Most breeders do not want to have a male cannabis plant in their garden. Unlike female plants, male ones do not produce buds with the same amount of cannabinoids, which are responsible for the different effects of a strain. In addition, males can ruin your bud harvest by pollinating females.
Because you cannot get any beneficial buds from male plants, do not just put them in the trash upon identifying the gender of your plants. Let us show you how your male cannabis plants can still be useful to you.
The common use of male plants is to create seeds, which saves you money for the next harvest cycle of your plants. This does not mean that you should allow any male plants to grow alongside other females in your grow room. A single male plant will not just pollinate one plant, it can fertilize up to ten females or more.
To make your own seeds for your favorite strain without compromising your bud production, you need a separate growing area. This is where you can grow one or a few male plants to produce pollen. Take note that the area does not have to be as large as your main marijuana garden. However, it should have enough space to accommodate the plant’s size.
If you are cultivating autoflowering or small indica plants, grow boxes with the size of a mini fridge is what you need. Otherwise, grow tents or large grow boxes are suitable for tall sativa plants. These boxes or tents contains nearly all most of the essentials to the plant apart from a container with the medium.
You can set a light fixture at the top and add air ventilation at the sides. Grow boxes or tents are great for handling male plants because they create a sealed environment that traps any pollen. You can also place them in nearly any place around your house.
Various strains have a different flowering period, which means that male cannabis plants do not have a set schedule as to when the pollen sac will be full of pollen. A good sign that a male plant is ready for harvest is the size and shape of their sexual glands. Look for sacs that have small rips around its sizes and appears swollen.
When harvesting the pollen sac, do it in an enclosed room and place a layer of aluminum foil underneath the plant. Position a plastic bag underneath the sac to catch it as you cut it from the plant. Do this for the rest of the sac around the male plants. After taking all of the male plant’s organs, collect any stray pollen from the aluminum foil with the plastic bag.
Raw unprocessed pollen has a shelf life of several months, which is just enough for use in your next harvest period. You can boost the lifespan of your pollen by filtering it through a silkscreen and drying the ones that have fallen. By freezing this batch of pollen, you can use it to pollinate several female plants for more than a decade. Take note that you will want to wrap your pollen in aluminum foil first and place it in a plastic bag. This will prevent freezer burn, which can damage them.
Applying the pollen is incredibly simple. Just use a soft paintbrush to brush the calyx of the female plant with pollen. Remember to place the designated female in the same isolated area as where you cultivate your male plants to prevent accidental pollination of your bud producers. Make sure a good amount of pollen is on the bristles of the flower’s stigma. Continue applying the pollen to a female plant one to three times a week. Fertilized plants will have a swollen calyx, which indicates that it is producing your seeds. Here is a helpful video on how you can manually fertilize your female plants.
Creating new strains
The process of making your own strain is the same as producing seeds. This time, you take a male plant’s pollen of one strain and fertilize a female plant of a different strain. This process leads to creating a hybrid with both the genetics of the two strains.
Let us a say that you have a male Durban Poison plant and you breed it with a Northern Lights female. This can give you a balanced hybrid that boosts your mood and elevates your creativity while it soothes your body. It will also like to have an earthy pine smell since both phenotypes share nearly the same aroma.
It is important to note that you will not get the offspring with the traits you want from crossing two different phenotypes. Using the two examples above, you may have a generation of offspring that is leaning towards the Northern Lights’ sedative trait and less of the mood enhancer of the Durban Poison. The next generation of plants might give you the exact opposite with most of them leaning to the Durban Poison traits.
Breeding is incredibly complex that requires significant time and effort to achieve. This also includes learning about the different genetics crossing process such as back-breeding. In order to create a new strain, it is important to have a male plant. To help you understand more about the basics of breeding marijuana plants, here is an informative video.
Make cannabis plant juice
Juicing is a rising trend that turns healthy vegetables into an easy-to-digest liquid form. This allows you to avoid cooking the food to make them edible. Applying heat to vegetables, herbs, or fruits degrades their nutritional content. Making a juice out of the plant food allow your system to take in nearly all of the beneficial vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.
Cannabis plants also have beneficial nutrients inside them in the form of THCA and CBDA. These pre-heated THC and CBD cannabinoids version give the buds their signature effect. THCA and CBDA do not have the same psychotropic effect as heated cannabinoids. However, they still have the same benefits to a minor degree. These include nausea control, increase in appetite, improvement of mood, pain relief, and reduction of inflammation.
