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Gender of Cannabis Plants: Things you most know

Gender of Cannabis Plants: Things you most know
Cannabis plants have been used by humans for thousands of years, and some species of cannabis are even recognized as being medicinal. Yet despite the fact that cannabis is a natural plant with medical benefits, there is still a lot we do not know about its gender. Why? Cannabis plants have several features that make them particularly difficult to identify using scientific methods. In this article, we’ll try to shed some light on what makes a male or female cannabis plant, and what it means for your medicine cabinet.

What Makes a Male or Female Cannabis Plant?

We all know that all members of a species are, in general, a male (gene) or female (genetic) combination. We also know that most of the proteins in our bodies are ‘male’ because of the presence of a Y-chromosome, while most of the antibodies in our bodies are ‘female’ because of the presence of a X-chromosome. This is to say that the X-chromosome codes for male sex chromosomes, while the Y-chromosome codes for the female sex chromosomes. Of course, there are exceptions to both rules, but we’ll save that for a later article. 
Cannabis plants, on the other hand, are different. As a class, plants comprise a great deal of variability, but it is still safe to say that most plants are either male (hermaphrodite) or female (androgyne).

Ways to Tell Whats Male and Whats female

Cannabis plants have a number of different characteristics which make it tricky to determine the sex of a plant. Some of these characteristics include: 
  • Males tend to have a “cluster” of small white hairs that appear near the base of the flower. 
  • Males have a smaller number of pistils than the females, which have more, smaller flowers. 
  • Some males have petals with stiff, hair-like, lateral bristles. 
  • Other males have hairs with a central stalk on them. 
  • Males have larger flowers, which tend to have a centre-point with four lobes. 
  • Males have different buds than the females. 
  • Males have different spines on the ends of their flowers.
  • Males have horns on their stalks. 
  • Males can have red or yellow pollen. 
  • Female plants will have less/no pollen, and no spines.

When Does a Male Start to Change into the Female?

The process of sexual transformation (also known as meiosis) begins when a male plant acquires a “gender marker” (alsoknown as the “fertilizer” or “male sexual locus”). It happens when pollen (both male and female) enters a female plant, and that pollen interacts with the outer wall of the pollen tube. What is a “male sexual locus”? You’ve likely heard of the butterfly asexually developing into a new species by dividing into two separate cells, and that’s exactly what happens in this process. An asexually developing Cannabis plant with a sex chromosome male marker. Image credit: Marv Newsome. Once the male and female cells meet in the pollen tube, the sperm comes into contact with the pollen tube wall, fusing it together (known as mitosis).

The End of the Journey as a Female

You might be wondering why it’s so hard to tell the gender of cannabis plants, and how we can use the information to improve breeding. Well, the challenge we have is not about size or shape. It’s due to the fact that cannabis plants produce sperm and eggs with varying shapes and sizes, making them highly variable from individual to individual. When different female plants cross, they produce what are known as cross-fertilized seeds. This means that there are many different plants out there with many different traits, and it can be tough to know which are going to be most useful for you. The end of the journey as a male All male cannabis plants that have been produced can be difficult to tell apart without looking them up.

Gender of Cannabis Plants: Things You Must Know

Cannabis plants have been used by humans for thousands of years, and some species of cannabis are even recognized as being medicinal. Yet despite the fact that cannabis is a natural plant with medical benefits, there is still a lot we do not know about its gender. Why? Cannabis plants have several features that make them particularly difficult to identify using scientific methods. In this article, we’ll try to shed some light on what makes a male or female cannabis plant, and what it means for your medicine cabinet.

What Makes a Male or Female Cannabis Plant?

We all know that all members of a species are, in general, a male (gene) or female (genetic) combination. We also know that most of the proteins in our bodies are ‘male’ because of the presence of a Y-chromosome, while most of the antibodies in our bodies are ‘female’ because of the presence of a X-chromosome. This is to say that the X-chromosome codes for male sex chromosomes, while the Y-chromosome codes for the female sex chromosomes. Of course, there are exceptions to both rules, but we’ll save that for a later article. Cannabis plants, on the other hand, are different. As a class, plants comprise a great deal of variability, but it is still safe to say that most plants are either male (hermaphrodite) or female (androgyne).

Ways to Tell a Male From Female

Cannabis plants have a number of different characteristics which make it tricky to determine the sex of a plant. Some of these characteristics include: Males tend to have a “cluster” of small white hairs that appear near the base of the flower. Males have a smaller number of pistils than the females, which have more, smaller flowers. Some males have petals with stiff, hair-like, lateral bristles. Other males have hairs with a central stalk on them. Males have larger flowers, which tend to have a centre-point with four lobes. Males have different buds than the females. Males have different spines on the ends of their flowers. Males have horns on their stalks. Males can have red or yellow pollen. Female plants will have less/no pollen, and no spines.

When Does a Male Start to Change into the Female?

The process of sexual transformation (also known as meiosis) begins when a male plant acquires a “gender marker” (alsoknown as the “fertilizer” or “male sexual locus”). It happens when pollen (both male and female) enters a female plant, and that pollen interacts with the outer wall of the pollen tube. What is a “male sexual locus”? You’ve likely heard of the butterfly asexually developing into a new species by dividing into two separate cells, and that’s exactly what happens in this process. An asexually developing Cannabis plant with a sex chromosome male marker. Image credit: Marv Newsome. Once the male and female cells meet in the pollen tube, the sperm comes into contact with the pollen tube wall, fusing it together (known as mitosis).

The End of the Journey as a Female

You might be wondering why it’s so hard to tell the gender of cannabis plants, and how we can use the information to improve breeding. Well, the challenge we have is not about size or shape. It’s due to the fact that cannabis plants produce sperm and eggs with varying shapes and sizes, making them highly variable from individual to individual. When different female plants cross, they produce what are known as cross-fertilized seeds. This means that there are many different plants out there with many different traits, and it can be tough to know which are going to be most useful for you. The end of the journey as a male All male cannabis plants that have been produced can be difficult to tell apart without looking them up.

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