Although both male and female cannabis plants produce flowers, only female plants create buds. Male Cannabis plants develop sacs that release cannabis pollen when they reach full maturity.Male plants are crucial in the development of new cannabis strains but can be a nightmare for home growers because they can pollinate your female plants and fill the buds with seeds.
Male Cannabis Pollen
Monoecious or dioecious is the distinction between these two types of plants. Dioecious plants are those that have distinct male and female plants, implying a plant will be male or female and the male must pollinate the female to generate seeds. Monoecious plants are hermaphrodites that contain both female and male components.
Cannabis plants can be monoecious or dioecious, although they are most commonly found with distinct sexual types. Monoecious cannabis (hermaphrodites) may be discovered in the wild and even in your grow room. When the cannabis plant is stressed, it develops into a hermaphrodite. She will start developing the other sex to ensure the survival of her species if she senses death is near. This allows her to self-pollinate and create seeds without requiring another plant.
What Is Cannabis Pollen?
As you may know, buds are the flowers of female cannabis plants. Male plants flower as well, but instead of producing buds, they produce pollen sacs. Cannabis pollen sacs are small balls that open up and release pollen when they’re fully mature.
The male plant’s DNA is contained in the pollen grains, which combine with female gametes that have the plant’s DNA information to produce cannabis seeds. Pollen is created by male cannabis plants and consists of male gametes. To create seeds, a male plant must fertilize a female one. This is how breeders produce new genetics- by crossbreeding. In this way, they can create different terpene profiles and types of highs. Cannabis pollen usually looks powdery and has a consistency finer than sand. It’s often yellow or gray in color, making it difficult to harvest without contaminating any nearby female plants.
What Is Pollen Used For?
Cannabis pollen is used to propagate cannabis plants and create new strains. By cross-breeding two different strains, breeders can come up with distinct colors, flavors, and aromas.
Take our Gorilla Cookies Auto, for example. We cross-bred this particular strain by collecting the pollen from one plant and using it to pollinate the buds of another. To create this new hybrid, we combined our Gorilla Glue Auto with Girl Scout Cookies Auto strains.
How To Collect And Store Cannabis Pollen?
Although it’s not difficult to gather pollen, you must take care as it’s very light and a gentle wind can disperse it. Additionally, it can adhere to your hands, clothes, and hair; so if you’re growing female plants nearby, be extra vigilant.
To keep the pollen sacs contained, put them in a ziplock bag.
To most effectively collect cannabis pollen, check the flowers every day and note when the male blooms are maturing. Just before they open, have a container at the ready to catch the pollen; it’s light and delicate so porous bags or flimsy containers won’t work. Keep collected pollen in a cool, dry place–a refrigerator is ideal for long-term storage–and use silica gel sachets to prevent moisture buildup.
The best way to use the pollen is by taking the whole flowering head and shaking it over a fine mesh filter with some baking or parchment paper underneath. By doing this, you can let the harvested pollen sit in a dry area that is free from moisture for 1-2 days so that it will be released properly.
Remember, this table is only a starting point. If you don’t remove the moisture from cannabis pollen before storing it, it won’t last as long as the time frames outlined in the table since moisture may attract mold and cause the cannabis pollen to rot. Pollen is also easily damaged, so when it’s shipped via the mail, it comes in contact with everything from static to moisture. When you ship pollen through the mail, you might expose it to a variety of things, such as static and dampness. To extend its shelf life by 12 months or more in the freezer, for example, combine your pollen with ordinary flour or wrap it in a silica gel pack and keep it in a dark airtight container. This will maximize storage longevity.
By combining collected pollen with whole wheat flour, agents that preserve baked goods, and freezing the mixture in liquid nitrogen, University of Lethbridge researchers found that cannabis pollen remains viable for at least four months. The study’s implications suggest that it is possible to indefinitely preserve cannabis pollen. This has huge consequences for the cannabis genetics world, since there has long been a problem keeping genetic lines robust and constant over time. They also discovered that collecting pollen in the fourth or fifth week of flowering was optimal. Remember, do not refreeze pollen. Only remove it from the freezer when you are absolutely certain you need to use it, as temperature changes will decrease its viability.
