This article highlights the best ways to use male cannabis plants.
Male cannabis plants have earned the reputation of being the “bad guy”, pun intended. They are seen as being desirable and the “spoiler of precious crop”. Early on, most growers are taught to spot them and toss them out for fear of them pollinating their precious ladies. While this might be sound advice in some scenarios, the benefits of the male cannabis plant may be more than what meets the eye.
Do they deserve their bad rap? Are they totally useless?
Feminized seeds have grown in popularity because they do tend to ease things for the grower, but the male cannabis plants are not totally useless. Before you toss them out, learn what their benefits are.
Join us as we explore how best to use male cannabis plants.
Can You Smoke Male Cannabis Plants?
The answer is yes! However, as you might have guessed the experience is not quite as surreal as smoking their female counterparts. This is because they don’t have as may cannabinoids and terpenes as the females.
Female cannabis plants have an abundance of these compounds as they are mostly found in the plant flower or bud. In the male cannabis plant, there is much less production that occurs in the small glands. These are minute quantities and in no way compare to the amounts that occur in the females.
Why do growers find it undesirable to keep cannabis male plants?
Allowing male plants to grow up to the stage of producing cannabinoids puts the female plant “at risk”. This is because any pollen the male releases may fertilize the female, ceasing all further production of resin and start the production of seeds.
If the grower intended to achieve an abundance of resin, he would not want any male cannabis plants within miles of his female plants.
What Are The Best Ways To Use Male Cannabis Plants?
Male cannabis plants have numerous good uses, spanning from breeding strong strains to making cannabis-based health drinks and crafting hemp material.
Listed below are some of these benefits:
1. You need a male for breeding your own strains
Though growing bud from a cloned phenotype has become the thing to do, there is still a place for the authentic creation of new strains. In order to breed top-quality cannabis strains, you need to have authentic, alpha males.
How to select a good male plant for breeding
Because males are generally not smoked, it is hard to find one that has the qualities we are looking for in terms of potency and flavor. Most often times, breeders select their males through an elimination process. The below criteria can help you determine which to discard and which to keep.
- Avoid males that grow especially tall or fast. This is because most times such plants fall short on quality of their bud.
- Eliminate the male plants which flower too early as well as those that autoflower. Plants which flower unexpectedly tend to be intersex.
- Use the plants stem to select good males. What you are looking for is large, hollow stems. While plants with pithy stems should be thrown out, study the relationship that is said to be there between THC content and the type of stems.
- Eliminate males that have a bud structure that is airy and instead keep those with tightly-packed and dense buds. This will ensure great future yields.
- Sometimes simplicity is king. Just sniff the male plants and keep the ones with the best scent.
2. Male cannabis plants ensure a strong genetic line
As we have discussed earlier, having strong males for breeding will ensure you end up with the top of the pick. Unlike some other plants that are capable of growing male and female parts on the same plant, cannabis is a dioecious plant, which means cannabis males and females grow separately.
If you are always eliminating the distinct males at the earliest opportunity, you will end up with decreased diversity. The actual presence of the males is vital in the continued vitality and strength of a strain.
It has become the accepted practice for growers to use single feminized strain, or make their entire grow one of identical clones.
Though this might have its advantages, the lack of diversity will lead to weakened defenses to disease and pests.
3. Male cannabis plants produce strong fibers
There is a very distinct difference in fiber produced by male cannabis plants as compared to the type produced by females. They are usually separated to match up with characteristics.
An example is that when making textiles and other goods that are made from hemp fiber, the hemp from the male plant will be more flexible and have a higher resistance while that from the female tends to be sturdier.
As the hemp fibers derived from males is softer and thinner, it is better suited for high quality cloth such as towels and bed linens.
The hemp fiber derived from the females on the other hand is rough and more suited to making canvas and other such rough textiles.
4. Male cannabis plants make good natural repellants
Cannabis males can be planted strategically in your kitchen garden to keep away pests and keep you away from harmful pesticides. The natural defenses of cannabis plants that include aromatic terpenes are great pest repellants. Plant a few male cannabis plants and harvest healthy vegetables.
5. Use your male plants to make a healthy cannabis juice or tea
Cannabis juice promises to be valuable source of nutrients. This is a trend that is quickly gaining popularity among people who consider themselves to be health conscious.
Though in lesser quantities, your male plants contain the exact same cannabinoids that the female cannabis plants contain. Because you will not use many of the male plants for smoking, they are optimal for juicing.
Simply juice them in the same way you would females while taking care to avoid the stalks as well as the bigger leaves as they have a higher concentration of the bitter “plant taste”.
Cannabis juice is an excellent vessel for delivering cannabinoid benefits.
If juicing is not your thing, you could also make yourself a cup of tea using the leaves from your male plant.
6. To make hashish and concentrates
Though smoking male plant material may not give you a high worth writing home about, there is always power in numbers.
You can heap all your male cannabis plants together and process them to make hash and concentrates. Though you will typically require a significantly higher amount than if you were using female plants, it is still a worthwhile endeavor.
Male plants could also come in handy in the kitchen. Simply decarboxylate (“The process of applying low heat for an extended period of time to convert cannabis‘ non-intoxicating THCA into THC”), the male plant material and proceed to use it to infuse moderate amounts of cannabinoids into your drinks savory dishes and cakes. The cannabutter whipped up from your male plants is sure to tale you a long way.
7. Use them as mulch
Cannabis plants contain a multitude of nutrients. You can put those cannabis plant nutrients back in your soil by using the old chop and drop method where you spread the plant material on the ground.
However, to get the best results, add them to your compost heap to accelerate the rate of their decomposition by action of aerobic microbes.
8. To harvest edible seeds
As we have all heard before, male cannabis seeds are packed with nutrients. They are super rich in amino and fatty acids, vitamins and proteins. In order for female cannabis plants to produce seeds, they need to be pollinated by the male ones.
When targeting to harvest some seeds, disperse a few male plants throughout the garden. While most weed growers target male cannabis plants for removal, seed farmers heavily count on them.
9. To use their roots
After you have chopped off your male plants at the stem, do not forget to reach down to uproot the roots. This intricate mass of tendrils can offer a great serving of phytonutrients.
Though still in the research stage, the triterpenoids and alkanoids definitely make for great, beneficial tea.
The benefits of keeping male cannabis plants stretch beyond reproduction, which is also a very important factor. Eliminating the male cannabis plants poses great risk to healthy diversity and consequently, sustainability of the cannabis species as a whole. Bananas are a great example of these. Selective breeding and the practice of tissue has led bananas down the path of extinction, which is the same case in corn and wheat.
Keeping male cannabis plants helps us support the continued genetic survival of the cannabis plant while deriving some other benefits from it. If we continue to ignore the importance of the males, we just might be surprised to find that some strains fell off along the way. In this article, we have listed the best ways to use male cannabis plants and we hope that you are now convinced not to put them out with the trash.