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Male cannabis plants have earned the reputation of being the “bad guy”, pun intended. They are seen as nondesirable 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.
Generally, the cannabis plant is known to create more than half males in a single crop.
A male marijuana plant will develop pollen sacs rather than the pistils and flowers exclusive to female cannabis plants. During the pre-flowering period you will be able to identify whether the plant is male or female.
At this stage, inspecting the pre-flowers between the leaves and stems will reveal ball-like growths that are the first visible sign of a male plant. If you see these pea like balls you can be certain you have a male plant.
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.
Top Uses for Male Cannabis Plants
Male cannabis plants have numerous 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. 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 take you a long way.
4. Use Your Male Plants to Make a Healthy Cannabis Juice or Tea
Cannabis juice promises to be a 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.
5. 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.
The benefits of keeping male cannabis plants stretch beyond reproduction. 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.
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