When it comes to your favorite marijuana strain, there is a bit more than you can see with a naked eye. You should have noticed that tiny sugar-like crystals cover the leaves and buds of cannabis plants. A bit shiny, sticky, and always with a perfect aroma. If you look closer, these blankets of frost appear to be a huge collection of trichomes. Originating from Greek, the word “trichome” means “growth of hair.” In fact, they are the tiny factories that produce cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that make your favorite strain potent, unique, and so awesome.
What are the functions of trichomes?
The production of trichomes is observed not only in cannabis plants. Even some carnivorous plants produce trichomes in order to catch prey. When it comes to cannabis plants, trichomes function as a defense mechanism. When female plants start to produce flowers, they become vulnerable to different insects and animals who are eager to feast on the plant’s sweetness. Trichomes are the deterrent for animals as their bitter taste and strong aroma makes the plant unpalatable to them. In some cases, trichomes serve as protection from wind damage and different types of fungus.
Types of trichomes
Nowadays, the variety of trichomes is extremely wide, as they exist in many sizes and shapes, though there are three of them that appear on marijuana plants most often.
1. Bulbous trichomes. Such trichomes are the smallest of the bunch, and you may notice them on the entire surface of the plant. Their size is not more than 15 micrometers, tiny enough to be comprised of only a couple of cells.
2. Capitate sessile trichomes. These ones are larger than bulbous trichomes and even contain a head and a stalk.
3. Capitate-stalked type of trichomes may be more than 100 mm wide, which makes them the largest trichomes that can ever be seen with a naked eye. Their structure is not less impressive: a stalk is comprised of epidermal and hypodermic feels that grow into a basal cell, which in its turn attaches to a gland head. This gland head works as the epicenter of complicated synthesis of cannabinoids and terpenoids.
Keep in mind that coloration is the sign that trichomes are ready for harvest.