The first thing you probably learned as a cannabis grower is how to identify and toss male marijuana plants to prevent them from ‘accidentally’ pollinating your precious females. However, did you know that male marijuana plants can be just as useful as their female counterparts? In this article, we will show you how you can put those males to work!
How To Identify A Male Plant
Identification of the sex of the plant is first possible when it’s around 3-4 weeks into growth for male plants and 4-6 weeks in for female plants. That’s when the cannabis plant starts developing pre-flowers. Cannabis pre-flowers are little versions of adult flowers that appear on marijuana plants relatively early in the vegetative stage and can help indicate the plant's gender before the beginning of the flowering stage. Male pre-flowers look like a ‘spade’ from a deck of cards. Also, if you notice multiple pollen sacs and no white pistils, then you are dealing with a male plant. Sometimes, the pollen sacs may not be very obvious during early growing stages, but once you notice several hairless pre-flowers stacked together like a bunch of grapes, then you know for sure you’re dealing with a male plant. On the other hand, female pre-flowers tend to have a fat bottom and are usually longer and narrower than their male counterparts. They may also have 1-2 wispy white hairs sticking out from the top. After identifying the gender of your plants, don’t forget to separate the males them from the females if you don’t plan to breed them!
Ways To Put Male Cannabis To Use
Now that we know how to identify male cannabis plants, how do we put them to use?
Breeding New Strains
After spending some time growing strains for consumption only, you might become interested in creating your own strains with desired qualities – e.g. buds that are more resinous, have higher yields or deliver faster turnaround. Well, you will need your males to do this! Don’t forget that the male provides up to 50% of a seed’s genetic makeup. Therefore, select only the best males with the best qualities in your garden for breeding new strains. Are some of them more potent? Maybe some are highly resistant to pests and mold? Use your males to pass on these desirable qualities to future generations.
Using It For THC Concentrates
It’s also a good idea to use your males for THC-rich concentrates such as cannabutter. Although less potent than females, male plants still have some THC and thus are psychoactive. While male cannabis plants don’t produce buds, small amounts of cannabinoids can be found in the sacs, leaves and stems of the plant. In fact, male plants have a higher THC concentration in their leaves than females during the vegetative growth stage. The same way you use leftover sugar leaves from females, you can use the males for all the same purposes! The males will have most resin concentrated in the sepals and other areas where pollen is produced. Don’t toss out all this goodness – make hash, cannabutter or other concentrates using these THC-rich parts!
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Make Juice Or Tea
Although in lower concentrations, the male plant contains the same cannabinoids as the females. This makes it optimal for making THCA drinks – for example, teas and juices. Cannabolic acids such as CBDA and THCA in cannabis juice benefit the human body in the same way other forms of marijuana does.
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Cannabis juice provides a better option of benefiting from cannabinoids without worrying so much about adverse side effects or getting high. Just don’t use the bigger leaves and thicker stalks so as to avoid a bitter plant taste.
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Use It In Your Regular Garden
Just like females, male plants also produce terpenes – aromatic oils that give cannabis its unique and delightful scent and taste. These terpenes are associated with pest and disease control, and for this reason, you may want to include your males in a flower or vegetable garden. You can also use dried male plant parts to create a terpene-rich oil and use it to repel insects and pests. Just ensure that your flower garden (with male cannabis plants) is well separated from any female cannabis plants to avoid cross-pollination.
Produce Hemp Fiber
Both males and females can produce fibers. However, there’s a distinctive difference in the type of fibers that the two plants can produce. These fibers are normally put to different uses. For instance, male fibers have firm and fibrous stalks which can be used to produce a softer material. Their fiber is also softer and thinner compared to that produced by females. These qualities make them desirable for producing household items such as high-quality cloth such as towels or bed linens.
While female cannabis plants are popular for their resinous and more potent buds, male plants are far from useless. Not only can they provide us with healthy THCA juices, but they also make great companions for an ideal flower garden. They can also be used in concentrates and as pest repellents. However, don’t forget that their pollen grains can travel far, so make sure your females are properly protected!