Many cannabis growers swiftly toss male cannabis plants. But males are proving to be surprisingly useful on their own and with their female counterparts. It's every marijuana cultivator's dream: to produce your own cannabis seeds and have a truly home-grown harvest for your next crop. How to Pick Male Plants and Make Cannabis Seeds Why Every Home Grower Should Make Seeds (At Least Once) I encourage growers to make seeds for themselves. A lot of people have been asking how,
Male Cannabis Plants: 7 Things to do With Males
The majority of cannabis growers destroy any males the second they display signs of gender, and now that feminised seeds are available, many will never see a male in their room. But male cannabis plants have a surprising array of uses, beyond simply providing pollen to make new seeds. Here, we take a look at what male cannabis plants are good for.
1. Good males make good fathers
Good-quality male specimens are essential for any cannabis breeding program. In providing pollen to females, the males are also contributing half of the DNA that will make up the subsequent offspring. Thus, selecting males which display advantageous traits can produce offspring that will retain those traits.
Some traits can be distinguished relatively easily, such as growth rate, overall health and resistance to mould, hermaphroditism and pests. While characteristics that may have an effect on flavour and potency are less obvious, expert breeders can spot various subtle clues as to a male’s potential as a breeding father.
Males are also important in breeding autoflowering strains, as their growth pattern traits can be passed down while the flavour and potency profile of the female can be retained—with a little skill and perseverance.
In typical controlled breeding programs to select males, identical female clones are bred with a variety of males and the results compared. Thus, males are selected on the basis of the quality of their female offspring. Their own phenotype may not correspond exactly with that of the female offspring, as male and female phenotypic expression vary greatly in cannabis, but it does appear that certain inherited traits are expressed.
It has not been empirically proven that the potency of a male cannabis plant affects that of its female progeny, although breeders have found it to be the case in the course of their experiments.
Of course, a large degree of trial and error is often involved in selective breeding programs. It is easy to understand why since until the female offspring have produced a harvest, it is impossible to discern the impact the chosen male had on resultant phenotype with any degree of precision. However, both males and females begin to produce cannabinoids and terpenes early in the flowering period, and clues to their final potency and flavour can be discernible.
Typically, growers will squeeze or pinch flowers and leaves to release their aroma; while this is a rudimentary technique, the information it yields can be valuable.
2. Males do serve an evolutionary purpose
Cannabis and most other species in the Cannabaceae family are dioecious, with males and females existing as separate plants (very few flowering plants possess this characteristic). The vast majority (over 80%) of flowering plants are hermaphroditic, meaning that each individual flower is comprised of both male and female sexual organs.
Monoecy (where separate male and female flowers exist on the same plant) and dioecy are both rare, each comprising around 7% of flowering plant species. The remnant is made up of variations or mixtures of the three main types, (namely gynomonoecy, andromonoecy and trimonoecy) —where plants express both hermaphroditic flowers and female or male, respectively.
It is thought that dioecy confers a selective advantage in certain plant populations as it maximises the chances of genetic recombination. In hermaphrodite or monoecious plants, both male and female sexual organs are produced by the same plant. If it self-pollinates it will produce offspring whose DNA is identical to the parent. This lack of variation can very quickly lead to inbreeding and weakened genetic health in a population.
However, many hermaphroditic species have built-in genetic mechanisms that preclude self-pollination, a condition known as self-incompatibility.
It appears that monoecy and dioecy evolve in plants if the genetic mechanism for self-incompatibility has been lost (although they are each only present in around 7% of species, the capability has evolved independently in around 38% of all genera). There are several examples of dioecious plants expressing monoecious phenotypes in response to environmental pressures. But where those populations have again spread to more favourable locations, they gradually tend more towards dioecy.
This is an effective mechanism to ensure cross-pollination and genetic diversity in the absence of self-incompatibility.
This is borne out by cannabis, which has several monoecious strains and a great tendency to produce monoecious plants in dioecious populations, particularly in times of stress, and is entirely capable of self-pollination. In cannabis, numbers of males can drastically diminish for short periods in adverse conditions, but a strong and healthy male population is the default method to ensure long-term health and viability of the species.
Other Plants with Cannabinoids: Looking Beyond Cannabis Plants
3. Males are not always lacking in potency
While most people believe that male cannabis contains no cannabinoids, this is well-established to be untrue. A study from 1971 compared the cannabinoid content of males and females found in several locations including Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, Turkey and Morocco.
The study found that while cannabinoid concentration was generally higher in female plants, males nonetheless exhibited significant concentrations. Overall cannabinoid content of male flowers was generally lower than that of female flowers. In one instance, Hizzine 3.9.1969, overall cannabinoid content (CBD and Δ1-THC) in male flowers was actually higher than in female flowers from the same locale.
When looking at THC and CBD separately, the results are even more interesting. Generally, CBD was consistently higher in female plants than in males, although there are several exceptions. However, the results for THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, were somewhat surprising.
The Hizzine 3.9.1969 type exhibited higher concentrations of THC in all parts of the male plant compared to the female. At 0.2% against 0.04%, the THC content of Bekaa 26.6.1969 males was five times that of females. At 1.2%, the male upper leaves of the Hizzine 3.9.1969 actually represented the single highest THC concentration of all plants in the sample. Ratios of THC to CBD were highly variable.
More recently, a study into Thai landrace varieties found that males contained 0.722% to 0.848% THC, with a THC:CBD ratio of 1.9 (usually, ratios of higher than 1 are classed as drug types and those with lower ratios are classed as hemp). A UNODC bulletin from 2005 also stated that gas chromatography analysis indicated that THC content of male plants in Morocco was comparable to that of females.
The leaves’ THC content was recorded at 0.4% for both male and female plants, while flowers displayed a range of 0.4-0.7% for females and 0.2-0.5% for males. Males express resin glands most abundantly on the small upper leaves.
4. Hashish & concentrates from male cannabis plants
Depending on the origin of a specimen of hashish, it is possible that it contains resin from males that were not removed from the field. Although most growers in traditional hash-making areas such as Morocco and Lebanon remove the male plants from the field early to prevent pollination, this is not always the case. Sometimes males are end up being harvested and processed along with the females.
