Cannabis is an annual plant that belongs to the family “Cannabaceae”. It has many fibers in its stems and it is an annual plant. While cannabis has many benefits, it is also used in the production of many products. Cannabis leaves are mostly used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. Not only the leaves but also the seeds of this plant are being evaluated. First of all, it is necessary to distinguish between cannabis, known as marijuana and used in drug production, and industrial cannabis which is used in many sectors. Therefore, it is essential to know the difference between female and male cannabis plants.
Although the cannabis plant has different characteristics as male and female plants, the entire Cannabis family is considered bad, as if it was a crime plant, without proper discrimination and evaluation, due to the use of the “tetra-hydro-cannabinol (THC)” substance contained in the female plant in marijuana production. Research shows that the “tetra-hydro-cannabinol (THC)” substance found in female cannabis can be used as a drug raw material in safe hands and can cure many diseases, although it is forbidden as a product of the irresponsibility to abuse the good that comes from the evil yeast of mankind and endangers generations. Due to this substance in its content, it is not possible to prevent the abuse of the plant.
Thus, the recklessness and indolence of human beings again strike itself. Unfortunately, this has caused the name of the entire cannabis family to be bad, affecting the “Industrial Cannabis”, which does not contain much THC. However, cannabis, which has many benefits ranging from agricultural and environmental benefits to industrial benefits, from its use as food to its use as a medicine, is a plant that should be evaluated in the agricultural system. While yarn, weaving, and fabric are made from its fibers, paper can also be made from the pulp part. This plant, which is the oldest source of vegetable raw materials in its history, is a plant that was given importance to its cultivation for clothes, ropes, etc., which were needed by the army and navy, also in the ancient empires.
Cannabis is an important cultivated plant grown industrially for fiber, seed, and similar purposes. Experts report that the number of varieties of industrial cannabis, which has very little drug properties, cannot be benefited by those who want to produce it for drug purposes. It is known that cannabis is produced in certain regions and under certain conditions, subject to government permission. However, there is a gap in this area. It has become obligatory to fill this gap under the leadership of the state, with the cooperation of the university and the private sector in a way that does not allow abuse and to evaluate the useful aspects of this plant in the industrial field.
While the banned part of the plant is female cannabis containing tetra-hydro-cannabinol (THC) substance, it has entered the target frame of the whole plant family and thus fell out of favor in the species and cultivars used in the industry. The ban began in 1937 when the American government banned the cultivation of cannabis strains with a high psychoactive component (THC). In 1961, hemp cultivation was banned except for industrial uses, and it was spread worldwide by the United Nations. The debates around the world that the ban was made scientifically by economic and political interest groups have never ended. Despite this, it is known that the species containing this substance are produced in some countries for the purpose of pharmaceutical production. As a result, although the banned species are those used to make cannabis and contain the substance tetra-hydro-cannabinol (THC), other species have been overshadowed by this ban.
Natural cannabis contains small amounts of THC and can therefore never be turned into a drug. In addition, the hemp fibers obtained from the field are used in the textile industry, and the seeds in the cosmetics sector, as well as the woody stem in the production of paper and fabric. Linen clothes, whose main ingredient is hemp, are in demand in the world due to their usefulness, health, lightness, and non-sweating. It contributes to the production of paper, fabric and food products, industrial and special energy production and at the same time, it is considered to be the only natural resource that feeds the soil while cleaning the air; Cannabis, which is used in books, shampoo, and automotive industry, was used about a hundred years ago as well as in the coating of some recent cars.
On the other hand, it is among the findings that cannabis is one of the rare plants that can be grown in unfavorable soils and swampy areas, and that its roots sprouting in the depths of the soil increase the fertility by feeding the soil. In addition, while fiber plants such as cotton can be wasted up to 50% without being harvested from the field, it has been determined that hemp does not. Considering that many trees are cut for paper making, and if it is considered that pulp equivalent to 4 decares of wood is obtained from 1 decare of hemp, you can understand the importance of this better.
Differences Between Male and Female Cannabis
Industrial cannabis doesn’t just cover male cannabis plants. Just like all cannabis strains, industrial hemp can be either male or female. Female plants are those that reach full maturity and are harvested at the end of the season. Male plants die shortly after they complete pollination. Industrial hemp grown for grain requires male plants to produce seeds. Cannabis is one of the oldest sources of vegetable raw materials in human history. Usually, cannabis has a male and female plant. 30-35% male plants and 65-70% female plants emerge from the sown seed. Therefore, the producer does not have the option of selecting a male or female seed when planting the seed in the field.
