How to Sex Marijuana Plants – Informative Guide


Having adequate knowledge when it comes to the sex and reproduction of marijuana plants plays a vital role when it comes to successfully growing your marijuana. Understanding how everything works is also essential for you to achieve a good yield and great harvest. Upon learning the process, you will realize that it is straightforward yet intricate. However, reading this informative guide will truly pave your way to a very hassle-free and successful marijuana growing and reproduction. Keep in mind that the key is to observe the flowering, in which you will be able to determine depending on the growth pattern.

This post will introduce how can you sex marijuana plants, including all the facts you need to know and the things you need to do in the process. We understand that a few aspects might be confusing, but that is why we are here to help. Hopefully, after reading this post, the knowledge you have gained will be applied so that you will be able to enjoy a good yield of cannabis buds.

Reproduction of cannabis plants

Cannabis plants are unique in the sense that unlike most flowering plants, they are dioecious. That means that they are separated as male and female plants. Each plant has two pairs of sex chromosomes which are the X chromosomes and the Y chromosomes. The male plants typically have the XY chromosomes whereas the female ones have XX chromosomes.

However, you must note that marijuana plants can be hermaphroditic as well. A hermaphroditic plant means that it has both pistil and stamen, the male and female genitalia of plants. The gender of cannabis plants will depend not just on pure genetics but on the environment as well. That is why, if you are growing marijuana, you should be familiar with the traits of both male and female plants, so that you may be able to work with them and make them grow healthily.

Identifying male and female plants – How to determine the sex of your marijuana plants

You must be able to identify your male and female plants before you can proceed to the whole process. Sexing cannabis or cannabis reproduction will produce seeds because of cross-pollination. Cross-pollination will allow growers to obtain marijuana plant hybrids and determining the sex of your plants is important since female plants are producers of THC. It would be best to note that taking male plants away from your garden will allow female plants to grow huge and seedless buds referred to as sensimilla.

Identifying male plants from female plants

Truthfully, identifying male and female plants are very easy to identify once they have already reached maturity with visible reproductive organs. However, waiting until their point of maturity is risky since male and female cannot be in the same room when that happens. We have to be careful that the male plants will not be able to pollinate the entire crop. That is why identification is essential before maturity since moving the male plants when mature can split their pollen sacs and fertilize the female plants near them. It is a lot better to look for the signs of sex before your marijuana plants start flowering.

When grown outdoors, the male plants will show different growth patterns unique to them, allowing them to be distinguished from the female ones. The first phase of the growth for marijuana plants is the vegetative stage, and this is when they tend to get bigger, rounder, and ever-growing. During this stage, the reproductive parts are still not visible; however, their growth patterns will show indications of sex.

In the vegetative stage, the female plants show more complicated branching systems, making them look very bushy and wide. On the other hand, the male plants are skinnier and tend to grow taller rather than being wide. Another important indication to note is that male plants mature two weeks earlier than the female ones. They tend to grom false buds or tiny sacs that resemble buds that contain tiny white flowers. The female plants are not capable of producing these white flowers, unlike the male ones.

Hermaphrodite marijuana plants

As mentioned earlier, there are marijuana plants that develop both female and male reproductive organs. These type of plants are referred to as hermaphrodite plants, and they are classified into two types. The first type of hermaphrodite plant can develop both pollen sacs while the second type can produce anthers – both types are capable of producing pollen.

True hermaphrodite plants are those that can produce sacs that rupture, while the other one has anthers that are typically exposed pollen-generating stamen. Hermaphrodite plants are often results of plant damage, disease, nutrient deficiency, or bad climate. They can also occur if your plants are under stress or simply because of their genetic makeup.

How to sex marijuana plants

Now that you know the identification of your plant’s sex and know if it is a hermaphrodite, we can now move on to the process of reproduction. So the question is, how to sex marijuana plants? Read on to know more.

As the days become shorter, the switch or decrease in the light cycle will tip-off your marijuana plants to produce flowers. The first thing you have to do is find pre-flowers located at the branch junctions. There is no need to stress out since male pre-flowers are super easy to find. The pre-flowers on the female plants also bud at the branches’ junction, and they usually start to bloom at the fourth branch from the base of the plant. When your plants start to enter the flowering stage, it is important to double-check that you have already separated the males from the females.

Upon entering the flowering stage of the plant growth, take not that its nutrient requirements, including the light cycle recommendations, and growth patterns will also evolve. Your thriving marijuana plants will also be needing less nitrogen and more on potassium and phosphorus. With the right growth requirements, you will eventually notice your female flowers developing kolas at the branches and the main one growing at the tip.