There are anecdotal reports of growers and breeders using their male flowers, leaves and stems to make hashish and concentrates, with varying degrees of success. As overall resin content is likely to be fairly low, it is usually preferable to use large numbers of plants, or to use methods which extract the maximum from the plant. A few of these methods worth mentioning are QWISO and butane extraction.
It is also possible to use male cannabis plants to make cannabutter and various other oils and infusions. Although there is little definite evidence on the psychoactive effects of male plants compared to that of females, anecdotal reports indicate that the effect is more ‘high’ than ‘stoned’, and can be enjoyably cerebral.
Getting High for the First Time: 13 Things You Should Know
5. Males can also be used to produce juice
Another potential use for male cannabis plants is in making raw juice. The evidence for juicing is sparse. But indications are that cannabinoids in their acid form may have some pharmacological benefits, similar to their familiar non-acid form but without the potential disadvantage of psychoactivity. As males contain the same cannabinoid acids as females, although in differing concentrations and ratios, they may also be juiced to derive their benefit.
Male cannabis plants should be juiced in much the same manner as females. All parts of the plant can be used, except for the toughest stalks. It is generally advisable to also omit the largest and most fibrous fan leaves, as their high chlorophyll content can impart an unpleasant, bitter taste to the juice.
6. Fibre from male hemp plants
A Hungarian study from 1996 investigated the respective properties of male and female hemp, and found that male hemp fibres differed from female in several important aspects. They differed so much that traditional peasant farmers were reported to go to great lengths to separate the males from the females in the fields, as well as conducting all stages of the retting, decorticating, spinning and weaving processes separately.
Chinese texts from the 16 th century BCE also apparently support the belief that “the fibre of the male hemp plant is the best”.
According to traditional wisdom, male hemp fibres are considerably finer and softer than female fibres. As a result, they were reserved to make finer grades of cloth, while the females were used to make rougher textiles such as canvas and sackcloth. These fine textiles made from male hemp fibres were then used to make a variety of household items such as tablecloths, towels and bed linens.
The Hungarian study found that female fibre was stronger than male fibre, but that male fibre exhibited higher torsional resistance and flexibility. The overall fineness of a fibre is influenced by its torsional resistance and flexibility, and thus male fibre was concluded to be significantly finer than female. Male plants were also noted to contain a greater percentage of fibre, at 31.5% to 29.6%.
Effects of Cannabis on the Male and Female Reproductive System, and Fertility
7. Males can often make good companions
Cannabis has been used as a pesticide and repellent in a variety of ways throughout history. Its dried flowers and leaves have been used to make pesticide and repellent extracts, and pure cannabinoids have been demonstrated to exert antibacterial and antimicrobial effects. As well as this, cannabis can be used as a companion plant.
Various studies have been performed over the years that attest to the ability of cannabis to ward off unwanted pests. It has been grown alongside cotton to ward off cotton worms, surrounding vegetable fields to ward off cabbage caterpillar, interplanted with potatoes to protect against potato beetle and potato blight fungus, alongside wheat to repel root maggot and as a general repellent against European chafer larvae.
Cannabis also suppresses plant growth of unwelcome species in the surrounding area, such as noxious chickweed, as well as repelling harmful nematodes such as the potato cyst nematode, the root knot nematode and the soybean cyst nematode.
It is thought that it is the terpenes produced by cannabis that are largely responsible for repelling insects and pests, particularly limonene and pinene. Both male and female cannabis plants produce terpenes, and some growers will interplant their males among their vegetables rather than consigning them to the compost heap.
Some growers, who are fortunate enough to live in a country where outdoor cultivation is a possibility, actually maintain males and females in the same garden. Though they do keep them far enough away that male pollen will not affect the females too seriously. If one or two males are situated a few metres away from females, preferably in a sheltered spot so that the wind does not have too much effect, the result is more likely to be a light scattering of seeds in occasional flowers rather than a fully seeded crop.
This way, growers can produce smokeable female flowers while also guaranteeing a supply of fresh, healthy seeds for next season’s crop.
Laws and regulations regarding cannabis cultivation differ from country to country. Sensi Seeds therefore strongly advises you to check your local laws and regulations. Do not act in conflict with the law.
133 thoughts on “Male Cannabis Plants: 7 Things to do With Males”
Grew one plant from a rare seed found in my dimebag.
its two feet tall, and its a male. if you bend/touch the stems you get strong weedy smell on your fingers, so I KNOW its got SOME chemically shit going on. Can Inotjust wad a pinch up and smoke it in y pipe? fresh, or dried?? SURELY i’d get a lil’ “somethin-somethin” from it wouldnt ya think.
Good afternoon Jeffrey,
Thanks for your comment. I’m afraid I don’t have an answer for this question, but since males have a much lower cannabinoid content than females, it may not be as effective
There are anecdotal reports of growers and breeders using their male flowers, leaves and stems to make hashish and concentrates, with varying degrees of success. However, as overall resin content is likely to be fairly low, it is usually preferable to use large numbers of plants, or to use methods which extract the maximum from the plant.
This article on Decarboxylation of CBD and THC– That’s How You Activate Cannabisand Cannabis Concentrates 101: Is Pure THC the Future? might also be of interest to you.
In the meantime, I hope you continue to enjoy the blog.
With best wishes,
I am new to growing, have about half of my plants showing female signs, will give it a few more days to be absolutely sure which are males.
What do I do to harvest my males leaves before destroying them? Dry the leaves and crumble them up? I don’t want to let them grow as I am short of space and also don’t want to risk pollination.
Good afternoon Woofer,
Thanks for your question.
Male cannabis plants are recognized by the formation of pollen sacs at the plant nodes and, when allowed to grow, these balls eventually break open and release pollen into the air. Once the female plant is pollinated, it will put all its energy into reproduction, and instead of producing flowers. For this reason, experts advise removing male plants from your garden before pollination.
Fortunately, we have a article on harvesting right here!
Thanks again for your comment, and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog.
Have a nice day,
Hi, I’m trying to figure out what to do with what appears to be a boy…my female plant is huge and I’ve been growing it since March. Wouldn’t it start to flower by now? Meanwhile I had some seeds and started a plant that seems to be a boy. Not as big as the girl. So do I grow the male indoors now, away from the female? Don’t I want more seeds so I can grow more?
