How do Trichomes affect Cannabis?

Ever wondered what are the small, shiny crystals on cannabis plants? Want to know what kind of role they play?

Check out this informative blog for detailed information on how these tiny bulbs called trichomes affect marijuana including their function, various types, production & lifecycle.

The Function of Trichomes on Cannabis

First things first, trichomes aren’t unique to cannabis plants. They are also present in different physical forms in various other plant species such as algae, lichens, etc.

Speaking of function, trichomes generally assist in keeping plants safe, healthy, and in a working state. In the case of marijuana, trichomes help protect against animals, insects, pathogens & environmental stressors that might cause harm to the plant.

This is especially helpful for female cannabis plants because they are particularly vulnerable to pests like ants, moths, mites, caterpillars, etc., during their bud-generating phase.

Trichomes have a potent, bitter taste which helps keep animals and insects away. They safeguard the plant from potentially damaging UV rays & destructive winds while also helping regulate humidity on the surface of the leaves, making sure the plant doesn’t dry out.

Additionally, they produce the majority of the cannabinoids, terpenes & flavonoids present in cannabis, providing the plant its scent, flavor, and therapeutic properties.

The Different Types of Trichomes in Cannabis

There exist 3 types of trichomes on cannabis plants:

  • Bulbous
  • Capitate-sessile
  • Capitate-stalked

Let’s get to know about them in detail!

Bulbous Trichomes

The smallest of trichomes, which are pretty difficult to see without a microscope, bulbous trichomes emerge on the whole surface of the cannabis plant.

They have a hand in the crystal-like shine exhibited by the cannabis flowers and are the reason behind most of the stickiness of the buds. They comprise the least amount of cannabinoids & other compounds due to their small size.

Capitate-sessile Trichomes

Similar to bulbous trichomes, the capitate-sessile trichomes can be viewed only with the help of a microscope. They are primarily found underneath the cannabis sugar & fan leaves.

Featuring a mushroom shape, they are present in significantly higher amounts as compared to bulbous trichomes. Due to their marginally bigger size & superior quantity, they produce a greater amount of cannabinoids than bulbous trichomes.

Capitate-stalked Trichomes

Highly visible and plentiful in quantity, capitate-stalked trichomes are mainly present on the surface of the cannabis flowers. They also have a mushroom-like shape with a large stalk and a big bulb on their head.

Unsurprisingly, the bulb produces the majority of cannabinoids and other compounds found in marijuana.

Trichome Production and Lifecycle

Trichomes start emerging on cannabis when the plants begin entering their flowering stage, approaching the conclusion of their lifecycle and slightly prior to the buds becoming harvest-ready.

The trichomes show up on the buds, leaves & stalk of the marijuana plants and are responsible for the well-known beneficial properties of cannabis.


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