The cannabis plant is quite important and popular more so because of the substances like cannabidiol and terpenes that are derived from it. These have proven to be beneficial in various ways.
Classified by chemical composition, there are two types of the plant; hemp and marijuana. Hemp is the more commonly used variant for CBD production. This of course is due to its high CBD and low THC content. Marijuana on the other hand contains a high level of THC which is the substance that has psychoactive effects in users. Because of this, it is illegal in some areas and is rarely used for CBD production.
You can read about the difference between the two here.
The hemp plant in itself has two variants – the male and the female plant with the female being the most useful. It is from the female that commercial CBD is extracted while the male is used for pollination. The goal of every farmer or cultivator is to produce as much resins as possible and the female yields more of this. Resin is what is processed to get CBD and CBG.
If you are interested in growing hemp, working with CBD or just for information purposes, you will need to understand the difference between the male and female plants.
How to Tell the Difference
Hemp is dioecious in nature which means that each plant has a male or female reproductive organ and is either one of the two sexes. However, some can also be hermaphrodite but this is rare or forced by cultivators and other factors.
You will not be able to tell the gender from the seeds except probably through DNA testing. You will need to sow it and wait for about 6 weeks when it reaches the “pre-flower” stage.
At this stage, it is easier to tell the two apart. To do so, you need to check the nodes. This is the area where leaves and branches sprout from the stem of the plant. Male flowers have small pollen sacs in the node while in place of pollen sacs, females have bracts or stigmas designed to catch pollen dispersed by the male.
You can see this article https://growithjane.com/determining-sex-cannabis-plants-male-female-hermie/ for further explanations.
The Issue with Having Male Plants
Most farmers grow hemp for cannabidiol reasons and to get more resin resulting in more CBD, male flowers must be removed from your farm before they mature. If left to remain, they will pollinate the females and cause them to produce seeds which is bad for the CBD business. No one wants to buy buds that contain seeds since de-seeding can be quite expensive and time-consuming.
Although they produce more CBD in their leaves than the female, it is not sufficient nor can it be compared to what is produced by the flower and buds of the female.
Culling these plants from your farm can be time-consuming and labor-intensive not to talk of having to uproot half of your farm after about 6 weeks of cultivation and germination. The best way to avoid all these is by buying feminized seeds.
What is the Male Hemp Flower Useful For?
Seeing that there is not much the male hemp can do when it comes to getting cannabidiol, what then is its purpose and what can it be used for?
Its main purpose is to fertilize the female plant. Even this is subjective as farmers can use clones to do this.
The only reason you may want your female flower to be pollinated is to get seeds for breeding or cross-breeding with another strain so that you can produce a newer strain.
Another thing that the male is good for is for producing fiber for clothing and household items. It is softer and easier to work with than the female version which is strong and crude.
If you still need more info you can check here to read more on this subject.
Hemp is very versatile and has useful application in areas such as textiles, bioplastic, paper, shoes, ropes, as a biofuel, etc. When it comes to cultivating for CBD, the male plant is not that much of a use which is why it is a good thing that it can be used for other purposes asides extracting cannabinoids. This is where the male plant shines.
Depending on the reason you are cultivating hemp, you can always choose to grow any of the variants. We have simply provided you with information that will help you make an informed decision.