Trichomes trichome

The XNUMXst century is undoubtedly a time of hemp renaissance. The list of countries that have recently legalized this plant is growing before our eyes. This is, among others, because numerous studies showing the medical properties of cannabis are breaking through to the public opinion. Cannabis markets are expanding around the world, resulting in a demand for high-quality hemp products with well-defined properties. When starting your adventure with learning about the properties of cannabis, it is necessary to build a dictionary of terms, which is becoming more and more scientific, and in recent years it can be safely said that the "cannabis language" is becoming more and more technical. This can be intimidating for novice marijuana lovers, so here we will try to dispel any doubts about one of the basic concepts - namely, we will explain what trichomes are, a key part of this unique plant.

Trichome - what is it?

In Wikipedia, under the term trichome we will find an explanation: “Italian, trichomes (Latin pilus) - single or multicellular, living or dead skin products (epidermis) in plants. They vary both in function and shape. ...'. In the cannabis world, some might even argue that this is the only reason marijuana is grown. It is the trichomes that largely make marijuana pleasing to the eye and soul. Trichomes can seem like complex structures due to the variety of these trichomes. After exploring some very simple information about them, it will turn out that they will no longer have any secrets for us ;)

So what are those shimmering, tiny weed hairs?


As a medical marijuana patient, when you see a dried flower in the clinic or pharmacy, you will most likely notice that it appears to be covered in a layer of tiny, frosty crystals. These crystals are called trichomes. These are sticky glands that cover the flowers and some small leaves of cannabis.

By definition trichome it is "a small growth on a plant". The etymology comes from the Greek word trikhōma meaning "hair growth". As with terpenes, trichomes are not only found on cannabis, but on most plants. Cannabis trichomes contain cannabinoids and terpenes.

If you use a grinder to crush medical marijuana flowers, you will notice a fine powder that collects at the bottom of the grinder. This pollen is separated from the dried trichomes. The collection of trichomes that have been separated from the plant is referred to as kief. Kief, on the other hand, can be used in many ways, but more on that another time.

There are three different types of trichomes on cannabis.

  • Bulbous trichomes – it is the smallest of the three. They consist of several cells, are 15-30 micrometers and are only visible under a microscope. They do not contain cannabinoids.
  • Trichomes embedded on the heads – these are “medium-sized” trichomes. They are from 25 to 100 micrometers long and cover the most surface of the plant, as they are also found on the leaves and stem. These trichomes produce some cannabinoids.
  • Trichomes with heads – it is the heads that most people imagine when thinking about hemp hairs. They produce most of the cannabinoids and terpenes. They resemble small sticky mushrooms and are larger than the two mentioned above as they can reach as large as 500 micrometers, making them the easiest to see with the naked eye. They produce and contain the vast majority of cannabinoids and terpenes contained in the plant.

What are trichomes for in a plant?

trichome appearanceNot only are trichomes valuable to humans, but they also serve many purposes during the life cycle of the plant itself. These magical trichomes begin to form when cannabis enters the flowering phase. As the buds and later the flowers develop, the plant becomes more vulnerable to predators, and the trichomes are one of marijuana's defense mechanisms. Their bitter taste and strong aroma act as a deterrent to most animals and insects.

In addition to its defensive properties, as we have already mentioned, trichomes are the site of cannabinoid synthesis. CBG or cannabigerol is the precursor to the most common hemp cannabinoids, including THC. The enzymes in the plant break down and modify CBG to form other cannabinoids.

Trichomes are also where they are formed plant terpenes. Terpenes also mean a lot to our cannabis. Thanks to them, the plant has natural protection against fungi, insects and bacteria. Terpenes can also relieve plant stress caused by the external environment. so-called plant sweating is the evaporation of, among other things, terpenes. This process prevents the plant from drying out on sunny days. As you know, terpenes are aromatic compounds that also affect the taste of the plant. Knowing the mechanism of cannabis sweating, and having some experience in cultivation, we know that it is in the morning on sunny days that the smell emitted by these plants is the most intense. As the plant develops, the aromas are mild and slightly bitter. At the end of the flowering cycle, the flavonoids become more developed and much sweeter. A fully matured plant will smell fruity and floral as opposed to the traditional "weed" smell that is produced by plant matter.

Cannabis trichomes - knowledge base for growers

Italian cannabis trichomes

Italian hemp

Cannabis trichomes also serve as a visual cue for growers. Having some experience and knowledge in cannabis cultivation, the grower can find out through trichomes whether the plant is fully mature, i.e. whether it is ready for harvest. When the plant is in the early stages of the flowering cycle, the trichomes will be small and transparent. As the plant reaches maturity, the resin inside the trichomes will become opaque and eventually will turn pale yellow when examined under a microscope. It's easy to confuse trichomes with pistils because they can look similar to the untrained eye, and both grow from the calyx of the plant. Trichomes are sticky little crystals that cover the flower and smaller leaves of the plant. The pistils are tiny hairs that attract and collect pollen. The pistils are also a good indicator of plant maturity. When the plant begins to bloom, the pistils will be white and will collect pollen blowing in the wind. When the plant is ready to harvest, the pistils may turn amber in color.

Does quantity of trichomes mean quality?

There are many misconceptions and myths about modern marijuana, and even more confusion about the anatomy of the cannabis plant. Since the trichome is the driving force behind cannabinoid production, the logical conclusion is that if a marijuana bud has a lot of trichomes, also known as "frosty", then it must contain a lot of THC. In fact, it is not. The abundance of trichomes is not a good and only indicator of the cannabinoid content or flavor of a given plant. The cannabinoid content will depend on many factors, including genetics, environment, stressors, nutrition, and general skill of the grower. Trichomes are the reason cannabis is grown because the resin within them is a source of cannabinoids and terpenes. Concentrates are the product of extracting this resin from the trichomes and separating it from the rest of the plant matter. If you are a medical marijuana patient, this basic knowledge will certainly allow you to better assess the quality of the herb you receive at the pharmacy. We know from the opinions of people undergoing treatment in Poland that imported drought leaves much to be desired.

And as always - approach the subject responsibly, and grow marijuana only when the law allows it. You can buy collectible marijuana seeds in our store (click). If you liked the post, leave a comment. Follow us on Facebook (click) and Instagram (click) to stay up to date.



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