Difference Between Male and Female Weed Plants

Difference Between Male and Female Weed Plants

Curious how to identify male and female weed plants? Let's explain difference between male and female weed plants in a simple way! Last updated 06/12/2022

    When you want to grow cannabis plants it is good to understand the difference between male and female cannabis plants. Without going into too much detail, we explain how to recognize male and female marijuana plants and what the differences are. This way you can buy your regular seeds and/or feminized seeds in a well-considered way.


    Unlike most plants, cannabis plants are hermaphroditic, which means that there are male and female plants. Just like in humans. Each plant has two pairs of sex chromosomes, X chromosomes and Y chromosomes. The difference between the two sexes is that male plants have XY chromosomes and female plants XX chromosomes. Also, just like in humans, there is a natural 50/50 division between males and females.

    Hermaphrodite weed plants

    However, there is a significant difference between the sex of cannabis plants and that of humans. This is because a marijuana plant can also be hermaphroditic. This means that a single plant can have both male and female genitals (a pistil and stamens). We call this a hermaphrodite weed plant.

    Related article: hermaphrodite weed plants

    When and how do you recognize male and female weed plants?

    As a grower, it is important to know how to identify male and female cannabis plants. Female marijuana plants are much more valuable to growers because they produce the desired smokable buds (cannabis). Male plants don't so when growing you want to know how to recognize the difference between the two sexes. Still, it can be a bit difficult to distinguish them from each other because cannabis plants don't start with showing their gender and you can't tell from the seeds either.

    The sex is only visible after a few weeks

    The gender of the cannabis plant only becomes visible in the pre-flowering period, which in most cases lies between the 4th and 8th week of the vegetative phase. The moment the genus becomes visible, however, depends on the species. Some species show their genus earlier, while others need more time to show their true identity. It is therefore very important to be extra alert to the male and female characteristics during the pre-flowering stage. As soon as you notice male marijuana plants, you have to remove them immediately (see: wherefore you have to remove male marijuana plants).

    The difference between male and female marijuana plants

    How do you recognize male weed plants?

    Male marijuana plants can be recognized by small round balls in the leaf axils (see image). These balls are higher than those of the female plants. The armpits can be found at the top of the branch where the branch grows out of the trunk. In addition, the balls of a male plant do not have hairs (which female plants do). Finally, male cannabis plants often look thin and unhealthy. In most cases a male cannabis plant has fewer leaves and grows less tall.

    How do you recognize female cannabis plants?

    Female cannabis plants, just like male cannabis plants, also have a pellet near the leaves. The only difference is that the female cannabis plants have small hairs growing out of them. Moreover, the spheres are smaller than those of the male species. Female species also look healthier. The female cannabis plant has more branches and is often larger than the male species.

    How do you recognize a hermaphrodite cannabis plant?

    In rare cases, a cannabis species develops two sexual organs (male and female). This is called a hermaphrodite. In fact, this is a species that can fertilize itself. A hermaphrodite occurs when the growing conditions are bad and/or when the plant is under too much stress, but also when genetics are poor. In addition, some species are more susceptible to Hermie than others.

    Hermaphrodites can occur in two forms. Developing a "banana" (an inside-out ball) or two balls of different sizes, one with hairs and one without hair as you've just read with male and female weed plants.

    Note: hermaphrodites produce pollen, so if you grow a hermaphrodite, make sure you remove it (just like a male species).

    Why you have to remove male marijuana plants

    Male plants are in most cases not useful and therefore undesirable when growing weed indoors. This also applies to most growers when growing weed outdoors. As said before, they do not deliver beautiful full and smokable buds. So for a weed yield they are worthless.

    Moreover, they distract the female weed plants so they will produce less weed. This is because male varieties will pollinate the female varieties. When this happens, the female species will use all her energy to produce seeds instead of buds. The potency of the harvestable weed will be drastically reduced and that's a waste of time and effort. As a weed grower, you want to avoid this, of course.

    This is why growers choose female weed seeds

    You understand that growers prefer female weed plants because they take care of the harvest. Male marijuana plants should be removed as soon as possible because they disrupt the flowering process of the female plants. When you buy feminized cannabis seeds or autoflowers, fortunately you have nothing to do with this.

    If you buy regular cannabis seeds, there is a good chance that you will have to deal with them because the gender is not yet known.

    Want to grow weed? Then buy feminized or autoflowering seeds!

    If you plan to grow a lot of good weed, we advise you to buy feminized or autoflower seeds. This way you avoid a failed harvest. It also saves a lot of work because you don't have to worry about separating the male and female weed plants anymore.

    Tip: Buy high quality female weed seeds and/or autoflower cannabis seeds here.