A pistil is the female sex organ on a cannabis plant. It usually just resembles a hair that comes out of a calyx. They are also commonly referred to as stigmas. When the pistil comes into contact with pollen that a male cannabis plant gives off, then it is considered to be pollinated. After this process, the female cannabis plant will then begin to develop seeds in the bracts, and they will contain ovule.
On younger cannabis plants, pistils will usually poke out randomly on different nodes of the plant. During the vegetative growth cycle, you will be able to spot them after visual inspection. Some are not so easy to spot, so close examination may be required. You won’t be 100% sure that you’ve got a female cannabis plant until you see white little hairs coming out from nodes on the plant. Sometimes you have to wait up to 8 weeks to be able to tell that you have a female, but 4 to 6 weeks is usually ample time to separate the males and females.
Pistils are usually a decent indicator of how well the female plant is progressing. Around 4 to 6 weeks through the cycle, the first orange and red colors will begin to peak through. During weeks 7 to 10, many of the pistils will be even riper shades of the same colors. The plants that only display the pistils will be the females and intersex plants. Intersex plants will produce pollen as well and can be a fairly big threat to the females. Sometimes, stress can play a role in a plant, causing it to develop intersex traits. Cannabis farmers usually knew it was time to cultivate when around 75% of the pistils were full of colors like red, pink, orange, and brown.