Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on December 24, 2022

Cannabis growers are very specific when it comes to what types of plants they put together in their grow rooms. Once you decide to grow marijuana, you first need to decide if you want to do that by cloning the mother plant, or by using regular seeds from your dispensary. A good thing about cloning is that you’ll know with certainty whether the plant is male or female, while planting from seeds is more of a gamble (if not purchased from cannabis seed banks).

If you grow your cannabis strains from regular seeds, you shouldn’t place female marijuana seeds that will grow into female plants next to male marijuana seeds that will grow into male plants. Doing that will enable the male plants to pollinate the female plants once they reach that stage, and you’ll be left with no yield. To prevent that, you should separate male and female plants in separate grow rooms, or buy feminized marijuana seeds from cannabis seed banks.

So, what should you do with the male marijuana plants once your female plants get to the flowering stage and start producing buds?  That’s precisely the focus of this article, so let’s get into it.

Types of Weed Plants and How to Tell if You’re Cultivating Male Cannabis Plants or Female Cannabis Plants

If you’re starting with cannabis cultivation, you should know that you can cultivate three types of cannabis plants:

  • Male cannabis plants;
  • Female cannabis plants;
  • Hermaphrodite plants (Hermies).

To find out the sex of your cannabis plants you need to wait for it to get to the pre-flower stage which happens when the plant is around six weeks old (2-3 weeks for autoflowering plants) and look at the plant’s nodes which is the connection between the main stem and the branches. At that time, male plants will produce cannabis pollen sacs, while female plants will produce pistils, and even stigmas and calyxes. Once you know the gender, it’s essential that you separate the male from the female plants to prevent pollination.

On the other hand, hermaphrodite cannabis, or hermies, have both male and female sex organs. These types of weed plants aren’t very popular among growers as they’re full of seeds and are poor in quality. Hermaphroditism happens if the cannabis plant is exposed to extreme conditions during the growing stages, and once they’re noticed, growers should get rid of them to prevent them from ruining other nearby female plants.

What Are Female Marijuana Plants Used For?

Both male and female cannabis plants are essential for regular cannabis reproduction, as the male cannabis plants pollinate the female in order to produce seeds. If female marijuana plants aren’t pollinated, they continue to develop cannabis flowers and ultimately develop resinous cannabis buds. These buds are ultimately dried, cured, and sold at dispensaries all over the world. Additionally, the buds can be used to make a whole variety of cannabis products including concentrates, extracts, cannabutter, and cannabis oil, as well as other products.

What Are Male Marijuana Plants Used For?

The cannabis plant requires both male and female plants in order to reproduce, which isn’t the case for all flowering plants. While growers generally focus on female plants that can even produce high-quality resinous seedless buds (sinsemilla), the male marijuana plant can be viewed as useless, even though they are responsible for the pollination of female plants. Below, we’ll give you a list of how you can use your male cannabis plants – from breeding new plants to using them to make CBD tea.

Cannabinoid Content

Similar to female cannabis plants, males also contain a wide array of cannabinoids including THC and CBD. In fact, male plants have considerable concentrations of cannabinoids that shouldn’t be taken for granted, and male flowers can even have higher concentrations of cannabinoids than some female flowers. The THC content and the overall cannabinoid content of male plants can vary from breeder to breeder, as well as the conditions in the grow room.

Hemp Fiber

The male cannabis plants are a source of hemp fiber and produce a softer material compared to the female plants. This finer and softer fiber is used to make products like tablecloths, clothing, and other hemp products.

Breeding and Seed Production

Whether you’re a novice or a more experienced cannabis grower, you’ve definitely thought about making your own hybrid cannabis strain by combining your favorite Indica and Sativa strains. Male plants provide half the genetic makeup that gets passed on to the seeds, therefore high-quality male plants are essential for reproduction and making new strains. 

If you’re planning to grow only female plants, you could always try cloning the mother plant, so you don’t really need any male plants. Moreover, you can use male marijuana plants for cannabis seed production since the seeds of the cannabis plant are highly nutritious and contain amino acids, fatty acids, and vitamins.

Making Concentrates, Hashish, Cannabutter, Cannabis Tea, and Juices

As female plants are used to make concentrates because of the high amounts of cannabinoids they contain, male plants can also be included in their production. Even though the concentrates won’t be as psychoactive in nature as concentrates from female plants, using up the weed trim of male cannabis plants can add additional qualities to the concentrate. Male plants can also be used to make hashish, cannabutter, cannabis oil, cannabis juice, CBD teas, as well as other products since they contain a lot of cannabinoids and terpenes.

Pest Repellent and Sustainable Gardening

As a result of both male and female marijuana plants being able to produce terpenes like limonene and pinene that repel insects and pests, and cannabinoids that have antibacterial and antimicrobial effects, they’re useful if you’re planning to have a sustainable garden. Therefore, male cannabis plants are placed as companion plants in order to increase yields and protect the plants from pests.

Additionally, cannabis plants are known for their long taproots that dive deep into the ground. As a result of that, taproots break apart low-quality soil which allows nutrients and moisture to get to the lower parts of the soil.

The 411 on Male Marijuana Plants

Whether or not you decide to use male cannabis plants and make juices, tea, cannabutter, or concentrates, there’s no denying that the cannabis plant is a versatile one.

While female plants are generally used for their resinous buds, cultivating male plants can also be beneficial for growers. Male plants can be used in a number of ways including making textile for clothes, breeding new strains, as well as repelling bugs and insects.

As more research is done into cannabis plants, there’s no doubt that scientists will discover even more potential benefits of the male plants. This will increase their appeal, and in turn, encourage growers to grow even more male plants.

A passionate advocate for the benefits of cannabis. Fraser Horton, who has a background in botany and a strong love of nature, has spent years researching how cannabis affects the body and mind. He established Leaf Nation in 2020, where he has devoted himself to educating people about the legalisation of marijuana and its safe and responsible use. Fraser is committed to highlighting cannabis’ potential for improving wellness and working to dispel the stigma associated with its use.


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