Best Ways To Use Male Cannabis Plants
Male cannabis plants sure don’t have the best reputation. In fact, what most growers learn early on is to spot them and toss them out to avoid pollination of their precious ladies. The truth is, male cannabis doesn’t deserve its poor image. Before you discard them, learn some good uses for male cannabis plants.
Male cannabis plants are normally seen as something undesirable, at least if you ask the average cannabis grower. No one wants their precious crop accidentally pollinated and then ruined, as we’ve learned will happen if we don’t separate the males from the females early on. This negative stigma and the hassle associated with male plants are the reasons that feminized seeds have gained popularity. It’s true, they do make things easy on the grower.
The thing is, male cannabis plants don’t really deserve the poor image that they have. They have some valid uses, which you may want to consider before you go tossing them. Here are some of the best ways to use your male cannabis plants.
CAN YOU SMOKE MALE PLANTS?
Sure. But male plants don’t contain many cannabinoids or terpenes—the main constituents that make smoking weed worthwhile. Female cannabis flowers contain the highest concentration of these compounds. Male cannabis plants do produce some of the small glands that manufacture these chemicals (trichomes), but their quantity pales in comparison to the amount found on female plants.
Allowing a male plant to grow to the stage where it produces cannabinoids will put your female plants at risk. If the male releases pollen and fertilises the female flowers, the plants will cease resin production and start producing seeds instead. Therefore, the risk far outweighs the benefits of smoking male plants, unless you have no other choice.
YOU NEED A MALE FOR BREEDING YOUR OWN STRAINS
Yes, growing cannabis is awesome, and very few would question such a fact. But growing pretty much the same identical bud from clones may not be the most interesting thing for you, the cannabis enthusiast. How about breeding your own, top-quality cannabis strains? For more advanced growers, breeding new strains can well become an exciting passion. Imagine creating your own special bud that is more flavourful, more resinous, has better yields, and delivers a better high. You can achieve this when you combine the best qualities of different strains with careful breeding. To do this, however, you need to keep your males!
When you start breeding your own top-shelf bud, the male will contribute 50% of the genetic material. It just makes sense that you’d want to select the best male that you have as the donor.
HOW TO SELECT A GOOD MALE PLANT FOR BREEDING?
We don’t smoke males, so it’s harder to find the perfect plant with the best flavour. Usually, breeders select their male through process of elimination. Here is some criteria to help you determine which one to keep, and which to discard.
Don’t use males that grow especially fast or tall. Most of the time, these plants may be lacking when it comes to the quality of their bud.
Eliminate those male plants that flower too early, and rid yourself of those that autoflower. Plants that flower at unexpected times may have a higher chance of becoming intersex.
One thing that breeders do is select good males based on their stems. Large, hollow stems are normally a good sign, while you should toss those plants with a pithy stem. Experienced growers say there is a positive relationship between the type of stem and THC content.
Eliminate those male plants with an airy bud structure and keep those with dense and tightly-packed buds to ensure good yields.
A simple sniff test is yet another easy but effective way to find a promising male. Keep those plants that have the best scent.
MALE CANNABIS PLANTS ENSURE A STRONG GENETIC LINE
Unlike other plants that can grow both male and female flowers on a single plant, cannabis is what’s called a dioecious plant, which means the females and the males grow separately.
Always eliminating the genetically distinct males at the earliest time leads to decreased diversity. The presence of the males is important to the continued strength and vitality of a strain.
Many hobby growers use one single feminized strain, or base their entire grow on essentially identical clones.
This lack of diversity leads to weakened defences and an increased sensitivity to diseases and pests.
MALE CANNABIS PLANTS PRODUCE STRONG FIBRES
There is a distinct difference in the type of fibres that male and female cannabis plants produce. Farmers normally separate them when they desire different plants for different uses.
For example, making textiles or other goods from hemp fibre. Fibre from the male hemp plant is more flexible and has a higher resistance, whereas female fibres tend to be sturdier.
Because the hemp fibres from males are softer and thinner, they are better suited for high quality cloth like bed linens or towels.
The females produce fibre that is rough, which is more suited to making things like canvas and other types of rough textile.
Who knows, you may at some point want to get started with textile making! This is definitely another area where you would want to keep your males, as they are especially useful for certain distinct purposes.
MALE CANNABIS PLANTS MAKE GOOD COMPANIONS
You don’t always need to smoke cannabis to get some good use out of your plants. Cannabis plants have various natural defences, including their aromatic terpenes, which are great pest repellents. Cannabis really is an excellent companion plant. A few strategically placed male plants between your veggies may be all that’s needed to keep them pest free, without having to use potentially harmful pesticides!
