Growers can ensure the sex of their plants by growing clones or the genetically identical clippings from a parent strain. Feminized seeds are also made available through a special breeding process.
When determining the sex of a cannabis plant, pre-flowers, or the beginnings of male and female sex organs, will appear at the nodes.
While both result in pollen production, true hermaphrodite cannabis plants produce sacs that need to rupture; anthers are exposed, pollen-producing stamen.
Stigma and pistil
The rare hermaphroditic plant contains both female and male sex organs. These plants can sometimes self-pollinate, but this is typically bad as it will create buds with seeds and also pass on hermaphroditic genes.
Because this occurs when cannabis is under stress, it’s important to monitor plants after they have been exposed to stressors: indoors, high temperatures or light leaks are often the cause; outdoors, a snapped branch might be repaired and then turn into a hermaphrodite.
Cannabis is a dioecious plant, meaning it can be male or female, and the male and female reproductive organs appear on different plants. What’s in your stash jar now are the flowers of a female marijuana plant.
“Herming out,” as some call it, is something that generally happens when a plant becomes excessively stressed. Some stressors include:
Be sure the strength is at least 15ppm, preferably 30ppm. Less than 15ppm produces male sacs with little viable pollen.
Once the plants have been sprayed with colloidal silver and the pollen is collected, they are write-offs—86 them and don’t smoke them. Giving them a thorough rinse will not work. The colloidal silver is a systemic treatment absorbed into the plant through the foliage and not a topical application. Be safe and bin them.
TECHNIQUE 1: COLLOIDAL SILVER
Colloidal silver is a distilled water-based solution in which microscopic particles of silver are suspended. The nature of colloids means the particles will never settle out and can’t be removed by normal filtering. Colloidal silver is available commercially, or you can make your own if you want to totally geek out (see how-to section at the end). It has numerous uses as an alternative medicine. For example, it is used to soothe burns, as an antiseptic and digestion stimulant in people, and as a fungal control in horticulture.
Growing cannabis is all about resinous flowers, trichomes, and rich cannabinoid profiles. These splendid characteristics can only be found on the female flowers. Having gardens full of robust, un-pollinated sinsemilla females means jars full of mind and body-friendly, crusty nuggets.
- Cover the top of the pot with plastic or card to catch pollen as it falls, or modify a plastic drink cup to shroud the plant and catch falling pollen.
- Fix a clear plastic bag, perforated at the top for air exchange, around the whole plant.
- An experienced eye will remove each flower pod prior to it bursting completely open to be sure of catching every spore.
- Pollinating a female is the easy bit. Depending on how many seeds you want to make, there are a couple of methods that can be used.
- Using a watercolour or other fine, soft brush or even a cotton bud, dip into your pollen collection and gently apply to the chosen flower. Although thousands of viable spores will be on the end of the brush, enough to pollinate a whole plant, the trichomes on the surface of the pistils will greedily glue everything you offer them. So dip into your pollen stash a few times as you dust.
- For lots of seeds, put pollen in a bag and put over a whole branch or a whole plant, shake well, and leave for twenty four hours.
- It is possible to pollinate different branches with different pollens and have a breeder plant that has 1, 2, or 15 different crosses on it.
- It is also possible to self-pollinate the plant from which the male parts were created. This won’t produce as many seeds as pollinating a separate plant because less female flowers are produced and many are nonviable because of the feminization process.
The goal of the method that is described here is to trick the cannabis plant into believing that it is a female. Think of the anatomy of a marijuana plant as you would with humans. People will often take hormone specific supplements like testosterone and estrogen to trick the body into displaying the physical characteristics of the opposite sex.
Sprinkle the ethylene overtop of the branches of the plant, focusing your attention on the leaves and stem joints.
What does this technique do?
A male cannabis plant will produce almost no bud flower, and its sole purpose is to provide the seeds to carry on the plant’s genetics. Males are easy to spot, as they produce small sacks of pollen instead of hairs in early growing stages.
Yes, it is much easier to trick a female into believing that it is a male than it is to do the opposite. Though there is no real reason that anyone would need to perform this experiment, if you were to use gibberellins which are male marijuana plant hormones instead of ethylene on females, the plants would almost certainly immediately begin to display male-like characteristics.