Hermaphrodite weed plants are often the unspoken plants of the cannabis world. Much like with other species, a hermaphrodite weed plant will develop the characteristics of both male and female plants and produce flowers that contain both thick flower buds and seeds. Unfortunately, these cannabis plants are mostly unwanted by the growing community. They can completely ruin crops meant for recreational use and are full of annoying seeds which makes it a low-quality product.
There are only a couple different ways that a hermaphrodite weed plant will form. The first is due to genetics and the second is based on the environment. If a plant is put under conditions lacking essential components like water and light, then the stress a plant is experiencing can cause this reaction. It is the plant’s natural ability to shut down and shorten its growth cycle if it isn’t getting what it needs to flourish. Some of the biggest causes of stress for a marijuana plant are interruptions in light during the flowering stage, heat reaching over 27 C on average, harvesting a plant past its prime, damage to the plant structure, lack of water, too much fertilizer, predatory bugs or diseases, too much cold, and the use of pesticides or fungicides.
While the answer is yes, you can most definitely smoke flowers produced by a hermaphrodite cannabis plant. You may not want to. A hermaphrodite plant will not be nearly as potent as a 100% female cannabis plant, and it will be full of seeds which will affect smokability and taste.
The female cannabis plant will grow slower than her counterpart. Females will be shorter a bushier and almost immediately begin producing orange and white hairs and pistils. THC crystal can sometimes be spotted even at a young stage coating some of the smaller fan leaves. A female marijuana plant will produce high-quality bud that is much more potent than that of a male marijuana plant.
Making feminized seeds
Male marijuana plants
What does a hermaphrodite plant look like?
A hermaphrodite plant will resemble a female cannabis plant once it nears the end of its life cycle. Marijuana flower produced by a hermaphrodite plant will be fraught with seeds which can often be noticed long before harvest as many will develop on the outside of the flower bud. When younger a hermaphrodite cannabis plant will most likely sport pollen sacs long before any flower production occurs. The plant itself will also be smaller than it’s female and male counterparts as the process of turning into a hermaphrodite will stunt the overall growth of a marijuana plant.
What can a hermaphrodite weed plant be used for?
Much like with other species, a hermaphrodite weed plant will develop the characteristics of both male and female plants.
Another common type of mixed-sex buds is the type that produces “bananas” (sometimes called “nanners”) which grow from the middle of female buds.
With a “true” hermaphrodite plant, the male and female parts will grow on different parts of the plant. They won’t grow together in the same spot such as when nanners appear in the middle of buds.
After the stress that it went through, the grower came back to a plant that was completely covered in male pollen sacs, with the first few white pistils being the only sign of this plant is female.
The following type of hermaphrodite plant has mixed male and female parts, referred to in botany as “bisexual” flowers.
Certain cannabis plants will herm even if healthy and unstressed. This is a genetic trait carried by some strains and particular plants. That’s part of why it’s important to grow seeds from a trustworthy breeder. For example, every clone of the following plant grew bananas in week 3 of the flowering stage, under no stress, in multiple different grow setups. When herming is part of a plant’s genes, there’s not much you can do.
Total leaf loss (usually as the result of overzealous defoliation or bugs)
The yellow bunches in this bud are bananas/stamens and will “try” to pollinate everything they can – they don’t have to wait for a pollen sac to burst. It’s possible that the pollen is sterile, but often you may find seeds.
The highest quality bud is considered to be “sensimilla” and refers to female cannabis buds that have not been pollinated by a male cannabis plant. The word “sensimilla” actually comes from the Spanish phrase “sin semilla” which roughly translates to “without seeds.”
So now you know that most cannabis plants are normally considered to be either “male” and “female.” Yet sometimes you will run into plants that show both male and female characteristics, and these plants can accidentally self-pollinate, or pollinate your other female plants.
Learn the difference between male and female cannabis plants, and find out what to do with "hermies" (female plants showing male pollen sacs or bananas).