A fine, powdery substance produced by a male cannabis plant which carries its sperm cells. Pollen is produced and released through pollen sacs on a male plant, after which it travels through the air and lands on a female plant, pollinating it. The female will then grow seeds, which contain the genes of both male and female plants.

“Hemp pollen has been shown to drift for miles, which can contaminate marijuana crops.”

What is pollen?

Male cannabis plants grow pollen sacs, which are its reproductive organs. When the plant reaches maturity, the sacs will open and release pollen into the air. Pollen will then travel through the air and land on a female cannabis plant, pollinating it. The female will grow seeds which carry genes from both the female and the male. 

Cannabis consumers don’t want seeds in their buds, so males are often discarded or grown separately from the females so as not to pollinate them. The pollen of even one male can pollinate tens of females. Only female cannabis plants grow buds, and grown without males they will produce seedless buds, or sinsemilla

How to use cannabis pollen

Male cannabis plants are used for breeding purposes, or for creating new strains. Pollen can be collected and stored and used to intentionally pollinate female plants when creating new strains. 

Pollen is typically applied about halfway through the female plant’s flowering cycle. Pollen should be stored in a container free of moisture, heat, and light, and can be kept in a fridge for up to three months or in a freezer for a year. 

Before using pollen, it should be allowed to warm to room temperature for several minutes. Apply pollen to the buds of a plant you want to pollinate, and seeds should form in just under a week. Complete seed development should take 3-5 weeks. 

Let the seeded buds dry for up to two weeks before collecting the seeds, and dry the seeds an additional 3-4 weeks in a cool, dry, dark place around 60-70°F. After that, they will be ready for germination.