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Breaking Down the Bud: Zoom In on Trichomes

Trichomes Cannabis Now Magazine Green Candy Press


Breaking Down the Bud: Zoom In on Trichomes

Photo courtsey Green Candy Press

Breaking Down the Bud: Zoom In on Trichomes

These fine outgrowths on the cannabis plant serve many purposes, including housing resin glands full of THC.

Some misinformed people judge harvest time simply by the color of a plant’s stigmas, and while that is a good pre-harvest indicator, we prefer using a 20x or 100x magnification loupe to look directly at the trichomes.

There are four distinct types of plant hairs, better known as trichomes. There is a half-bubble, larger, egg-shaped resin gland that clings to the surface of the leaves and bud and contains only smell and taste terpenes (no THC): this is called a bulbous trichome. It is basically a plant hair without a stalk.

There is also a crystolith trichome, which basically looks like a hair with a long, pointed tip. These trichomes appear primarily on the underside of leaves and their main purpose is to protect the plant from insects and spider mites. They are protective trichomes that discourage insects and mites from eating foliage. They also contain no THC.

The third trichome is called a sessile stalked capitate trichome. It is several times larger than the bulbous glandual trichome, but is still very small. It begins to develop in the plant’s vegetative stage and stays very close to the plant’s surface. It contains very low levels of terpenes and THC and is considered a contaminant to hash makers.

Stalked capitate glandular trichomes, the fourth — which under the microscope appear more or less like translucent mushrooms — are made up of a stalk or clear column with a resin head. They form on buds/bracts and smaller surrounding leaves. The resin head on top is psychoactive: this is the one that produces Delta 9 THC, so that’s what we’re looking for.

Excerpted from “Marijuana Horticulture Fundamentals: A Comprehensive Guide to Cannabis Cultivation and Hashish Production” by K from Trichome Technologies.

Originally published in Issue 26 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

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  1. Joan

    March 4, 2018 at 9:08 pm

    Uh duh trichimonia is a feminine disease ir what’s with name here ???

    • Thomas

      July 23, 2018 at 11:05 am

      I think you answered your own question. Read your word and read the word trichome. Not the same spelling. Things sound the same all around the world. Lots of really bad things sound like good things.
      Think like in nature. Some prey will often imitate a predator to keep itself safe from its main predators. Camouflage.

      As for why you thought trichomes were a female disease of some kind IDK. You have to ask yourself that question.

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