Sexually Frustrated Female Cannabis Plants and High-THC Production

Cannabis has been a popular recreational substance for a long time, but the type of weed we consume today has changed dramatically from what our parents and grandparents were smoking decades ago. On average, cannabis available today is about 67% stronger than in the 1970s, and it grows faster and stays smaller in size. Cultivators no longer need 9 full months and space large enough to grow 12-foot-tall plants with buds that only had about 3% THC, if they were lucky. But what factors led to these rapid changes in growth and potency? As it turns out, the secret to getting stronger weed is sexually frustrated female cannabis plants.  

As a dioecious plant, yes, cannabis be either male or female, and yes, it can be sexually frustrated. What you’re smoking on right now are flowers from a female plant; and if your current stash is really dank and covered in sticky THC trichomes, then those buds came from a sexually deprived female.

Cannabis is such a fascinating plant and we continue to learn more about it every day. In addition to learning about the plant itself, we also enjoy exploring the wide array of products available on the market today. If you’re interested in trying fun products, rare cannabinoids, and new strains, make sure to subscribe to The CBD Flowers Weekly Newsletter, your top source for all things cannabis-related. If exotic products is what you want, such as Delta 8, Delta 10 THC, THC-O, & THCV make sure to subscribe below to Delta 8 Weekly, and enjoy from our exclusive deals.

Male vs Female Cannabis Plants

Female cannabis plants produce those large, resin-secreting, psychoactive buds. Females are the industry’s superstar because they’re the ones that produce the most cannabinoids. Anytime you buy weed or look at pictures of marijuana with flowers, you’re looking at female plants.

Male cannabis plants do not grow flowers. Instead, they develop pollen sacs around the nodes and tips of the branches, with which they can pollenate any nearby female plants. When female plants are pollinated, they begin to produce seeds, but since no one wants to smoke low-THC schwag with seeds in it, the males are usually thrown out pretty early.

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On the public side of the cannabis market, females get all the glory. However, when we look more at the botany behind the bud, male plants have some very important functions as well. Like humans, when a female plant is pollinated, half of the genetic makeup of the seeds produced will come from the male plant. Aside from potency and flavor, many other important characteristics can be passed on from male plants including growth rate, bud size and shape, resistance to mold and pests, and general resilience.

The buds we prefer to consume are seedless female plants with good genetics, referred to as “sinsemilla”, which means “without seeds” in Spanish. To ensure that plants will be sinsemilla females, growers can used feminized seeds or grow clones by replanting small clippings from their existing plants.

How To Tell The Difference

At first, you won’t be able to. Once your plants are roughly 4-6 weeks old and entering the flowering stage, you can start looking for “pre-flowers”. Cannabis pre-flowers are comparable to sex organs, and the females’ look quite different from the males’.

To determine their sex, you’ll need to look between the plant’s nodes (where the leaves and branches extend out from the stalk). Males will have pollen sacs to help spread pollen to the female plants, and females develop two bracts and hair-like stigmas to catch the pollen. Click here for a great guide with photos to help you more easily determine sex.

Female Preflowers
Male pollen sacs

Sexually Frustrated Females

Back in the 1970s, cannabis growers made a game-changing cultivation discovery: isolating female plants produced extra potent flowers. When females are pollinated, they halt resin/THC production and begin producing seeds. However, when the sexes are separated, females do not get pollinated and thus, they don’t produce seeds and ramp up the resin production. Sinsemilla weed, on average, has a THC content around 6-10% higher than seeded strains.

Simply put, this cultivation method results in ‘sexually frustrated’ female plants. It’s strange, but it works, and the reason for this is because cannabis is one of the few plant species that elicits a physical response to prolonged virginity. Meaning, the longer she feels ‘sexually deprived’, or the longer pollination is put off, the larger and more resinous her sex organs (flowers) become.

Some growers would go so far as to say their plants are somewhat ‘masochistic’, in addition to being horny. Apparently, when the flowers begin to form, some plants will repeatedly bend their branches to the point of almost breaking, a process that helps facilitate resin production in the buds. As one popular Redditor so eloquently put it, “you’re all high on horny plant vaginas.” It’s strangely accurate.

Cannabis Resin, Pollination, and THC Production

Cannabis resin is a rich brown, sticky, gooey substance found on the flowers and leaves of the plant. It’s similar to tree sap, but the main distinction between the two is that cannabis resin is held together by fatty structures called trichomes. These are the plant’s resin glands that contain THC, CBD, terpenes, flavonoids, and other therapeutic cannabinoids and compounds.

To us, trichomes are an amazing and delicious plant byproduct that offers endless medicinal and recreational benefits; but to the cannabis plant, trichomes are one of its most important defense mechanisms. As cannabis flowers develop, they are vulnerable to so much harmful external stimuli such as pests, infections, herbivores, damaging UV rays, and pollution. In the wild, trichomes offer a certain level of protection from all of these things.

