Plant Cultivation

How to Identify A Female Seed: Signs You Should Notice

How to Identify A Female Seed

How Can You Tell If A Cannabis Seed Is A Female

Theoretically speaking, cannabis seeds by themselves do not have a gender, but they do present specific male, female, and even hermaphrodite characteristics. And trust me, you don’t want to have male weed seeds - they do not produce the valuable buds that contain high levels of cannabinoids. Therefore, is there a way to tell male vs female weed seeds so you can benefit from fruitful and potent yield? Stay tuned and you’ll know how to identify a female seed.

Table of Contents

What Is A Female Cannabis Seed

A female seed is able to develop into a female cannabis plant and produce the coveted buds rich in cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD. One significant characteristic of female cannabis plants is the small hair-like structures known as pistils, which play a crucial role in capturing pollen during the flowering stage, leading to seed production when fertilized.

How Can You Tell If A Cannabis Seed Is Male or Female

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to identify the gender of a cannabis seed simply by looking at it. I mean, the seeds look quite similar to each other. Although there are some hypotheses stating the characteristics of female cannabis seeds, they are not tested or proven accurate by the market. 

The only way to identify a female seed is to plant it and wait for it to grow. At some point before the flowering stage, aka the pre-flowering stage, these cannabis plants will start to showcase gender signs. Female cannabis seeds will continue to develop pistils, while male seeds produce sac-like structures known as pollen sacs. You can tell if a plant is male or female by checking the early visual indicators below.

Early Signs of Male and Female Cannabis Plants 

There will be some hints in the pre-flowering phase during the weed life cycle, and these differences lie between the fourth and sixth nodes of the plant. If you don’t want to end up cultivating a male cannabis seed, pay attention to these early signs of both female and male cannabis plants. 

male-vs-female cannabis seed

Image from female (left) vs male (right) cannabis seed

Early Signs of Female Plants

The early hallmark lies in pistils. If the cannabis seed is a female one, after 4-6 weeks of weed germination, the plant will showcase V-shaped pistils, which are long, hair-like structures that emerge from the calyxes of the flowers. These pistils are usually white or pink but can change color as the plant matures. Additionally, female cannabis plants tend to be shorter and bushier, with more branches and vibrant leaves.

If you keep the plants developing into the flowering stage, you’ll see more apparent signs of female characteristics. For example, female plants will start to grow abundant flowers. These dense, resinous buds are covered in a sticky, crystalline substance that contains the cannabinoids and terpenes you wish for. 

cannabis trichome

Early Signs of Male Plants

In contrast to pistils, the most evident presence of male cannabis plants is the pollen sacs or stamens. After 3-4 weeks of germinating the seeds, male cannabis showcases these sacs that look like small, round balls that hang down from the plant's nodes or branches. They contain pollen, which is responsible for fertilizing female plants. As a result, you can’t expect flowers to show up. 

female plant vs male plant

Is male cannabis useless at all? Nah, you might have another opinion after learning it: How to Identify and Use Male Cannabis Plant

Can You Feminize Cannabis Seeds

cannabis seed

Now you should know the importance of a female weed seed, possibly, you are wondering - is there a way to have female seeds only? Lucky you, it’s possible to feminize cannabis seeds in mainly three ways, including the colloidal silver method, silver thiosulfate method, and rodelization method.

Among them, the colloidal silver method is the most common one to feminize cannabis seeds. Colloidal silver is a suspension of tiny silver particles in water. When applied to female plants during the early stages of flowering, it disrupts the production of ethylene, a hormone responsible for the development of female flowers. As a result, the treated female plants start producing male flowers with pollen sacs instead of female flowers. The pollen from these treated female plants is then used to pollinate other female plants, resulting in feminized seeds.

However, you should know that all feminization methods are likely to sprout hermaphrodites, which are plants that carry both male and female traits. To know how to fix a hermie, kindly refer to this article: How to Turn A Hermie Back into A Female


So far, there’s no way to identify a female weed seed from a bunch of seeds. You have to actually plant the seed and let it mature. Once it reaches the pre-flowering stage, a cannabis seed will show its early gender characteristics as a female or male plant. If you can see signs of pistils, good news for you, it’s a female cannabis plant. Take care of it by offering the needed red light and then wait for a potent yield.


About Ciki

Ciki has been navigating the digital world of SEO for over 4 years, applying her expertise originally in the software sector before turning her attention to indoor gardening. Merging her tech-savvy background with a passion for nature, Ciki offers a unique perspective on gardening, blending modern techniques with time-honored traditions.

11 thoughts on “How to Identify A Female Seed: Signs You Should Notice

  1. Mattie says:

    Found this very interesting,I’m going to continue to read on here it’s very informative thank you

  2. Jeezy says:

    Don’t tell me I’ll know the gender of a seed before planting it by the end of the article if you say you can’t even tell before planting it at the end of the article. Complete waste of my time

    1. Ciki says:

      Hi Jeezy, I mentioned in quite the beginning: The only way to identify a female seed is to plant it and wait for it to grow, at some point before the flowering stage.

      There’s no way to know the gender of the seed before planting it, but growers all want to know if there’s a trick to do so. That’s why we wrote the article.

    2. Richard says:

      Using a magnifying glass I look for a circle on the bottom of the seed. If you have a complete round circle more than likely it’s a female with this method I am 9 and 0 so far choosing female seeds that I find or friends find when we’re rolling up.

  3. James says:

    You’re actually wrong you can tell a female from a male at the germination stage. A male seed will shoot from the top whereas a female with shoot from the side. There’s no need to waste growing time

    1. Ciki says:

      Hi James,

      We are surprised to know that. Did you do this a lot and every time it turned out to be correct? As far as we know, growers can only find out the gender when the plants develop into the pre-flowering stage.

      1. Ashlee Moore says:

        Did they ever respond ? I’m curious to know the answer.

        1. Ciki says:

          No lol, I want to know as well.

      2. Rick Debono says:

        You are not wrong. Pay no attention to this nonsense. There is no such thing as “shoot from the top” or “shoot from the side.” All seeds split along the centreline. The root always shoots towards the earth & the tip always shoots towards sunlight. James also left no reference point for his “top” & “side” delusion. Not that it would make any difference to how wrong he is. Only an arrogant basement dweller who has never grown anything would make up such a thing.

        I hear you can sex within two weeks if you germinate while the days are short.

        Thanks for the interesting article. I don’t have a website, but you’re welcome to visit my channel.

  4. Charmaine Khomotso Phega says:

    Thank you so much.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *