Cannabis pollen is both respected and feared by growers, depending on their skill level. Although cannabis pollen isn’t great for eating, it’s essential for breeding strains at home and helps to preserve genetics. Learn how to do it and when in this article.
Pollen is not preferred among cannabis growers who want to sell their products. However, if you wish to preserve genetics or develop your own strains, it may be beneficial. It’s also simple to gather and store. Continue reading to learn more about cannabis pollen, how to utilize it, how to collect it and store it.
What Is Cannabis Pollen and What Is Its Function?
Whether or not you consider cannabis pollen to be useful depends on your reasoning for growing cannabis. Pollen is a fine, powdery yellow substance that flowers and plants use to fertilize other plants of the same species.
How and When Is Cannabis Pollen Released?
Cannabis pollen sacs are the male cannabis plant’s reproductive organs. They start to grow during the late-vegetative stage, at the nodes (where stems/leaves and branches connect). Usually 4 to 5 weeks into flowering, when a male plant is mature, its sacs open and release pollen. The wind carries it over to female plants where it fertilises them. Then these females produce seeds that contain genes from both males and females – so they can keep producing more plants like themselves.
What Does a Male Cannabis Plant Look Like?
Cannabis plants are dioecious, meaning they can produce either male or female reproductive organs. Male weed pollen sacs are readily apparent. They resemble tiny bananas that dangle from the plant’s nodes. In contrast to the delicate upward-facing hairs (stigmas) on the female plant, these sagging, downward-facing hairs (stigmas) may look stringy and unkempt.
Is Pollen Only Made by Male Cannabis Plants?
Male cannabis plants are the only ones that grow pollen sacs. However, hermaphrodite cannabis plants can also generate reproductive parts needed to release pollen from their male flowers. Hermaphrodite cannabis plants turn “hermaphrodite” so they can pollinate themselves.
The ability for a cannabis plant to turn hermaphrodite is an evolutionary tactic employed by the plant to preserve the species in times of unfavourable conditions. The transformation allows the plant to produce seeds without another male present; this could be due, for example, to some environmental factor that has killed all other males.
Is Cannabis Pollen Useful?
The female cannabis plant is generally preferred among growers over the male. After all, it’s the female that produces trichome-rich buds that we consume to smoke, vape, or infuse. Female buds include cannabinoids (such as THC and CBD) as well as terpenes. However, if she is unfertilized, the female plant can only create resinous, phytochemical-laden buds like these.
Male cannabis plants are often seen as a nuisance to the average hobby grower, and they are quickly removed from the grow room if they show up. Male cannabis plants release cannabis pollen into the air to fertilize female plants. When this happens, it usually results in low-quality smokeable material.
Instead, if fertilized, the female flower will begin to produce seeds. Seeds will add a harsh and unappealing flavor to your final product. The production of seeds also consumes a lot of energy, which is diverted from cannabis and terpene development.
With that in mind, pollen from the male cannabis plant is required for producing cannabis strains, and it’s also beneficial for preserving a particular strain‘s genetics.
Using Cannabis Pollen for Breeding
If you want to crossbreed cannabis strains using pollen, you need a plan and needs to be executed with precision. collecting Cannabis pollen requires purposeful collection from the male plant and then depositing it on the female reproductive parts in order to fertilize her and produce seeds.
How to Harvest Cannabis Pollen
If you wish to breed cannabis, the first step is to collect pollen from your male plant. You should use the pollen as soon after collection as feasible to avoid any loss of quality. You must keep an eye on male plant pollen sacs throughout development. In natural settings, cannabis pollen is very durable for 2–3 days.
Collect the pollen sacs when they appear to be opening. It’s simpler to take the entire male flower cluster. You can then Squeeze and shake it over a finely woven micro-mesh onto parchment paper so that the pollen will fall through and become separated.
After your sample has been filtered, brush any remaining pollen onto a sheet of paper. Then, place it in an area that is dry, warm, and shady. Allow the pollen to dry for 48 hours before you use it or store it away. For best results temperature-wise, shoot for 18–24°C; as far as relative humidity goes,30–60% is ideal.
Preparing and Storing Cannabis Pollen
Before you store your weed pollen, allow the flower clusters to dry out in an airtight container for approximately seven days. Once completely dried, put the cluster(s) over a very fine micron screen and shake gently to remove as much pollen as possible. The screen should stop any other plant material from getting through.
To avoid any unwanted reactions, it is best to wear latex gloves and a mask when handling pollen. If you have hay fever, this is an absolute must. Before beginning the collection process, be sure to prepare your work area as much as possible. The slightest air disturbance can cause the pollen to blow away before you have a chance to collect it.
Excess moisture damages the quality of pollen because pollen grains don’t have a protective outer shell. They quickly decompose when in contact with moisture, so it’s important to use a container lined with parchment paper under the screen to absorb any excess moisture. Some growers mix flour and pollen before storing since flour absorbs moisture which makes the supply last longer.
The ratio of flour to pollen is usually about 1:5. Once you’ve gathered all the pollen, seal your airtight container and store it in a cool, dark, dry place. It can be kept for long-term storage at temperatures as low as 70°F (21°C).
How to Handle Cannabis Pollen After Storage
III. Do not defrost frozen pollen until you are ready to use it, as refreezing and thawing will degrade the quality. Maintain a steady temperature for as long as possible when defrosting. Get your pollen up to room temperature before attempting to introduce it to a female plant, if possible.
How to Introduce Marijuana Pollen to Your Female Plant
If you’re thinking of breeding your own cannabis, make sure to do your research first. That being said, here’s a very general overview of how it works.
You’ll need to introduce pollen to the female plant between days 14 and 21 during her flowering stage. You can apply the pollen on the stigmas—tiny white hairs located at nodes—which act as tiny nets that collect pollen for fertilization purposes.
There are a number of different ways to apply your gathered pollen. It might be dabbed, brushed, or even blown onto the buds, which is great since pollen is light, fine, and quickly delivered. Because pollen is small and light, this process should be done in a sealed environment.
Why Should I Collect Cannabis Pollen?
When you love different types of cannabis, there may come a point when you want to combine them together to make a new one. Cannabis pollen is the ideal option in these situations. Furthermore, if you’re trying to save some valuable genetics but don’t want to maintain a mother plant, harvesting cannabis pollen is an excellent, no-fuss alternative that requires significantly less space and resources.
It is possible to acquire readily extracted pollen in certain areas. However, depending on your location, it might be costly and hard to come by. All it takes is a little bit of time, patience, and some basic equipment, and you can have plenty of your favorite cannabis strains on hand in no time.