Hermaphrodite weed is weed from a hermaphrodite marijuana plant often just called a hermie.  That means a marijuana plant which has both male and female sexual organs.  Here are some commonly-asked questions about hermaphrodite weed, along with the answers to them. 

Can you smoke hermaphrodite weed? 

In principle, yes you can.  In practice, it’s unlikely to be a very satisfying experience for you.  Hermaphrodite weed is notoriously low quality, plus there’s usually very little of it.  If you don’t want to smoke it and don’t want to waste it, you could try using it for cannabis topicals.  It would probably be decent enough for beauty treatments. 

Why do marijuana plants hermie? 

There are two main reasons why growers end up with hermaphrodite weed.  The first is genetics.  The second is stress.  In reality, the two are closely linked.  Some strains are more sensitive than others.  Therefore, they are more likely to react badly to stressful situations.  Robust strains need less tender, loving care.  Even they, however, have their limits.  Give them too much punishment and you’ll wind up with hermaphrodite weed. 

How can you avoid hermaphrodite weed?

Here are our six top tips for avoiding hermaphrodite weed. 

 Be very careful about what seeds you buy 

Always buy your seeds from reputable seed banks.  These will flag up strains which are only suitable for experienced growers.  They will also sell healthy seeds.  You need healthy seeds if you want to stand a chance of growing healthy plants.  If in doubt about either the strain or the seed bank, look for independent reviews. 

Be scrupulous about ventilation 

Good ventilation is essential to healthy marijuana plants.  Poor ventilation can lead to all kinds of problems, including hermaphrodite weed.  Good ventilation starts with giving your plants enough space.  That includes space to spread outwards as well as upwards.  This will allow them to get plenty of light and to be cooled by the air.  Fresh air is your single, biggest defence against the dreaded mould.  Effective spacing will let growers reach their plants easily for feeding, watering and pruning.  Last but not least, it will make it harder for diseases and pests to spread from plant to plant. 

Give enough light but avoid light burn 

If you have the budget, then LED lights could be a good investment.  Their headline benefit is that they are very economical.  Another benefit is that they run very cool.  This means that they are much less likely to cause light burn.  Light burn is known as one of the main causes of hermaphrodite weed. 

Watch the temperature in your grow room 

This is another argument for LEDs.  Cool lights help to stop grow rooms from overheating.  Overheated grow rooms are another reason why plants hermie. 

Be careful with the food and water 

Obviously you want to give your marijuana plants enough food and water.  Remember, though, that you can always compensate for underfeeding/watering.  Overfeeding/watering, by contrast, can be terminal.  If it doesn’t actually kill your plant it can easily hermie it. 

Handle your plants with care 

Tip number one is to put your seedlings into decently-sized containers.  Then they’ll have all the room they need to grow without being stressed.  If you transplant an adult plant, you risk damaging the roots.  This can lead to it hermying.  For similar reasons, be careful when plant training.  The idea is to apply just enough stress.  Apply to little and you’ve wasted your time.  Apply too much and you could wind up with a hermie on your hands.  Lastly, pruning should stop when flowering starts.  You might do some trimming in the early flowering stages.  After that, however, leave well alone. 

How do you spot a hermie before it’s too late? 

You can spot hermies by keeping an eye on how your plants develop.  Even if you use feminized seeds, it’s a good idea to learn the basics of sexing marijuana plants.  That means that if one of your “female” plants hermies, you’ll be able to spot the signs quickly.  You must treat a hermie as a male plant.  Get it well away from your true females as soon as possible.  If the pollen sacks burst, your females will be fertilized.  Then they’ll concentrate on producing seeds rather than buds.

Here’s how to tell the difference between female cannabis plants and male cannabis plants.  

Female marijuana plants have:

  • Slower growth 
  • More leaves 
  • Pistils (white hairs) 

Male marijuana plants have: 

  • Quicker growth 
  • Fewer leaves
  • Pollen sacks

    Male, Female, Hermaphrodite plants

If you’re growing seeds of one strain and you started them at the same time, then looking at their growth rate can tell you a lot.  Then you can take a closer look at the plants to double-check your first thoughts.  It’s really helpful to have a magnifying device for this.  Pollen sacks are hard to see without one.  Early pistils are even harder to spot.  In practical terms, however, it’s really the pollen sacks that matter.  These mean that a plant is either a true male or a hermie.  In either case, you’re going to need to get rid of it. 

If you’re still not sure about the sex of your plants, you have a couple of options.  Option one is to take some photographs and post them online.  For this, you’re going to need a decent camera.  If you have a really good mobile phone, then the camera might just do the job.  If at all possible, though, it’s better to use a proper camera, with a zoom lens. 

Option two is to clone your plants.  This is actually easier than it might sound.  Just take cuttings and pot them for a few days.  Then switch your lighting over to the flowering cycle.  Once your plants actually start flowering, it will become much easier to tell which plants are male and which are female.  Of course, for this to work, you will need to be 100% sure of which cutting came from which plant.  If you only have a few plants, you can use different colours of wool or thread to match them.