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  1. #1
    Retired Staff Indica's Avatar

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    Post Determining Sex of Cannabis



    Identifying male cannabis plants early is very important because if they are not removed your plants will be using their energy to produce seed instead of bud. Finding out which sex cannabis plants are can be tricky and requires some knowledge of the anatomy of Cannabis flowers. Several illustrations are presented here which should make this task easier for the untrained eye.

    Find Out Which Sex the Plant is Before it Enters Flowering


    Until the cannabis plant reaches maturity and starts to flower you cannot identify the sex of it. For most people this is very frusturating because you have to invest resources into your plants only to throw them away as soon as they go into the flowering room. There is two ways to identify the sex of the plant before they go into blooming:

    Because a clone is an exact duplicate of the parent in each and every way, you can take a cutting from the plant and place it in the 12 hour room. Within a week the tiny cutting will start to show the sex of its parent. Make sure you label both the parent and the cutting. Unfortunatley if you only have a small space and don't have two seperate rooms this may not work for you.

    Another way to determine sex before flowering is to place a bag with an elastic over one of the branches for the last 6 hours of the day. This will force only a single branch of the plant to start blooming because it is recieving 12 hours a light a day instead of 18. Make sure the bag is opaque ( not clear ) and that that the elastic is tight enough to make it airtight but not tight enough to strangle the branch of nutrients.

    The Hidden Sex

    A cannabis plant has basically three different sexes: the pistillate (female), staminate (male) and the hermaphrodite (both female and male genes expressed in the same plant). In science lingo, cannabis is a dioecious plant. In english: cannabis plants usually express only single sex. The actual expression of sex in any cannabis plant is an very complicated outcome of intricate play of environment on a set of genetic rules. In other words, the plant has the tendency towards expressing its sex in an environment and in the same time has the possibilities for evolving into any of the three sexes.

    First, lets take a look at the best way of determining the sex of an cannabis plant, the physiology of the inflorescences. Take a close look at the picture of the male flowers. Dozens of tiny sacs hang from the limbs of the flower, some of the sacs already a bit open, ready to spread the pollen, and the genes of the male. Robert Connell Clarke describes male inflorescence in Marijuana Botany:

    In male flowers, five petals (approximately 5 millimeters, or 3/16 inch, long) make up the calyx and may be yellow, white, or green in color. They hang down, and five stamens (approximately 5 millimeters long) emerge, consisting of slender anthers (pollen sacs), splitting upwards from the tip and suspended on thin filaments. The exterior surface of the staminate calyx is covered with non-glandular trichomes.

    In most strains of Cannabis the female plants express their sex before the males once the environmental cues that cause the flowering in the particular strain have been triggered. Tiny flowers, called primordia, appear quickly in females after the daylenght has sufficiently shortened. But the male flowers usually finish flowering and shed their pollen before the females have fully developed flowers. In other words, witten by Clarke:

    "Staminate [male] plants tend to flower up to one month earlier than pistillate plants; however, pistillate plants often differentiate primordia one to two weeks before staminate (male) plants"

    The Pistillate plant

    Female plants is what most cannabis cultivators are after. Although the primordia of the two different sexes appear very similar at first, female primordia often quickly display what is the most distinctive feature of the pistillate flowers: the two white pistils.

    The Calyx is the reason for the cultivation of myriad of cannabis plants - the calyx is covered with glandular trichomes, small spikes that exude resin that contains THC. A good place to start looking for the first signs of sexual differentiation of cannabis plant is at the nodes (3) , intersections, right above where a branch or the stem of a leaf (petiole) is attached on the stem of the plant. During the primordia-phase these flowers are miniscule, just visible to the naked eye, in size less than few millimeters. Under the right conditions female calyxes may grow in sizes of centimeter or so in diameter.

