Understanding Trichomes Function and Cannabis


Posted on January 22nd, 2022

If you are new to the world of CBD, you need to know how trichomes function and cannabis work together to benefit your body. Cannabis Sativa is a multi-faceted plant where each part plays a crucial role in providing the healing power that cannabis is known for. The buds and leaves of the plant offer different potential health benefits and that’s where trichomes come in.


Trichomes are tiny appendages or outgrowths on algae, plants, lichens, and a few protists. They play an essential role in cannabis as they produce hundreds of terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids that make CBD, hemp, THC, or any other strain of cannabis highly effective, potent, and unique. Trichomes function and cannabis are interlinked because the former develops as the plant slowly grows bigger. The presence of trichomes ensures that the cannabis plant has a high percentage of phytochemicals and cannabinoids.

How do trichomes develop?

Trichomes develop when the cannabis plant gradually moves towards its blooming stage. This is the time when trichomes go through a process called cannabinoid synthesis. The trichomes start growing on the outer surface of the cannabis plant. The concentration and speed at which they grow depend on two factors: the surrounding environment and the plant’s genetics.

Usually, plants that have a high concentration of trichomes produce more terpenes or cannabinoids. Therefore, the trichomes function and cannabis efficacy depend on the former’s concentration also.

The life cycle of trichomes depends a lot on the cannabis plant. Trichomes represent whether the plant is ripe enough for harvesting or not. The change in color of the trichomes is an indication to farmers that it’s time to start picking the buds and leaves. Once the trichomes become greenish-yellow, they indicate that the plant is on the verge of maturing fully. Farmers usually start picking the buds and leaves once the trichomes become slightly yellowish. Trichomes develop quickly by physical contact, light, oxygen, and heat. As a result, farmers need to pay attention to the plant when it’s about to ripen.

Types of trichomes

There are two types of trichomes: glandular and non-glandular.

● Glandular trichomes represent an array of glands. They can be both multicellular and unicellular. These trichomes usually have stinging or glandular hairs. Glandular hairs are common in cannabis plants. They produce a range of substances, such as resins and oils that help in extracting CBD. As already mentioned, trichomes go through a synthesis process. This process includes various substances, such as stinging hairs, hydrophilic substances, and lipophilic substances.

● Non-glandular trichomes have a different type of morphology, microstructure, and anatomy than glandular trichomes. The interesting part about these trichomes is that they can be in different parts of the cannabis plant. For example, two-celled trichomes are usually found on the leaves and not in any other part.

Trichomes Function and Cannabis

Trichomes are essential when it comes to determining the efficacy of CBD or hemp products. As mentioned earlier, they are responsible for producing terpenes and cannabinoids. Additionally, they also play a crucial role in keeping the cannabis plant alive. Trichomes are sticky, thus providing a defensive layer on the plant’s surface. They don’t allow herbivorous predators, insects, or fungus to restrict the growth of the plant. In fact, these elements can’t go near trichomes because of their gooey outer barrier and texture.

Apart from keeping the cannabis plant safe, trichomes also reduce the heating effects of sunlight. Too much sunlight may deter the growth of the buds. Trichomes ensure that the buds don’t ripe prematurely and fall off the plant. They provide an environment where the plant can thrive until it’s time for the farmers to extract the essential parts.

Here are a few ways trichomes function in cannabis plants that make them a key component:

1. Protection

Like animals, plants also have a way to protect themselves from various environmental conditions, insects, and pests. In cannabis plants, trichomes are responsible for their protection. There are two aspects of trichomes function and cannabis: they first secrete a bitter substance that prevents insects and pests from sitting on the plant. Even if a few pests dare to sit on the plant, they can’t spend much time because of the strong aroma that the trichomes emit. Both these functions are a way of creating a defense mechanism.

The glandular hairs of trichomes even secrete a few lipophilic substances that don’t allow animals to consume the leaves. In addition to secreting the bitter substance, trichomes in cannabis plants also secrete mucilage that traps insects when they try to sit on the buds or leaves. Mucilage secretion also prevents the plant from getting dehydrated. On the other hand, non-glandular trichomes form a dense and thick cover around the leaves and roots to protect them from pathogens and harsh environmental conditions.

2. Water and moisture absorption

Non-glandular trichomes are usually found near the roots of the cannabis plant. These hair-like structures absorb water and minerals that the plant requires to stay healthy. However, they don’t last until the full growth of the plant. That doesn’t mean the plant stops absorbing water and minerals. As the old trichomes wither away, new ones start to grow. They form a thin cell wall and start secreting mucilaginous droplets to ensure that the cannabis plant doesn’t become dry.

Cannabis trichomes

Many people think that since marijuana and CBD come from the same plant, the latter would intoxicate them. That’s not the case. Marijuana primarily consists of THC, a mind-altering component that makes you feel high. On the other hand, CBD contains a high percentage of terpenes and a negligible amount of THC. This means you won’t feel intoxicated or high after consuming CBD products.

Since CBD contains a high percentage of terpenes, it means they also consist of trichomes that protect the cannabis plant. The bitter taste of CBD tinctures and CBD oil is usually due to the presence of trichomes. Plants with Trichomes

Trichomes function and cannabis ensure that pests and insects stay away. They have resin glands that secrete various types of oils that deter insects. These plants usually have the following trichomes:

● Bulbous trichomes – They are small, pointed structures that secrete resins to prevent fungal growth on the cannabis plant.

● Capitate-sessile – These trichomes are bigger than their bulbous counterparts. They develop at the time when the cannabis plant is about to produce flowers. They also contain cannabinoids, making them essential in protecting the buds.

● Capitate stalked trichomes – These trichomes are the largest among the three. They develop after the cannabis plant produces flowers. Capitate stalked trichomes are crucial for terpenoid synthesis and cannabinoid synthesis.

Effect of trichomes

Trichomes are important in producing terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids that help in making highly potent CBD products. If you start consuming full-spectrum CBD products from Tanasi, you will understand why trichomes are essential. They preserve the elements that provide the health benefits that CBD is popular for.

Full-spectrum CBD products may reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, alleviate joint pain, improve your quality of sleep, and reduce inflammation. They are able to deliver so many benefits because of the presence of trichomes.

As already mentioned, trichomes produce terpenes and cannabinoids. These components are essential in maintaining the efficacy of CBD. The next time you buy a CBD product, check out the percentage of terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids mentioned in the ingredient list. The higher the percentage, the more potent the product.

Tanasi is a hub for various types of full-spectrum CBD products. From CBD tinctures to CBD gummies, you can expect to find almost any type of CBD product at pocket-friendly prices.

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