Cannabis plants come in 2 basic varieties – male and female. There are also hermaphrodite cannabis plants, but we’ll save those for another discussion. Historically, female plants have been known for their potent THC, and male plants are mostly known as a nuisance unless you’re trying to create seeds or cross breed. This is because male cannabis plants produce the pollen necessary to create seeds. Most growers get rid of male plants as soon as they can so it doesn’t ruin the crop as seeds are seen as undesirable to cannabis smokers.
So, we already know female plants are best for smoking, but this doesn’t satisfy the curiosity of whether or not you would get any benefit from smoking the males. Let’s dive right in.
Do Male Cannabis Plants Contain THC or other Cannabinoids?
The quick and dirty answer is yes, male plants do contain some cannabinoids including THC. This isn’t a new finding either. A relatively popular article was written by A. Ohlsson et al. back in 1971. Of course, cannabis has changed a lot since 1971, but here’s another study was done in 2009 which agrees with the finding from the 70s.
So, since male plants are known to contain THC does that mean they can get you high. The quick answer is yes, but it’s going to take much more male plant material to get high than it would if it were female. For comparison, male buds typically contain slightly more cannabinoids than female sugar leaves.
Can You Smoke Pollen From Male Plants?
The term pollen has created a bit of confusion among cannabis users because it’s used differently. Some people refer to trichomes as pollen. This is not a technically true statement, but that hasn’t stopped the popularity of pollen presses which are used for trichomes and not actual pollen.
When I talk about pollen I’m referring to the little yellow particles that plants produce in order to encourage fertilization. Now that we’re on the same page the question still remains – can it get you high. The answer actually surprised me!
Apparently, the pollen does contain very small amounts of THC. This was discovered by M. Paris et al. in their research paper, The Constituents of Cannabis sativa Pollen. This paper was written back in 1975 so this isn’t new information, but it was new to me. If it has THC, then, in theory, you should be able to get high if you smoke enough of it. With that said, I do not know the implication of smoking pollen so I want to go on record as saying I advise against it.
Why would someone want to smoke pollen in particular? I have no idea. I think the important question is how and why do you have a stash of cannabis pollen sitting around? These are the things that keep me up at night.
Making Hash, Edibles, or Cannabutter with Male Plants
Since male plants contain smaller amounts of THC and other cannabinoids you would have to smoke a lot of it. This may put a strain on your respiratory system which is why concentrating it down may be a better solution. You can make hash, oil concentrates, edibles (cannabutter or oil) in the same way that you would use sugar leaves from a female plant.
You can search online and find hundreds of tutorials and recipes for working with sugar leaves or trim. Follow the same instructions, but substitute your male plants.
What To Do With Male Plants (Conclusion)
If you’re reading this and thinking, “It’s probably better to just smoke female buds”, then you and I are on the same page. For the most part, male plants a nuisance which should be eliminated from crops in order to prevent female plants from developing seeds.
However, there are still some good uses for male plants. Breeding and intentional seed production are probably the best and most widely adopted uses for male plants. Other uses include processing into raw juice.