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Understanding and becoming familiar with these various strains is what will really enable you to target — on a specific level — the type of experience you have when consuming weed. Typically, you will be able to distinguish between male and female cannabis plants when the plant is about six weeks old. To figure out the sex of a marijuana plant , look at the plant’s nodes, where the leaves and branches connect to the main stem. Male plants will produce pollen sacs that at first look like little tiny balls and then grow into larger clusters of oblong-shaped sacs.

Conversely, a female weed plant will produce pistils, which in their early stages look like thin hairs and then eventually start growing into more structured ovules and stigmas. To figure out the sex of a marijuana plant, look at the plant’s nodes, where the leaves and branches connect to the main stem. (Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps) There is one very important reason why it’s crucial to be able to distinguish male from female plants: Only female plants produce flowers. Because male plants produce pollen sacs, they do not generate any of the buds that people actually harvest and consume. From the perspective of growing weed for human consumption, male plants are really only good for propagating brand new baby plants from seed. With the exception of consciously choosing to reproduce plants through pollination (as opposed to cloning a female plant), growers must carefully keep male plants away from female plants. Hermaphrodite plants are a rare monecious plant, meaning it develops both male and female sex organs. Hermaphrodites are primarily formed if a female weed plant is exposed to extreme conditions during key stages of growth. Flowers from hermaphrodite plants will be full of seeds, making them very poor quality for consumption. To avoid this, growers must be experts at spotting both hermaphrodite and male plants early and then getting rid of them before they ruin nearby female plants.

Many breeders produce seeds that are feminized as a way to avoid male genetics. These feminized seeds only carry female genetics, and in most cases, is guaranteed to produce female plants. Another option is to grow auto-flowering strains, which are genetically engineered to automatically flower after a brief vegetative period of two to four weeks. Knowing the parts of a marijuana plant is necessary for propagating cannabis plants. Propagation refers to the process of using one plant to create new plants. In general, cannabis growers do this in one of two ways: Cloning : Cloning is a popular method, as it allows you to get multiple baby plants from a single adult plant, without having to buy seeds or go through the longer process of germinating, planting, and growing a weed plant from seed. To clone a marijuana plant, carefully cut a branch away from the stem right at the node. From there, place the cutting into a growing medium, typically either suspended in water or inserted into a starter plug. When the cutting develops roots you can then transplant it into a larger container or the ground, depending on where you’re going to be growing the plant. Seeds: Growing from seed requires you to start from scratch, and is ideally suited to growers who are novices, growers who want to produce a new type or strain than what they’re already growing, and growers who don’t have a plant they want to replicate exactly. To grow a weed plant from seed, place a seed in some sort of starting medium such as rockwool or peat pellets and keep it moist until it sprouts. As the sprout develops leaves and roots, it will start requiring more and more light. When a decent little ball of roots has formed, transplant the baby marijuana plant to a larger container or the ground and proceed to feed, water, and ventilate it until the weed plant reaches maturity. --> The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical or legal advice. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine. He is the medical director at Alcohol Recovery Medicine. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These pictures show marijuana, also known as cannabis or weed, in varying stages of growth, processing, and use. You may be concerned about plants you find growing in and around your home. Or, you may wonder whether what you discovered in your child's room is marijuana or indicates your child may be using marijuana. Even if you live in a jurisdiction where marijuana is legal, there are age restrictions and your child can end up on the wrong side of the law. You should prepare to have a conversation with your child about the risks involved in using or selling marijuana when underage. If you find plants around your home that look similar to the marijuana plant in the photo, someone in your household is trying to grow their own weed. The plants have changed considerably in recent decades as they have been bred to produce more buds. If you see plants like this growing around your home, chances are they did not just pop-up in the wild—they were purposely cultivated.

Cannabis plants have a palmate leaf with serrated leaflets. While there are plants with similar leaves, the serration pattern for Cannabis is distinctive. Marijuana is dried and chopped up to prepare it for use and sale. If your child is using marijuana, you may be likely to find rolled joints of marijuana cigarettes. Your child may claim that these are hand-rolled tobacco cigarettes, which would also be a concern. You may find a small amount of marijuana your child has acquired for personal use to smoke. It is probably readily available in your community. You may also find larger quantities of marijuana in a plastic zip-lock bag. You might find smaller plastic bags with residue inside. This can trigger concerns that your child is transporting or selling marijuana rather than obtaining it for personal use.

Marijuana buds are higher in THC than other parts of the plant and are sold at a premium. As marijuana has been increasingly bred to produce more buds, you may find this type of marijuana in your home. It is probably much more potent than the average street-grade weed. If you look closely at a marijuana bud, you will see the fine "hairs" and leaves that make up the bud after it is dried.

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