When Do Weed Plants Produce Seeds

Those who grow cannabis know just how important it is to be able to differentiate between male and female weed plants. Cannabis plants are divided into male and… Female Cannabis Plants: Why They’re So Important When it comes to cannabis plants, feminized seeds are the most known ones. But do you know what auto and regular means? 1. Photoperiodic Cannabis Photoperiodi

What Does a Male Weed Plant Look Like?

Those who grow cannabis know just how important it is to be able to differentiate between male and female weed plants. Cannabis plants are divided into male and female categories because they have different capabilities and features. It’s important to be able to identify male plants as a grower because they are typically removed from the batch as soon as they are identified. So, what does a male weed plant look like anyway?

November 29, 2021

First, let’s talk about why it’s important.

The difference between male and female cannabis plants

Many growers are adamant about finding male plants from their batch for removal. Why? Because they don’t produce buds. Only female plants produce the buds we like to smoke and use to make various products.

Cannabis seeds are typically a 50/50 chance of being male or female. This means about half of the seeds you buy and grow into plants will be useless. That is why a lot of growers opt to use feminized seeds, which are guaranteed to grow into female, bud-producing plants.

Unfortunately, you can’t predict the gender of your cannabis plants if you don’t use feminized seeds. You will have to plant the seeds and monitor the plant for signs of its gender as it grows. During the vegetative stage, the plant is mostly focused on growing taller and will not reveal its gender.

Usually, after about a month and a half of growth, plants will begin a pre-flower stage where they offer gender insights. Female plants tend to begin producing pistils, or reproductive parts. Pistils contain little hair-like strands called stigmas.

The pre-flower stage for male plants is different. Males begin to grow pollen sacs where females grow pistils. Pollen sacs look like little bulbs growing out of the plant.

Most growers will simply toss their male cannabis plants as soon as they show signs of not being female. This is because they will not produce any buds and can get in the way of producing high-quality cannabis. When the male plants are gone, females remain unfertilized and can grow seedless, higher-potency cannabis.

Seedless cannabis grown from unfertilized female plants is called sensimilla. When left to grow on their own, female cannabis plants can expend more energy producing potent cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds that contribute to quality weed.

What does a male weed plant look like, exactly?

As we mentioned earlier, male weed plants have a distinctive look but can be indistinguishable from females during the first stages of life.

When they first start growing, they look like any other weed plant focused on growing tall and strong. Once they reach the pre-flowering stage, you will see small bulbous pollen sacs growing where buds would grow.

Male cannabis plants can easily produce many pollen sacs that are all over the plant. They can become so full of pollen that they burst and leave a dusting of pollen on all of the surroundings. This is why it is important to keep male plants away from females, as their pollen sacs can burst and fertilize other plants.

You should be able to differentiate between male and female plants after they reach the pre-flowering stage and grow either pistils (female) or pollen sacs (male). From a distance, it may be difficult to know the gender of the plant, but once it’s reached this stage, you can tell upon closer inspection.

If you see an adult cannabis plant growing somewhere, it is likely female as this is the only type of plant that will yield high THC, CBD, and other desirable cannabinoids. The biggest way to confirm if it is a male or female is to get close and look for buds or even signs of pre-buds, such as clusters of hair-like strands.

What should I do with my male weed plants?

In cases where you have to remove males, it can feel bad to toss away a seemingly good weed plant. If you don’t want to see it go to waste, there are some options to use it up.

You can enhance your garden with male cannabis plants. Male weed plants produce some terpenes, though much less than female plants. These aromatic compounds work well to ward off pests. Cannabis plants are also beneficial for the soil as they can absorb toxins and break apart poor-quality soil.

Another option is to get crafty. Male weed plants tend to be softer than females, making them ideal for clothes and other soft materials.

See also  Butterfly Weed Seeds

While male weed plants produce significantly fewer cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds than females, they still produce some. This can make male plants useful for homemade concentrates, salves, or other products.

Try making an infused cannabis coconut oil out of your male plant parts. You can keep the coconut oil solid to use as a skin cream or pain salve, or use the oil to cook delicious infused foods. The potency of this oil will be hard to gauge, so you may need to experiment a bit before finding the perfect blend.

You can also keep the leaves and chop up other parts of your male plant for weed tea. Again, male plants contain a lot less of the compounds found in cannabis buds, but they still may produce a relaxing, therapeutic tea.

Final thoughts

The cannabis that you can purchase at our Bellingham weed store, Bellingham dispensary, and other Washington dispensary locations is typically grown sinsemilla style, or without seeds. This allows for more potency in the buds.

Growing cannabis is not currently legal for adults in Washington state unless they have a medical marijuana card. If you are one of those people, take care to ensure your cannabis plants are female when growing.

There are other ways to grow cannabis in Washington, though. For example, some people are licensed cultivators for retailers. If you can’t grow weed in Washington right now, you can still visit our Spokane dispensary or other locations to stock up on the green.

Visitng Bellingham? Our Bellingham dispensary is conveniently located in downtown Bellingham. Catch us after a drink at Gruff Brewing or visit during the Saturday Farmer’s Market.