To turn your male cannabis plants into healthy juice, you will want a juicer. This masticates the plant material and other food into liquid. The Juice form of your plant does not have any fiber or pulp in it. This makes it easy for your stomach to digest it and transfer those beneficial cannabinoids around your system.
Another alternative is to use a heavy duty blender. Unlike a juicer, the unit will include the fiber and pulp along with any liquid component of a plant. The result is a smoothie that feels heavy to your stomach. This is great in easing away your hunger. In addition, the fiber within the smoothie promotes better digestion by stimulating your stomach as well as cleanse any toxins within your colon.
The taste of the male plant cannabis juice makes take some getting used to since they are incredibly bitter. While adding some sugar to the juice can improve its taste, you have other ways of giving the cannabis juice a good flavor. This includes adding some slices of fruits to the juicer along with the parts of male plants. The natural sweetness of apples, oranges, or bananas can balance out the bitterness of the plant to create a complex tasting juice.
Harvest Hemp Fiber
One of the advantages that male plants have over female plants is their fiber. Male plant fibers are incredibly flexible, thin, and soft. These fiber threads are usable for creating garments or other types of fabrics such as towels. It is interesting to note that George Washington was growing hemp in his estate for the plant’s fiber.
To start, soak the stem in water for more than 10 days. This resting process loosens the fiber from the stem. Afterward, you will need to take the stems of the male plant and flatten it with a hammer. You can also use a rolling pin to crush the inner part of the stem.
Crushing the stem will give you a long fibrous stalk. You just need to peel out the fiber from the stem until you get a fibrous stalk. The next step is to run the stalk through a V-shape structure. What you are doing to the fiber is to make it flexible and have the same feel as if it is human hair.
The next process is to scratch the fiber by hitting it with a solid wooden object with smooth round edges. This breaks down the wooden core of the fiber and straightens them up. With the fiber feeling soft, run it through a brush made with several wooden or steel nail teeth. This will get rid of any small wooden material from the fiber.
Stretch and twist out the fiber. This will strengthen them before moving to spin the fiber. This involves a homemade spindle, a long wooden stick with a hook at the top and a weighted object at the bottom.
Use the took to attach some of your hemp fiber. Spin the spindle and allow it to fall gently while holding the fiber. This process twists the fibers into a long string. Continue the process until you used all of the fiber. Roll the string together to form a hemp yarn. Wash the yarn and allow it to dry before using it. If you want to know how to do the spinning process, here is an educational video.
Another way of getting the most out of your male plants is to turn the plant structure into hash. While the cannabinoid content of males is lower than that of females, you can still get a good amount of it through the extract of the plant materials.
You just need to remove the leaves from the plant and cut them into small particles. Bring out a silkscreen and place some newspaper beneath it. Crumb the particles onto the surface of the screen, which involves rolling a large amount of the small leaves with the palm of your hands. Sift the particles around the screen by shaking it or tapping on the sired mesh. Move around the leaves gently around the screen. Avoid pressing down on it hard. This should give you a good amount of the resin from the particles. Collect the resin and discard the leaves.
Pass the resin through a small strainer or coriander. Make sure there is a piece of paper beneath the strainer. This will remove any dirt, hair, or small particles from the resin. Place the strained resin in a small cellophane bag. Pack the resin tightly in the bag and fold it multiple times. Secure the folded bag with tape. Wrap two pieces of paper onto the cellophane bag and secure it with tape.
Pre-heat the oven to 175°C. Soak the resin-sealed within cellophane and paper with lukewarm water. Place everything in a small baking tray and place it in the oven. Allow it to cook for 10 minutes. The water within the water will prevent the resin from catching fire or overheating.
Remove the resin from the oven and allow it to slightly cool. With a rolling pin, roll the resin flat on the table. Apply plenty of pressure as you roll the pin to the paper. This will compress the resin into a large caked piece. You can repeat this process of soaking the resin in water and placing it back to the oven to cook. Doing so will further compress the male cannabis plant’s resin.
Once you are satisfied with the thinness of the resin, place it in the fridge to let it cool and solidify the piece. Take it out of the oven to enjoy your piece of hash. This amount of hash will not give you the same buzz as the ones produced by female buds. However, you can sprinkle a bit of it with your joint or bowl to enhance the effect of other strains.
You can now see the many uses of male plants apart from it being there to ruin your bud production. As Jay-Z would say: “It’s seldom that I smoke, but it helps my thinker”. Discarding any male plant is incredibly wasteful given the benefits it can give you for your creativity, self-esteem, and health.