Good morning Ellen,
Thanks for your question,
Unfortunately, legal restrictions mean we can’t answer grow-related questions or give grow advice on this blog. However, other readers of this blog will often answer questions like yours.
In general, flowering can usually be controlled very precisely by simply changing the lighting regime. Indoor cannabis growers typically give their plants 18-24 hours of light per day during the vegetative growth period, and drop down to 12 hours to trigger flowering. Indicas will often double in height, and Sativas can often stretch three times there height in vegetation.
Once the female plant becomes pollinated it will put all of its energy into reproduction, rather than producing flowers. For this reason, It is advised to remove male plants from your garden before pollination.
Please check out the following articles on our blog which I think you may find of use, and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog!
With best wishes,
Dry them out and crumble them on your oatmeal.
Bag over the top and in the garbage, asap.
I have smoked male leaves and gotten a great buzz. However, edibles do nothing for me. So worth a try
how long can I leave a male beside a female to make seeds? do I have to remove it after pollinating? can it just stay there? anybody ? thanks
I have a specific question. I grew a bunch of landraces both male female and hermaphrodite. I left my males and noticed the amount of pollen they keep producing and how many bees are gathering the pollen. Are Cannabinoids in the male pollen? Should I get my pollen tested for specific cannabinoid content? I want to make honey next year, by combining male plants and bee hives. I’ve seen with my own eyes bees with so much pollen on their hind legs it looks like white globes. So I know they collect it. Any advice or suggestions please? Thank you.
Yes. Pollen does contain thc.
That sounds awesome! Your comment is a couple years old, so I hope your bees were successful and you got amazing honey! Cheers!
I just took a male down,now I regret doing so,I could have made some clones for outdoor fun, maybe I’ll come across another for this purpose
Why would you do that to your neighbors
Hi! Im just being around, looking for the same information. I’ve read, that cannabis pollen is full of cannabinoids. I think it is great idea to do honey!. Please keep update!
Great post very educational
Definitely, when I was a young teen 12-13yo I lived in Ponchatoula Louisiana and although there was a lot of mex-tex green occasionally there were no Budz but lots of “homegrown” which was either the males pulled or just impatient growers just wanting to smoke. All leaf, no Budz, but I always got high! Nowadays I think this would not be the case because I have been smoking great indoor cannabis for 40 years now!
I eat the male pre-flowering bits – quite tasty with a little bit of a burn to it, but it is nice. Not sure how much nutritional value it carries, but something tells me that it is actually quite healthy.
Hahaha, I do this too! And when I top my females I eat that shoot as well, nice and tasty,usually displaying the taste smell of what the cannabis will be like
We must stop the Herodesque slaughter of our males!
I’m new to growing but have got a male and he is a strapping handsome chap….no way am I going to let those genes go to waste.
I have separated him from the girls and continuing to feed and nurture him and mill harvest pollen to fertilise my future generations.
Bonus points for use of “Herodesque”! Good luck with your endeavours, and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog.
With best wishes,
Definitely, don’t throw the males away, dry them, crumble the leaves into oil for extraction. After a week, you will have a good healing oil to use on yourself and pets.
I have full bucket of male cannabis flowers…i want to make RSO for my mom’s brain tumor
Now I asked someone who is really informative about cannabis told me its useless and have nothing
My question-does it contain THC and other beneficial cbd in it.
Should I make RSO with these.
I’m sorry to hear about your situation. I am not able to give you any kind of medical advice because Sensi Seeds is not a medical agency or practitioner. However, I can tell you that the male flowers do contain CBD, although they generally do not contain significant amounts of THC. Good luck!
With best wishes,
Excellent original article. However, many of the comments make me wonder if the person has read the original article. Just above, Scarlet is saying that Male flowers contain CBD, but no THC. However the research in the article is clear, male flowers (and leaves) always contain THC, often less than the female flowers, but sometimes more (and generally less CBD than the female). Along with some others’ experiences recorded here in these comments, I have found the male flowers and the nearby leaves to be extremely potent, at least the strains that I was growing. And I agree, more of a “high” than a “stone”.. Good for creative work. Euphoric but still clear-headed. And very energised. I would like to hear from women who have smoked the male weed. Do they get the same great experience as a male smoking the male does? I have smoked up other guys with male weed without telling them, and they were blown away by it, wanted to get some. But I don’t remember getting that feedback from female smokers.
You make a valid point, I should have specified that the males contain no significant amount of THC and will amend my original reply accordingly. Apart from the Hizzine 3.9.1969, the results of the studies quoted in the article all come in at less than 1% THC, and most of them barely qualify as psychoactive, being landraces that are closer to industrial hemp than commercial strains. Thanks for the catch, and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog.
With best wishes,
My Male got a boner reading this…
Thanks, very informative. I only smoke for medical reasons, first back 1975/76 and then a viod till 2017. I found male or fermale plants still growing, just using leaves pacified pain and gave considerable relief from the pain. 1975 was Cranial pain rectified by an operation hence I stopped smoking. The use now while waiting( TKR) Total Knee Reconstruction. The amount I consume is a very small amount, THC, the main psychoactive compound maybe is present but I rarely feel any so called effects from the single small amt I consume(smoke) daily or less as I feel I need.. So I guess the cannabinoid content as found in a good female bud is not there or low and the small amt I use does not give this result. Really I feel nothing and that is exactly what I want, I feel nothing, no pain and sleep fully relaxed. One Doctor, who was a Mr. totally agreed the useage I maintained and told me he would prescribe if legally allowed. Shame medically not recognised for it’s benefit, you take one antibiotic every day for 10 days, I equally take the same approach with marijuana, but some mates I met in my travels over time, smoked the quantity of ten days multiple times in one night for the psychoactive affect. Cheers thanks for publication and ability to comment.