    Lets see what that wise botanist fellow R. C. Clarke has to say about the female primordia:

    The females are regognized by the enlargement of a symmetrical tubular calyx (floral sheath). .. The first female calyxes tend to lack paired pistils (pollen catching appendages) though initial male flowers often mature and shed viable pollen. .. The female plants tend to be shorter and have more branches than the male. .. The female flowers appear as two long white, yellow, or pink pistils protruding from the fold of very thin membraneous calyx. .. the calyx measures 2 to 6 millimeters in lenght.
    So its either hanging tubular balls or pointy pale pistils. In any case, a magnifying glass is very useful tool for the wanna-be-cannabis-botanists.

    Products of the environment
    Finally, lets take a closer look at the genetics and sexual behaviour of the cannabis-plants. Like I wrote earlier, cannabis is dioecious plant, meaning that only one sex is expressed per individual. But I also wrote about three sexes, mentioning the hermaphrodite. I feel that hermaphrodites are the key to understanding the behaviour of cannabis.

    Like all known life, cannabis contains set of genes. These genes 'express' themselves in the plant, but only when a certain or certain group of environmental conditions are true. For instance, when the daylenght is sufficiently short its the genes that tell the plant its time to flower, to reproduce before the winter comes. Or, for instance, if certain cells in the outer surface of the plants are exposed to the correct environment they'll differentiate into roots. This is how life works on this planet.

    According to R. C. Clarke, an cannabis under average conditions and 'inductive photoperiod' will produce equal numbers of staminate and pistillate plants with a few hermaphodites. In my experience, I've noted and understood that each plant has a certain tendencies towards one sex or another. For instance, some strain might produce 75% female, 24% male and 1 % hermaphrodite population in a certain environment. This is very complex behaviour and I am certain it is ruled by many sets of genes. Before I go on, I'd like to note that a cannabis plant can also 'change' its sex from male or female to hermaphrodite if the environmental cues for that particular strain exist. Hermaphroditism can also be induced artificially, with an plant-hormone called gibberellic acid for instance, and if an individual of low tendency towards hermaphroditism is crossed with itself in this way, I need to add, theoretically this does not affect the genetic, inherited tendency (plant crossed with itself in this way is effectively an 'genetic carbon copy' plus some minute errors caused by the way DNA duplicates).
    Any kind of stress or what could be interpreted by the plant to be a sign of impeding doom (winter) may and will cause increased male and hermaphrodite ratios. One needs to realize that the way that a cannabis plant sees its environment is very different from ours. It can sense the lenght of the day (photoperiod), direction of the light and gravity, temperature and air humidity, and the amount of the nutrients in the water the roots are in contact with. It probably has some other ways of determining which way the earth lies down. But always it will interpret any changes in the environment as if it was in the nature and as if the changes themselves were caused by changes in the nature (seasons for instance). So if the temperatures go down or the day lenght is shortened, it can mean only one thing: the winter is coming - FLOWER QUICK!! If the water is short on nutrients or the light is being shadowed by something it means - FLOWER NOW!! So to produce higher quantities of females the cultivator needs to be sure that the environment is stable and that it provides the plant with all it needs to survive. More or less an comfortable setting for the plant to grow on in. The cultivator, like noted above, also needs to make sure that the strain has full tendencies towards the expression of female character.

    To conclude: The easiest way to determine the gender of an cannabis plant is to examine its flowers. To initiate flowering, most strains require 12 hours of day (=light) and 12 of night(=uninterrupted darkness). Female or Pistillate flowers are easily distinguished from the males by the long white 'pistils' protruding from the calyxii (bottom far right on the last picture). Male or Staminate inflorescences are like tiny bells hanging on the limbs of the flowers (bottom far left on the last picture).

    Source: Phloem.org, Updated by THCseeds.com
    Last edited by Indica; 07-12-2005 at 11:41 PM.

  2. #2
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    Thank you for this informative posting about plant sexing..micah

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    Shadinated groo's Avatar

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    More info can be found on Overgrow at http://www.overgrow.com/growfaq/browse.php?topic=169

    Below are pics of a female and a male, both at 10 days into flowering. Note that the female has pairs of "hairs" coming out of ovoid structures at the crotch of branches, while the male has balls on sticks.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
    Vegetative Member ScurvyPirateGuy's Avatar

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    Default Early sexing

    A trick:

    You can fool your plants into showing their sex early without putting them into full flower. How you ask?

