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What To Do With Male Cannabis Plants

Published : Aug 7, 2018
Categories : Strain information

Male cannabis plants are most often disposed of straight away. We reveal a number of uses for the much-maligned male cannabis plant.

WHAT TO DO WITH MALE CANNABIS PLANTS

The Cannabis genus is dioecious, meaning it has both female and male plants. Except in the case of hermaphroditism, male and female plants are needed to produce seeds for another generation of plants. The entire cannabis industry essentially relies on female plants. The numerous compounds present in the resins of the mature female flowers are highly prized by human beings.

Having males present in any garden means females will be exposed to pollen and seeds will develop. Cannabis seeds do have an astonishing amount of uses, but if females are being grown for high-quality psychoactive resins, seeds are bad news.

The much-maligned male is most often identified early and disposed of from the modern marijuana garden. Apart from the the reproductive parts, males and females share similar characteristics in plant performance. They both have vigorous root systems and produce beneficial compounds in the plant itself. They are both excellent at soil rehabilitation, filtering pollutants, and producing oxygen. Truly, the benefits and uses of the cannabis plant are manifold. So what can males be used for?

AN INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

When growing cannabis as hemp on an industrial scale, the sexual distribution of the crop is of far less concern than for recreational or medicinal grows. Males are desired and pollination is encouraged as seeds feature predominantly in the industrial role of the cannabis/hemp plant. 80% of the weight of any fertilised industrial cannabis crop is seeds. Products produced from the seeds of cannabis are increasing in demand. Seed uses are many, ranging from food to toiletries and numerous industrial applications.

I LIKE YOUR GENES

Male cannabis plants are needed to produce the next generation. During breeding, a generous selection of males is desired to find the one that has the best characteristics to pass onto the next generation. The best male that represents the best of the desired genotype and the right phenotype needs to be be selected for breeding.

Setting aside a single male from a crop with which to breed doesn’t guarantee that particular male is the best the genotype has to offer. It may be a runt or have developmental problems that are not revealed without brothers to compare it to. The serious breeders have serious male grow spaces. A similar selection process happens with females, so as to produce the highest possible quality of the desired traits.

Females of favourite plants are cloned to produce the same breeding stock. A selection of males are then used to pollinate the pre-flowered females. The results are compared and new strains are created.

Males are also needed for the creation of autoflowering strains. The ruderalis male contributes the autoflowering genetics, while the female contributes the potency, fragrance, and aroma of the target strain.

Breeding is a long process that requires patience. The period between pollination thru seed development and germination to curing to smoking can be months. It is also a very hit and miss affair. The desired transfer of characteristics may not happen, and the final product is a dead end. Of course, it is also possible to discover the next big thing and do a little happy dance.

TRY EXTRACTION AND POLLEN

Remember, sinsemilla (“without seed”) is a manipulation of the breeding cycle by humans to produce desired products like marijuana and resins for extracts. Sinsemilla is rare to occur with industrial crops from seed or in the wild. It isn’t surprising to know then that males and females share similar chemical profiles. Males still produce an array of terpenes as well as small amounts of cannabinoids. When processed into hash or when applying any of the extraction methods to dried males, satisfying results can in fact be obtained.

It is also possible to collect pollen and using a pollen press to make compressed pollen hash. Rest assured, a fully flowered male cannabis plant produces A LOT of pollen. The effects are nowhere near that of modern extracts made from 20%+ THC-saturated sinsemilla. However, the pleasant high is extremely functional and there is never any danger of getting too stoned. Ideal for work or being busy with a nice buzz, pollen should really be tried at least once.

GET YOUR FIBRE

During the heady centuries that preceded prohibition, when cannabis could be grown for its multitude of uses, males were prized for their fibres. Both males and females are excellent sources of fibre for a number of industrial uses. However, male fibre is preferred for making textiles. It is considered finer and stronger than fibre obtained from female plants.

Farmers of yore would go to great pains to separate the males from the females. The retting, decorticating, and spinning were all done separately. Male cloth went on to become clothing and other delicate applications. Female cloth was used for more industrial applications like ropes, hessian, and canvasses.

MALES ARE GOOD COMPANIONS

Cannabis has been used in agriculture as a pesticide, fungicide, and predation deterrent since the early ages of plant domestication. Planted as a fallow crop, it rehabilitates soil with its long taproot and dense root mat. Planted as a companion around borders and in irrigation ditches, it repels a number of pests from popular crops like soybeans, cotton, wheat, and potatoes. It also discourages mosquitoes, flies, and other airborne pests.

MALES CAN BE USEFUL

There are many uses for the male cannabis plant. The outdoor grower with a bit of space has a number of advantages when it comes to experimenting with males. When plants are hidden away so that little-to-no pollen can reach females, every aspect of male potential can be discovered. Please consider others when growing males. Cannabis pollen is wind-borne and can ride the breeze for kilometres. Your outdoor-cannabis-growing neighbours will certainly not appreciate the mystery seeds.

The domestic indoor grower with limited space doesn’t have the same luxury. The average hobby grower probably barely has the room to run a minimal breeding operation, let alone experiment. In either case, male cannabis has its uses and there is no need to freak if you get some boys. Unless you are keen to breed, simply make sure that females are not exposed to any pollen.

Top 10 Highest-THC Zambeza Cannabis Strains

Male cannabis plants have a number of uses besides breeding, and can be utilised in various ways for industrial and personal purposes.

Male cannabis plants: parts and purposes

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Contents

  1. Differences between male and female cannabis plants
  2. Parts of a male cannabis plants
  3. Purpose of male cannabis plants

While some growers dismiss male cannabis plants as useless, these plants have many benefits to offer. This guide will explain the differences between male and female cannabis plants, detail the parts of male plants, and lay out the various purposes of male plants.

