Glandular hair plays a role in producing and storing large amounts of cannabis resin, and some people describe it as a layer of icing on an already delicious cake. For example, the trichomes found on female cannabis plants are divided into two different types, called glands and non-glandular.
Although trichomes appear throughout the plant, they are mainly formed on the flowers, bracts and leaves of the cannabis plant. They are covered with leaves, buds and flowers of marijuana and marijuana plants, shining like a layer of morning dew. The trichomes are tiny translucent crystal structures with raised heads at the ends.
Trichomes are small hair-like growths found on plants (including hemp) as well as lichens, algae, and other protozoa. Cannabis trichomes are appendages on the surface of cannabis flowers, which can produce and retain plant cannabinoids and terpenes.
For cannabis growers, these trichomes provide most of the resin, THC, and other cannabinoids. These trichomes also serve to protect plants from ultraviolet rays, high winds and fungal spores. In addition, there are types of cannabis trichomes that act as resin glands and are responsible for the production of hundreds of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids that make the cannabis plant so unique.
Microscopic images of capitate trichomes (left), sessile capitate and glandular bulbous trichomes (right). The capitate-sessile trichomes are distinguished by the fact that they are at the apex of the epidermis of the cannabis flower with a short stem and a globular head that forms secretory cells and a cavity for storing the cannabinoid metabolite.
These larger trichomes are the most advanced and efficient producers of cannabinoids and terpenes, although all three types contribute to this natural bounty. These trichomes produce a resin containing cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinolic acid and cannabidiolic acid, as well as a number of other secondary metabolites of varying degrees of commercial interest. In our opinion, trichomes are best viewed as tiny biological factories of cannabinoids found primarily on the buds and sweet leaves of the herb. Although most growers start to check the color of their cannabis trichomes carefully towards the end of the harvest, trichomes are present in lower quantities on cannabis than on a young plant, although some will be invisible to the naked eye.
In healthy plants, cannabis trichomes usually appear early in the flowering phase. When they begin to produce flowers, trichomes form along the outer surface of the aerial vegetation and begin to transfer vacuoles and plastids from their stem to the head of the gland. Eventually, the glandular heads will fill to the point of bursting with cannabis and terpene-rich resins that can be harvested in abundance after the cannabis or hemp harvest.
Trichomes also act as organic sunscreen for marijuana plants, protecting them from the sun’s UV rays. We’ll look at the relationship between UVs and trichomes a little later. Since trichomes are such a valuable part of the cannabis plant, there are always many questions about them and how to maximize the amount of resin produced.
But for cannabis plants, trichomes have valuable protective properties that help them survive long enough to produce seeds for the next generation. There are ways to significantly slow down the destruction of trichomes by carefully handling the cannabis flowers both during breeding and after harvest. By limiting physical contact and arousal to the flowers themselves, trichomes can be stored on the plant for longer periods of time. In addition, trichomes may also play a key role in the cultivation of cannabis in difficult climates.
The best cannabis seeds also produce abundant coverage of trichomes on the leaves. Trichomes, these little crystalline hairs that cover the buds, contain all that is good. Trichomes cover all parts of the buds, from the inner stems to the surrounding leaves. Scientists thought THC and other cannabinoids were produced in the green tissue of the plant and transported to trichomes during flowering, but after intense research, they realized that the trichomes themselves produce cannabinoids and terpenes.
Previous studies have identified three types of glandular trichomes based on their appearance: bulbous, sessile and pedunculated, but their relative contribution to the chemical production of cannabis flowers has not been known.
For this study, UBC researchers used a combination of advanced microscopic techniques and chemical profiling to study the internal structure and development of individual trichomes in a fast-flowering Cannabis sativa cannabis strain called Finola.
Combining these spectral windows produced a high-resolution 3D dataset of live cannabis trichomes, which revealed marked differences in fluorescence emission and internal morphology of the storage cavity between pedunculated, sessile and bulbous trichomes.
In contrast, the sessile trichomes on mature flowers and vegetative leaves have red-shifted autofluorescence, 8 secretory disc cells, and a monoterpene-based terpene profile. The trichomes are distinguished by morphology: globular hairs are small and low, sessile trichomes are composed of globular heads on very short stalks, and pedicled trichomes have larger globular heads on long stalks; in three types of hairs Among morphs, pedicled trichomes produce the most cannabinoids (Hammond and Mahlberg, 1973; Mahlberg and Kim, 2004; Livingston et al., 2020). In cannabis, pedicled trichomes produce more cannabinoids than sessile trichomes, which may be due to the relative difference in trichome head diameters (Turner et al., 1978). Therefore, the true sessile trichomes found on nutrient anthers and leaves will not develop into pedicel trichomes, and their terpene characteristics are chemically different from those of the pedunculated terpenes and mature early glandular trichomes of hemp flowers. .
In addition, the high percentage of stem trichomes on mature flowers indicates that the characteristics of the stem trichomes will dominate the pharmacological and sensory properties of the cannabis flowers. According to a report published by The Plant Journal, the largest mushroom-shaped glandular trichomes on cannabis buds are the richest source of not only THC and CBD-forming metabolites, but also aroma-rich terpenes. According to a study by the University of British Columbia, cannabis flowers containing mushroom-shaped trichomes have the most potent cannabinoid and aroma. The key compounds in cannabis plants are cannabinoids, which are produced by glandular trichomes found on female flowers.
Although the cannabis plant contains many natural ingredients that are beneficial in their own way, their desirable psychoactive effects are due to the female plant buds and their THC-rich trichomes. Cannabis trichomes really deserve applause for their important role not only in protecting the cannabis plant from potential harm in the world, but also in providing a unique production facility for hundreds of known medicinal and therapeutic compounds unique to this amazing plant. From the perspective of cannabis and hemp users, trichomes are the main source of benefits.
But in fact, these factories produce hundreds of famous cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, making our favorite cannabis varieties powerful, unique and effective. These unique characteristics and highly significant genes of cannabis trichomes determine the medicinal, psychoactive and sensory properties of cannabis products. The trichomes are the frost on the flower buds and are the resin used in all your favorite Hash, BHO, Shatter and Wax. The image above is a microscopic image of the actual appearance of the trichomes.