Trichomes are literally the cream of the cannabis crop. Trichomes are the basis of the smokeless revolution in cannabis consumption that has saved the lives of countless medical cannabis patients.
Trichomes are also the “sunscreen” of growing cannabis plants, protecting it from the sun’s ultraviolet rays as well as high wind and low humidity. Thick layers of sticky, wet trichomes also help protect plants from hungry edible-loving animals
THC, Terpenes, and other medicinal cannabinoids are found of three main types of trichomes:
Bulbous – Capitate sessile – Capitate-stalked
Each of these produce cannabinoids and terpenes but the larger ones that we can actually see usually produce the highest concentration of medicine:
Bulbous trichomes appear on the surface of the entire plant but are so small (10-15 micrometers or microns) that you won’t see them without the aid of a microscope. For reference, the width of a human hair is 40-50 microns.
Capitate sessile trichomes are the next largest group. They are slightly larger than bulbous trichomes and are significantly more abundant. Capitate sessile trichomes start to take on the more familiar head-and-stalk shape.
Capitate-stalked trichomes are the most common of the bunch. They range in size from 50-100 microns, which means they can be seen with the naked eye. Capitate-stalked trichomes are composed of a basal cell (stalk) topped off by a waxy gland head.
Scientists observe that the trichomes themselves create the cannabinoids and terpenes. Yes, the trichomes grow from the body of the calyx, but it’s the trichomes themselves that ultimately produce the cannabinoids.
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Low-quality genetics or poor environmental conditions are the two main causes. There are plenty of poorly bred cannabis seeds with substandard genetics. If you grow these, it doesn’t matter how good a grower you are, trichomes simply won’t be produced in the desired quantities.
And of course when the plant is in poor health..