Extremely helpful article, only got 7 plants of which 2 r male. Just can’t discard the males so now I’m informed on their uses. Thank you
You are better off putting them in the wood chipper there benefit isn’t worth the work trust me I grow large amounts and always have multiple makes and have tried to use them for every bit of their benefit and the yield you get is simply not worth the time or effort
Hi Seshata, you have some really interesting information in this article. Do you have the scientific literature titles that you obtained this information? Or possibly the articles you obtained it from that can cite their sources? I’m really wanting to try a few things out however I need to review the existing literature and some of the information you mention above is just exactly some of what I’m wanting to do the research on. Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.
Thank you for your comment. If you check the green links within the text, you will find articles and publications that are used as references for this article. Seshata is a recognised cannabis expert who writes for various publications and is an authority on many aspects of the plant.
With best wishes,
I have been growing Medical Cannabis for a few years now. I have and continue to allow males to grow as they are no less potent or effective than the females. they do contain more chlorophyll but I still make the concentrate (Rick Simpson recipe) and use it for creams, salves and the male plant is best for tea. I don’t throw out any part of the plant and use the stalks and stems for teas.
All in all, since I don’t have a laboratory, I can say with confidence that concentrate reacts with both males and females the same. the only disadvantage is that if females are pollinated they don’t have such big flowers, BUT, when making medicine it really doesn’t make a difference in volume. I live in Croatia on the Adriatic Sea and my plants withstand all winds as well but the males are stronger and don’t bend so much as the females. This year, 2018 I am starting out with Auto Seeds and will feminize them myself…only because these plants are smaller and you want to get the most out of them. Just wanted to share.
Can you tell me how to make a topical, balm, or salve with my male cannabis plant?
How do you make cannabis oil from a. Male plant?
when we were kids back in the late 60’s, we smoked everything, but one thing i have NEVER got any buzz on are edibles. i’ve eaten edibles from dispensaries, and home made both, but i don’t EVER feel anything.
we use our homemade wax, put 3 grams into a batch of cookies, or brownies. everybody claims they get ripped beyond comprehension, i might get just a bit sleepy.
i quit wasting good wax on edibles, one dab and i’m flyin’ high, eat edibles, nothing.
Some people do not possess the enzymes in their gut which allow their body to metabolise THC. Like those people who can’t get stoned, it’s an unfortunate outcome of the genetic lottery.
Try drinking pinapple juice with your edible. There is something about the chemical reaction from the enzymes in the juice that triggers the absorption of the edibles.
We keep honeybee boxes within the temperature controlled grow area. The active transfer of pollen from the bees cause the plants to increase flower/bud size and in turn increase seed saturation with the flower. IG : @robstriblen
How does the honey taste? And
does the honey have any Cannabinoids in it?
Great article, very detailed information. Cannabis is an amazing beauiful plant. Its like a book that you cant stop reading. I think everyone should try cannabis in some form. Thered be no A-HOLES lol sorry for the language but seriously the world and ppl need cannabis. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. It was very helpful.
I found out by accident the potency of male pollen sacks. I had run out of Cannabis Oil and had just noticed a male plant in full bloom with developed pollen sacks but not yet mature and I harvested the tips. I made oil and as I am always the guinea pig before dosing for my husband, I got high, very high. Add to that the chlorophyll that is also very beneficial, we both enjoyed this medicine for 2 months before the females flowered.
Yes, I did have a male that I didn’t notice and by the time I did, he had pollinated a few females but like this article states, it was intermittent here and there, not one female had seeds all over so I was able to harvest the females and collect some seeds for drying. For medicine or making Cannabis Oil, I really don’t think that taking males out will change the quality of medicine. We’re not out for aesthetics or smoking seeds so both can bring a lot of value in the medicine.
I prefer the effect of smoking male leaves to even smoking female bud. The buds are too strong for me, just just one of two hits off a male leaf and I feel great. I’ve only ever grown male marijuana.
I have been told by many Marijuana “experts” that you can’t get high on male marijuana…BS…. In my plants I found one male, I let it live and it started to produce “flower buds” when they would open I would remove them and place them to dry. In 4 or 5 days the plant would produce more “Flower Buds” I would then remove them and place them to dry. The same thing happened 5 or 6 times until the plant was done.
I then proceeded to use the male “Flower Buds” to roll joints, I was able to roll over 60 large joints. When smoked they got me and a couple of friends pretty high. Of course they aren’t as powerful as the female buds but believe me they were perfect for us because we are old farts (65 to 78) and don’t need any of those Wacydo buds anymore.
Thank you for this article.
I was given a healthy small plant which has turned out to be male.I put it in a large pot outside (sunny location) and it took off with no care but water. It’s legal to grow it where I live so it can get as big as it wants. It has many light flowers all over it and I would like to use them. If I want to make butter, or juice or tea or an elixir, do I dry it first? What are the signs that it’s time to harvest a male plant? Or do I just boil it or bake it straight away? Thanks for any info on this. I’m a newbie too.
Thank you for your comment ? Unfortunately, for legal reasons we cannot respond to grow questions on the blog, but we do have the Sensi Seeds Forum where you can ask a thriving community of gardening fans for advice, share your experiences, and see if your question has already been covered. I hope this helps.
With best wishes
Too much jardon, technical info and very little to none practical info!
Agreed. Use of too many words that no one knows the definition to without having to look the. Yo which is super annoying lol
For a true novice like myself that grew 3 and got 3 males. What is the easiest use of a male.
Edibles (butter)? and best part of plant to use?
I also have just male plants how do I go about making oils or topicals ?
I am just a beginner in all this ( lol ) so some of what I read was great articles & others I was a bit confused being so new to this all . I had gotten a few seeds and grew , 2 female and 1 male which I separated. The male has gone crazy , massive and I feel so bad when my friend said just to get rid of it and throw it out after babying it for a while . I have read articles but since its new to me , I think I should hang on to My massive male and do some more reading ? Thanks , sorry to the pro’s as it may sound silly … but I’m just starting out for medical use as I have a chronic pain disorder so would like to get what I can or use it if I could . Does anyone have any suggestions … Or any other sites for suggestions ? I just would hate to kill it as its so massive and so many pollen balls so Im re-thinking after reading some of your comments. Thanks & again sorry for sounding a bit ditzy ( Lol)
Thank you for your comment ? We’re happy to hear that you’re getting enthusiastic about gardening, and don’t worry about your lack of experience, we were all beginners once! Unfortunately, for legal reasons we cannot respond to grow questions on the blog, but we do have the Sensi Seeds Forum where you can ask a thriving community of gardening fans for advice, share your experiences, and see if your question has already been covered. I hope this helps.
