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Can you tell the sex of cannabis seeds?

If you didn’t know by now...girls rule in the world of weed. That’s because female plants are necessary for producing high-quality buds with high THC levels. In fact, unless a grower is breeding - male plants are typically discarded as soon as the sex of the plant presents itself. But, what if you didn’t have to wait for growth to tell the sex of cannabis seeds? There’s a common myth across the industry that you can identify the sex of cannabis seeds before they sprout. So, is it true? We set out for the answers, to find out.

Identifying A Seed’s Gender

Feminized, regular and feminized autoflowers are now widely available to purchase on the market today, however one question that continues to arise with growers beginning their crops is, can you tell the sex of cannabis seeds upon first sight? The quick answer is no. But, why? Basically, there’s no exterior signs that a seed is female vs. male - no matter what certain myths say.

Debunking Seed Gender Myths

Speaking of myths, the reason some growers think they can identify sex of cannabis seeds, is due in part to misinformation. Here are a few common myths that surround the sex of cannabis seeds, and how they’ve been debunked.


Contrary to popular belief (and what an old-fashioned chart may say) a seed’s shape, size, and color has no bearing on the actual sex of a seed. All seeds, female, regular, or autoflower, can vary in appearance, with no actual trait as an indicator of sex, whatsoever.

The Roll Test

Another common myth is known as the ‘roll test’. The same relic that states seeds can be identified by their appearance, states that female seeds will roll more easily across a table, than males. Overtime, we’ve learned that this test is clearly flawed and fails at determining the sex of cannabis seeds.


Another old growing fable, is that the environment of your room or growing area, can change the sex of a seed during germination/seedling. For now, the jury is still out on whether this is 100% true. What we do know about environments, and cannabis seeds’ sex, is if a plant is stressed due to off-balanced conditions, it can cause plants to hermaphrodite during growth.

How Can You Tell The Sex?

So, if you can’t tell the gender of a seed by just looking at it, or rolling are you supposed to tell the sex of cannabis seeds? Unfortunately for growers, you’ll just have to wait it out. The only answer to identifying your seed’s gender as early as possible, is waiting for it to show its sex during growth.

Most growers wait until the flowering stage to keep a careful eye on a plant’s sex. Without keeping a close eye, if you let males grow for too long in your space they can end up ‘breeding’ with the other females. This is detrimental to a crop, as it causes female plants to pop seeds themselves, diminishing the quality of the plant overall. Luckily, determining a seed’s sex in the early vegetative stages is possible.

If you’re anxious to know, one trick that some growers implement uses a technique that mimics light cycles from flowering. By placing a black bag over a small part of your veg plant you’ll trick the plant into thinking it’s time to flower. You can then check the sex of this small portion, before fully moving into its flowering stage.

Case Closed On Seeds & Gender

In growing, it’s all about learning and sometimes unlearning certain myths, tricks, or tips that you’ve been told. All in all, while cannabis is nothing new there’s still a lot to learn when it comes to specific questions like - can you tell the sex of cannabis seeds by looking at them? Thankfully, we were able to close the case on seeds and gender, by knowing there’s no way other than letting the plant flower to ultimately decipher sex of seeds.

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