In the plant kingdom, the sexes cannot be distinguished by appearance. It is necessary to look at their DNA in order to be distinguished. Cannabis is one of the few plants that can be physically distinguished between male and female. The part of the pleasure shown as the reason for its ban is found only in the buds of the unfertilized female plant. The THC substance known as marijuana has been used for pleasure and religious rituals since humanity existed.
- Cannabis is the only plant that can be distinguished between male and female. Cannabis products used for medicinal or recreational purposes are obtained from the female plant.
- After the seeds mature, the female plant begins to die, and at this point, the buds obtained from the female plant are dried to be used for recreational purposes, or CBD / THC oil is obtained.
- There are some differences between male and female cannabis plants. For this reason, you need to plant and monitor its growth in order to determine its sex, and the plant will reach maturity between 2 and 6 weeks, where the sex can be understood.
- Another noteworthy element is that male plants have wider and thicker stems. Often times, a male plant grows faster than female plants. Male plants do not form buds like females but grow in small knots. Female plants also have round knots on their stems, but there are growing hairs on them. They can be more V-shaped than round to let them know they’re not male.
How to Distinguish Male Cannabis and Female Cannabis?
Male cannabis plants have a thick stem and a long height to deliver their pollen to the female cannabis plant, whereas female cannabis plants have a wider but not elongated stem to support their flowers. The female cannabis plant has more leaves than the male plant, but it should be remembered that the plant should be at least 4-6 weeks old to distinguish between female and male cannabis plants. The cannabis plant has two main stages of life, the growth phase, and the flowering phase, the growth phase starting from the moment the cannabis seed sprouts and lasts for about 4-6 weeks depending on the type of the seed, then the flowering phase begins and the plant begins to show signs of pre-flowering.
It is incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to determine the sex of cannabis during the growth phase, so a grower has to wait until signs of pre-flowering appear, which is the signaling point between the growth and flowering phase. Capturing male plants in this short period and separating them from female plants can minimize any future problems. After 4 or 6 weeks of growing, it’s time to spot your cannabis plant. For male cannabis plants, check the joints in the stem. Small balls growing at the joints of the stem (where other branches meet the trunk) are the main indicator of male plants. These balls produce pollen and cause insemination in female cannabis plants. In female plants, there is a tufted area called pistil in the joint areas, but male plants have round and tasseled balls in this area.
We mentioned above that the cannabis plant can be male or female, but apart from this we will show you ways to differentiate the bisexual cannabis plant, which is a condition caused by excessive stress of the plant and where the plant has both reproductive organs that the plant makes for the survival of its species. The hermaphrodite cannabis plant develops both male and female reproductive organs. When the cannabis plant is hermaphrodite, they can reproduce on their own, which means the female plant will be inseminated and have a lower THC ratio.
To prevent the hermaphrodite plants from reproducing themselves, carefully cut off the male genitals formed at the joints, using a gentle pollen sac between two fingers. It is not possible to distinguish the sex or species of cannabis from cannabis seed, only if the female plants are hermaphrodite as we mentioned above, all the seeds produced by the plant will form female plants because they do not contain the male gene.
Male Cannabis: Industrial Hemp
Cannabis fiber is obtained from the residue of the male Cannabis Sativa plant. It grows easily, can reach a height of 4 m. Cannabis, which is a very durable plant, can grow without the use of agricultural chemicals. Until a few years ago, cannabis production was banned in many countries or limited production under a state monopoly. In the last few years, US states have rapidly begun legalizing industrial cannabis production. Many European and Asian countries are following this trend. Hemp is a product that can be used in many sectors from textile, food, pharmaceuticals to automotive, and while most of its counterparts are chemical and only under the monopoly of countries with a certain underground source or biochemical technology, industrial hemp is a type of agriculture and can be applied to many countries.
Hemp fiber is a “bast fiber” bast fiber grown outside of an industrial hemp plant. Hemp fiber becomes ready to use by separating from the hemp strand. Hemp fibers are long, strong, and durable, are about 70% cellulose, and contain low levels of lignin (around 8-10% on average). The fiber diameter is between 16 and 50 microns. Hemp fiber has high thermal conductivity, good dye retention, resistance to mildew, blocking ultraviolet light, and natural anti-bacterial properties. Shorter, woody core fibers contain high levels of lignin. Long hemp fibers can be twisted and woven to make clear, linen-like fabrics used in clothing, household textiles, and flooring.
In China, hemp is treated with the addition of adhesive for processing on linen or cotton machines. Blending with cotton, linen, silk, and wool gives the hemp a soft feel while giving the product strength and durability. In Europe, hemp fiber is mainly used in the specialty paper industry – thanks to its low lignin content, it can be pulped using fewer chemicals than wood. Hemp fibers are also used in the automobile industry to reinforce molded thermoplastics.