How To Use Marijuana Pollen?
Simply put, you’ll need to get cannabis pollen on your female plants so that it will stick; either by shaking the male plant, distributing pollen everywhere, or carefully applying stored pollen with a brush.
Female plants may be pollinated with a brush carefully.
Remember that to generate high-quality seeds, you must pollinate the pistils when they are fully developed, which is usually around 3-5 weeks into the flowering cycle.
Why You Should Collect Pollen
A cannabis cultivator might want to collect cannabis pollen for a few key reasons, but the main reason is to create new strains from their own crop. Sure, you could keep a mother plant going for an almost indefinite amount of time, but this requires significant care and resources. Collecting pollen can take some of that hassle out of the equation and it is also much more versatile. The pollen from one male plant can be used to germinate any strain you grow, whereas with a mother plant you are locked into her genetics and have to find the pollen from multiple male plants.
With cannabis legal in many places, it’s not hard to find high-quality pollen from specific strains. But because marijuana is legalized, it can be tricky to know what you’re getting genealogically. Purchased pollen can also be expensive. So if you’re thinking about growing your own cannabis and want to create new breeds, we recommend collecting pollen yourself—it’s more affordable and easier than buying it would be. Plus, it’s way more fun!
Can You Pollinate Autoflowering Cannabis Strains?
You can definitely pollinate female autoflowering strains. The better question might be whether these seeds will be autoflowering? That depends on the genetics of the father plant. If it is a photoperiod plant, then you’ll have to keep cross-breeding the offspring of these two plants for a few generations before you get higher than 50% autoflowering seeds. If you’re eager to get your hands on some great autoflowers right now, check out our catalog to see our whole range! FastBuds seeds have taken home the top prizes at many international cannabis cup events, and we are one of the oldest autoflowering seedbanks in the world! Our top choices right now are Gorilla Punch Auto, Strawberry Gorilla Auto, and Bruce Banner Auto. CBD 20:1 or 1:1 (CBD Crack) is a good option if you prefer a CBD-rich flower.
Cannabis Pollen FAQs
For how long is cannabis pollen viable?
If you want your marijuana pollen to last, follow these steps. Pollen only lasts for one to three weeks under normal circumstances, but if you seal and freeze it, it can stay fresh for up to a year. Keep in mind that pollen doesn’t have the same protective outer layer as seeds do, so store with care. When you’re ready to use the frozen substance, take it out of the freezer and avoid exposing it sudden temperature changes or moisture since those conditions will damage the product.
How long until cannabis plants produce pollen?
Male plants require a period of several weeks to develop the male organs and begin producing pollen sacs. Mature male plants generally mature one to two weeks before female plants do, which implies you’ll have to wait at least four to six weeks before your plant reaches sexual maturity. The development of the pollen sacs will take approximately two to three weeks after that. Obviously, it is strain-specific, so it may take longer for some strains than others, but in most cases, it takes at least six to seven weeks from seed (from germination) for your plant to produce and release marijuana pollen.
Is male pollen the same as hash pollen?
No, despite both being called pollen, hash pollen is slang for kief. Kief is made by sifting cannabis trichomes from female plants with a fine screen which can then be pressed into hash or consumed in pollen form while male cannabis pollen is the male gametes that are produced inside the male pollen sacs which are then used to produce seeds and cannot be consumed.
Even though they’re not trendy, male cannabis plants are key to continuing the existence of cannabis strains and terpenes. Without them, we’d have a hard time creating new strains or combinations. Although home growers usually shy away from these types of plants, they play an integral role in the overall health of the cannabis plant population. Despite being difficult to grow, collecting pollen from male plants is the best way to make your own seeds.
You can revert a female cannabis plant’s sex, but breeders typically claim that the offspring will have a higher chance of turning hermaphrodite. So if you want to experiment with making your own crosses or just want to gather cannabis seeds for future grow cycles, it’s recommended that you do so by crossing a male and female plant. Additionally, make sure you store the pollen correctly because once pollen is removed from the sacs, it begins degrading immediately. To increase chances of success, use the pollen as soon as possible after collecting it.
Please share your expertise with beginner growers by leaving a comment below if you have more experience cultivated male cannabis plants!