With best wishes
Scarlet, the forum you mentioned, are there some reliable sources for good seeds? The first attempt for me ended up being male. So I need to find a good source. The seeds I used just happened to have been found in so buds.
Dude stop belittling yourself it is okay to be new to something and not know all there is to know everyone was new to this at some point so don’t let the pot snobs you will Inevitably run into bring you down forget them lol
Well said Eric! I love seeing the positivity in this community.
Great info, I make meds an didn’t want to waste solvent if there was nothing there, I want wast anymore! Tks
How do you know when the male plants are done
Thank you for your comment ? Unfortunately, for legal reasons we cannot respond to grow questions on the blog, but we do have the Sensi Seeds Forum where you can ask a thriving community of gardening fans for advice, share your experiences, and see if your question has already been covered. I hope this helps.
With best wishes
An article that really needs to be read by governments alike where possibilities for less use of herbicides and pesticides and even GMO’s. Great post!
I want to grow and juice my males but I have female cultivators for neighbors. Will this affect them?
Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately, for legal reasons we cannot respond to grow questions on the blog, but we do have the Sensi Seeds Forum where you can ask a thriving community of gardening fans for advice, share your experiences, and see if your question has already been covered. I hope this helps.
With best wishes
Naw just try to be up wind if possible but usually a few meters separation is sufficient to avoid pollination:
Rather than get male plants, take cuttings from a female Mother plant and with a bit of hormone powder make as many clones as you like….all female just like Mum.
Great article. I may have missed the question/answer but would love to know when to harvest a male plant. I have a lovely large plant that I just force sexed it and it turned out to be male, now it has/had pollen balls all over it. I pinched those off hoping that the leaves would be good for something. Help please
Thanks very interesting.
Does every different female strain have a male brother? Like white-widow male, or tangerine male, how else would you cross pollinate strains?
Thank you for your comment and your question. Feminized strains do indeed have ‘brothers’, or male counterparts, which is how we keep strains going and breed new ones. If you are interested in this kind of topic, do check out the Sensi Seeds Forum, where many growers discuss our strains and different cultivation techniques.
Thank you for this information, very good article! I would have never known the value of males, everyone has always told me to throw them out. Their no good, now I can do my own experiments. I think this is awesome for people who don’t know about male plants. Thanks again.
I like Aquarians they’re great.
I love males too!
So I have a male plant on what I think is the “preflower” stage. For what I have read here is understand that the plant and the flowers are as unique and useful as the females. Any advice?
Interesting uses for male. I have a bunch of bag seed of a good local strain. I am thinking about trying to find a nice pheno in the batch. May keep a male or two to experiment with breeding. Great article. Thanks for sharing!
Definitely do this because breeding is so fun when you are successful!
I use the male plants to make a very deep and strong bhang lassie medicine! ONce I know what plants are male, I separate them and leave them in their intial pots, to grow a little slower than the transplanted females. The flowers and leaves are harvested, then I brew a tea, packed with the harvest (a saucepan full of leaf with water just above the level of the leaves, boiled for 10 minutes and left to cool), save the tea, then crush the drained leaves and flowers with a little milk in a pestle and mortar, until the leaves are very pulpy, and squeeze the juice out. I repeat this 4 more times (with the milk because THC dissolves in milk) and then combine the tea, the juice and the left over pulpy leaves in a blender. This then is a base for making lassie. It can be incredibly strong and the medicine goes deep into muscles, it is very relaxing and is an old indian recipe! Bhang is AMAZING!
Males useless? Hardly…
Including Cannabis pollen in your green drinks adds another dimension to the healing of whole-plant nutrition. Pollen is exceptionally nutritious, containing almost all of the nutrients required by the human body to thrive.
Bees collect pollen, blend it with a small secretion from salivary glands or nectar and carry it in tiny appendages (corbiculae) on their hind legs. These “pollen loads”
are brought to the hive where they are put into the honey comb.
The pollen is covered with a layer of honey & wax, called “bee bread.” The bee bread ferments and is preserved by lactic acid. Bee bread serves as the basic protein source for the bee colony.
One bee colony produces two to fourteen pounds (one to seven kilos) of pollen a year. The amount of pollen collected from one colony each day is between 50 and 250 grams. Pollen traps are used to collect pollen loads as the bees return to the hive.
Bee pollen is rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, lipids and fatty acids, enzymes, carotenoids and bioflavonoids. It has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties that strengthen capillaries, reduce inflammation, stimulate the immune system and lower cholesterol levels.
Bee pollen contains more protein than any animal source and more amino acids than an equal weight of eggs or beef. The German Federal Board of Health recognizes bee pollen as medicine.
Another benefit is that bees are attracted to the male Cannabis flowers, collect the pollen, and feed it to their young. This makes for healthier bees & a healthier garden.
Over the long-term, breeding Cannabis using pollen conveys natural adaptability & resilience to your Cannabis plants that cloning does not. Seeds are also much more portable, storable and easier to exchange than clones.
I have about 3 males. I also did not know about them and now they r fully grown. Wat do I do with them. I feel like it’s a great lose just to let the die. Please help?
Great article, just the help I needed. Thanks
Great article , I had thought the only uses for male plants were for seed and good fiber .
“It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged”
What about Bee’s on male plants? Do they harm them?
Thanks for commenting I’m not sure which way round you mean, but I can assure you that male plants don’t harm bees and bees don’t harm male plants, so both ways round is fine!
With best wishes,
Thank you very much for spending your time writing this informative article. I’m new to this and think it is wonderful for somebody helping out a newbie like me. Much love to you.
Thank you. as I have experienced,my male plants are giving a good feeling. only using leaves to test. I have only experienced delicious sinsemilla one time in about 40 years.
I grew 2 males and it was my first time ,so I didn’t know till it was to late they were males. They have a ton of seeds and about 3feet tall. No females to ruin but when and what should I do to them
Harvest the pollen. Wait for the sacs to burst and then collect it on paper, fold it in to an envelope with a silica packet and then throw it in your freezer. When you happen to have a viable female plant, take some pollen and paint a few buds with a tiny paintbrush.