Differences between male and female cannabis plants

The most striking difference between male and female cannabis plants is that only female plants produce buds. The bud is often regarded as the crown jewel of the marijuana plant since these large, resin-rich flowers can be dried, cured, and ultimately enjoyed.

However, male plants do produce flowers which help visibly distinguish the plant’s gender. The flowers on male plants are characterized by small, bell-shaped clusters that dangle and open to release fertilizing pollen. In contrast, female marijuana plants produce teardrop-shaped flowers that will yield buds at harvest time.

In addition to unusable buds, the male plant produces lower levels of potentially therapeutic cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This difference serves as a double whammy for many cannabis lovers, as male plants are consequently lower in both therapeutic properties and psychoactive effects. Lower levels of cannabinoids also means less intense flavors and aromas.

Parts of a male cannabis plants

Let’s start from the top of the plant and work our way down. In descending order, a male marijuana plant exhibits the following parts:

Nodes: Signifying a crucial aspect of the male plant’s anatomy, the nodes are where the pollen sacs form and bear seeds. Nodes grow in opposite pairs on seedlings and divide the stem at the point where lateral branches begin. When the plant matures before harvest time, the nodes will grow alternately and signify that flowering has begun.

Stem: Alternately called the stalk, the stem is usually hollow and provides the base for leaves to grow. As a connector to the leaves, the stem’s purpose is to transfer water, minerals, and other nutrients throughout the plant.

Fan leaves: Each plant may have between five and nine of these large, protruding leaves. The purpose of fan leaves is to support photosynthesis, the process by which light energy converts to chemical energy. Growers often trim excess fan leaves to facilitate better airflow to the plant as well as to incorporate into marijuana recipes. Fan leaves make key ingredients in cannabis edibles and can be equally useful infusions and extracts. Raw cannabis juice is the newest craze in the weed world and fan leaves can be blended into these superfood beverages.

Parts that are notably absent from male plants include the cola, pistil, and calyx, all of which are exclusive to female cannabis plants and produce trichomes that can be cured and smoked. There are a few other differences between male and female cannabis plant parts. According to Somoza, “In the preflower stage, males will develop small round balls at the node where pollen will form. Females will develop very small hairlike stigmas protruding from rounded bracts.”

Each part of the plant serves a distinct purpose that benefits the whole and contributes to a healthy harvest.

Purpose of male cannabis plants

While too many male cannabis plants in a confined area can infringe upon female plants’ growth and lead to seeded, non-smokable flower, male plants are essential pollen producers that play an integral role in cannabis breeding. Without male plants, there would be no female plants and vice-versa.

Like all “fathers,” male cannabis plants pass genes on to their offspring. For cannabis progeny, these traits may include resistance to mold and pests, adaptation to different climates, successful growth rates, and general health. Males are especially useful for growers who breed autoflowering cannabis strains, such as Royal Cookies Automatic and Amnesia Haze Automatic.

Diversifying the genetic pool is one more reason male cannabis plants are good for pot farmers. Steven Somoza, who has more than eight years of cannabis cultivation experience at Hydroponics, Inc., says, “Male cannabis plants play a key role for genetic diversity of cannabis. Skilled breeders tediously and patiently cross-pollinate their gardens in pursuit of exciting new strains.” Cannatonic, 3 Kings, and White Widow are a few examples of the countless hybrid strains created from cross-pollination. Such cultivars may be genetically stronger than purebred cannabis varieties since they inherit the best qualities from each parent.

Not all cannabis growers will want to tap into the male’s cross-pollinating powers, however. As Somoza added, “Cross-pollination is undesirable for cannabis flower growers. We’ve heard of outdoor farms having their crops destroyed by a neighboring farm’s pollen due to drift. As a grower, it’s important and responsible to be able to sex your plant, especially when introducing new genetics to your farm.” In fact, pollen can travel far and wide in search of a female to fertilize, so it’s necessary to keep a watchful eye on male marijuana plants and space them accordingly.

While they can have drawbacks, male plants serve an indispensable purpose in the cannabis life cycle and in the continued evolution of their species.

The primary purpose of a male plant is to perpetuate the cannabis life cycle. However, male plants have other possible uses, such as:

Make hemp fiber: Male cannabis plants produce softer fibers than females. Fibers from male plants make ideal base materials for clothing, napkins, tablecloths, sheets, and even light blankets.

Produce hash and other concentrates: Just because males have lower levels of cannabinoids doesn’t mean they’re completely devoid of these potent compounds. There are enough cannabinoids in male leaves, pollen sacs, and stems to create cannabis concentrates.

Enrich a garden: Beyond cannabis cultivation, male cannabis plants are useful in flower and vegetable gardens. The terpenes in male plants, though not as abundant as in female plants, exude natural fragrances that can repel pests. These powerful terpenes are common ingredients in industrial insect repellents and pesticides. The long taproots of male plants can also be helpful in enhancing soil quality. Taproots burrow deep in the ground and break apart weak soil, which allows for more nutrients and moisture to penetrate the soil. During rainy periods, taproots hold soil in place, which maintains nutrients that might otherwise be lost in runoff. Male plants can also be added to the compost bin to enrich next season’s garden.

There is no doubt that male cannabis plants offer an array of benefits to cultivators, gardeners, and consumers. As scientists learn more about cannabis, they may discover new ways in which male plants are beneficial. For now, cannabis enthusiasts can value male plants for a variety of uses — so long as they think beyond the bud.

Male cannabis plants have many benefits to offer. This guide will explain the differences between male and female cannabis plants, detail the parts of male plants, and lay out the various purposes of male plants. ]]>