If You Don’t Know What to Do with Male Cannabis Plants, Here Are Some Ideas.

Soft Secrets
28 Sep 2020

From being a fiber resource to making a juice with it, there's a lot you can do with male cannabis plants in the garden.

The chances are that your average cannabis garden is filled with female cannabis plants, at least for the most part. Male plants are commonly regarded as useless, and a lot of growers are known to discard them. In case you don’t know what to do with your male cannabis plants, there are actually several things you can try out.  We have a cult to love female cannabis plants because this is the plant that gives us the resinous buds we so carefully prepare for smoking by nourishing, curing, and drying. We’ve developed a whole science on preparing female plants for consumption, and we have often neglected all the stuff we can do with their male counterparts.  Since it’s a popular opinion that female marijuana plants are more important than male plants, most people think that male plants are obsolete, and there’s nothing you can do with them.  As it turns out, males are not entirely useless. If they are not up for smoking, that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything with them. Males contain genetic makeup that you can transfer to other, new plants. Also, you can use males to create various cannabis goods or to enhance your garden. If you don’t know what to do with male cannabis plants, keep reading to get some fresh ideas. 

Male cannabis plants are not useless.

If you don’t know what to do with male cannabis plants, it’s good to remember that you can still find them a purpose for your garden. Let’s start with their primary function and move along to find other creative uses of the male plant.

1. You can always use male plants for breeding.

That is an obvious one. The marijuana plant is not that different from other plants found in nature. Both the female and male plants are required for reproduction purposes, although self-pollinating cannabis plants are existent, too.  If you are a newbie into growing, you may well rely on the more comfortable reproduction solutions such as cloning your female cannabis plants to have a consistent harvest of the strain you are growing. However, it doesn't take a lot of thinking to acknowledge that male cannabis plants could be used for breeding as well. You can try this out as you enhance your growing skills. For experienced growers, this may already be easier to do, or you may have already tried.  Male plants can source out half of the genetic makeup you need to pollinate female plants. To make the best of breeding your cannabis with both male and female plants, you should devise techniques to identify which male plants in your garden are the optimal breeding choices.  Start by observing the male plants in your garden and notice which ones are resilient to the environment around them. Are some of them better sustaining the abrupt changes in the weather? Are there male plants that remain almost unaffected by bugs, fungi, and insects? Are they growing quickly or just fast enough? The answers to these questions may indicate that you have a super male among your crops that you can use for breeding.  Here’s a checklist of how to identify reliable male plants that you can repurpose for breeding efforts:

  • Male plants that emit a strong odor is a good sign that you want to keep that plant.
  • Male plants with nice, prominent stems where there isn’t any spongy white tissue are also meant to be lovely plants. The same goes for plants that give tight, dense flowers.
  • It’s not a good sign if you notice that the plant is auto-flowering or early flowering. It means the plant is likely to reproduce a self-pollinating breed. 
  • You don’t want a plant that grows too quickly or too tall. Such plants are better to repurpose for other things, like for fiber extraction. Which brings us to the next point. 

2. You can use tall plants to get hemp fiber.

Unlike female plants, male plants have a softer constitution, so they are an ideal source for hemp fiber, which you can repurpose for creating various pieces of clothes or bags or even home decorations.  While this may not be the way you want to spend your pastime, weaving items from hemp, perhaps you have a friend who’s good at this, and you can supply them with some hemp fiber.  

3. Males are also good for concentrates and juices.

While it’s true that males are not your go-to plant for THC, you’ll be wrong to think they are entirely free of the psychoactive cannabinoid. Much of the THC found in male plants is found in the leaves, especially during the plant’s vegetative growth stage. THC is also present in the flowers and stems, although, by the time plants enter adulthood, females start to produce much more significant amounts of THC. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that the THC in the male plants is obsolete. Although males contain less THC, you can still extract their resins and produce various concentrates like BHO wax or hash oil. Alternatively, you can also try to prepare raw cannabis juice for drinking. It’s just cannabis consumed differently, where the emphasis is on the absorption of cannabolic acids like THCA and CBDA. Both THCA and CBDA are praised for their anti-inflammatory properties and offer pain relief. Both male and female cannabis plants can be made juices. Drinking the juice from the male plant will not make you high, however. It’s just taking a cup of healthy cannabis “vitamins” to put it that way. Almost the entire plant can be used for juicing, except you want to leave out those stalks that are hardest on the touch. Also, throw away the fan leaves with most fibers as these will give the juice a bitter quality.

4. Create a more resilient garden with male cannabis plants.

Another way to utilize male plants is as pest and insect repellents. Terpenes found in every cannabis plant are known for their qualities to repel pesky critters. Terpenes are fragrant - the odor emitters of cannabis - an evolutionary output of the cannabis plant trying to protect itself from invading species. If you have a garden where you grow vegetables, fruits, or flowers at your property, you can interplant male cannabis plants to guard your other crops. Some also like to extract terpene oils from the male plants, using its dried material, to conduct pest control. Historically, cannabis has been widely used to ward off pests. Its different formulations as a repellent are backed by science. It’s been used to repel root maggots, chafer larvae, cabbage caterpillar, potato beetle, and cotton worms, to name just some of the invasive species. So, the cannabis you don’t smoke can indeed protect other organic growth you might have in your garden, including your potatoes.

5. Improve soil in your garden

If you have a big garden, there’s probably someplace where the soil is not as good, where no matter what you plant, it just fails. But if you try to grow male cannabis plants at that place, it just might improve the quality of the soil. Cannabis has a straight tapering root which can spread deep into the ground, breaking hardened earth. Enough that it transforms how the soil absorbs moisture and nutrients. When the soil improves, you can use the section to plant other crops you always wanted to grow there. Alternatively, you can use male cannabis plant material for compost that you can use to nourish your smokable cannabis or any other crops.  If you previously didn’t know what to do with male cannabis plants, now you have a list of ideas on how you can repurpose it. Every plant has a function in nature, so does the male cannabis plant. You just have to find the right way to use it in your garden. Happy growing!

Soft Secrets