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Is Your Cannabis Plant Male or Female? .

Cannabis is intriguing in more ways than one. The plant is either a male or female. If you are looking to create seeds for harvesting strains, you will need both species to flower in your garden. Take away the males from the garden soon after and the female plants will sprout large, seedless, resinous buds called sensimilla. These are the buds that are ripe for consumption.

However, seeded buds are not considered high quality. Seeded buds have lesser flavour and a harsher, unpleasant taste when you smoke. But the seeds are required to introduce the next generation of plants to harvest more strains and continue the cycle.

Growing High Quality Cannabis

Get Clones from a Reputable Breeder

It is essential to determine the gender of your cannabis plant to grow sensimilla. The other way to harvest a particular strain is through clones. But the danger lies in tainted clones. If left unattended, they can halt all growth. The crucial step is to look for clones from a reputable source. Look for them in an authorized dispensary, nursery or get them from in-house cultivars.

If you are purchasing seeds from a third party, find out the source. Only legitimate seeds will yield high quality results or they will fall prey to disease, pests, or chemical residues in pesticides. Incorrectly labelled strains may not get you what you want. Clean your clones gently before transplanting them to eliminate the chance of diseases.

Acquire Both Male and Female Plants

The gender of your cannabis plant is important to develop new strains and seeds. Identifying the gender is not difficult if you know how to. Female cannabis “pre-flowers” as they are called, grow fine hairy stigma whereas male ones produce tiny, round balls at the nodes. Many say that they resemble miniature bananas.

The pollen is released when these banana-like pods split open, getting caught in the fine hair in female plants. Pre-flowers sprout four to six weeks after growth. That is the time you can identify the gender of the plant. The trick is to dispose the males plants before they release pollen into the females so the buds bloom bigger and more healthier.

It might be a bit challenging to spot the gender of pre-flowers with the naked eye but a magnifying glass may help. If spot males, isolate them from the female plants as early as possible so you can create more space to grow bigger, healthier females and stop the males from pollinating them. Feminized seeds grow faster and need less materials for healthy growth.

Hermaphrodite Plants

Hermaphrodite cannabis plants contain both male and female organs. Feminized cannabis seeds are often produced by introducing a hermaphrodite to several female plants and have them generate male organs so you don’t take up too much  time to identify the males and isolate them from the female plants.

 

Outdoor cultivation is usually responsible for hermaphrodite cannabis plants where the environment, weather and temperature cannot be controlled. Indoor cultivation under controlled conditions eliminates the risk of growing hermaphrodite plants. If you take too long to harvest, the plants may turn hermaphrodite by pollinating itself.

Harvesting

When the fine trichomes in the flowers turn amber in colour, you know it’s time to harvest. For a heady sativa strain, wait till they turn milky. Amber trichomes give a more sedating effect.

Cannabis grows best and yields the highest quality flowers when the environment is stable without excessive fluctuations. (Source: Leafly)

Growing Cannabis at Home? Here’s When You Know It’s The Right Time to Harvest.

Finally you can grow cannabis legally at home! If you don’t have a green thumb, don’t fret! All you need is the right guidance to become a master cultivator. But do remember that only up to four plants can be grown legally at home in Canada, so refrain from dreaming of a garden. Make sure to get high quality seeds or clones from a legal source for optimum results.

Harvesting Cannabis Flowers

Things become a little more challenging when the plants start to flower. This is when the growth slows and the buds appear, giving out that pungent aroma that’s typical of cannabis. You know that cannabis flowers are ready to be harvested when the scent intensifies, the fine hairy trichomes develop and change colour. Proper timing is crucial to the process. Harvesting too early will result in flowers that do not produce much psychoactive effects while harvesting too late may cause the plants to self-pollinate and rot.

Trichome Colour

The easiest way to know the right time to harvest is by keeping an eye on the cannabis buds. The tiny trichomes change colour as they mature from clear to cloudy and opaque. When you see flecks of golden amber on the upper buds, you know they are ripe. The uppermost buds mature earlier than the ones below. Don’t wait for all the trichomes to turn yellow or the potency of THC will decrease into a soothing, relaxing CBN that may put you to sleep.

Mature Leaves

Mature cannabis leaves turn yellow in colour. If you don’t use fertilizers, they can start falling off. Mature leaves also start drying and curling as it starts pulling less water during the final phase. That’s the time you know your cannabis plant is ready to harvest. Sometimes, pests could be responsible for the curling and drying leaves. If the pistils and stigmas are brown or the trichomes are flecked with amber, get ready to harvest. Medicinal cannabis growers prefer higher levels of CBN so the weed is left to mature for longer but be careful about late harvests. Some strains may self-pollinate and turn intersex.

Auto - Flowering and Photoperiodic

Cannabis cultivators fall into two categories:

  • Auto-flowering: Auto-flowering cannabis rapidly start flowering after they reach a vegetative state. Autoflowering strains take about 10 weeks after the seedling stage to harvest the buds.

  • Photoperiodic: This strain of cannabis require a specific duration of regulated light intensity to sprout flowers from a vegetative state. This method affects bud dormancy, branching and potency.

Mohyuddin Mirza, botany specialist at Phoenix Life Sciences International and cannabis production consultant told Weedmaps News “(Photoperiodic) cannabis plants, like other plants, are totally dependent on what happens when changes are made to the light duration and light intensity. Photoperiod also affects other aspects of plant development, such as bud dormancy and branching. It regulates cannabis through internal signals that are expressed in the architecture, or structure of the plant. In photoperiodic cannabis varieties, intense flowering and branching of the inflorescence is triggered by a reduction in daylight hours.”

