Cannabis Trichomes Play a Crucial Role in the Magic of the Plant

cannabis trichomes

Posted on January 19th, 2021

Cannabis is a spectacular plant full of unique features. There is so much more to it than what you can see with the naked eye. Every time you seem to have garnered every detail, you get shocked by the new developments. Researchers are constantly working to unravel every bit of its character. One common feature people discuss is the array of products, some of which bring out the high. It is an attractive feature that draws most users. Well, if you do benefit from this plant, it may be beneficial to understand how the plant grows. It’s nice to understand the nature of the things that bring you joy. At the base of cannabis construction, there are tiny elements called trichomes. They play a considerable role by influencing the effect you get when using any cannabis product. Cannabis trichomes don’t get as much attention as other cannabis compounds, so if you want to know more, keep reading. 

What Are Trichomes?

Trichomes are minute structures that you would notice on any cannabis or hemp plants. With a bare eye, they would appear like the dew that forms on grass every morning. However, with the microscope’s help, you would notice a fantastic system of appendages integrated within the plant. They usually appear like a crystalline substance but with a bulbous head. If you are keen, you will notice a different feature at each stage of growth. These elements are always working to affect cannabis by varying cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavors. It is these factors that give each cannabis plant its unique identity.

Types of Cannabis Trichomes

Cannabis comes in different species. In all these variables, you will notice distinct types of cannabis trichomes. Understanding them is a gateway to taking advantage of the plant. The three most common versions include the following:

Capitate Stalked Trichomes

Capitate stalked trichomes are the types that you would quickly notice with a bare eye. The reason is that they are relatively massive. They range from 50 to 100 micrometers in terms of width. A capitate stalked cannabis trichome has a stalk that houses cells and an epidermal. The two features are what build up a base that leads to an attachment resulting in a trichome. The gland head functions with the help of a cuticle layer made up of wax. The location facilitates the production of terpenes and cannabinoids. These trichomes are the first on the list as the top in the synthesis of essential oils.

Capitate Sessile Trichomes

They might look similar to the first version, but these are different models. The trichomes are relatively smaller as compared to the size of the stalked versions. However, they also appear in multitudes, and you could notice them on the leaves and flowers of cannabis plants. They serve the same function but appear only on specific strains of marijuana or hemp.

Bulbous Trichomes

Bulbous trichomes may have the most unique name of them all. However, they are the smallest in terms of size. With such a structure, it is difficult to see them on any cannabis plant. The average would be 10 to 15 micrometers wide. One outstanding feature of bulbous trichomes is that they grow on the entire plant. Unlike the other types, you could notice them on the stalk, branches, leaves, and flowers.

trichomesPurpose of Cannabis Trichomes

The importance of cannabis trichomes is tied to the numerous benefits of the cannabis plant. The little structures help both the plant and the cultivators to prosper in various ways. Through the following methods, trichomes have proven to be important.

Predator Deterrent 

The first and most crucial function of trichomes is offering survival tactics to the cannabis plants. During growth, a plant can either survive or wither, depending on its ability to withstand external and internal attacks. Some of these include the onset of diseases that can eat away the plant. Also, the production of fungus or algae can interfere with proper growth. The sticky substance provides a shield against these enemies. It keeps off any insects and animals that may want to feed on the plant. The terpenes typically produce a foul flavor that keeps predators away. In other instances, any interested flies will find a barrier that is hard to penetrate, hence keeping the plant protected.

Climate Tolerance

The other function of these precious items is allowing the plants to survive in varying climatic conditions. Their appearance has led to the production of stronger stalks and roots. It means you can plant cannabis during any season that you deem fit. It will usually manage to rise above the difficulties. The layer of cannabis trichomes provides a shield against varying weather conditions. This helps maintain the plant’s health and vitality. They also serve as sunblock keeping off any harsh UV rays that are harmful to the plant.

Water Absorption

Another vital importance is water absorption, an essential factor in the growth of plants. The case is not exclusive to cannabis. The absence of water and minerals indeed leads to death. However, with the trichomes’ help, these plants can struggle through many challenges and manage to achieve positive growth. The roots are the part of the plant that facilitate this function. With the aid of these resins, the plant tends to stay hydrated for an extended period. It will shield the plant from losing water during dry seasons, preventing dehydration.

Compounds and Color

To the cannabis cultivator, the plant is most useful if it can produce the required results. The effects come about due to the availability of substances like THC and CBD. They are the reason why cannabis has such a huge following. Additionally, you will get terpenes responsible for the varying flavors available. The bulbous elements determine the amounts you will get in each strain of cannabis. The resin is one of the reasons why you would get traces of these substances in cannabis. Through regular follow-ups using devices like cameras, cultivators can monitor the color change and ascertain the right time to harvest. In the first stages, the trichomes have a transparent appearance. When the plant is at its final stage, the shade will change from clear to milky, then amber hue.

Cannabis Trichomes

Monitoring Cannabis Trichomes

The lifespan of a trichome is entirely dependent on the life of the cannabis plant. Since the organism resides on the plant, its death means the trichome consequently goes to rest. Since trichomes are precious, the farmer must monitor cannabis during all growth stages keenly. Nevertheless, the life of the trichome can be affected by other external factors. The only way to guarantee safety is by knowing its maturity. As seen above, the trichomes would change color at different levels. The transitioning tells the story about the maturity of the trichomes. 

Once it reaches its peak ripeness, the cannabis trichome will begin degrading, thus becoming useless. Well, there are different species of cannabis, all of them portraying varying characteristics. The feature is an evident reason why trichomes display maturity distinctly. To ensure that plants are always on the safe side, check on aspects like light, oxygen, heat, and agitation. Exposure to these elements can interfere with average growth, thus destroying the essential oils within them.

Is There an Ideal Time to Harvest?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a single standard answer to this question. There hasn’t been any time during the growth of cannabis allocated as appropriate for harvesting trichomes. It depends on the needs and preferences of farmers. Effects of the plant change as the trichomes mature. If you want to get a relaxing effect, you should harvest when the trichomes change from milky to amber hue. At this level, 90% of the compounds are fully matured and can serve the purposes you want. Nevertheless, if your focus is to get high, you should be looking for high THC levels. The best time to achieve this goal is harvesting when only 70% of the trichomes are dark, leaving the rest milky.

The last bit of information you would want to know about trichomes is choosing a proper monitoring tool. Since it is a crucial part of growth and harvesting, you should pay the utmost attention. A magnifying tool would work efficiently for this task. The human eye might be amazing, but it can’t reveal the finer details. A magnifying glass will help beginners while the gurus in the game employ digital microscopes.

Conclusion on Cannabis Trichomes

Cannabis trichomes are an essential part of any strain of cannabis. Without them, the plants would not come with all the goodness that makes the plants special. Nevertheless, you need to monitor the plant from the first stage of growth to get the best of them. 


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