Plants are like people. They have genders. You can tell if your plant is male or female by looking at the buds, which will either be all pistils (female) or mostly pollen sacs (male).

The early signs of male plant is a process that can be used to tell if your plant is male or female. You will need to look for early signs of the plant’s sex, such as the shape and size of its flowers.

While it’s typical to hear that cannabis “grows like a weed,” there’s a lot more to growing high-quality cannabis than just planting it and letting nature take care of the rest. There’s a lot to learn about cultivating cannabis, from nutrition to pest management and everything in between. One of the most important things to know when growing from seed vs. clone is how to distinguish a male cannabis plant from a female. Let’s look at why sexing your cannabis plant before to blooming is so important for producing high-quality marijuana.

  1. Why Is Your Cannabis Plant’s Sex Important?
    1. Cannabis Plants with Females
    2. Cannabis Plants with Males
    3. Plants that are both male and female
  2. Before the Plants Begin Flowering, Look for Gender Signs in Cannabis.
    1. Pre-Flower Male Plant Signs to Look for
    2. Pre-Flower Female Plant Signs to Look for
  3. Cannabis Seeds’ Gender
  4. Cannabis Plant Components
  5. The Takeaway

Why Is Your Cannabis Plant’s Sex Important?

Signs of gender on a cannabis plant will emerge between four and six weeks, since this is when pre-flowers usually begin to form. It is possible to detect definite indications of male or female gender before four weeks, depending on the strain, environment, and grower; however, unambiguous signs of gender may occasionally take much longer. You should begin looking for indications of gender as soon as the seedling starts to develop, since it is critical to distinguish males from females as soon as possible. When it comes to cannabis plants, there are three types of gender: male, female, and hermaphrodite (sometimes known as “hermied”).

Cannabis Plants with Females

Female cannabis plants provide the buds (or flower, as it is sometimes known) found at dispensaries. Female cannabis plants yield cannabinoid-rich buds with much greater THC levels than male plants. Females often have a diverse terpene profile, as well as a variety of other cannabinoids and phytonutrients. Female cannabis plants that haven’t been pollinated by male cannabis plants have seedless or sparsely seeded buds. This enables the plant to produce larger, fatter, and more powerful buds, which is why men and females must be separated when growing flower for medical reasons. This strain of cannabis is known as “sinsemilla,” which means “seedless” in Spanish. For both commercial and home producers, female cannabis plants are preferred.  

Cannabis Plants with Males

Because male plants do not develop buds, they are less sought after when it comes to using cannabis for medical or recreational reasons. When crossing genetics to produce new strains, however, breeders and makers of cannabis-derived goods depend on male cannabis plants to pollinate female cannabis plants (such as indica vs sativa). Clothing, bed linens, towels, and other items are made from the fiber of male plants. Additionally, male plant seeds may be utilized to make a variety of oils. 

Because male cannabis plants are responsible for pollinating females, it’s critical to separate male and female plants so that they don’t “hermie,” flip gender, or start producing seeds as a result of unintentional pollination.

Plants that are both male and female

A cannabis plant will contain both female and male sex organs if it changes gender and “hermies” owing to pollination, whether deliberate or not. A hermaphrodite plant isn’t only a result of pollination. A plant may get “hermied” due to a variety of factors including light and water stress, as well as nutritional shortages. If you don’t want to make seeds or new strains of cannabis, you’ll need to separate your hermaphrodite plants from your female plants. Some people prefer to remove the male organs from these plants with tweezers in the hopes of continuing to produce sinsemilla.

Now that you know why knowing the sex of your cannabis plant is so important, let’s look at some of the typical gender indicators to watch for before the plant starts blooming. These are the indicators that will reveal the gender of your plants in the end.

Before the Plants Begin Flowering, Look for Gender Signs in Cannabis.

Pre-flower features differ between male and female cannabis plants. The term “pre-flower” refers to the stage of cultivation when the plants have not yet started to develop flowers or buds. It’s critical to pay careful attention to the nodes of your cannabis plants at this time to identify gender. The following are the cannabis gender indicators to look for before flowering:

Pre-Flower Male Plant Signs to Look for

Male plants, on average, begin to reveal their gender before female ones. Male pre-flowers have been seen to emerge three to four weeks after germination. The plant should have at least five internodes at this point. Pollen sacs appear as small balls on the plant’s nodes and are the male organ and pre-flowers. They may have a banana-like form, which indicates that the plant is a hermaphrodite rather than a true male. Male cannabis plants have pollen-producing organs that grow together to form clusters of male flowers or male buds. Male buds, on the other hand, are tiny and less attractive than female buds. 

Pre-Flower Female Plant Signs to Look for

Around four to six weeks after germination, female cannabis plants begin to exhibit pre-flower symptoms (a little later than male plants). Female pre-flowers resemble a V-shaped pair of white hairs that emerge from the calyx to form the pistil, which will eventually cluster into female flowers or buds. Most gardeners like to see these pre-flower indications. As a result, people often opt to germinate feminized seeds, about which you may read more below. 

Cannabis Seeds’ Gender

There is no way to determine if a cannabis seed will create a male, female, or hermaphrodite plant. You may get feminized seeds from reputable shops or producers on the market nowadays. These seeds have been engineered to remove the male chromosomes, resulting in mainly female plants. 

This kind of cannabis seed, also known as female seeds, is highly sought after by growers seeking to cultivate cannabis buds for smoking or extraction. This is particularly true in commercial grows, when a single male plant may pollinate a large crop of females, resulting in a huge loss for the business. Keep in mind that even when using feminized seeds, there is a small possibility that a male plant may develop. This is another reason why it is important to check for indications of gender changes even in the late blooming stage of culture, whether using normal seeds or feminized seeds.

