Modified on: 20/09/2022
It is why male hemp plants are much more than an ‘unwanted guest’ to be eliminatedMany hemp growers, having carefully grown their own seedlings from the best cannabis seeds, destroy them as soon as they notice the presence of males. Moreover, since feminised seeds have become available on the market, plants of the opposite sex are seen less and less. It’s a hard life for male hemp plants!
Why male plants play a key role in the reproduction and selection of hempHemp is a rare case of a dioecious plant, i.e. a species where male and female reproductive organs are found on separate plants. In other words, each specimen is either male or female. However, in most cases, plants have flowers of both sexes or even hermaphrodites. Having explained this, it is easy to imagine why male specimens play an essential role in reproduction. When mummy hemp and daddy hemp love each other, they embrace tightly and, after some time, the little hemp babies are born. OK, joking aside, the role of the male is not limited to a simple ‘dispenser’ of pollen to supply to the females: it is essential to note that he contributes half the DNA of the future offspring. In short, by selecting the specimens that show the most advantageous traits and crossing them with equally interesting females, it is possible to obtain seeds chosen to cultivate robust, hardy, fast-growing plants that guarantee an excellent yield when the inflorescences are harvested. Auto-flowering seeds, fast-flowering seeds and all other varieties recently introduced for the benefit of hemp growers, therefore, owe their success to the genetic contribution of the male plants used for cross-breeding that led to the development of these products.
Are male plants useless for recreational consumption? Here is the truthMost people are convinced that male hemp specimens do not produce cannabinoids: this is not the case at all. Instead, the difference between the two sexes lies in the concentration of these substances. Typically, female plants have more CBD and THC than their counterparts, but interestingly, this is not always the case. I should know that several British and American cannabis websites report the results of a study carried out in 1971. Researchers compared the cannabinoid content of males and females found in several countries, including Lebanon, Turkey and Morocco. In most cases, the researchers found what we all know, namely that the concentration of cannabinoids was generally higher in female plants. However, in a single case, a variety was found in which males contained a higher amount of CBD + THC than females. Even more interesting were the results of the analysis of the concentration of individual cannabinoids: it was found that in many of the species taken into consideration, the reason for the higher cannabinoid content in the female plants was mainly due to the concentration of CBD. When THC was analysed, however, it was found that in several varieties, it was the males that contained the most THC! It is worth noting that the species studied were all low in THC. However, despite this, it would appear that the local people still used them for recreational purposes. According to anecdotes from the area, the male plants had a more euphoric narcotic effect than the females and less detachment from reality stun.
Use of male hemp plants: healthy juices, tissues and more!If you need more evidence to demonstrate the usefulness of male hemp plants, here are some possible uses outside the recreational sphere:
- Juice production: since in most cases male specimens contain a lower concentration of CBD and THC than females, they can be juiced to make healthy juices so you can enjoy the benefits of these cannabinoids without the potential downside of psychoactive effects;
- manufacture of fine textiles: Compared to the fibres obtained from the female plants, which are used for coarse textiles such as sackcloth, those obtained from the males are more delicate and softer and can be used for the production of good quality textiles suitable for tablecloths, towels and sheets;
- Use as pesticide plants: It has recently been noted that male hemp specimens can be used as ingredients for pesticide extracts and repellents. In addition, they can even be planted near other crops to keep out annoying pests such as the cotton worm, the potato beetle and the cabbage beetle.