Relative Potency of Male and Female Plants

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The first observations about the differences in potency of the male and female marijuana plants were probably made thousands of years ago. The ancient Indian practice of separating males

Female Marijuana Plant Pictures

Fig. 13. Anatomy of male and female Cannabis: A, mature male plant; B, mature male flowering branch; C, immature closed male flower; D, mature open male flower with 5 sepals surrounding 5 anthers; E, single anther and cross section of anther containing pollen; F, female flowering branch containing many flowers and bracts; G, female flower with 2 projecting stigmas; H, bractlet removed from around female flower; /, female flower with bractlet removed showing ovary and 2 stigmas; J, inside of bractlet; K, outside of seed; L, seed in longitudinal section showing embryo; M, seed in cross section; N, embryo removed from seed showing root and cotyledon. (Reprinted, by permission, from Joyce and Curry, The Botany and Chemistry of Cannabis, 1970. Drawn by D. Erasmus.)

Fig. 13. Anatomy of male and female Cannabis: A, mature male plant; B, mature male flowering branch; C, immature closed male flower; D, mature open male flower with 5 sepals surrounding 5 anthers; E, single anther and cross section of anther containing pollen; F, female flowering branch containing many flowers and bracts; G, female flower with 2 projecting stigmas; H, bractlet removed from around female flower; /, female flower with bractlet removed showing ovary and 2 stigmas; J, inside of bractlet; K, outside of seed; L, seed in longitudinal section showing embryo; M, seed in cross section; N, embryo removed from seed showing root and cotyledon. (Reprinted, by permission, from Joyce and Curry, The Botany and Chemistry of Cannabis, 1970. Drawn by D. Erasmus.)

from females is often cited as evidence of this, but in fact this is done in order to prevent or diminish fertilization of the females. The lesser potency of the males need not have anything to do with the practice. Males are sometimes culled out in fiber-producing countries because they mature earlier and die, and because they are a different height.

Actually, the male plants are the victim of bad press. Males often equal or exceed females in cannabinoid content, especially in the high THC strains (see table 3). In fact, usually the females are only more potent during the terminal stages of development when the males are dying and the females are in full flower or are setting seed (see table 2). If the males could be prevented from flowering by pruning, flower removal or chemicals, they might continue to develop potency on a par with females. Males, however,-are much more difficult to manipulate than females. For example, their flowering is not triggered by decreasing day length as the females' generally is, but is relatively fixed and inherent in each strain. Pinching the flowers before they open is difficult because males tend to produce flowers all over the plant, especially when they arc frustrated by bothersome human fingers.

In the University of Mississippi experiments, the male and female Mexican plants had identical cannabinoid contents when first measured at 13 weeks, and were still about equal even at 17 weeks (see table 2). Note that many of the males die by 17 weeks and that the later measurements refer to the more slowly developing males. The table also shows that high CBD, low THC strains behave similarly to the high THC strains.

The cannabinoid content of males and females in high THC strains tends to be about the same, with the males sometimes exceeding the females. But, in the intermediate and low THC strains, the males tend to have a noticeably lower content. These data are not totally reliable, however, because the sampling techniques, growth conditions and degree of maturity varied drastically. Erratic sampling may also explain the aberrant data presented at the end of table 3. In a high THC strain from Afghanistan, the female has the expected small amount of CBD, but the male has a whopping 4.6%; whereas in another Afghani strain the males and females have about equal amounts of CBD, but the male has nearly five times as much THC. In one Turkish strain the males have about four times as much of both CBD and THC. There are strains from India, Peru, Thailand and Czechoslovakia in which the male is high in CBD and the female high in THC. One strain from Iran has both sexes low in THC but the male high in CBD, while one Manchurian and one Thai strain have both sexes high in THC, but only the female high in CBD. Finally, in one Russian strain the male is high in THC and the female high in CBD. Some of the seeds may have been hybrids, or mixtures of different batches of seeds. Nevertheless, these data alert us to the possibility that there arc strains with drastic differences between males and females.

TABLE 3

Comparison of Male and Female Plants

Each set of values represents a different seed stock. Figures rounded off to one decimal place.

THC and CBD are given in % dry weight of manicured mature flowering tops unless otherwise noted.