Now that you’ve mastered the plant genders and pre-flower indications, it’s time to go through the many components that make up the cannabis plant.

Cannabis Plant Components

The cannabis plant is made up of a variety of components that enable it to develop to its full potential, just as nature intended. Many of these components are comparable to those found in other plant species, while others are unique to cannabis. 


Cannabis seeds, which are available from a variety of online and physical shops, are the source of the plant’s existence. Seeds are required to maintain the different genetic lineages of cannabis chemovars now accessible. Seeds may be found in calyxes and male buds of a cannabis plant.

Leaves of the Cotyledon

The first leaves that emerge following seed germination are cotyledon leaves. They’re located towards the top of the stem of a freshly sprouted cannabis plant. Many people, however, do not believe that these leaves are real leaves. They call them “seed leaves” instead than “plant leaves” because they are part of the seed anatomy rather than a leaf generated by the plant after germination. 


The roots of cannabis plants, like those of other plants, are the plant’s life supply. They take in water, nutrients, and oxygen from the grow media they’re using (soil, coco coir, clay pebbles, etc.). The roots of the cannabis plant are always found near the bottom of the stem.


The cannabis plant’s stem is the most important part of the plant’s structure. Its center position, often known as the stalk, offers support for branches, leaves, and cannabis buds. A vascular system in the stem transports water and nutrients from the roots and growth media to the rest of the plant.


Branches grow from the top to the bottom of cannabis plants, and they develop when nodes on the main stem arise. The plant’s primary stalk/stem “branch” out to form new stem structures. Branches support leaves and flowers in addition to the stalk. 


At the point when leaves branch out from the main stem, nodes develop. They divide the stem into many branches. They are parallel in the early stages of cultivation and become more uneven as the plant matures. Marijuana plants’ pre-flower gender markers, which are responsible for the production of plant hormones, are also seen at the node.

Leaves of a Fan

Fan leaves are big, fingered leaves that grow on cannabis branches and have become a popular emblem in the cannabis community. Despite the fact that they do not contain trichomes, terpenes, or cannabinoids, they play an important role in the plant’s structure. The dorsal surface, apex, ventral surface, and petiole, all of which work together to help the plant develop to maturity, are important for photosynthesis.

Leaves of Sugar

The tiny leaves that develop from cannabis buds/flowers are known as sugar leaves. These leaves are a fraction of the size of fan leaves. Near the conclusion of the blooming period of cultivation, they are usually covered with trichomes and densely packed with THC content. Sugar leaves are often utilized by patients and consumers to create cannabis-infused edibles at home, and can be purchased in dispensaries throughout the nation in “shake/trim” ounces.

Buds or flowers

Cannabis buds are the blooms that the cannabis plant produces. As a result, the terms “flower” and “bud” may be used interchangeably. Cannabis blossoms grow up and down a female cannabis plant’s stem and branches. Because they contain the highest terpene and cannabinoid concentrations, they are the most sought after parts of the plant (including CBD and THC). It should be noted that the flower must be thoroughly dried and cured before use. 


Colas are located towards the top of the main stem and biggest branches of a female plant. The cola is made up of densely braided buds that create a center cluster of cannabis flowers that may grow to be more than two feet long. Colas grow in regions with the greatest sunlight, and they have the largest concentration of cannabinoids and plant resins.

Calyx and Bract

Each female flower is made up of a single ovule, which is surrounded by bracts, which are tiny leaves that protect the ovule. The bracts are coated in a dense layer of trichomes, which are resin glands (which we go over below).

The ovule is protected by a transparent covering at the base of cannabis flowers. This is a cannabis plant’s calyx. It’s also where pollen-gathering pistils develop. Bracts are often misidentified as calyxes. 

Pistil and Stigma

A stigma is a sticky, hair-like structure found at the apex of the cannabis flower’s pistils. Pollen from male marijuana plants is also gathered there. As the cannabis plant develops, the stigmas are known to change color. They usually begin as white hairs and progress through a spectrum of yellow to red until becoming brown around harvest time. The female reproductive organs of the plant are protected by the pistils (including the ovules and potential seeds). 


Trichomes are tiny mushroom-shaped hairs that create the frosty layer of crystals on cannabis flowers and are not to be confused with stigmas or pistils. They mostly grow on marijuana plants’ buds/flowers, sugar leaves, and bracts. A stalk and a head make up each trichome. The generation of cannabinoids and terpenes takes place inside the trichome’s head. The sticky substance that clings to your finger when you touch cannabis is caused by trichomes. They also act as a line of protection against wild animals and environmental hazards. They’re called kief when they’re dried after harvest and taken from cannabis flowers.

The Takeaway

Many elements of cannabis growing may be frightening to newcomers. Sexing your cannabis plants is one of them. We hope that this tutorial gives you greater confidence in this procedure, which will become second nature after just a few grows! Here are the three most important factors to keep in mind while identifying the gender of your cannabis plants:

  1. Start searching for indications as soon as four to six weeks after the female plants have germinated.
  2. As soon as males and hermies are identified, destroy or remove them from female plants.
  3. Always be on the lookout! Gender indicators may emerge earlier in the season and alter as the harvest progresses.

Do you want to learn more about cannabis cultivation? Veriheal is here to assist you! Below is a collection of articles we’ve collected to assist you with your at-home growing endeavors. 


The how to tell if your plant is turning male is a question that many cannabis growers have. A plant will turn male when the pollen from another plant fertilizes it.

  • early signs of female plant
  • how to tell if your plant is male or female before flowering pictures
  • how to tell if your plant is male or female before flowering
  • how to make a male plant female
  • when do male plants pollinate females
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