Cannabis Trichomes

Where they form and what they are

Cannabis trichomes are the basic source of cannabinoids and resin in cannabis plants. They are minute spheres made up of cannabis resin. They act as coverings of the leaves, buds as well as branches of the cannabis plants. They are the resin glands that permit the production of different forms of cannabis concentrates such as wax, shatter, hash, cannabis oil, etc.

What is the purpose of trichomes?

Cannabis trichomes work as a sort of defense mechanism. When female cannabis plants get ready for flower production in the wild, they become vulnerable to different kinds of insects and animals. During such times, they also need protection from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.

 Trichomes, with the strong smell and bitter taste, make the cannabis flowers unappetizing. They also protect the plants from harsh winds and prevent the growth of fungus.

What are the different types of trichomes on cannabis?

Cannabis trichomes appear in a variety of shapes and sizes. The primary ones are:

Bulbous trichomes:

These are the smallest variety of trichomes. You can see these trichomes on the plant’s surface. They range from 10 to 15 micrometers which means that they are extremely tiny and consist of only a small quantity of cells. It is impossible to see this variety of trichomes through the naked eye.

Capitate sessile trichomes:

These are made up of heads and stalks. They are a little larger than the bulbous ones. These trichomes are also abundantly found in the plant. They have adequate cell numbers to construct a trichome head along with a short base.

Their average width measures around 20-30 microns. They cannot be seen through the naked eye.

Capitate-stalked trichomes:

The width of these trichomes is more or less around 50 to 100 micrometers. They are quite larger and you can also see them without a magnifying glass. Their external structure is made up of stalks that consist of both hypodermic and epidermal cells, which combine to form a sort of basal cell.

The basal cell remains attached to the gland head. This is then joined by a cuticle layer, which acts as the primary spot for the synthesis of terpenoid and cannabinoid.

Unicellular trichomes:

These are non-glandular in nature. These are thin extensions that protrude from the surface of the plant. However, they do not have a spherical resin top head.

 These trichomes make it difficult for predators to attack the plants. They also protect the plants from light and wind.

Cystolithic trichomes:

These are also non-glandular and are without resin heads. They look similar to the unicellular trichomes. The trichomes are generally arranged in rows. They look like slim, curved hairs

Antherial sessile trichomes:

These trichomes are smaller in size than the capitate stalked trichomes. The size of their width is around 80 microns. These trichomes are glandular, which means that their stalks have resin heads on top of them. These cannabis trichomes have a layer of secretory cells that produce cannabinoids and terpenes.

Under these secretory cells, lies the basal tissue. Along with this tissue, there also lies a head that serves as the storage of cannabinoids and terpenes.

What about trichome production and lifecycle?

In the case of cannabis plants, trichomes provide defensive properties. They help cannabis plants to survive for a long period of time so that they can produce seeds and continue their lifecycle. The production of cannabis trichomes is important and necessary for the continuation of life.

Trichomes exist on young cannabis plants in small quantities. They remain invisible to the naked eye. As the plants start growing, the quantities of the trichomes increase. They gradually become more noticeable when the flowers are about to bloom.

At the end of the bloom, you will notice a thick formation of cannabis trichomes on the leaves and the buds. This is what makes the blooms appear silver.

You can use a magnifying glass for checking the production of the trichomes. In case you have wisely selected the seeds of the cannabis or are cultivating from clones of an already known mother plant, then, you will observe that the production of trichomes increases gradually as the harvesting time approaches. This leads to the production of good quality buds.

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