It has always been a known fact that plants have different uses and were beneficial health wise. But due to the inability to do extensive research, their features and properties are largely not known and thus, they are not fully utilized.
Thankfully, much more is known today about some of these plants. In fact, the findings so far have been very positive and this is despite the fact that much more still needs to be done.
Information currently available has already aroused the interest of many, especially in the health and wellness sector. As a result, a multi- billion-dollar industry has sprouted around one of such plant.
We are referring to the hemp plant.
What Is It?
This is a derivation from the general cannabis plant known botanically as cannabis sativa. It is however, quite distinct from other species of cannabis because of its composition which is made up of a higher concentration of CBD (cannabidiol) and less of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
Its THC composition is such that it is not psychoactive. You can read more about it here.
This plant, whose growth and use became generally legal in the US in 2018, with the passing of the Farm Bill, is primarily grown for industrial purposes and asides its medicinal benefits, its uses are quite many. For example, it can be used in cloth making, plastics etc. It is also very eco-friendly.
Now, hemp is dioecious, meaning that there are those of them that have male reproductive parts and functions and those that have female parts and functions. There are equally those that have both parts and can on their own perform both functions. Of course, those ones are referred to as hermaphrodite.
Recognizing The Male Hemp
Obviously, farmers should want to be able to tell the difference between the various sexes there are, as it will largely affect their uses and functions.
Firstly, the distinction can be made when they are still seedlings. However, this distinction can only be made through DNA testing.
Secondly, the other way that this distinction can be made is when they have been planted. Between the fourth and the sixth week of its growth, a farmer should be able to tell its sex from looking at their nodes.
This is because, for those of the male sex, small pollen sack-like growths appear at their nodes. The females on the other hand grow bracts and with time, these bracts develop wispy hair-like growths. The function of these growths is to catch the pollen that the male releases.
The hermaphrodite, having both organs, would typically be able to perform both functions. You can find out more here: https://wayofleaf.com/cannabis/growing/is-your-cannabis-plant-male-or-female.
What Are Its Uses?
Most of the times, the male hemp is usually overlooked and discarded because of the popular notion that it is of no use. This notion is not entirely true, and this is because of the following reasons:
- It Is Useful for Breeding: This primarily is its function and it performs it very well. Additionally, it further bolsters a seed’s the genetic makeup since half of this genetic makeup will come from what was given during pollination. This results in better gene strength which is important because it shapes their growth, resilience and resistance to the environment and pests. The end result is a continued production of quality offspring.
- Hemp Fiber: All hemp plants produce fiber which is used in producing materials used for different manufacturing purposes. However, the difference is that the fiber gotten from the male plant is smoother, making it more appealing to manufacturers.
- Helps Enhance Your Garden: Generally, all cannabis plants produce an oil known as terpenes. This oil helps in repelling pests and diseases in your garden.
- Production of Concentrates: It a large amount of resin content which is extracted and used in the making of concentrates like BHO wax, hash oil, dabs etc.
- Produces CBD: Despite whatever may be said about it, it still produces CBD even if in low quantities.
- Healthy Juices: As with other cannabis plants, it can be used to make healthy and delicious drinks/juice.
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Obviously, the major reason why the male hemp plant is overlooked is because it is not as profitable as the female. Beyond that however, it also a bit problematic because, it has a very low lifespan which reduces its productivity before demise.
This doesn’t however mean that it should be discarded entirely. As has been shown above, it has its uses.