    Take an opaque (light cannot shine thru) bag and cover one bud/branch on your vegging plant (18 light / 6 dark) for 6 hours of your light period so that the covered bud is getting 12/12 instead of 18/6.

    That bud will start to show it's sex in a few days without disturbing the rest of the plant. Once it's matured enough to tell, you can remove the cover and let it go back onto the regulary scheduled lighting period.

    This can save you a lot of time that might be invested in an unwanted male plant.

    I do not know exactly how early you can try this -- I usually wait till the plant is at least a foot tall.
    Last edited by ScurvyPirateGuy; 10-13-2005 at 12:12 PM.
    Friends come and go ... enemies accumulate !!!
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  5. #5
    Embryo

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    wow i have never heard abouyt that bag trick but it definitely worth a try. TX.

  6. #6
    Vegetative Member Red Sky's Avatar

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    Nice Posts,

  7. #7
    Federal Exemptee sevens's Avatar

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    never did in my life ear anything like that ...but it just make sens ..i will keep that ideas in mind the next time i need to sex my future plants ....thank nice trick ...7
    :) ..real friendship is like health ..
    you do not know its real value ...
    until...you loose it ...7:)

    [url]http://www.phoenixtearsmovie.com/[/url]

  8. #8
    Embryo BeWorthy's Avatar

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    If you have cats that eat your leaves put one near the plants and they will inevitably go for the females, 100 out of 100 times. Weird but true. Very useful info above. Thanks very much.
    Truth and Peace

  9. #9
    Vegetative Member Red Sky's Avatar

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    I have a 23lb or so... Maine Coon at I can not turn My Back on him or he eats My plants, .. going for the Flowers first...He's Banished from the garden and at times I still have to kick him away from the door. I never leave Bud sitting out where he can get at it because he'll scoop that too...For some reason he just Loves it and I don't know why. I guess pets really are like their owners. Check Him Out thats 1/2 a Couch he's taking up with his Big Ass...Not your Typical Cat...I inherited him sort of... after our Hurricane here in NS....Max Remember that? ...This is Fred Huge and spoiled, I jsut had to go get a Dog Harness to fit him so the Wife Can take him for walks this summer....Yikes






    Peace Out All

  10. #10
    Seedling LowkonXC's Avatar

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    Thanks, I just found another reason to hate cats besides being highly alergic to them. Well, not really hate, I've seen some pretty cool cats. Need to stay clear of them for one scratch I swell up. Just cat hair gives me problems. My dad had a pet Marguay leopard. He's gone and the cats hide is on my wall. Not alergic to it. lol!

    Sorry to stray from topic. (still laughing)
    Peace

    Medical Marijuana patient(2005):
    ......Guillain Barre' Syndrome, Insulin dependant Diabetes and SCS implant for pain.

  11. #11
    Seedling LowkonXC's Avatar

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    Hey, that bag-O-bud trick sounds slick. That is valuable info. Thanks Scurvy PG.
    Last edited by LowkonXC; 04-29-2008 at 03:59 AM.
    Peace

    Medical Marijuana patient(2005):
    ......Guillain Barre' Syndrome, Insulin dependant Diabetes and SCS implant for pain.

  12. #12
    Flowering Member brainpain's Avatar

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    only one think is missing and i dont want to be rude about this, and maybe i read right over the top of it. The male plant has a very similar look to the female when first showing their gender, except for one very important clue. as the male starts to show his true colors there will be a teltale sign he is a male. That is a small stem that connects to the pollen sacks, female have no stem at all.

  13. #13
    Vegetative Member Red Sky's Avatar

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    And



    Anything else I chuck Personally Filed Under G. for garbage
    disclaimer: I know fuck all about growing Indoors or out. Anything I say is pure fiction and so am I.

  14. #14
    Vegetative Member Red Sky's Avatar

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    Some Male Pollen Speading the Love

    disclaimer: I know fuck all about growing Indoors or out. Anything I say is pure fiction and so am I.

