THC or CBD is naturally found in the buds of female marijuana flowers. That is why growers try to grow females without mixing any males in the bunch so that they do not get pollinated accidentally that will make you harvest seeds instead of buds. If you’re not planning on harvesting seeds for planting or selling, this could spell disaster.
This is the reason why most growers today opt to plant autoflower feminized cannabis seeds in order to secure that there is no possibility of having a male plant that shall mature, develop pollen sacs and naturally pollinate the female plants around it. A single male plant can pollinate dozens or maybe hundreds of female plants. Pollinated buds are about to produce seeds by being pollinated by pollen from a male plant by natural means such as insects or wind scattering or by artificial means such as controlled pollinated by the cultivator.
Pollination is the natural way for marijuana and plants in general to reproduce. When fully developed, male marijuana plants produce pollen sacs which will pollinate the female buds. Pollen is most probably known to stick to insect bodies such as bees and butterflies transferring it from the male to the female.
Growers may also do controlled pollination by harvesting the pollen from pollen sacs. This harvested pollen could be stored and selectively brush into the female plants you wish to pollinate which are about 2-3 weeks into its flowering stage.
Pollen may naturally scatter by air too. This is how accidental pollination happens. A single male plant could easily pollinate an entire batch of female plants in an indoor planting area due to the air circulation in your greenhouse or growing area. No matter how small or big your growing area is, a single male plant could easily pollinate your entire crop.
IS POLLINATION GOOD OR BAD?
Unless you are trying to harvest seeds for planting or selling, pollination is bad for your crop. Pollinated buds are no longer that same as non-pollinated buds. It is the non-pollinated buds that are harvested for their high THC or CBD content. This change is brought about by the hormonal and physical changes in the plant that make it spend most of its energy and nutrients in the production of seeds instead of the compound THC and CBD which are looked after for the use of marijuana recreationally or medically.
Pollinated marijuana buds taste and smell bad and smoking them is literally smoking garbage. It may not make you sick but prepare for a bad day with a headache or sore throat. THC and CBD are also minimal in pollinated buds making them have 33 percent less of these beneficial chemicals in cannabis.
There is no way to consume pollinated buds but marijuana seeds are known to release THC and CBD by roasting making it ideal for eating but not smoking.
WHY DO YOU NEED TO DETECT POLLINATION OF YOUR CROP?
Once your crop is pollinated, there really is no way back but it should warn you early enough that you have a bad batch for you to start over again. Detecting pollination early on is much better than knowing about it only during harvest time which will truly be frustrating unless you are harvesting seeds of course.
Knowing early on that your plants have been pollinated will make you rethink your strategy such as switching to planting feminized seeds instead of the regular seeds.
SIGNS OF CANNABIS POLLINATION
Among the signs of a pollinated female plant is that is bracts become larger. Bracts are small plant parts that look like leaves and serve as a form of protection for the female reproductive parts of the marijuana plant. This is where the buds appear.
A non-pollinated marijuana plant will dedicate its energy and nutrients in developing more buds that are harvested for their THC and CBD content but the developing seed will make the plant divert these causing changes in the chemical and physical processes in the plant.
You may also check for seeds in the bract by using a tweezer. If there are seeds, then it may already be too late as the whole plant or the whole batch plants may have developed seeds, as well as plants, develop at the same rate most of the time.
The color of the pistil hairs also change. They become darker in color or red sometimes when they are pollinated. Pistils are the female organs of a flower, comprising the stigma, style, and ovary.
There is no easy way to determine whether your plant is male or female except by waiting for its pre-flowering stage. The females will show white hairs in their nodes or the area between the stalk and the stem while males do not. Males develop pollen sacs instead. It takes about four to six weeks for seeds to develop but once the bud is pollinated there is no going back.