VIOLA! a new strain is born! I’m reading that you can make butter as well.
I guess I grew an enormous male plant it is huge. I don’t know what to do I thought it was a girl but I guess not what should a guy do?
Harvest the leaves and the reproductive areas and use them to make butter or infused oil. Just cook under low heat (not a simmer) for several hours. Strain the plant parts and allow the butter or oil to cool in a storage container. Spread it on your toast and don’t make any plans for the rest of the day. I avoid the stove top and do all my butter/oil infusing in a pot inside my oven at its lowest temp. Between 170 and 200 for about 5 hours. Baking ensures you won’t burn the product on the stove top.
John, I am a first timer and as luck would have it my first and only plant turns out to be a “Dude.”
My next one will be from a good feminized seed.
My first seed purchase got intercepted by the authorities in NY.
I hear that there are a few companies that you can have better luck with that but I need to do my tesearch.
It is important to produce organic seeds to protect the future of both cannabis sexes, certain strains now only can be reproduced from cloning since there are no more male plants and no seeds. Thank you for the article, it will hopefully educate people of the importance of the male plant and the seed production.
“certain strains now only can be reproduced from cloning since there are no more male plants and no seeds.” This is actually false. While it is true that for the average consumer, in order to grow certain strains your only choice is a clone, this doesn’t mean that no seeds exist. They exist, in most cases, and are sold by their creator online; Especially very popular strains. Otherwise, anyone could just reproduce seeds and all of the time/energy/money that went into breeding said strain would be for naught, or at least wouldnt be profitable. If this weren’t the case we wouldn’t see half of the strains that are available today. Although I do understand your point. Happy Gardening!
Hi Shawn. I think Horti may have had a point. A Jack Herer isn’t a Jack Herer isn’t a Jack Herer. If a breeder produces seeds from his/her own “parent” stock, and then somehow loses those plants, then that cross/strain is no longer available in seed form, even if another breeder uses parents of the same strain. Your point is also true if somehow the “original” breeder gave others clones of his/her parent stock; then the specific blend of genetics that made up the lost strains would persist.
I am not certain about the Hemp based gender differences when it comes amounts of cannabinoids.
However, I am pretty familiar with cannabis plants, both male and female. Over the past year, during a couple of breeding projects, I sent the male flowers, female leaves and female flowers to a local reliable lab.
The males generally tested, at least for CBD, at the levels of female leaves, which is around 1%. The flowers tested at 14%.
One last point, before either a male or female goes into flowering, you can tell a whole lot about the branching patterns, durability, rooting, etc etc.
However, I totally agree that males are more scary than they need to be and picking great males is a critical part of this.
I agree with Dr. Frankel 100%, as well as several other authors. I have researched cannabis, with more impressive qualifications than are listed in my title, for 38 years. Without saving males, we can easily, as I did in 1991; lose the most impressive medical miracle that I have only witnessed weakly since those days. If someone you work with has a set of rules, it is to prevent the entire “collective” from three years in federal prison. I only wish, in our haste to get rid of everything when our electrician was caught in the “mail order” Operation Green Sweep, I had buried the seeds of my strain created from Buddhist medical mythos (which were far more truth than myth),
For starters, one can feel a great deal of elation using male leaves and pre-flowers (cured and ground to replace the flour content) in one’s favorite brownie recipe. Once, a person was dishonest with our team, so we created a more highly purified oil than the RSO type, believing we were teaching this person a lesson with bunk “Honey Oil.” We were the victims of the lesson, as he came back for more and, more to sell those who used it with him. THC content aside, as a “whole plant extract” the terpenoids that are as potent in the male as the sexually mature female may well be the key to the elation and pain relief. Today we know that the terpenoid profile is as important as any cannabinoid profile, in medicinal quality and the many effective treatments one can expect from whole plant cannabis products.
Unless you have a small grow, such as I am forced to keep, until we can move to the “Promised Land” out west (I have a business proposal that will allow me Research Grants, and the living I was accustomed to prior to an accident leaving me disabled) and care for ourselves, rather than be a burden to a new state’s Human Services safety net. I ended my academic work when I was recruited by one of the doctors (in endocrinology) who was among several to explain to Nixon why cannabis was not possibly fatal and was about as likely to cause permanent insanity as Librium. After my work with “Ethnobotanical Hallucinogens” was completed, I devoted two years to this project (the Dr. was rapidly reassigned to the smallest VA hospital in the Midwest, and searching for cannabis’ medicinal uses as well as disproving propaganda became a passion), which was also to award me my Master’s Degree. When I sought to add an addendum of vital information to our “believed” published work, I discovered a Senatorial and Presidential order to the university to destroy the work. This is why I say, my 38 years of ongoing research has provided an experience beyond my BS Degree. The uses for the male plant never entered my mind, until the end of my “rogue” work, destroyed a strain that brought a friend and client back from a terminal brain injury. Today, I search for many other medicinal uses for the “boys,” as they have been overlooked for far too long. Keep them separated, unless you know precisely what you want to create (and even then we covered the clusters and hand pollinated the well chosen “mother plant”).
No 1 cares of your wild stories old man.
Its a dirty shame that the cannabis study was shut down. I have a son who has a brain injury and was wondering if anyone has any seeds from that strain that you developed that saved your friend and client. he has his medical marijuana license to grow for his own use. Any info would be greatly appreciated. We are from Canada
I was curious…. should I mix a male plant or two in with my females in a room?
I know for fact that seed weed can work awesome…. I have had people tell me that seed weed doesn’t have THC…. after I get done flogging them (kidding) then…. I’ll inform them of the good ol’ days when, we spent more time cleaning seeds out of the Mexican and Columbian Gold herb, than we spent smoking it! It all worked awesome…. definetely potent stuff!
But…. since starting to grow my personal medical cannabis…. I have always been told to yank any males because they would be detrimental to my grow.
Can someone please elaborate?
