How to identify male and female weed plants?


When growing weed plants from regular cannabis seeds, chances are that 60% will result in a female plant, 39.9% in a male plant and about 0.10% chance of an ambiguous plant (Hermaphrodite). However, only female non-pollinated plants produce smokable cannabis. This is called Sensimilla. Therefore, male plants are not very useful in most cases. Moreover, male cannabis plants that have pollinated the female plants can significantly lower the harvest or completely ruin it. When pollinated, a female cannabis plant will mainly use its energy to produce seed, and therefore produce fewer buds. This will result in a lower quality. Besides, the potency of the weed will drastically decrease. It’s therefore important to remove the male plants in time. But how to identify male and female weed plants and when? In this blog we explain how to determine the gender of a weed plant.

When does the genus of a cannabis plant appears?

The gender of the cannabis plant becomes visible from about week 4 of the growth phase. However, this depends on the strain species. Some species show their genus only from day 10 of the flowering phase. It is therefore important to be extra alert during this period. In order to remove any male plants in time.

How to see the genus of a cannabis plant?

Determining the gender with the eye is a bit difficult sometimes, but using a magnifying glass will reveal it.

How to identify a male weed plant?

The male cannabis plants can be recognized by their round spheres in the leaf axils. These are larger than 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 doesn’t have any hairs (which the female plant doe have). Finally, male plants often look thin and unhealthy. In most cases a male cannabis plant has fewer leaves and grows less high.

How to identify a female weed plant

Female cannabis plants also have a ball at the armpit (just like the male plants). However, with female plants a hair is growing out of the bulb. In addition, the globules are smaller compared to male marijuana plants. A female cannabis plant also looks healthier. The plant has more branching and is often larger than the male plant.

Male or female weed plant

How to recognize a Hermaphrodite cannabis plant?

In rare cases, a cannabis plant develops two sexual organs (male and female). Such a plant is called a Hermaphrodite. It’s a plant that can fertilize itself. However, an Hermaphrodite only develops when the natural conditions are bad. In addition, an Hermaphrodite can arise from genetic predisposition. Some species are more susceptible to the development of an ambiguous plant than others.

Because Hermaphrodites produce pollen, they have to be removed before it influence the production of buds.  It’s therefore important to recognize the development of Hermaphrodites.

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

Recognizing the sex during the pre-flowering phase or the flowering phase

In some cases it’s possible to see gender symptoms from the 4th week of the growth phase, which is also called the pre-flowering or vegetative phase. The females will produce hairs at the end of the branches. These are the places where the buds eventually will develop. However, recognizing the gender is not always possible in the pre-flowering stage. The pre-flowering method is therefore not always suitable. The sex is mainly visible from about the 10th day of the flowering phase.

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 bags open.