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Additionally, cannabis resin aids in seed production by catching pollen from the male plants. One male plant can produce an estimated 350,000 pollen grains, and cannabis pollen is airborne so a little bit can go a very long way. As a matter of fact, a study published in 2000 found that cannabis pollen made up just under 36% of total airborne pollen counts in Midwest states during harvest months. This is why it’s important to remove the male plants from the grow area as soon as you determine the sex.

The good news is, you don’t have to go through this process every time you want high-THC, seedless flower. Realistically, isolating your female plants would only be necessary if you’re using the male’s genetics to create new strains. To skip the pollination process, a modern grower can either buy already feminized seeds, or use a clone from an existing female plant.

Hermaphroditic Plants

Cannabis is a bit of a rarity because only about 6% of flowering plants are dioecious. However, on rare occasions, hermaphroditic weed plants containing both male and female parts are known to occur. In general, most plants are hermaphroditic, but this is not very common for cannabis. Sometimes, hermaphroditic cannabis plants can self-pollinate, but they usually produce seeds, lower levels of THC, and they can pass on hermaphroditic genes, so they’re not ideal. Also, true hermaphrodites produce sacs that need to rupture.

There are two types of hermaphrodite plants: those that develop both sexual organs (buds and pollen sacs), and those that develop anthers. Anthers are oval-shaped, pollen-producing sacs found at the end of the stamen. Some growers call them “bananas” because of their elongated appearance.

When cannabis plants turn hermaphroditic it’s sometimes referred to as “herming out”. This is usually a result of excessive environmental stress such as damage to the plant’s physical structure, bad weather, disease, and/or nutrient deficiencies. Bad genetics and previous hermaphroditic development can also be a risk factor. Basically, if you notice any pollen sacs or anthers, get that plant away from your females ASAP.

Final Thoughts on Female Cannabis Plants, Sexual Frustration, and THC Production

To reiterate, if you want big, potent buds that are covered in those flavorful, cannabinoid-filled trichomes, the key is sexually frustrated female plants. Cannabis plants basically live to be pollinated and produce more plants, so when pollination doesn’t occur, the female plant begins to overcompensate by creating bigger flowers with thicker resin.

The fact that cannabis plants are dioecious and respond in such complex ways to sexual stimulation (or lack of it), really makes them even more relatable. We are so incredibly connected to the universe around us which makes it that much more important to understand the complexities of other living creatures.

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Demystifying the Dry Ice Kief Separation Method

The primary goal of any extraction method is to separate the cannabinoid-rich resin of the cannabis plant from the inert plant matter. In the dry ice kief separation process, dry CO2 literally freezes the resin glands on the plant, making them easy to shake loose from foliage.These frozen glands fall through a 120- to 220-micron mesh sieve and are collected in a container below.

Done properly, CO2 extraction is exceptionally efficient, and the most common method of small-scale CO2 extraction is dry-ice separation.

A Few Notes on Dry Ice

Dry ice is actually solidified CO2 gas.  It’s super cold, because the freezing point of CO2 is very low, and it must be kept in specialized freezers that are even colder.

When not kept in a frozen state, dry ice doesn’t melt — it “sublimes” or “sublimates.” That means it transforms directly from a solid to a gas without going through a liquid state. This unique feature, along with its super-cold temperature, makes it ideal for CO2 separation.

As a safety note, remember that dry ice is so cold that it can cause frostbite on contact, so always handle with gloves and wear eye protection.

Getting Started

The following step-by-step technique is excellent for processing and preserving large quantities of leaf and small buds that might otherwise go to waste. In simple experiments, this method yields 15 to 18 percent of the source material’s weight in the final product —kief.

As with any kief or concentrate, that final product is contingent on the original buds. Resinous buds make the best kief. Lower-quality leaf and buds make lower-quality kief. The final product can be of many grades, but the first few shakes will always yield the highest quality. These smaller sieves (120, 160, etc.) let less green matter through. Larger mesh (200, 220, etc.) lets a lot through!

And always remember to shake over a large, flat mirror or large, smooth surface. Such an area makes it easy to scrape up kief.

Making Dry-Ice Kief

 Step 1: Place a few chunks of dry ice directly into a container. A can would work. Add about 3 times as many leaves and small buds to the container and let the pieces of dry ice mix with the chilled cannabis so it freezes the resin glands. The cannabis should be as intact as possible, so don’t grind it up.

Step 2: Use a Bubble Bag (or something similar with a 160-micron mesh sieve) to cover the opening of the container. The sieve end of the bag should be secured so it is pulled taut over the opening of the container.

Step 3: Holding the container right-side-up, shake the CO2 cannabis mixture in the can so the chunks of dry ice break up and freeze the supercooled cannabis.

Step 4: Turn the container upside down so the sieve is facing the mirror below. Shake the container for a few seconds or up to 5 minutes. During this time white vapor should emerge from the container as the CO2 sublimes and resin glands slide through the sieve onto the mirror.