M = Male F « Female T = Trace « 0.1%) High THC Strains (Female > 0.5%)

SEED ORIGIN

GROWN IN

CONDITION

SEX

THC

CBD

Argentina

Argentina

Flowering

F

0.5

0.7

0.5

0.5

Chile

Canada

Immature

F

0.8

0.1

0.1

0.2

Gambia

Canada

Immature

F

1.0

0.1

0.7

0.1

India

Mississippi

Flowering

F

1.3

0.9

0.8

2.1

Japan

Canada

Immature

F

1.4

0.3

0.5

0.1

Immature

F

0.6

0.3

M

0.5

0.3

SEED ORIGIN

GROWN IN

CONDITION

SEX

THC

CBD

Japan

Japan

Flowering

F

4.8

-

Bracts

M

2.6

-

Flowering

F

1.9

-

Leaves

M

0.6

-

Flowering

F

1.2

0.2

M

1.4

0.2

Flowering

F

0.9

T

M

0.4

T

Flowering

F

2.1

-

M

0.4

-

Korea

Mississippi

Flowering

F

0.9

0.1

M

1.2

0.2

Mexico

Mississippi

Flowering

F

1.8

T

M

1.7

0.1

Flowering

F

4.0

0.4

M

3.0

0.2

Mexico

Mississippi

Flowering

F

1.0

0.1

M

1.2

0.3

Flowering

F

3.7

0.4

M

3.7

0.9

Netherlands

Canada

Flowering

F

1.4

0.2

M

0.3

0.1

Poland

Canada

Flowering

F

1.1

0.7

M

T

0.4

South Africa

Denmark

Immature

F

1.7

T

M

0.3

T

South Africa

Mississippi

Flowering

F

2.0

0.6

M

2.9

0.1

Sweden

Canada

Flowering

F

0.9

0.6

M

0.1

0.6

SEED ORIGIN

GROWN IN

CONDITION

SEX

THC

CBD

Thailand

Mississippi

Flowering

F

2.5

0.4

-

M

2.4

0.2

Vietnam

Mississippi

Flowering

F

-

-

M

3.2

0.5

Intermediate Strains (F>0.6% THC; F > 0.8% CBD)

SEED ORIGIN

GROWN IN

CONDITION

SEX

THC

CBD

Czechoslovakia

Canada

Flowering

F

0.7

0.8

M

0.1

0.3

England

Canada

Flowering

F

0.6

1.5

M

0.1

0.4

Ethiopia

Mississippi

Flowering

F

-

-

M

1.3

3.1

Germany

Canada

Flowering

F

0.6

1.4

M

0.1

0.2

India

Canada

Flowering

F

0.6

0.7

M

0.3

0.3

Morocco

Mississippi

Flowering

F

0.7

0.7

M

0.2

0.4

Poland

Canada

Flowering

F

1.1

0.7

M

T

0.4

Rumania

Canada

Flowering

F

0.6

1.3

M

T

0.2

Sweden

Canada

Flowering

F

0.9

0.6

M

0.1

0.6

Thailand

Mississippi

Flowering

F

1.4

2.4

M

1.9

2.2

Turkey

Mississippi

Flowering

F

2.8

1.9

M

-

-

Turkey

Canada

Flowering

F

1.3

1.3

M

0.2

0.4

SEED ORIGIN

GROWN IN

CONDITION

SEX

THC

CBD

USSR

Canada

Flowering

F

0.7

1.3

M

0.2

0.2

Yugoslavia

Canada

Flowering

F

0.6

1.0

M

T

0.2

High CBD Low THC Strains (F< 0.5% THC; F>0.6%CBD)