Once in bloom, you might be able to see the seed pods, and you may notice it having seeds if the male plants had pollinated it. If you have successfully removed the male plants without them pollinating the female ones, they will have a good deal of THC in them. You would know when your plants are ready for harvest since the pistils will have a darker shade and the seed pods become swollen and sticky because of the THC trichomes and resin.

Cannabis seeds

If you want to make sure that you will be using a hundred percent of your plants and growing space and don’t have much time for the male plants, you might want to check on feminized strains or seeds. Of course, the use of regular strains and regular seeds have advantages of their own. But, if you are having a hard time reproducing your plants, it is good to consider the benefits of feminized seeds.

When working with female or feminized seeds, you are sure that your whole growing space will be used without having to worry about the chances of removing a couple of plants from one room to another. Feminized seeds also come in tons of varieties so you will have better options as to which one will be perfect for you. These female seeds are also easy to adapt and deal with so even if you are a grower with very little experience, you can successfully grow and harvest by using feminized seeds.

What to do with the male marijuana plant

At this point, you may start thinking that male cannabis plants are useless and should be thrown in the bin. Sorry to burst your bubble but that is not true. Male plants serve their purpose in breeding cannabis plants, and they have a vital role in sexing cannabis seeds. Genetically, male plants are very important since they are the ones who provide half of the genetic makeup for the new plant.

Male plants can also produce a soft material used in the production of hemp fiber. They are essentially used for clothes, sheets, and other household or personal items because of the material’s softness. THC distillate oils or come from the male plants since they are also being utilized to concentrate production.

These male cannabis plants can also produce oils with a characteristic aroma that can ward off insects and pests. Thus, they are being used to aid in disease and pest control for garden enhancement and improve the overall health of other plants.

Tips to effectively reproduce your marijuana plants

To effectively reproduce your cannabis plants, not only would you need the important facts and information but the tips and tricks as well. These tips will help you not only during the start of growth and reproduction but also throughout the process.

Observe the growth pattern

As your cannabis plants start to grow and flourish, you will be able to notice remarkable changes in their sizes and form. As mentioned, you should be particularly observant when it comes to your plants’ growth patterns since there is a distinction in the growth patterns of the male and female plants.

The male cannabis plants normally grow taller and slender, with lesser leaves. On the other hand, female ones tend to produce more branches growing to be wider and bushy. This is important patterns to watch out for, for early identification of your plant’s sex.

Read more about growing weed here.

Note the growth rate of both male and female plants.

Another way to determine the sex of your marijuana plants is to make keen observations on their growth rates. The male cannabis plants grow faster and able to reach maturity two weeks earlier than the female ones. It is easy to know since the male plants grow false buds or pollen sacs on their branches.

Cloning may do the trick.

Cloning is indeed an unfailing method when it comes to determining the sex of your marijuana plant. You may separate and clone your marijuana plants before they reach maturity and allow it to grow for a couple of days. Once your plant has grown enough, you can do a forced flowering on it with a 12/12 light cycle. You will be able to identify the rest of your plant’s sex since the clones share the same DNA with their hosts. Therefore they will have similar sex. You must record your plants so that you can keep track of them and avoid getting mixed up.

Remember where the cannabis plant sprouted during its germination phase.

Experienced growers have found a way to aid in determining the sex of the marijuana plants right after the germination stage. This might not be a reliable method, but this can still help a lot. Growers have made an educated observation that when the sprout starts to show itself at the top or bottom of the seed, it is a female plant. A male plant, on the other hand, will sprout on the sides.

Identifying the sex of marijuana plants is crucial for cannabis cultivation. Here are some key points:

  1. Observation of Pre-Flowers: Male pre-flowers resemble a spade shape. Female plants develop wispy white hairs at the joints where leaves meet the stem.
  2. Hermaphrodite Plants: Some plants may show both male and female characteristics. These ‘hermies’ should be removed like male plants to prevent pollination and seed formation in female plants.
  3. Timing: The earliest visual identification can be around 3 weeks from germination, though some strains take longer. Starting with feminized seeds or clones is more reliable for ensuring female plants.
  4. Genetic Testing: This can identify sex early but may be costly and not always accurate.


Being able to successfully grow your cannabis plants and enjoy a harvest from them can be quite tricky, but all you need to do is learn and gain experience to do everything right. And now that we have already given you the important information on how to sex marijuana plants, we hope that the knowledge you gained will make you excited about setting up your next grow. Always remember the important details, especially when it comes to determining the sex of your marijuana plants and how to grow them effectively. Everything starts from the correct identification of your plants, and it will then be a breeze from there. We truly hope that you find this article interesting and helpful for you and your next homegrown cannabis adventures.