Pistols and Pollen Sacs

Even though match making is in season, if you step into our greenhouse this month, or any time of year for that matter, you won't be seeing any male and female plants falling in love. You might just see one of them getting kicked to the curb! Can you guess which one?

Did you know there is a difference between male and female plants? Not only is there a difference, but recognizing the difference between the two is extremely crucial to the success of the entire greenhouse. This does depend on the intended purpose for the growth of the hemp plants and how they will be used.

Because male plants have pollen, they do not flower like female plants; therefore, they do not contain CBD or THC. Female plants grow flowers and “pistols”, which is white-like hair. The flowers or buds are what contain the CBD, making them typically the “chosen ones” over male plants if they are being grown for products that will contain CBD or THC (e.g. lotions, gummies, tinctures, smokables, etc).

If hemp plants are being grown for textiles or fibers (e.g. denim, rope, paper, animal bedding, etc) then either male or female plants would be considered desirable.

If used for CBD or THC, as in most cases, males are actually very detrimental to the productivity of the plants due to the fact that they possess pollen sacs and have the ability to pollinate any other (female) plant within their vicinity if left hanging around. If a male is near any of the female plants, it will create the females to pollinate, creating significantly less CBD, again ruining the female plants when it comes to the productivity of CBD.

Male and female plants are determined at seed, so the sex of the plant is known at the time of seed purchase. There is always a chance that there could be a few males throughout a batch of female plants, so this is why it is crucial to continually check for them.

If a male plant is identified, it must be immediately discarded from the greenhouse and destroyed or killed to eliminate all risk of pollinating the female plants. This Valentine’s Day, Cedar Valley is kicking the males to the curb (plants that is), as the future is all female!