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Cannabis Constituents Part Three: Trichomes

We're back with some more beneficial info that the CBD DC community might find interesting. So, without further ado...

We've been talking a lot about cannabis (in general), the endocannabinoid system, different types of cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids in particular), as well as terpenes, but what about trichomes?

Trichomes aka “Plant Hair”

Simply defined, trichomes are “an outgrowth from the epidermis of plants, as a hair” and cover the epidermal (outermost) layer of the plant’s skin. They are those little dusty and/or shiny-looking growths that you see on the leaves and buds, stalk, stem, or flowering part of the cannabis plant. They often give the illusion of being illuminated and/or having a powdered glow. Let us ask you a couple of questions…

  1. Have you ever handled the ‘bud’, stalk, stem, or flowering part of the cannabis plant? That sticky residue, those are the trichomes being transferred to your skin. 
  2. Have you ever seen the stem of a rose or the leaves of an aloe plant or cactus plant? Yeah, all those thorns sticking out of those plants… those are trichomes as well!

Trichomes come in all shapes and sizes. At a macro-level, trichomes look a little something like this...

District Hemp Cannabis Trichome
via High Times

They are pretty weird looking, aren't they? We think so, but besides just looking fascinating, they also serve some pretty critical functions.

Cannabis Plants and Beyond

Just like terpenes and cannabinoids, trichomes also exist outside of just the cannabis plant and can be found on a variety of other species and organisms. These include: algae (algal trichomes), lichens, and certain protists. But for all intent and purposes (as usual), let’s just focus on the cannabis plant.

The function of trichomes is to protect the leaves and the flowering part of the cannabis plant. Cannabis trichomes are composed of two parts: a stem/stalk and a granular head. It is within this translucent, mushroom-shaped glands that a cannabinoid and terpene production factory can be found.

Trichomes + Cannabinoids and Terpenes

Remember how we talked about how terpenes are used to either attract pollinators and/or deter herbivores and omnivores? Well, without trichomes, terpenes would not exist. Without the pleasant and/or unpleasant fragrant odor given off by the plant’s terpenes, the plants could go extinct and/or get destroyed by various herbivores or omnivores. Now when it comes to the cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant (phytocannabinoids like THC and CBD), they are found all throughout the plant, but have a much higher concentration in the ‘bud’ of the cannabis plant. When dried, these almost-micro compounds turn into what is commonly known as “kief”. 

Why Are Trichomes Important for Us?

We are currently working on a project that will go greater in-depth behind the science, purpose, and anatomy of all these cannabis constituents (cannabinoids, terpenes, trichomes, etc.)  just know that it’s the potent, sugar-like resin, produced by trichomes is what makes the consumption of the cannabis plant worthwhile and/or medicinal for us and other mammals. It’s because, within this resin, the terpenes and cannabinoids are held. Different terpenes have different uses and different cannabinoids can help with a variety of different deficiencies and ailments within the body.

Questions, Comments, or Concerns?

If you are interested in learning more about terpenes and/or the different constituents of the cannabis plant, feel free to give us a call at (571) 799-9914. Also, please remember to speak with your doctor or physician before supplementing or substituting any treatment plan(s). As always, we look forward to serving you and the rest of the amazing CBD DC community ..and beyond!