Female, male, potent or less – these are all aspects growers need to address and take into account in order to obtain good efficient quality crops. Harvest and timing are essential in the process. This article will address whether female Marijuana plants have any potency before flowering.
Experienced breeders know far off that not all plants are the same. And if you did not acquire feminized seeds, you will also have to pay attention to the differences in your crop so that you don’t have unexpected misfortunate turn-outs.
First, marijuana plants are either male or female. The differences between them, besides aspect, are the timeframe they need to grow old and develop, as well as their potency.
Potency designates the strength of the effects of the plant, be they psychoactive or physical, recreational or medical. Potency is in direct link with some factors – or, to be more precise, with the cannabinoids and terpenes content of the buds.
The main cannabinoids involved in this discussion are Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the compound responsible for the psychoactive results of the experience, and Cannabidiol or CBD, the non-psychoactive ingredient which acquires the medical features of Marijuana. As expected, CBD enhances the effects of THC. Terpenes are the compounds most present in flowers which give Marijuana taste and fragrance.
Male plants may develop a fair amount of cannabinoid content, but less than the female ones, age faster and may fertilize the female plants, thus reducing their efficiency. This is why most growers remove male plants from their crop after circa 1-3 weeks of growing.
Flowering Stage – The Plant’s Cotillion
The main stages of Marijuana’s life cycle are the following: germination, seedling stage, vegetative stage, flowering stage, harvest, and pruning. By far, the flowering stage is the most important and relevant, especially in terms of potency.
Flowering is the last stage of growing. If you are satisfied with the size they grew to, you can help induce the flowering stage. Usually, this happens in weeks 6-8.
Some growers help it with fertilizers, to stimulate buds to develop fully and decisively.
You can help the plants enter this stage by reducing the exposure to light. Ideally, plants will need to acquire the 50-50% amount of light and dark, that being 12 hours of light followed by 12 hours of dark. Some would argue that bright light is relevant to the flowering stage and that plants would appreciate LED lighting.
Growers are let know by plants when it is time to enter the flowering stage, as they produce a bigger amount of resin on the out-layer of leaves. This resin is quite high in THC content.
It is relevant to bear in mind that the potency of plants depends quite much on how long does the plant spend in its flowering stage.
Do Female Marijuana Plants Have Any Potency Before Flowering?
The largest content of THC is to be found in buds or flowers; so, the maximum content of THC will be found after the flowering stage is completed and well developed. There is a reason why experienced farmers will tell you to make sure you harvest on time, and this is it – to allow cannabinoids to mature and achieve full potential.
Harvest is quite tricky for growers who are new to this business; if you harvest too soon, you can trump its potency; if you harvest too late, the plants may develop an excessively strong taste and a narcotic effect, totally unwanted.
But cannabinoids can also be found in lesser amounts in sugar leaves, the smaller ones closer to the buds. They also develop a layer of thin resin and can contain THC. Yet, most growers stop the flowering stage when the plant develops trichomes, and reach the peak-potency established between 70 and 90% of the strain’s potential.
As a last resort, the early harvest may occur when the conditions are far from ideal. That is when your crop is exposed to rot. In this case, if you harvest only a few days before the due date, the potency losses will be minimal, but there will be some losses.
If you harvest too late, the flavor will go pungent and you win potency while you lose freshness and taste. But you might also lose potency, as THC transforms to CBN, and thus lose on both fronts.
The Bottom Line
Time is everything, and nothing falls out of time. Nothing about Marijuana, at least. Either you stick to the indications on the label which accompany your seeds, decide by the appearance of trichomes, the color of leaves or their curbing, you will know when flowering stage should end and when it is time to harvest.
Harvest should appear after the flowering stage is fully completed, the plants are mature enough, the cannabinoid levels are at their peak-potency and the THC levels reach up to 90% of their potential. Do not wait too long, but do not rush into things.
To answer the core question of this paper – do female Marijuana plants have any potency before flowering? The answer is yes, they do have certain potency before flowering. But without trichomes or resins, the plant may achieve 40% potency/THC level of what it can genetically achieve.
That means that smoking your Marijuana which was not permitted to properly close its flowering circle will not induce the psychedelic effects that you expect it to produce.