Piece of Mind Cannabis is a medical marijuana and recreational Cannabis dispensary with locations in North Spokane, South Spokane, Bellingham, and Pullman Washington as well as Anchorage, Alaska!

When Do Weed Plants Produce Seeds

Article written by

Tina Magrabi Senior Content Writer

Tina Magrabi is a writer and editor specializing in holistic health. She has written hundreds of articles for Weedmaps where she spearheaded the Ailments series on cannabis medicine. In addition, she has written extensively for the women’s health blog, SafeBirthProject, as well as print publications including Destinations Magazine and Vero’s Voice. Tina is a Yale University alumna and certified yoga instructor with a passion for the outdoors.

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How to produce cannabis seeds

When it comes to cannabis plants, feminized seeds are the most known ones. But do you know what auto and regular means?

1. Photoperiodic Cannabis

Photoperiodism isn’t unique to cannabis plants, many flowering plants sense changes in the length of night and day and use those changes as signals for when to flower. Photoperiodic cannabis plants are just like that, they basically respond to changes in the light cycle. As the night becomes longer at the beginning of autumn (in nature) or when you flip to 12/12 in a grow tent, the plant receives more darkness. This causes the plant to realize that its life cycle is coming to an end and they will start to flower (females) or produce pollen (males) in order to reproduce before winter.

Regular Photoperiodic Cannabis

Regular cannabis is photoperiodic cannabis that produces both male and female plants. They are called regular because they are produced the “natural way”: the pollen from the male plant pollinates the female, resulting in seeds. Back in the day, the only way to grow cannabis was with regular seeds, this way you would get half male and half females plants. There is a big difference between male and female plants, while female grows buds, male plants will only grow pollen sacs.

In nature male cannabis’ pollen sacs will open to release pollen which will pollinate the female flowers, this way producing seeds. But most growers that grow cannabis commercially or for their own consumption only want buds, allowing males to pollinate buds would ruin their harvest because pollination diminishes yield, so they’re mainly looking for female plants.

Feminized Photoperiodic Cannabis

To completely avoid accidental pollination and other problems related to male plants, feminized seeds were created. Feminized seeds come from the cross of two female plants, one of them is stressed so it starts producing pollen sacs, which will fertilize the other female. When you cultivate feminized seeds, the offspring will be only female plants. This takes out a lot of the unnecessary work that you can have when growing males and them not being able to use them. Ever since the boom of feminized seeds back in 1998, growers have stopped buying regular seeds for quite a bit. Nowadays most seed banks don’t even sell regular seeds anymore. With so much focus on feminized seeds, we can’t forget that regular seeds are vital for the creation of new strains.

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2. Automatic Flowering Cannabis

You must already know that the characteristic that makes autoflowers an auto is they don’t need a different light cycle to enter the flowering stage. Like their name says, autoflowers start flowering automatically depending on age, and unlike regular and feminized cannabis that needs a change in the light cycle to start flowering. Autos don’t need anything else other than time to start producing buds.

But that trait didn’t come out of anywhere, it appeared as an adaptation to the environment. You’ve probably heard of Cannabis Indica and Sativa…well, the autoflowering gene comes from Cannabis Ruderalis. The Ruderalis species adapted to the extremely cold and harsh climates of Asia, Europe, and Russia. These regions have shorter warm seasons and colder temperatures. Because of this, Ruderalis started mutating from a photoperiodic plant to an autoflowering plant, to guarantee its reproduction before the temperatures reached freezing levels. Thanks to that adaptation, now we have autoflowers that take considerably less time from seed to harvest.

3. How To Make Your Own Seeds

Producing your own seeds is relatively easy if you have what it’s needed but that doesn’t mean the result will be a perfect strain. The good strains or “IBLs” that most seed banks sell are strains that have been developed for years and are far into the third or fourth generation. IBL or stabilized strain means the offspring will have certain characteristics locked down. When you cross two strains for the first time the offspring can have infinite phenotypes and this is not good for commercializing.

Photoperiodic Regular Seeds

When we talk about cannabis, it’s easy to forget about male plants. Everybody nowadays is used to the beautiful flowers we all love, but it’s important to remember that male cannabis plants are just as important as females. Male cannabis plants produce pollen and are an essential element in the production of new cannabis plants. This pollen is super important in breeding cannabis as it allows breeders to create crosses with genetics from different plants and create their own seeds. For producing seeds all you need is pollen and buds. Cannabis pollen is no different from regular pollen produced by other plants. It’s a fine powder that usually has a golden yellow color and is excreted from the pollen sac on male plants.

Collecting pollen is simple. You’ll know when its ready to be collected when the pollen sacks are open and you see pollen floating in the air and on the leaves near them. When this happens, you can gently remove the sacs and store them in a ziplock bag, once you are ready to pollinate just release the pollen onto the buds. Another way is to simply agitate your male plants near the female plants, the pollen will stick to the buds. Pollen is used in order to pollinate female plants and create seeds. In nature, female plants get pollinated by the wind which carries the male pollen. Cannabis seeds develop in the buds about 4-6 weeks after pollination, you will see the calyxes start to round up from the seeds being inside them.