The world’s leading cannabis producers are France, China, South Korea, and Chile. Cannabis is grown on approximately 15,000 hectares of land in the European Union. France alone provides half of the hemp and by-products needed by the European Union. The main producers in the European Union are France, Germany, and England. At the end of 2017, after Australia introduced regulations for industrial cannabis production, hemp production quickly started. The legalization of cannabis production in India is set to come to the fore within a few years as another major producer.
Between 2000 and 2006, hemp production began to increase worldwide, from 50,000 tons to 90,000 tons. Almost half of the production took place in China, production in the EU was 23,000 tons. China is a major hemp textile exporter, addressing the world, especially in Europe and North America, where the hemp clothing market is growing rapidly. China also exports hemp-based fiberboard. In the following years, we see that France became the largest hemp producer by overtaking China. As of 2018, France approached 50 thousand tons by catching the products produced in the world in 2000.
The legalization of industrial cannabis production, news about the growth rate, and durability of the plant caused many entrepreneurs to research this product. Indeed, industrial hemp attracts entrepreneurs as a product that appeals to different industries, from textiles to the pharmaceutical and automotive industry. However, those who intend to grow industrial hemp should research the necessary permits, procedures, and specifications without investing. The conditions required for contract production should be well studied. Cannabis growers should be prepared to conduct market research on:
- To understand the technical requirements for different hemp products, to study all stages of hemp production well, and to determine the appropriate production conditions.
- Having knowledge of organic or environmental certifications to determine the cost advantage for their business.
- To investigate well whether the demand for hemp products is environmentally and economically sustainable products and to study the future of the sector.
Although cannabis is a plant that can grow in different climatic conditions and geographies, cannabis or industrial cannabis that typically grows in the northern hemisphere is a variety of Cannabis sativa plant species grown specifically for industrial uses of their derived products. It is one of the fastest-growing plants. About 10,000 years ago, it was discovered by archaeological findings that it was used to make various objects by bending with usable fibers.
For over 3,000 years, hemp fibers have been known to be strong and durable and provide excellent raw materials for cord and rope. In ancient China and Egypt, cannabis was used medicinally for pain caused by gout, rheumatism, and other problems. The ancient Greeks utilized marijuana to help to treat inflammation-related problems. The Romans and Vikings used hemp fibers, especially in ship sailing. Both cultures relied heavily on sailing ships for exploration, colonialism, and trade. It is known that the Romans bought cannabis plants from the Middle East and they cultivated cannabis in Sicily.
Female Cannabis: Marijuana
The version of cannabis used in making marijuana is a female-sex cannabis plant and requires permission from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry for cultivation. It is a one-year, biennial, and an herbaceous plant which is grown in moderate climates, blooming with pale greenish flowers in July-August, cultivated and wild on the roadside, uncultivated areas, 50 cm – 3 m tall. It is also known as marijuana.
Cannabis is named by different names depending on its geography. In North America, cannabis is called marijuana. The reason he bears this Spanish name is that it came to the USA from Mexico. Also, its generic name in Jamaica is ganja. Cannabis is obtained by processing seedbeds (sprout) of female sexual plants of the Cannabis sativa / Cannabis indica species of the cannabis plant. It is a substance prepared by pressing and drying the leaves of the plant, and its active substance is formed by cannabinoids in the resin secreted from these parts. Among cannabinoids, 9-THC / 9-Tetrahydrocannabinol is the main active ingredient that is most abundant in cannabis and is responsible for the pharmacological effects of cannabis.
Parts of the female cannabis plant with high THC are dried in the shade, then crushed and sieved. The finely powdered substance obtained as a result of this sieving is called “powdered marijuana”, and the plate-shaped form obtained by heating and molding this powder is called “wedge cannabis”. The underlying cannabis is first quality cannabis when the finest powder is sieved through silk. Using a single sieve type to save time in the screening process (except for the producers’ own use) generally leads to the production of single quality cannabis resin.
The use of cannabis is as old as human history. Apart from its pleasant and intoxicating effect, it is used as a raw material in dozens of sectors. It used to be one of the components of medical drugs used in the treatment of psychiatric diseases in human history. It is widely used because of its pleasant effect. After the 1920s, America’s cotton production increased, hemp, the strongest competitor against cotton, to sell its own cotton to the world, after this date, a global ban on cannabis was imposed by the USA.
With the “Marijuana Tax Law” of 1937, it was decided that the marijuana trade could be officially carried out with only one tax stamp, and then to punish the merchants who did not issue any tax stamp and did not have any stamp and expel Mexican illegal workers with marijuana on them and punish the generally black society. By giving a reason, cannabis trade in the US is absolutely banned through the false activities of the cotton lobby. Louis Armstrong, who previously composed a piece called Muggles (marijuana), was arrested outside the Cotton Club in Culver City, California, in November 1930, after this ban, while smoking marijuana. During the Second World War, due to the shortage of cotton, clothing, and medicine, the US government lifted the ban on hemp production for a while and even financed and stimulated its production. But in 1948 the law was re-enacted and is still valid.