“Once a cannabis plant has reached a certain stage of vegetative growth, change in photoperiod from long days (18 hours of light/6 hours of darkness) to short days, (12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness), initiates flowering. This applies to both Cannabis sativa and indica strains,” he explained.

However, new research believes differently. Dr. Ben Rimon at the Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center of Israel, researched on cannabis inflorescence and published his findings in Frontiers in Plant Science on April 2, 2019.

He said that “The most significant finding is that a short photoperiod orchestrates intense branching, producing inflorescence structure, with floral initiation that occurs independently of short photoperiod.” The flower initiation is not a result of short photoperiodic conditions, but more likely influenced by the age of the plant, the mother plant’s development, and internal signals. In short, it means that the flowering initiation is not dependent on short photoperiod as earlier believed.

Drying and Curing

The process of drying and curing are greatly responsible for improving the flavour of the flowers. It breaks down chlorophyll resulting in a smoother taste that makes it especially effective for medicinal use. Drying and curing reduces anxiety and may even increase cannabinoid potency and shelf-life so you can enjoy your home-grown cannabis for months.

Amazing Health Benefits of Cooking with Fresh, Raw Cannabis.

In just a few months, cannabis edibles will be out in the market. The American Culinary Federation predicts that cannabis-infused food will be the top trend in 2019, introducing a new dining experience.

MacNeil, a specialist in molecular cooking in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, has a little tip to make canna-chefs perfect the art of cooking with cannabis strains. “You should only use legally produced cannabis to ensure it’s clean and safe. People don’t scrutinize cannabis the way they scrutinize food, but they should,” he said to the cannabis-based web portal, Leafly. Usually, dried and cured cannabis is used in kitchens. But fresh, raw cannabis not only lends more flavour but also has a host of benefits.

Superfood Cannabis

New research puts Cannabis and Hemp at par with the superfoods kale, avocado, spinach and broccoli, from a nutritional perspective. Dr. William Courtney, MD, a member of the International Cannabinoid Research Society, the International Association of Cannabis as Medicine, the Society of Clinical Cannabis and the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine, says that Marijuana should not be treated as a medicine for specific ailments but as a dietary essential.

Raw cannabis infused in foods activates the brain’s cannabinoid system, more effectively by releasing antioxidants that flush out damaged cells in the body. Dried cannabis can do the same, Courtney says, but raw cannabis adds more flavour because of fresh terpenes in the flowers.

Aromatic Terpenes in Fresh Cannabis

Cannabis strains come in several aromatic varieties, just like wine grapes. Citrus, lavender, mint, mango, banana, berry and pine are just some of them. Cannabis terpenes are responsible for the different aromas. They combine with Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) to produce the distinctive flavours that leave you feeling light and satiated after a deliciously infused meal.

Health Benefits of Raw Cannabis

Nutrient-Rich: Fresh, raw cannabis is loaded with nutrients, fibers, proteins, balanced proportions of essential amino acids and antioxidants to boost the immune system. Raw marijuana has a well balanced ratio of omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids that together promote healthy cell regeneration, boost the immune system, reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and many types of cancer.

Inhibits Cancer Cell-Growth: In its raw state, THC in cannabis is not psychoactive. This means that all the nutrients in the plant will be well utilized by the body without leaving you high. Nutrients like Cannabidiolic Acid (CBD-A) and Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THC-A) in cannabis are powerful healers that treat serious ailments like cancer. CBD-A prohibits the COX-2 enzyme that is found in aggressive breast tumours. A recent study conducted at Hiroshima International University in 2017 January, researchers found that the CBD-A in the plant also prohibited cancer metastasis. THC-A is said to be neuroprotective, antispasmodic, and an effective pain-reliever.

Benefits of Chlorophyll: Much of the chlorophyll in the cannabis plant is lost during the drying and curing process. This means that much of the dietary benefits of chlorophyll are lost with it, such as rejuvenating the body at the cellular level. Chlorophyll prevents DNA damage, detoxifies the body, reduces inflammation and increases iron absorption.

Increased Aroma and Flavour: Raw cannabis is full of the terpenes that are lost during the drying and curing process as well. Terpenes are responsible for the aroma and flavour during consumption and are also loaded with medicinal properties. They have antifungal, antibacterial and anticancer properties.

How to Consume Raw Cannabis

Now that we are familiar with the numerous health benefits of raw cannabis, it is important to know the best ways to consume them to maximize benefits. Here’s what the canna-chefs suggest:

Fresh Juices: Weed can be a bit bitter on the tongue so the best way to enjoy the nutrient-rich properties of the plant is by blending it with fruits and beverages to enhance the taste. Add a hint of spice such as nutmeg for more flavour.

Refreshing Salads: Chop up your regular salad greens, fruits and raw vegetables with a hint of cannabis for refreshing, health-enhancing salads that don’t leave you high unlike weed edibles.

Cooking with cannabis needs a practiced hand to find out the correct amounts to bring out the flavour. Experts recommend no more than 2.5 mg of bud for those who are venturing into cannabis-infused fare for the first time. It’s better to try the cuisine in a restaurant noted for cannabis foods or take tips from a chef before you start experimenting in the kitchen yourself. Bon appetit!

 

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