Last year…. I cropped a few buds off of one plant and…. decided to let it keep growing…. eventually…. it developed some male pistols and ended up producing some awesome seeds…. it was kind of an experiment to see if the potency had any difference between the buds I cropped and the buds I let grow…. I didn’t notice any difference in potency but… some of the flavor had diminished…. most of the seeds are all females (they are concave where they attached to the plant vs. convex like male seeds. Sure glad I learned that!
Is that true, that you can tell the difference between male and females seeds based on the shape of their attachment point to the plant, as you described, above? What percent of the time is this prediction accurate, in your experience? Thanks.
Thanks for the article, well put together and informative. All the qualities I was looking for!
Mahalo for the very interesting scientific approach to growing and understanding these beautiful plants. Wow. So appreciative. Aloha.
How to Harvest Your Own Cannabis Seeds
Congratulations! You’ve mastered the art of growing your own marijuana plants from seed and clone, and you’ve succeeded in bringing in a number of fruitful harvests. Perhaps you’ve even found a couple of strains along the way whose plants produce such a scrumptious bud that you have a new goal in mind: to produce your own cannabis seeds and have a truly home-grown harvest for your next crop
Table of Contents
Woah There, Tiger
As with most forms of sexual reproduction, in order to produce marijuana offspring (or cannabis seeds), you need a male and female plant. A male plant can produce pollen, which acts as a fertilizing agent in female plants, around two weeks before a female plant is ready to receive it. Because of this difference in sexual maturity, it is important to keep your male plant alive and thriving as you wait for your female plant to reach maturation. You can do this by pruning the male’s quick-growing buds and allowing the slower-growing flowers time to mature at a more leisurely pace.
When the Moment’s Right
Once the female plant has begun to produce flowers of a decent size with a number of long hair-like pistils, she is ready to receive the male plant’s pollen. There are two ways to approach the actual pollination stage: you can stick male and female together and let nature take its course, or you can manually pollinate specific female branches.
The first option is the easiest up front, but will ultimately take the most effort on the part of the grower. Essentially, when both male and female plants have reached maturation, you should place them next to each other and shake the male plant. This shaking will encourage a release of pollen, which will spread around the air and land throughout the female plant. Repeat this step once or twice a day for two days to ensure fertilization.
If the female plant is fertilized this way, there is no way to control how many cannabis seeds are produced, or where on the plant they come from. When it is time to harvest, you will notice that most, if not all, of your bud has a plethora of seeds buried within. In addition to being a lot of work, this mass production of seeds can be very wasteful. Growers may not have enough room to plant all of the seeds, and the leftover bud will be less robust due to the female plant’s energy being put into seed production.
Doing It by Hand
The second, more popular option is to pollinate specific branches on the female plant with pollen from the male. Before you get down to the dirty deed, you need to put in some prep time for both the male and female plants. First, turn off all fans and air circulation devices. For the female, prune the lower branches as well as the fan leaves that surround the branch or branches that you wish to pollinate. After preparing the female plant, clip off some of the more attractive and full-looking flowers from the male plant and place them in long paper wine bags (at least one good-sized flower per bag).
Now it’s time to pollinate. Carefully slide the paper bag with male flower around the prepared branch of the female plant. When the entire branch is covered, tightly close the end of the bag at the base of the branch using a zip-tie, string, or tape that will peel easily (such as masking tape or painter’s tape). Once the bag is secured, shake it strongly to encourage the spread of the pollen. Over the next couple of hours, repeat the shaking process one to two more times.
When removing the bag after pollination, be careful not to jostle the branch or the flower inside the bag. This could lead to accidental fertilization of other branches on your female plant (or surrounding plants). Although this requires more specific and detailed work up front, you will thank yourself later. This method of fertilization will provide you with enough seeds to plant for your next crop, while not overwhelming your female plant with seeds in every bud.
Bun’s in the Oven
Now you play the waiting game. Continue caring for and pruning your growing plants, and keep an eye on your female for the signs of fertilization. Once pollinated, most cannabis seeds will fully ripen within 4 to 6 weeks. You should expect to leave your fertilized flower on the plant longer than the bud that is not fertilized.
A ripened seed is structurally sound and dark brown or tan in color, often (but not always) with obvious stripes along the outside. The harvesting process is relatively simple. Simply dig into the fertilized flower and pull out the seeds. Don’t worry about messing up your bud harvest: female flowers that have been fertilized expend a lot more effort into growing seeds than producing THC, so the fertilized bud will not be nearly as potent to consume as the rest of the plant. (Of course, you can still use the seedless fertilized flower for shake, melting into butter, or making other edibles.)
The Circle of Life
Once you harvest your cannabis seeds, the next step is to plant them and start the entire process over again. If you’re not ready to start a new crop just yet, don’t worry. You can freeze the seeds and they will retain their ability to germinate.
How to Pick Male Plants and Make Cannabis Seeds
Why Every Home Grower Should Make Seeds (At Least Once)
I encourage growers to make seeds for themselves. A lot of people have been asking how, so I put together these basic tips. Hopefully, it helps a lot of people and is fairly straightforward. This isn’t meant to make you a breeder or share all my techniques or secrets, this is to familiarize you with the process of creating seeds.
It’s easy to make your own cannabis seeds at home!
It’s a shame that many grow books tell you only to throw away your males. New growers may not know, but anyone who’s grown for even just a few years gets to the point where they wish they still had something they grew in the past, which is no longer available in seed or clone for whatever reason. The older you get the more it happens. Seed lines disappear entirely once they run out, and due to people not making their own. It’s good to be self-sufficient.
While it’s always fun to check out the hard work of your favorite breeders and their strains, it’s equally as important to pollinate a branch or two for yourself here and there and see what magic you can create or preserve. Please share this article if it helps or inspires you. Big agriculture is coming to the cannabis growing world and has the ability to change the plant forever once contamination happens, just like in the veggie world. We are losing genetic diversity fast as thousands of unique strains are lost. Please do your part if you are passionate!
Make your own seeds to save special or unique genetics
How to Make Your Own Cannabis Seeds at Home
These are basic starting points for the home grower. I believe every person who grows cannabis needs to have this skill. Every strain goes away over time when people don’t make more seeds. Growers should know how to make their own seeds for preservation and sustainability. These skills can go a long way. The precursor to serious breeding is the basic technique of creating the seed.
