Even though your male plants are a threat to your harvest, they aren’t completely useless. There are many creative ways that you can use your male plants so that you don’t have to waste anything. If you are thinking twice about throwing your male plants, read this article for some ideas on what to do with them!
One of the first warnings you get as a starting grower is to get rid of your male plants as soon as possible. This is definitely true for the purpose of avoiding pollination of your female plants, but that doesn’t mean they’re utterly useless. If you’re trying to grow huge buds, then you need to make sure your male plants are far away from your females, but think twice before dumping them.
How to know if your plants are male or female
Before using your male plants (and not tossing them away), you need to know how to identify them in your garden. The female plants are the ones that will produce the buds that you will finally smoke. On the other hand, male plants just produce pollen sacks. When your plant enters the pre-flowering stage, it will start showing signs of its gender.
At the very point where the node is coming out from the main stem, one of two things will appear: a pollen sack or a small white hair (otherwise known as a pistil). They might be a bit hard to distinguish at first, but with a magnifying glass you should be able to see clearly. If you see a pistil, it is a female cannabis plant and you should let it flower. If it is a male plant, take it away from your female plants but don’t throw it away!
Here are some reasons you might want to keep them and ways that you can actually use your male plants. There’s no reason to waste perfectly good plant material!
1. You need male plants for breeding
If you are about to take growing to the next level and want to breed your own, you need male plants. Male plants are half of the equation when it comes to breeding and growing your own strains, and without them you can’t make seeds. This becomes increasingly important when there are certain aspects of different strains that you like, and you want to put them all together.
For this you should keep your male plants, so make sure you keep the really good ones – the ones that show all the signs that they’ll become a really nice healthy plant! Because let’s be honest, it’s important to know how to treat sick cannabis plants, but we’re not going to put in a huge effort to save our male plants (even if it could be something as bad as the man cold).
2. Male plants contribute to strong genetics
The diversity of male plants in your garden is what encourages genetic diversity at all. The reason this is important is because increased diversity in genetic aspects gives your garden better resistance to pests and diseases. Keeping the stronger males of each strain encourages strength within the genetic diversity of your garden!
3. There is THC in male plants
It is a myth that there is no THC in male cannabis plants. The plants themselves do not produce huge buds great for smoking, but they are covered in trichomes. Some growers use their male plants the same way that they might use the sugar leaves of their female plants. They can be used to make hash and other concentrates. They can also be used to make edibles or cannabutter, because the THC will dissolve!
4. Companion planting
You might be familiar with the concept of companion planting within your cannabis garden. But did you know that male cannabis plants can be great companions for other plants in your garden? Cannabis is full of terpenes, meaning it has a really fragrant nature. There are a lot of pests who are repelled by these aromas, and so male plants can protect your potatoes or other vegetables from pests.
Yes, cannabis is a natural pesticide for your garden!
5. Make juice!
The cannabinoids are still plentiful in male plants, which means that as well as edibles and concentrates you can also juice them. There are many benefits to juicing cannabis and drinking its raw juice. For those who are using cannabis medically, this is also a great way to enhance its medicinal power. For everyone else, this is a great way to turn cannabis into a superfood!
It’s important to make sure no pollen reaches your female plants, but male plants are really good to keep around. This is especially true if you really want to start experimenting with genetics! So before you throw away your male plants, take this advice and be creative!