SEED ORIGIN

GROWN IN

CONDITION

SEX

THC

CBD

Canada

Canada

Flowering

F

0.2

1.2

M

0.4

0.2

Flowering

F

0.1

1.7

M

T

0.2

Flowering

F

T

2.0

M

T

0.4

Czechoslovakia

Canada

Flowering

F

0.5

3.2

M

0.1

0.5

Flowering

F

0.2

1.5

M

T

0.5

Flowering

F

T

1.2

M

T

0.2

England

Canada

Flowering

F

0.1

2.0

M

T

0.3

Flowering

F

0.2

1.1

M

T

0.3

France

Canada

Flowering

F

0.1

2.8

M

T

0.3

Flowering

F

T

1.9

M

0.1

0.9

France

Canada

Flowering

F

0.4

1.8

M

T

0.4

Germany

Canada

Flowering

F

0.5

1.3

M

0.1

0.2

SEED ORIGIN

GROWN IN

CONDITION

SEX

THC

CBD

Germany

Canada

Flowering

F

0.4 T

0.8 0.5

Flowering

F

0.1 T

2.7 0.6

Hungary

Canada

Flowering

F

0.5 T

1.5 0.1

Flowering

F

T T

1.6 0.1

India

Canada

Flowering

F

0.3 0.2

1.2 0.7

Ireland

Canada

Flowering

F

0.1 T

0.8 0.2

Israel

Canada

Flowering

F

0.2 0.2

1.0 0.2

Flowering

F

0.5 0.1

0.7 0.4

Italy

Canada

Flowering

F

0.1 T

1.9 0.2

Flowering

F

T T

2.8 0.3

Flowering

F

0.5 T

0.6 0.3

Lebanon

Lebanon

Flowering

F

0.2

2.8 1.6

Flowering

F M

0.4 0.6

0.3 0.7

Morocco

Mississippi

Flowering

F M

0.1 0.4

1.6 1.0

Netherlands

Canada

Flowering

F M

0.1 0.2

1.3 0.2

SEED ORIGIN

GROWN IN

CONDITION

SEX

THC

CBD

Netherlands

Canada

Flowering

F

0.4 T

2.1 0.2

Poland

Canada

Flowering

F

0.4 T

0.7 0.3

Flowering

F

0.2 T

1.7 0.3

Portugal

Canada

Flowering

F

0.2 T

1.3 0.4

Rumania

Canada

Flowering

F M

0.1 T

1.9 0.1

Spain

Canada

Flowering

F M

0.4 T

2.7 0.4

Sweden

Canada

Flowering

F

0.3 T

1.4 0.4

Flowering

F

0.4 T

2.2 0.4

Turkey

Canada

Flowering

F

T T

0.5 0.4

Flowering

F

0.1 T

0.8 0.4

USA (Illinois)

Canada

Flowering

F

0.1 0.1

0.3

USA (Kansas)

Kansas

Flowering

F

T T

0.9 0.3

USA (Iowa)

Canada

Flowering

F

0.1 0.1

1.0 0.6

USA (Minnesota)

Canada

Flowering

F

0.1 T

1.6 0.2

USSR

Canada

Flowering

F M

T T

0.6 0.3

SEED ORIGIN

GROWN IN

CONDITION

SEX

THC

CBD

USSR

Canada

Flowering

F

0.1

3.4

M

T

0.4

Flowering

F

0.4

1.6

M

0.1

0.2

Yugoslavia

Canada

Flowering

F

0.4

1.4

M

0.1

0.1

Flowering

F

0.2

0.2

M

0.1

0.5

Aberrant Data

SEED ORIGIN

GROWN IN

CONDITION

SEX

THC

CBD

Afghanistan

Mississippi

Flowering

F

2.1

0.2

M

2.6

4.6

Flowering

F

0.6

1.3

M

2.7

1.9

Czechoslovakia

Mississippi

Flowering

F

1.0

0.3

M

0.1

1.3

India

Mississippi

Flowering

F

2.7

T

M

0.1

2.2

Iran

Mississippi

Flowering

F

0.3

0.1

M

0.2

1.6

Manchuria

Mississippi

Flowering

F

2.0

1.9

M

1.5

T

Pakistan

Mississippi

Flowering

F

0.7

1.3

M

1.4

1.2

Peru

Mississippi

Flowering

F

2.1

T

M

T

0.5

Russia

Mississippi

Flowering

F

0.1

1.8

M

1.1

T

SEED ORIGIN

GROWN IN

CONDITION

SEX

THC

CBD

Thailand

Mississippi

Flowering

F

2.9

T

M

0.9

2.3

Flowering

F

1.6

1.2

M

1.7

T

Turkey

Mississippi

Flowering

F

0.4

0.8

M

1.6

2.8

SOURCE: P.S. Fetterman et al., "Mississippi Grown Cannabis sativa L.." Journal of Pharmaceutical Science 60 ( 1971 ) : 1246; J.H. Holley et al., "Constituents of Cannabis sativa L. XI," Journal of Pharmaceutical Science 64 (1975): 892; J.W. Fairbairn and J.A. Liebmann, "The Cannabinoid Content of Cannabis sativa L. Grown in England," Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 26 (1974): 413;A. Ohlsson etal., "Constituents of Male and Female Cannabis sativa." Bulletin on Narcotics 23 (1971 ): 29; E. Small and H. Beckstead, "Common Cannabinoid Phenotypes in 350 Stocks of Cannabis."Lloydia 36 (1973): 144.

SOURCE: P.S. Fetterman et al., "Mississippi Grown Cannabis sativa L.." Journal of Pharmaceutical Science 60 ( 1971 ) : 1246; J.H. Holley et al., "Constituents of Cannabis sativa L. XI," Journal of Pharmaceutical Science 64 (1975): 892; J.W. Fairbairn and J.A. Liebmann, "The Cannabinoid Content of Cannabis sativa L. Grown in England," Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 26 (1974): 413;A. Ohlsson etal., "Constituents of Male and Female Cannabis sativa." Bulletin on Narcotics 23 (1971 ): 29; E. Small and H. Beckstead, "Common Cannabinoid Phenotypes in 350 Stocks of Cannabis."Lloydia 36 (1973): 144.

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  • elen
    Do male and female cannabis plants have the same potency?
    3 months ago

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