In the world of plants, reproduction can happen in a variety of ways. Hermaphrodite plants grow single flowers that have both male and female reproductive organs. Monoecious plants produce two different types of flowers on the same plant. And then there are dioecious plants like cannabis, which produce either male or female reproductive organs.

Because cannabis grows as either a male or female plant, we can isolate the benefits of growing females with or without male interference. Introducing both males and females will result in cross-pollination and thus seeds, which is how a breeder achieves new genetics. On the other hand, removing a male from the garden allows female plants to grow large, seedless buds (called sensimilla). The resinous buds that we consume all come from female plants.

Seeded buds are generally regarded as lower-quality cannabis. When seeds are present, the smoke becomes harsh and unpleasant. However, growers may introduce male plants to pollinate females if breeding a new strain or collecting seeds for next year’s crop.

Female genetics can be guaranteed by obtaining clones and feminized seeds. If, however, you’re working with regular seeds or are unsure of your seed type, knowing how to determine the sex of your plant is vital to developing new genetics, gathering seeds, or growing sensimilla. Luckily, sexing cannabis plants is easier than one might think if you know when and where to start looking.

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