The marijuana plant was gradually banned all over the world after the “Marijuana Tax Law” enacted in the USA in the 1930s brought obstacles to its cultivation. It is thought that the prohibition was made by economic and political interest groups, rather than scientifically. One decare of cannabis has a lot of cellulose that can provide pulp as 4 decares of the forest do. Fibers, on the other hand, were used as a fiber source all over the world before synthetic fibers, a product of the petroleum sub-industry, became widespread worldwide.
The interests that lead to banning cannabis are also thought to be linked to the oil and pharmaceutical industry. The substance tetra-hydro-cannabinol (THC), which is concentrated in the upper parts of the plant, which is shown as the reason for the banning of female cannabis, has been used as a medical agent in the history. Furthermore, there are several types of research published that shows cannabis has medical uses. Canada legalized the cultivation, processing, and sale of cannabis on June 7, 2018, and this law entered into force on October 17, 2018.
The Netherlands was the only country where cannabis could be bought for recreational purposes from the 1970s until January 1, 2014. Dutch authorities have suspended arrests related to marijuana use since the 1970s. The legal status of marijuana is not perfectly legal, but it is not a crime either. This means that there is no law that prohibits or makes marijuana free. Especially, cannabis cafes in Amsterdam host tourists who come to the country and want to taste exotic cannabis. However, there are some limitations. For example, a maximum of 500 grams of cannabis can be processed per day in a cafe shop. A maximum of 3 grams of cannabis per day can be sold to a customer. Nobody under the age of 18 can be served in any of these shops. Failure to comply with these rules means that the cafe shop will be closed. Also, because buying and selling large quantities is illegal, most cafe owners must either grow their own crops or provide seeds for illegal producers to grow themselves. The firm called GreenHouse is today the largest legal manufacturing company.
Sex in Plants in General: Male vs Female
Not much was known about reproduction and sex in plants when biology was not very advanced. With the development of biology and especially botany, the existence of male and female reproductive cells in flowering plants were understood. It was estimated that the date palm was reproduced by fertilization in the Babylonian period (1800s BC). At the very least, it was known that the date palm did not reproduce by itself and that for the crop to emerge, two sexes were required (one fertile and the other unproductive). People probably learned this from experience. It is known that the plants were gendered and later noticed by the Assyrians in the cypress tree and mandrake.
In the studies on plants, it was understood that there were masculinity and femininity in plants, and that reproduction took place in plants thanks to these different organs. There are male and female reproductive cells in seed and flowering plants. These cells are produced by the male and female organs, both of which are located in the center of the flower. In the swollen part of the female organ called the ovary, there are small and rounded seed outlines and female reproductive cells in them. The male reproductive cells are hidden in the pollen produced by the anther part of the male organ. While very light flower powders are carried from flower to flower by winds or by various animals, some of them remain stuck to the hillock of the female organ. This pollen grains then descend from the neck and extend through a thin tube to the seed pods in the ovaries.
The male reproductive cell also passes through this tube and unites with the female reproductive cell inside the seed plate. With the union of male and female reproductive cells, seed stubs are formed from them. New plants grow from these seeds. The reproductive structure of plants is flowers. In flowering plants, male and female reproductive cells produce male and female organs in the middle of the flower. Some flowers only have one of these organs. Accordingly, such flowers are called male or female flowers. In the swollen part of the female organ called the ovary, there are small and rounded seed outlines and female reproductive cells in them. Male reproductive cells, on the other hand, are hidden in pollens produced by the anther part of the male organ. In order for reproduction to occur, pollens must be transported to the female organs by various means.
Some plants may have both male and female flowers on an individual. For example, in a corn plant, both male and female flowers are on the same individual. In some plants, male and female individuals are separate. In other words, male flowers are on another plant and female flowers are on another plant. Like the fig tree, for example. Here, it is mentioned that the plant is male or female depending on the presence of a female or male flower. In such plants, fruit only occurs in female individuals, male trees are only responsible for producing pollen. Some people who do not know this scientific truth cannot figure out why they cannot get fruit from the fruit trees they planted. However, in order for plants to reproduce, male reproductive cells, namely pollens, must be transported to the female organ by various means such as wind or insect. If pollination does not occur, the fruit will not form or the fruit will be hollow. Likewise, if they have planted a male tree with only male flowers in their garden, of course, they cannot take fruit from that tree.
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