  15. #15
    Vegetative Member Pistol Pete's Avatar

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    Heres A Male That Almost Got It's Way
    In Hindsight I Sure Wished I Had Kept It And Gathered Some Pollen
    Excellent Thread Btw , Most Informative
    PP
    Last edited by Pistol Pete; 10-16-2008 at 08:28 AM.

  16. #16
    Zygote blazer's Avatar

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    Default male or female

    Thanks for the bag infonice trick

  17. #17
    Canadian Federal Exemptee Richi420's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by BeWorthy
    If you have cats that eat your leaves put one near the plants and they will inevitably go for the females, 100 out of 100 times. Weird but true. Very useful info above. Thanks very much.
    Thank for that info Buzz. Earlier my cat kept comming on the balcony with me but then started to eat/bite the leaves of two of my plant when they were starting out, I just thought it was weird that he was only eating 2 out of 4 plants I had there.....oh and I ended up with 2 girls and 2 boys. Thought the boys were girls as it took then about a week or bit longer then my 2 girls to show there sex. I guess next time I'll let him go through checking for me which ones are girls......really interested in this now......and I dont even really like cats....I like all animals/creatures (exept government lol) their just not my favorite.lol...Peace
    yeha noha

    Treat the earth and all of her aspects as your mother. Show deep respect for the mineral world, the plant world, and the animal world. Do nothing to pollute our Mother, rise up with wisdom to defend her.

  18. #18
    Vegetative Member Pistol Pete's Avatar

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    Talking

    I'm The Only Cat In My Back Yard , ROFL
    Meooow ,lol
    Pete

    P.S Cat's Are Not Scared Of LION POO ( I'm Not Kidding , There Is A Product Out There Claiming It Works )
    KittyKebabs
    Last edited by Pistol Pete; 10-16-2008 at 08:14 AM.

  19. #19
    Federal Exemptee sevens's Avatar

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    thank you red sky for those pictures.specially the preflower one i use it as a reference point
    peace 7..
    :) ..real friendship is like health ..
    you do not know its real value ...
    until...you loose it ...7:)

    [url]http://www.phoenixtearsmovie.com/[/url]

  20. #20
    Vegetative Member Red Sky's Avatar

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    Sevens,

    No Worries Glad to help and Keep up the Good Work
    disclaimer: I know fuck all about growing Indoors or out. Anything I say is pure fiction and so am I.

  21. #21
    ShamanSmoke
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    Default how many days into 12/12 b4 showing?

    I'm curious how many days into 12/12 one has to wait b4 seeing signs of sex?

  22. #22
    Vegetative Member Pistol Pete's Avatar

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    Lightbulb

    10-14 days
    I Don't Wait For The Balls, I First Look For What Looks Like A Trichome, At Or Around The Fourth Node
    Pete
    Treating Others With Respect Is As Equal As Treating Yourself

  23. #23
    Australian Medical Marijuana Educator Smokin Moose's Avatar

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    ^same with me. I guess we have the advantage of age and experience to help us.
    [B][COLOR="Navy"][URL="http://shop.vetguru.com/shop/sweet-serenity/"][COLOR="Navy"][SIZE=3]Enlightened Veterinarian's Guide to Treating Pets with Medical Marijuana. Dr Doug Kramer's definitive ebook "Sweet Serenity"[/SIZE][/COLOR][/URL][/COLOR][/B]

    [SIZE=5][COLOR=Blue]Truth flows on to credibility, and credibility will be the vehicle for change[/COLOR][/SIZE]

  24. #24
    ShamanSmoke
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    Default was just nervous

    didnt go past 4 days. As soon as those tiny "spades" started to show in mini-going-to-be-clusters, they were out. I got 70% female
    FYI:
    Out of 4 TGA Astro Queens, 3 were males.
    Out of 4 TGA JackTheRippers, 2 were males.
    Out of 5 Alpha 13s, all were female.
    Out of 4 Northern Berry, all were female
    Last edited by ShamanSmoke; 11-07-2008 at 12:18 AM.

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