Do male plants truly belong in a compost bin, or could they serve a more beneficial purpose to gardeners? Surprisingly, there are more uses for male plants than one might think.
The obvious function of male cannabis plants is for breeding seeds. When pollinating females, males provide half of the genetic makeup inherited by seeds. Because of this, it’s important to look into the genetics of the male plants. Their shape, rate of growth, pest and mold resistance, and climate resilience can all be passed on to increase the quality of future generations.
Female cannabis plants produce the large, resinous buds that are dried, cured, and consumed. For this reason, females are typically the only plants you’ll find in someone’s cannabis garden.
It may come as a surprise that male plants can be psychoactive in nature—though much less potent than females. The plants do not produce buds, but small amounts of cannabinoids can be found in the leaves, stems, and sacs, which can be extracted to produce hash or other oils.
Cannabis plants offer more benefits in the garden beyond bud production. Both male and female cannabis plants produce aromatic oils called terpenes, which are associated with pest and disease control. Since males also produce terpenes, you may consider including your males in a vegetable or flower garden (as long as they’re well separated from any female cannabis plants). Dried material from cannabis plants have also been used to produce terpene-rich oils that are applied to repel insects and pests as natural bug sprays.
Humans are largely focused on female cannabis plants, and rightly so. But it’s important to acknowledge and cherish the characteristics of the male cannabis plants as well. Females may produce the buds we know and love, but by limiting diversity of the males, we could be losing out on potential benefits we do not yet understand. Specific males could have compounds we are unaware of that might play significant roles in how females develop, or how cannabis as a whole develops in the future.
Additionally, cannabis plants are deep rooting plants with long taproots. Taproots are known for their ability to dive deep into the ground and break apart low-quality soil, allowing for moisture and nutrients to infiltrate and improve the soil quality. These taproots also help keep the soil in place, thereby preventing nutrient runoff and loss of soil during heavy rains.
When it comes to hemp fiber, the male cannabis plants produce a softer material while females are responsible for producing a coarse, stronger fiber. The soft fiber from the male plants make them more desirable for products like clothing, tablecloths, and other household items.
Male plants are commonly regarded as useless and discarded. While pollination by males is essential for producing more cannabis plants (unless working from clones), it’s a process that is generally best left to breeders so growers can focus on producing consumable seedless buds called sinsemilla.
Explore ways to utilize male cannabis plants, from extraction possibilities to fiber production.
With the higher “potency” of today’s Cannabis plants in general Vs what we smoked in the 70’s; I’m OK with growing both male and female plants and to of course obtain some seeds for next year.
awesome advice i wont be too bummed out now if my one seedling is male haha
Just want to say hi to Sheshata, whom I met with Mattie B. in Amsterdam in 2010. Thanks for your help then! Hope you are doing well. b_jb2001
I have that same stupid problem with my good looking males. I dont feel good about this but tomorrow they die; it wont be easy but I have killed males before, and it is the right thing to do.
Just wanted to say hello and show my appreciation for your work. Your article helped me find non prejudiced evidence and the beneficial topics pertaining to male marijuana plants and their uses. What a coup we could organize
However, many hermaphroditic species have built-in genetic mechanisms that preclude self-pollination, a condition known as self-incompatibility.
I have been struggling to find any scientific numbers to show this- especially for edibles and topical use only. My experience has been in outdoor grown sativas and the edibles, properly deoxycarbolated have been awesome- especially when presented in dark chocolate.
The males generally tested, at least for CBD, at the levels of female leaves, which is around 1%. The flowers tested at 14%.
Chinese texts from the 16 th century BCE also apparently support the belief that “the fibre of the male hemp plant is the best”.
Many cannabis growers swiftly toss male cannabis plants. But males are proving to be surprisingly useful on their own and with their female counterparts.