The first couple of shakes you’ll get top-quality resin glands. The resulting powder progressively turns to green leaf matter. Shake the container a few times so that the highest-quality kief passes through the sieve. Collect this kief before progressing to the next grade. Repeat process as many times as desired and keep separate jars for different potency grades

Step 5: Remove any remaining pieces of dry ice. Scrape kief still stuck to the sieve and the inside of the container onto the mirror. Scrape all this kief into a pile and store it in a glass container to use for cooking. This hash is lower quality and contains contaminants, but the cannabinoids are concentrated in the final product when you cook with it.

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You’ve Grown It, Now Own It: How to Master Drying & Curing Cannabis

dried and cured cannabis flower buds burn evenly and have a smooth, rich taste.
When smoked, the embers have an even glow and enter the body smoothly. When
vaporized, there should be no apparent “green” taste.

flower buds are dried too quickly, chlorophyll and other pigments, starch and
nitrates or other fertilizer salts are trapped within plant tissue, making it
burn unevenly and taste unpleasantly “green.” If buds are dried too slow, or not at all, they rot.

Gardeners can lose some or all of their crop to poor drying and curing cannabis techniques. Here’s how to do it right:


Drying converts 75% or more of a freshly harvested plant into water vapor and other gases and converts carbohydrates to simple sugars. Drying also converts chlorophyll and other pigments so that no “green” residuals remain.

can harvest an entire plant, individual branches or strip flower buds from
branches to dry. When stems are severed, the transport of fluids within the
plant continues, but at a much slower rate. The natural plant processes slowly
come to an end as the plant dries. The outer cells are the first to dry, but
fluid still moves from internal cells to supply moisture to outer cells, which
are dry. When the drying and curing processes occur properly, plants dry evenly
throughout. Removing leaves and large stems upon harvest speeds drying;
however, moisture content within the “dried” flower
buds, leaves and stems can become uneven.

time depends upon temperature, humidity and bud density. Ideal temperature is
60-70°F and the best humidity range for drying
is 45-55%. Most flower buds will be dry enough in three to five days before
passing to the curing process, but they may take longer. It can take up to two
weeks before all chlorophyll — the stuff that gives the “green” taste — has dissipated from
foliage. Big, fat, dense flower buds can take three to four days longer to dry
than smaller buds. Gently squeeze buds after they have been drying for a few
days to check for moisture content. Bend stems to see if they are dry. If the
stem breaks rather than folds, it is ready to cure. The bud should be dry to
the touch but not brittle. The bud should burn well enough to smoke when dry.


after plants, branches or buds have dried on screens or been suspended in a
drying room for five to seven days and appear to be dry, they still contain
moisture inside. This moisture affects taste, fragrance and cannabinoid content
(potency). Curing will remove this excess moisture and all it contains.

Curing makes buds uniformly dry and pleasant to consume, and preserves natural cannabinoids and terpenes.

after drying helps remove any remaining chlorophyll, other pigments, latent
fertilizer salts and so on that have accumulated in flower buds, leaves and
stems. If dried too quickly, flower buds retain more chlorophyll and have a “green” taste, and when vaporized
or smoked are harsh on the pallet and often burn too hot. For some, curing is not
essential. In fact, some medical patients prefer the often minty flavor of
uncured cannabis.

also allows cannabis to fully dry so that mold does not grow when it is stored.
Well-cured flower buds are soft and pliable but dry inside. Flower buds should
feel like they are dry and only the dry pliable foliage is holding resin onto
stems. Here’s how to cure bud:

Gently place “dry”
flower buds in an airtight container. Clear and opaque turkey bags are popular.
So are food-grade sealable plastic buckets. There are also bags that reflect
heat and are airtight (when properly sealed) and infrared-proof, which protects
them from heat.

Write the date on the containers and place in a cool, dry, dark place. Moisture inside buds will migrate from the center of the stem outward. Check the container after two to four hours to see if buds feel different. Gently squeeze a couple of buds to see if they feel moister now, but be careful, resin glands bruise easily.

Open the drying container two to three times a day for the first seven
days to release moisture. Take a whiff the instant you open the container. The
fragrance should be sweet and somewhat moist. Close the container quickly. If
necessary, remove buds from jar for a short time to inspect for mold and

After the first week, open
containers once or twice a week for a quick whiff. Do not open too many times
or the slow-curing process will stop. Some gardeners cure flower buds slowly
for six months or longer. However, after two to three weeks they should be
fully cured and remain fresh, firm and pliable. Flower buds can be sealed in
containers and stored.

Things to Avoid

Light — especially ultraviolet (UV) rays from natural sunlight — heat and friction hasten biodegradation of resin glands and cannabinoids. Do not place dried cannabis in hot automobile glove compartments, and keep it away from heat vents and so forth. Friction and rough handling can bruise and rupture resin glands. Even with proper drying and curing, brutal handling of harvested cannabis will diminish cannabinoid content.

TELL US, have you ever grown cannabis?

Originally published in Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

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