Male cannabis seeds have gained a bad reputation nowadays, most home growers avoid them because they can end up pollinizing the female buds, filling them with seed, thus ruining bud quality and quantity.
This is why growers usually look for feminized cannabis seeds which produce a 100% female offspring, unlike regular seeds that can grow to be male and grow pollen sacs.
Now, this doesn’t mean that male cannabis plants are useless because they’re vital for the breeders to produce seeds and create new strains.
If you’re not familiar with male cannabis plants and want to know why they’re important, read along.
What’s the difference between male and female cannabis plants?
Well, just like us, humans, cannabis plants depend on both sexes in order to reproduce.
If you’ve ever seen a photo of a cannabis plant or consumed cannabis before, you certainly know what a female cannabis plant is because female plants are the ones that produce buds that are full of cannabinoids (the compound that gets you high).
On the other side, the male cannabis plant grows pollen sacs which are responsible for pollinizing the buds.
When a male cannabis plant is completely mature, it will also develop flowers but these flowers are actually pollen sacs (or male flowers); When the pollen sacs open, they release the pollen which will then get stuck on the bud’s hairs (stigmas), starting the process of seed development.
Now, in some countries hash is sometimes called pollen, but the pollen we’re talking about is not the same, it does not contain any cannabinoids, terpenes or flavonoids, but what it does contain is the male gametes that will contribute with 50% of the DNA needed to create new seeds.
So, what is cannabis pollen?
Cannabis pollen is basically the same pollen produced by other plants; It’s a fine powder with a yellowish color used to fertilize female plants and produce seeds.
In nature, male pollen travels with the wind due to being very light but in an indoor grow operation like what cannabis breeders have, pollen is usually collected and used on female plants that stand out from the others to produce unique strains.
How is pollen collected?
Pollen collection is fairly simple, and anyone can do it. Obviously, selecting a good male plant to produce high-quality strains may not be so simple but for beginners who want to learn how to do it first is quite simple.
You only need to collect the pollen sacs while they’re almost ready to open up, store them in a ziploc bag and use it when necessary; You can also just agitate your male plant to spread the pollen, just remember that the pollen particle can stick to your hair, clothes and travel via the wind so it will end up pollinating all of your female plants, so watch out.
How to store pollen?
If you’re not planning on using the pollen right away, you can store it for up to 1 year but you need to be really careful because if the pollen gets wet it will become useless.
So you may want to store the pollen in the freezer, mixing 1 part pollen to 3 parts flour, this will help absorb the excess moisture, helping the pollen stay viable for longer.
As an alternative, you can triple bag the pollen and put a silica gel pack to minimize the chances of moisture ruining your pollen.
How to use pollen?
Usually, male cannabis plants mature 2-3 weeks before the female plants, this means that you have to wait for the right time if you’re planning on producing your own seeds.
Once your female plants start flowering, you will have to wait 2-3 weeks to pollinate your plants correctly, so the white hairs are calyxes are fairly developed and can house the seeds.
In order to pollinate your plant properly, you should use a brush to apply the pollen onto the white hairs that are growing on the buds, seeds will only grow if the white hairs collect pollen so make sure the buds are well pollinated.
You can also just place your male plant in the same grow space as your female plant, the male plant will naturally release the pollen and pollinate the female plant.
How to collect the seeds?
After 4-6 weeks from pollination, the seeds will start to form, you’ll see the calyxes are fat and round, which means that the seeds are being produced.
To make sure the seeds are ready, you can go ahead and pick out a seed from the buds, the seeds should be hard and have a dark brown color, often with darker stripes.
If the seeds aren’t mature yet, just let them develop a little longer, some plants may take longer to develop the seeds but as long as you keep your plant well-fed and happy, there shouldn’t be a problem, it’s just a matter of waiting.
Once the seeds are mature, it’s just a matter of harvesting your plant, picking out all the seeds, and storing them in a cool, dry place until you’re ready to start your next growth cycle!
If cannabis is legal in your country, check the latest releases from Fast Buds.