1.) Grow Male Plants
Male plants can be grown in very basic conditions in an isolated space, then flowered for pollen. Males can be started flowering next to females with a close watch for the first week or two, but be careful and remove them before pollen sacks form, bursting open and pollinating everything.
Branches can be cut off and put into a cup of water on a windowsill or under a CFL bulb, even under veg light cycle once they are in bloom. Pollen can be collected within a week from these branches, saving lots of space. Males can also be cloned or flowered very small based on your needs.
Best, however, is flowering the males in their own tent or space. With a carbon filter and negative pressure, and careful practices, you can avoid spreading pollen to unwanted spaces. The longer you flower a male out past its initial beginning release of pollen, the more of its flowering traits you will see! (More on best male plant selection below)
A beautiful male cannabis plant
2.) Collect Pollen
Pollen can be collected by tapping a budding branch gently over a piece of paper. Pollen will spread easily in the air, so make sure to turn off all fans. Visit males only after tending to female plants so you don’t accidentally bring any stray pollen on your clothes or hair!
A male plant right as pollen sacs start opening
3.) Pollinate Buds
Take out your female to be pollinated or shut off all circulation fans. Gently apply pollen to a labeled branch. The pollen must meet the white flowering hairs to create seeds. Week 3-5 is best to pollinate, and you can do a single bud or branch per plant and keep the rest seedless.
Every pollinated branch should be labeled properly, your memory will not last as you think it will. A proper branch label includes dates, strain names, breeder/sources, and has the female listed first and male listed second. An example label looks like this: 4/20/2015 – Star Pupil (Mass Medical Strains) x Prayer Tower Sativa 9 (Bodhi Seeds) and the label should be kept with the seeds when they are finished. As years go by, you will be thankful for the dates and breeder information, which can escape our memory on occasion.
Overhead shot of a seeded cannabis plant. Strain is “Star Pupil”
4.) Deactivate Stray Pollen
Water generally deactivates pollen, wash clothes and shower if needed after handling. 3+ hours after pollination, the plant can be sprayed down with water to deactivate stray pollen and can be brought back into grow room and fans turned back on.
Avoid spreading pollen unintentionally. It can get everywhere!
A male cannabis plant exploding with pollen. Strain: Prayer Tower Sativa (below)
5.) Collect Seeds
Seeds are done in 2-6 weeks and should be dried in the bud when the plant is harvested. Seeds should be sproutable within one month of drying.
Female buds become swollen with seeds
A cannabis seed peaking out
What strains should I use?
Any strain with traits that you like, which speaks to you, or seems like a good cross, means your intuition is telling you something. Starting with stabilized or homogeneous lines is always a benefit. Certain genes such as Cookies, OG, and Diesels, are full of hermaphrodites and should be used with caution, only to be bred with if they are really your #1 passion. Follow your heart.
Crossing two unrelated strains for the first time is called an F1. Crossing a brother and sister F1 of the same strain creates an F2, and so on. Selections play a huge role in what the outcome will be. Making F2 seeds of an F1 you purchased, will not give you the same seeds. Rather, you will see new phenotypes resembling some of the parents and their parents, etc. With huge potential to find new special plants within.
Many combinations will work great, and some will not. If you fail, try again, selecting new parents. Each combination is unique. A and B might work great together, and C and D might work well together, there’s still a possibility that A and C combine to create junk. Every parental combo is unique!
If you see a unique trait that you like, make seeds!
Selecting a good female is easy, flower female plants from seed and again from clone to test stability. Smoke test is important. A potential mother plant should have all the high-quality traits that matter to you. Hermaphroditic plants are to be avoided.
Female plants to be pollinated should have all your ideal traits. Use only your best females.
Selecting a male, you have to use your senses a lot. The ones who grow best and smell best are a good starting point. Structure and root growth are important. Hollow stems may indicate high THC potential. Cut the top off a couple nodes down and find out. First showing or fastest flowering males are generally discarded. Very slow blooming late males are often times more recessive although not always. I like them. Males will start to drop pollen before they are “done” flowering enough to see their true traits. As a beginner, you can use the pollen at any stage, but those doing real selections are advised to always flower your males for weeks after the pollen starts.
For male selections, a strain you’ve grown before and enjoyed the females is a safe starting point.
Watch for resin production, look at how the flower clusters stack and produce. The male flowers form similarly to female flowers, large yield potential is often apparent in largely formed male clusters that can look almost like female buds from a distance. The more males you have to choose from, the more fun you will have!
Male plants can be a lot of fun to grow, too. Just like the females of the genetics they come from, they all have their own characteristics and unique traits. Once you get into “hunting males” you could get hooked! Some of my prized male selections from over the years are shown here. You’ll see resin production and traits of large floral clusters, as well as unique coloration!
This male Weapon X cannabis plant is about to pop!
Male Blue Magoo BX looking trippy under LEDs
Strain: Mr. E Reversed
For more advanced breeding selections, I recommend starting ideally a few hundred seeds. (For beginners, as many as you can is great, will help you find the best ones you can. Use your intuition!) Plants can be weeded out every few weeks selecting only the best contenders to flower out, and a lot can be achieved in a spare tent or closet this way, while still selecting through large populations! Clones of a prized breeding male may be kept in veg the same way females are, to be used again and again once their offspring are proven good! This is how a breeder can create the same batch of seeds for years and years, by using the exact same parents held in clone form.
These tips are just the beginning, and the purpose isn’t to teach you how to breed, but to teach you how to learn your own path and style of creating seeds and preserving our very special plant. The seeds you create will always be a very special grow for YOU.
Making your own seeds is more important than ever. We must do our part to preserve the natural genetic diversity of this healing plant as it has evolved for millions of years. Home growing is an important skill as commercial and medical cannabis is increasingly full of toxins and scary new technology. Please grow responsibly with love.
About the Author
Star Pupil strives to copy nature while incorporating breeding techniques and plant knowledge passed down from generations of experienced growers. Mass Medical Strains is located in western Massachusetts and all breeding and growing methods are 100% organic. Each and every plant is grown and harvested with wholesome intentions and positive vibes.