Do you want the end product to be of the highest quality when made with hemp seeds? For this, you have to learn the difference between male and female hemp seeds. It’s most important for breeders and cultivators to know the ways of distinguishing between them.
Being a dioecious plant, hemp can be male, female or a hermaphrodite. Some farmers can easily figure out if hemp is growing into a male or female. In a scientific way, DNA testing makes it possible.
Otherwise, cultivators wait for around 4 to 6 weeks for the hemp plant to attain the pre-flower stage. At this stage, looking at the hemp plants’ nodes can tell its sex. Let’s understand the complete difference between both.
1. The nodes
Starting with the physical difference, the first thing is to see what’s growing on the nodes (crux of the branches). In the male hemp, you will find small pollen sacs. They help in the spread of the seeds.
On the other hand, female hemp plants contain bracts at the nodes. This is observed after the plant matures to 1-1.5 months. But if a female hemp plant comes under excess stress, it will turn the plant into a hermaphrodite for self-reproduction.
Female hemp seeds mostly grow shorter and bushy, whereas male ones become taller and thicker after maturity. They have an even lower number of fan leaves and greater space than the branches.
In the early stage, female hemp looks ovate. much more than a pear type. But it carries a longer and thinner pointed tip called the calyx. Beginning at its tips are the pistils that grow in the pre flower stage in female hemp.
In fibre production, male hemp outperforms female hemp. It can produce soft material that can be used for hemp fibre. But, the female hemp provides rough material and that’s why they are not right for hemp fibre.
Both male and female hemp can produce resins in their leaves, but most of them are found in the latter one. Hence, farmers have to prevent male hemp from pollinating female hemp plants, or else you have to expect a lower quantity of resins. This is because female hemp starts growing seeds in the buds after pollination, which reduces its energy to produce resin.
If your goal is to get CBD (cannabinoid), Then feminised hemp seeds should be your first choice. They yield a higher level of CBD in comparison to male hemp seeds. This is why growers avoid growing male hemp in their area.
How is gender determination performed and how does it help?
Hemp also has a genetic system that helps in its gender determination. Using a lab-testing method, you can determine whether the hemp growing on your land is female or male.
Experts use quantitative polymerase chain reactions (qPCR) for sex determination purposes. They cut a hole in the plant and put it into a lysis solution for the destruction of plant cell walls. Eventually, it reveals the DNA of your hemp plant and you get to know about its gender.
Gender determination can make all the difference. It can help you to increase the profit because you will grow hemp based on the purpose now. For example, you can use feminised seeds for CBD and male ones for hemp fiber and pollination.
Have you learned how to differentiate between a male and a female hemp seed yet? If yes, now cultivating hemp plants will be easier for you. Usually, a hemp seed has a 50/50 chance of growing as a male or female. Therefore, you have to be careful while growing a hemp crop. Look over the profit side and then decide if female seeds would be the best choice for you.
For more detailed guidance & knowledge about the topic talk with Hemp in India experts and get to know anything to everything about Hemp.