So, you’ve started a grow operation, and you’re wondering what male cannabis plants are good for. Well, you’ve come to the right place.
Keeping only the female cannabis plant is the way to go for commercial cannabis producers. But what about for hobby cannabis growers?
If you think you also have to toss out your male cannabis plants, you’re missing out! Male cannabis plants have some significant use cases.
In this article, we will discuss some of the uses for male cannabis plants in detail. After reading, you’ll have a list of ways to lessen your cannabis waste, regardless of your grow op’s size.
1. Use Male Cannabis Plants for a Genetic Enhancement
Unlike other plants, male and female cannabis plants flower separately. This is because they’re dioecious plants. Though some cannabis plants are monoecious, this is very rare, with only 7% of these plants exhibiting this feature.
Selecting high-quality male plants as donors ensures strong genetic lines and makes them more resistant to diseases. Keeping some male plants around the female ones actually facilitates pollinating.
During pollination, male plants can pass up to 50% of the genetic qualities to females. Good quality male plants also contribute to the buds of female plants being more flavorful and nutritious.
How to Select a Good Male Plant for Breeding?
Professional breeders pick good male plants through process of elimination. Below are some expert tips to follow while selecting your male cannabis plants.
- Avoid the plants that grow fast or become tall quickly. Fast-growing plants often fail to offer expected quality. They’re also not great for enclosed spaces. So, if you’re planning an indoor grow, it’s best to choose stockier male plants.
- Avoid the plants that flower too early or auto-flower. These plants have a higher probability of becoming intersex. If the plant becomes intersex or a ‘hermaphrodite,’ this means it contains both sexes in the same flower. This is highly problematic if you’re planning to smoke or sell the buds as the buds are more likely to contain seeds.
- Select male marijuana plants based on their stems. This is an effective way to select the plants good for your planned uses. Commercial growers prefer large and heavy stems for their high-quality THC content. So, if you plan to grow cannabis with impressive THC content, these are the stems you’ll look for in your male plants.
- Choose the plants with the best scent. The best-smelling plants are the most promising ones. A simple sniffing test can do the trick. Simply put, if you’re looking for super skunky and dank buds, find male plants that smell the most potent for your breeding purposes.
2. Enjoy Good Quality Cannabis Juice or Tea
Various cannabis recipes are becoming increasingly popular among the health-conscious. Cannabis juice and tea are two found at the top of the list, which is thanks to the nutrition-packed cannabis plant’s potential.
While male cannabis plants have lower cannabinoids than their female counterparts, they still offer tremendous nutritional properties. Thus, they’re quickly becoming the go-to drinks for many, especially those who enjoy teas and juices.
Cannabis roots are rich in phytochemicals, like alkaloids and triterpenoids. Though more research is still needed, these compounds offer incredible holistic value and make for a great tea. For those interesting in enhancing their health, cannabis infusions make for great use of male cannabis plants.
Using thick stalks and big leaves will offer a bitter ‘plant taste’ to the juice and tea. If you prefer a smooth and tasty nutritional drink, it’s best to avoid these stalks and leaves.
3. Harvest Edible Seeds for Nutritious Snacks
Cannabis seeds have a nutty taste and are rich in vitamins, amino acids, and fatty acids. These are perfect for a snack or adding to a dish to offer some additional health benefits.
Want to enjoy these healthy snacks any time? Keep some male cannabis plants near to female plants as females only produce seeds when exposed to male pollen.
Just make sure you’re not planning to smoke those buds (unless you’re cool with picking out the seeds!).
4. Make Fiber from Male Cannabis Plants for Various Uses
Male cannabis (hemp) plants are reputed for their flexible, thin, and soft fibers. In fact, the cotton industry was worried about hemp for quite some time, which ultimately contributed to the ban on cannabis in the US. These fibers have a higher resistance than sturdy female fibers and more suitable for high-quality clothing, like towels, shirts, or bed linens.
People have been using cannabis fibers for generations. Hemp fiber clothing is still popular today, long after its initial uses early on in history.
Hemp was often used in ship sails, rigging, and other ropes in the past. In some cases, it’s still used to this day as a durable material. Even in ship crafting, hemp was treated with tar for use as filler between planks in wooden hulls, allowing watertight ships by a process called ‘caulking.’
Let’s not forget, hemp can also be used for paper manufacturing! But the possibilities are endless. It’s all about how creative you’re willing to get with your male cannabis plants.
5. Use Male Marijuana Plants as a Shield for Your Other Plants
Both male and female cannabis plants produce terpenoids (aromatic compounds). These terpenoids can act as a shield and protect your garden pest and diseases. As male cannabis plants also produce terpenoids, you can use them as garden shields, too (remember to plant them away from female cannabis plants to avoid getting seedy buds).
You male cannabis plants also improve your soil quality. These plants have long taproots rich in nitrogen and carbon. These taproots deep dive into the ground and gather essential nutrients.
Taproots also prevent nutrient runoff and soil wash-away through heavy rains. Using male cannabis plants as mulch is also becoming trendy due to the nutritional benefits they offer to the soil.
Male Cannabis Plants: Should We Cultivate Them?
Yes, we should be growing male cannabis plants. But this all depends on our needs as cultivators.
Male cannabis plants should be kept not only for the benefits mentioned above; they also can ensure healthy diversity and sustainability among the cannabis plants.
Harvesting only the highly profitable plants have led fruits and crops, like banana, corn, and wheat, down a dangerous path. Specific genetics of each of these plants are mutating to the point that they’ve become rather susceptible to pests and diseases. Cannabis may face the same fate if we eliminate male cannabis plants altogether.
By continuing to grow male cannabis plants, we can ensure strains’ hardiness. Over time, we will continue to see cannabis becoming a commercial commodity, and as it becomes more widely grown, we can expect male cannabis plants to remain an important part of the industry.
Have you found any unique uses for your male cannabis plants? Let us know in the comments below!