabis with regular seeds, it’s very important to remove the male strains in time. Therefore you have to be able to tell whether your strain is male or female. In short: recognizing the gender of your strain.

Recognizing gender can be hard. Especially because male and female weed plants have a lot of similarities. It’s therefore important to know how recognize the gender.

So how to identify male and female weed plants? What are the differences between the males and females and when are you able to see the sex? Keep on reading and find out! 

When does the genus of male and female weed plants appear?

The gender of the cannabis plant becomes visible in the pre-flowering stage which in most cases is between the 4th and 8th week of the vegetative stage. However, the moment the gender appears depends on the species. Some species show their gender earlier, while others need more time to show their identity. It is therefore very important to be extra alert during the pre-flowering stage in order to remove any male plants in time.

Until the first 10 days of flowering there is no need to worry about pollination of female plants. The male plants can only pollinate the female plants when the pollen sags are starting to open.

How to tell a weed plant is male?

Male cannabis plants can be recognized by their round spheres in the leaf axils. These are more tall compared to those of the female plants. The armpits can be found at the top of the branch where the branch grows from the trunk. Moreover, the globules of a male plant don’t have any hairs (which female strains do have). Finally, male plants often look thin and unhealthy. In most cases a male cannabis plant features less leaves and grows less in height.

How to identify a female weed plant

Female strains also feature a ball at the armpit (just like the male plants). However, with female plants a hair is growing out the bulb. In addition, the globules are smaller compared to male strains. Female strains also look more healthy, the strain has more branching and is often bigger compared to the male.

In the picture below you see the differences more clearly. 

Male or female weed plant

How to recognize a Hermaphrodite cannabis plant?

In rare cases, a cannabis strain develops two sexual organs (male and female). This is called a Hermaphrodite. In fact, this is a species that can fertilize itself.

A Hermaphrodite arises when growing conditions are bad, when the strain experience too much stress, but also bad genetics can result in a Hermaphrodite. Besides, some species are more susceptible to become an ambiguous plant than others.

Hermaphrodites produce pollen, so if in case you grow a Hermaphrodite please make sure you remove it (just like a male strain) it influences the bud production.  It’s therefore important to recognize the development of Hermaphrodites.

How to recognize a hermaphrodite?

Hermaphrodites can arrise in two forms. Developing a “banana” (a ball turned inside out) or two balls of different sizes, one with hair and one without a hair. 

Want to grow weed? Buy feminized or autoflower seeds!

In case you are planning to grow nice stock of weed, we highly recommend to buy feminized or autoflower seeds. In that way you prevent yourself from a crop failure. 

Tip: check all our high quality feminized seeds and autoflower seeds