Pollinated buds look quite different from regular buds. They usually don’t have as many trichomes and are usually smaller and a lot more swollen. 4 weeks after pollination, you can start checking the buds to see if the seeds are ready for harvest by picking a couple of seeds from the bud. Mature seeds will have a hard shell and be a dark brown color, they might also have some stripes on the outer shell.

Photoperiodic Feminized Seeds

Normally, a male cannabis plant has to pollinate a female plant to produce seeds. The resulting regular seeds will contain about half male and half female seeds. The way feminized seeds are produced is the same but instead of collecting the pollen from a male, breeders will stress or spray flowers with colloidal silver, for example. This process forces the female plants to become a hermaphrodite and starts producing pollen sacs. Hermaphrodite plants are females that are halfway turned into males, this means she has both male (pollen sacs) and female (buds) parts.

By picking out the pollen sacs and using a reverted plant’s pollen to pollinate a female plant, you will have only female genes as there is no “father”, this way you get feminized seeds, meaning the offspring will be 100% female plants.

Feminized and Regular Autoflowering Seeds

Regular Autoflowering Seeds

Usually, you can find regular and feminized seeds, and this applies to autoflowering seeds also. This means you can find male and female autoflowers, depending on the type of seed you buy (regular = 50% male and 50% female, feminized = 100% female). Unfortunately the high increase in the production of feminized seeds affected automatic seeds also. Although it’s not common to find regular auto seeds nowadays, they do exist. For producing regular autoflowering seeds all you need is male pollen and female buds, just like for regular photoperiodic cannabis. The process is basically the same, collect the pollen from the male and spread it on the buds, this will result in regular autoflowering seeds.

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Feminized Autoflowering Seeds

The process of producing feminized autoflowering seeds is almost the same, the only difference is you will need two female autos instead of one male and one female. You will have to make one of your female autos produce pollen, either by stressing her out or spraying with colloidal silver and pollinating the other female. This will result in a 100% female automatic offspring.

4. Pollen Collection and Storage, and Proper Pollination Techniques

The process of collecting pollen from either a male or a hermaphrodite cannabis plant is a piece of cake, but you do have to be very careful if you have female plants nearby. One male or hermie plant can pollinate a whole crop if you are not alert and aware of the stage the pollen sacks are at, so always try to keep any pollen-producing plants well quarantined from any females that you want to keep seed free. The best way to harvest the pollen is to carefully remove the whole pollen sac flower head, let it dry for a couple of days to a week and then transfer the whole shebang to a sealable container or zip-lock bag. Once in the bag or container, you can give the whole thing a bit of a shake and the pollen should fall right out In terms of pollen storage, there are a few factors to take into consideration. Temperature and moisture levels are the most important things to control. Our tried and true method for at-home storage of cannabis pollen is:

  • Collect the pollen and place it in a sealed container or zip lock bag.
  • Add regular baking flour – about double the weight of pollen. This doesn’t need to be super exact, but it helps greatly with moisture absorption and spreads your pollen out much further.
  • Place the whole thing into the freezer where it can be stored for up to a year.
  • Pollen hates temp fluctuations, so leave it be until you are sure you are ready to use it

When you are ready to pollinate your plant the process is again nothing more than child’s play, but you have to be very careful not to spread the pollen to plants that you want to remain seedless. This can be a little difficult if the plants are rooted into the ground, but if they are in pots then the job is much safer.

Just move whichever female plant you want to produce seeds to an area well away from the rest of the crop. There are a few ways to pollinate your plant, but our favorite method is this:

  • Wait until the female plant is in her 2nd or 3rd week of the flowering cycle. At this point, you should see pistils forming fully (the small white hair-like growths)
  • Grab your pre-collected pollen from the freezer and let it come to room temp over a few hours
  • Dip a small, fine paintbrush or Q-tip into the pollen and apply it to the pistils of the budding sites that you want to produce seeds
  • We recommend focusing on the budding sites on the lower branches – the popcorn bud producing areas. These buds are usually the lowest quality in terms of smokeability and trichome production, so use these ones for seeds instead!
  • Seeds usually take around 4 – 5 weeks to mature fully. A mature cannabis seed is brown in color with tiger-like stripes and a hard outer shell.

A common question asked is – how many seeds a single budding site will produce? This is an impossible question to answer, as it varies widely between strains and the size of the budding site. But a fully pollinated plant can produce A LOT of seeds.

5. In Conclusion

Even though it is fairly easy to produce seeds, we recommend having a bit of experience before trying it. We recommend easy-to-grow strains like Zkittlez Auto to start acquiring experience before going into breeding.

Just an easy to grow, solid packed buds. A heavy feeder and can be a bit prone to light burn at the end but otherwise perfection!

A breeding operation needs a lot of caution, even the smallest amount of pollen may ruin your entire harvest. Remember you should always buy seeds from a reputable seed bank. If you buy bad genetics, your plants can become a hermaphrodite easily and what was initially cheap can end up being surprisingly expensive.