The cannabis flower is the topic of many questions and a lot of misinformation. There are some frequently asked questions that you may want answered if you plan on cooking with cannabis, smoking bud, making a topical salve, producing cannabis oil, or using the flowers in another way instead.
The flower of the cannabis plant is very versatile and may offer many medical and health benefits.
What is a Cannabis Flower?
Since marijuana is a flowering plant that grows naturally, it produces a cannabis flower for pollination so that new plants are produced. The number and size of the flowers produced by each plant will depend on many factors including the growing conditions, the specific strain of marijuana plant, the nutrients available, and even the amount of light and darkness each day.
Do All Cannabis Plants Have the Same Type of Flowers?
When most people think of the cannabis flower they visualize the pretty flowers that develop on a male cannabis plant when they are fully developed. But there are actually two types of flower that may appear on a cannabis plant. The buds that are so prized by marijuana users are also flowers, but they are the flowers of the female plants and are not found on males.
Which Type of Flower is Preferred for Medical Marijuana Use?
For most cannabis users the preferred cannabis flower is the bud produced by the female plant. Many experts believe that the female flower has higher amounts of THC than the male but this may not always be true. Medical marijuana most often uses the female flower, especially for commercial uses, but there are applications where the male flower may be used as well in certain situations.
Can One Cannabis Plant Have Both Types of Flower?
It is possible for one cannabis plant to produce both types of cannabis flower. When this happens, the plant is called a hermaphrodite plant or hermie for short. The cannabis plant will have both male and female parts and will produce both male and female flowers. Most growers remove hermie plants from their grow area because these plants can pollinate females.
What Happens if a Female Flower is Pollinated by the Male Flower?
When a female cannabis flower is pollinated with pollen from the male flower the buds will stop growing bigger and more potent, and the plant focuses on producing buds that are filled with new seeds instead. This lowers the yield from the plant and is not what growers usually want unless they are intentionally trying to produce seeds.
Which do Medical Growers Prefer: Male Versus Female Plants?
Medical cannabis growers use both male and female cannabis plants although the number of male plants on hand is usually very small compared to the number of female plants. Without males, the growers would not be able to produce new seeds and grow new plants or create hybrid strains. Caution is used to segregate male plants from females that are not to be pollinated.
What Can Flowers from Male Cannabis Plants be used For?
While the female cannabis flower is usually what is desired, the male flower does have some uses besides pollinating females when seeds are needed. These flowers can be turned into butters and oils, they can be used to make salves, and their compounds can be concentrated down. There are many online forums that discuss how to use male plants and flowers.
Is There a Difference in Flower Between Cannabis and Hemp?
There is a very big difference between cannabis flowers and hemp flowers. Hemp is typically a male, and that means that this plant only produces male flowers. If hemp is allowed within pollination distance of female cannabis plants then this can ruin the cannabis harvest and the seeds obtained may not be worth anything because of the cross pollination.
This should answer a few of your questions about the cannabis flower. There is still so much more to learn about cannabis…and the more states that legalize it should bring more research and information.