If you have a rather large garden, you can potentially locate a dedicated space for your male plants. Keep them as far from your females as you can. You can further help reduce the risk of accidental pollination by planting sunflowers to create a natural barrier between your males and females. This allows you to cultivate incredible, smokable cannabis, without having to toss your male plants in fear of accidental pollination.
USE YOUR MALE PLANTS TO MAKE A HEALTHY CANNABIS JUICE OR TEA
Cannabis juice is a valuable source of nutrients, which makes it increasingly popular among the health-conscious. Your male cannabis plants contain the same cannabinoids as female plants, although in lower quantities. This makes male cannabis optimal for juicing. You can use them in pretty much the same way as you would females, except that you don’t juice the thicker stalks and bigger leaves so you can avoid a bitter “plant taste.”
Cannabis juice acts as a great vessel for delivering the benefits of cannabinoids like CBD without the high or other unwanted side-effects. If you want to have it really simple, you can also make a tea from the leaves of your male plant.
WHY YOU SHOULD KEEP YOUR MALE CANNABIS PLANTS
Male cannabis plants really don’t deserve their bad reputation. They have numerous good uses, from breeding new strains to making your own cannabis-based health drinks, or for crafting high-quality hemp material.
But the benefit of keeping male plants goes beyond these criteria and really serves a greater purpose. Eliminating male plants poses a great risk to the healthy diversity and therefore, sustainability of cannabis as a whole. A similar example can be observed with bananas and other selectively bred plants. By breeding them into a few commercially-appealing types, bananas as we know them are now on the path to extinction. The same has already happened with corn and wheat.
By keeping the male cannabis plants, we’re actively helping to support cannabis’ continued genetic survival. If we ignore the importance of this for the sake of convenience, some strains may just disappear.
TO MAKE HASHISH AND CONCENTRATES
You might not get much of a high from smoking male plant material, but power comes in numbers. By processing male plants to make hash and concentrates, you’ll condense a small number of cannabinoids into a potent extract. You can make hash by sifting dried plant material, but you should know: you’ll need a lot of it to make the endeavour worthwhile.
Male plants also make good ingredients in the kitchen. Decarboxylate your plant material and use it to infuse moderate levels of cannabinoids into drinks, cakes, and savoury dishes by whipping up a batch of cannabutter.
TO USE THEM AS MULCH
Those male plants took shape by pulling a lot of nutrients out of your soil. They mainly consist of carbon and nitrogen, but they harbour lots of other goodies too, such as valuable micronutrients. If you don’t plan on using them elsewhere, be sure to return those compounds back into your garden.
You can either throw the plants directly onto the soil using the crude chop and drop technique, or add them onto your compost pile to accelerate their decomposition through the magic of aerobic microbes.
TO HARVEST EDIBLE SEEDS
Cannabis seeds are super nutritious. Rich in amino acids, fatty acids, and vitamins, they make a healthy snack and provide a pleasant nutty taste. Female cannabis flowers only produce seeds when exposed to male pollen. If you plan on raising weed for seeds, you’ll want a few males dispersed throughout your garden to make this possible. Whereas most growers seek to identify and remove males, seed producers rely on them.
TO USE THEIR ROOTS
After chopping your male plants at the stem, be sure to reach for your shovel. Dig around the base of your plant and excavate the large root mass from underneath the soil. This network might look like a mess of woody tendrils, but they are packed with interesting phytochemicals that may provide some holistic value. Science still has a lot of work to do when it comes to researching these compounds, but so far we know of some promising triterpenoids and alkaloids that make for a great tea.
Some see male cannabis plants as nothing but an inconvenience, if not a threat to their crop. In reality, male cannabis plants display some beneficial uses.
5 Things You Can Do with Your Male Cannabis Plants
In the wide world of weed, the female of the species is more useful than the male. The marijuana plant is like many other plant species in the world. It needs both a male and female plant to reproduce (it is a dioecious species). Admittedly, there are self-pollinating cannabis plants (i.e., monoecious plants). In general, however, most marijuana plants express female or male-specific sex organs.
It is the female plant that produces the buds we dry, cure, and use. As a consequence, the average weed garden is populated by female plants only. It is considered marijuana growing 101 to discard and destroy male plants as soon as you uncover their growth. If you don’t, they will pollinate the females. Their seeds end up in the bud and reduce the amount of THC found in the plant after harvest.
If you usually expel male plants from your cannabis garden, you are missing out! Contrary to what you believe, they do have a beneficial purpose to gardeners. They have several, and we outline five of them below.
1 – Breeding Cannabis
As a beginner, you have the option of cloning the mother plant and creating a ceaseless line of consistent buds from identical female plants. However, as you become more skilled, you will begin to find flaws with your bud. For example, you may want it to be more resinous and potent. Alternatively, you might love it if the flowering stage ended a bit sooner.
Fortunately, male cannabis plants are around to come to your rescue! As you know, their primary function is to breed seeds. When a male plant pollinates a female, it provides 50% of a seed’s genetic makeup. With this in mind, do some digging into the genetics of the males in your garden. Do they grow quickly? Are they highly resistant to mold and pests? If so, these positive traits can be passed on to boost the quality of new generations.
Since you can’t smoke a male plant to find out how good it is, you must go through a different process to find suitable genetics.
Here’s a 5-step guide to eliminating unwanted males and finding ideal plants for breeding:
- Get rid of early flowering or auto-flowering males as they are more likely to produce monoecious individuals.
- Remove any males that grow extremely quickly or are very tall. In general, these particular plants are best for producing fibers rather than flowers.
- Keep plants with large and hollow stems and get rid of any stems with too much pith (spongy white tissue). There is a link between stem type and THC content.
- Pick males with tight, dense flowers and get rid of any with a loose and airy structure.
- Focus on males with the best odor.
2 – Use Male Cannabis Plants to Create Hemp Fiber
When it comes to creating hemp fiber, there is no better option than male plants. This is mainly because of their firm and fibrous stalks. Males provide soft and fine fibers capable of weaving the most delicate fabrics. Weaving might not be top of your list of hobbies! However, it is still cool to note that male plant fiber is the best option when making hemp products. Examples include tablecloths and clothing.
3 – Concentrate Production
Don’t assume that male plants are entirely devoid of THC. Males are indeed far less potent than females. However, they still have THC, and thus, can have psychoactive properties. Male plants don’t produce buds, the same flower buds, anyway. But you can find cannabinoids in their flowers, leaves, and stems. You can also benefit from a gentle buzz by drying and pressing the pollen you find in a male plant.
Incidentally, male plants have a higher THC concentration in their leaves than females during the vegetative growth phase. By the adult stages, females have taken over and produce a far higher THC ratio. The main issue with males is their limited lifespan. Also, there are no techniques available to delay pollination and boost resin production. Perhaps that will change one day. For now, extract the existing resin and create hash oil, BHO wax, dabs, or other concentrates.
All you need to know…
4 – Male Weed Plants Can Enhance Your Garden!
Did you know that farmers have used marijuana plants as ‘companions’ for garden vegetables for centuries? Male plants, like females, produce terpenes, the aromatic oils found in weed that account for the delightful scent and taste.
Terpenes, especially pinene and limonene, are also excellent for pest and disease control. With this in mind, you can introduce male plants in vegetable or flower gardens. Make sure they remain far away from female cannabis plants!
You can use dried material from male plants to create a terpene-laden oil. Use this oil to keep insects and other pests at bay.
In the old days, farmers would allow up to two vigorous male marijuana plants to grow. They knew to keep them well away from the females, and placed them at the far end of the garden. They also made sure that the plants were sheltered from the wind.
Next, they planted corn, sunflowers, or beans between the two plant genders and enjoyed healthy crops with a few seeds in them. There were just enough seeds to grow the following year’s crop without reducing that year’s THC content.
Also, cannabis plants have long taproots that can dive deep into the ground and break apart low standard soil. As a result, nutrients and moisture can infiltrate and improve quality. As a bonus, taproots keep the soil in place and ensure there are no issues with soil loss and nutrient run-off during spells of heavy rain.
5 – Delicious, Healthy, Nutritious THCA Juice
Have you ever tried raw cannabis juice? It appears as if the cannabolic acids (specifically THCA and CBDA) in weed juice have many benefits. Indeed, they provide many of the same benefits as marijuana consumed in other ways. Male plants have the same concentration of these potentially healthy juices as their female counterparts. Therefore, you can drink the juice, enjoy a dose of healthy cannabinoids, and not worry so much about getting high.
Final Thoughts on Male Cannabis Plants
Most marijuana growers throw away their male plants as a matter of course. We think you shouldn’t be so hasty. Females produce the buds that allow us to either get high or benefit from the apparent medical properties of weed. However, male plants are far from being useless.
As well as providing you with a healthy juice, males make for ideal garden companions. They are great for making clothes from hemp fiber, are necessary for breeding, and you can use them in concentrates.
Do you intend to benefit from one or more of the uses outlined above? If so, remember that cannabis pollen is capable of traveling a long way to fertilize a female. Make sure you keep your crop protected!
Rather than tossing them straight into the garbage bin on your next grow, learn what to do with your unwanted male cannabis plants.