Are you looking for a simple explanation of trichomes, the microscopic crystals found in cannabis? What are they? How are they produced? How can I harvest them? What is the finest approach to consume them?
We’ve got you covered! We’ll assist you in understanding what the trichome buzz is all about in the cannabis community. This article will also help you understand how trichomes function and why they’re so important to the rest of the plant’s health.
We’ll teach you everything you need to know about how trichomes are produced and extracted so that you may make well-informed decisions regarding your cannabis usage.
We’ll go over the basics of a few well-known trichome usage techniques, and we’ll provide you with a little introduction to dabbing to get you started.
What Are Trichomes?
Trichomes are the most groovy and gooey part of the cannabis plant. The resin glands in the pot plant that contain THC, CBD, and other active medicinal cannabinoids are known as trichomes. Trichomes are by far the finest component of the cannabis plant. Charlotte Figi is one such medical marijuana patient who has benefitted from a smokeless revolution in cannabis ingestion, thanks to trichomes.
Charlotte was cured of 300 epileptic seizures each week caused by Dravet syndrome after being treated with a tincture of trichomes from Charlotte’s Web, a CBD-rich hemp strain named for the girl’s miraculous recovery.
Trichomes are also preserved during the extraction process. Terpenes are the pungent oils that give cannabis its unique aroma and flavor.
Do you enjoy the delicious, fruity flavor of Pineapple Twist? That’s terpenes. Do you appreciate the skunky scent of Sour Diesel? Terpenes are responsible for that. Terpenes offer a wide range of tastes and scents, including citrus, berry, mint, and pine to name a few.
Terpenes also contribute to the overall health benefits of cannabis by providing a support system of additional health qualities. They can also help you fully expose and broadcast the ganja’s distinctive aromatic and euphoric character. Furthermore, some THC-dominant trichome-rich strains may make you feel incredibly intoxicated!
Trichomes are the reason why dabbing, a cannabis celebrity subculture now known as “dabbing,” has grown to be so popular.
So, what’s going on inside that gooey substance that’s fuelling the contemporary medical marijuana and recreational cannabis movements? Let’s have a look.
A Little Trichome Talk
The three distinct types of trichomes that produce THC and other medicinal cannabinoids are only present in the heads of three specific kinds:
- Capitate sessile
The undersides of the leaves are coated with a thick, glossy layer of yellowish white trichomes (bulbous trichomes can sometimes be seen on the surface of the entire plant). You won’t notice them without a microscope because they’re so small (10-15 micrometers or microns). The breadth of a human hair is 40-50 microns.
The next-largest category is capitate sessile trichomes, which are larger than bulbous trichomes and far more prevalent. Capitate sessiles are the smallest of the three categories; they’re slightly bigger than bulbous trichomes and considerably more common. The distinctive head-and-stalk form of capitate sessile trichomes begins to take shape.
The most typical trichomes are capitate-stalked. They have a diameter of 50 to 100 microns, which means they may be viewed with the naked eye. A basal cell (stalk) is topped off with a waxy gland head in capitate-stalked trichomes.
THC was originally thought to be produced in the calyxes, or green plant tissue, which function as the mushroom-shaped trichome glands’ womb.
The researchers now believe that the trichomes are cannabinoid-producing organs in and of themselves. Yes, the calyx is responsible for generating the trichomes, but they are also responsible for creating cannabinoids.
The buds you consume usually include pistils as well. These two strands of hair that develop from the calyx tissue collect cannabis pollen from male marijuana plants, allowing for reproduction and bloom development.
The growth of hair on cannabis plants is known as trichomes. Trichomes are tiny shields that act as the pot plant’s phalanx of defenders, ensuring that it triumphs over fungus and noxious pot-loving insects that would otherwise destroy entire crops of cannabis plants.
Trichomes are a type of cannabis resin that provide protection to growing marijuana plants against the sun’s ultraviolet rays, high winds, and low humidity.
Trichomes also protect marijuana plants from hungry edible-loving animals like rabbits and other rodents by providing a protective barrier.
You’ll need a good fence, on the other hand, to prevent an edible-loving animal like “Sugar Bob,” the permanently stoned medical marijuana farm deer from Oregon, from eating your own cannabis stash!
How the Groovey Gooey Stuff Grows
Trichomes, like leaves and buds, have their own life cycle. The idea is that photosynthetic cannabinoid precursors are transferred and transformed into THC, CBD, other cannabinoids, and terpenes in the secretory vesicles of the trichome gland head (as shown above), according to the theory.
Cannabinoids and terpenes accumulate between the trichome’s outer sheath as the plant matures. As the secretory vesicles produce oil and push it toward the cuticle, the trichome gland head thickens and gets bulbous. Aspiration of cooled cannabis buds produces a flavorful aerosol that may help determine their strain.
You DON’T want the trichomes to fall off if you’re going to harvest your marijuana plant for its whole THC or CBD effects. If this happens, it means you waited too long to harvest the plant. The majority of the cannabinoids have vanished, and you won’t be able to get high from smoking or ingesting it.
If you’re raising your own cannabis, keep an eye out for the following indications that it’s getting close to being done.
The gland heads of trichomes are generally clear or faintly amber at the start of the plant’s growth cycle. When cannabinoid levels peak prior to harvesting, the gland head will become hazy or opaque.
Your bud will not necessarily send you rocketing to the moon with THC just because it is covered in trichomes and the gland heads are showering with cannabinoids. Your bud’s trichome resin might also include anti-psychoactive CBD cannabinoids.
The euphoric potency of the trichomes in cannabis is largely determined by the moment at which the plant was harvested.
When the trichome gland heads become opaque, it’s clear that the cannabinoids have reached maturity. This is why many farmers advise removing the crop when half of the trichomes on their plants are opaque to obtain the highest amount of THC with the fewest amount of CBD cannabinoids (which counteract THC’s euphoric effects).
You might also attempt to cultivate CBD-rich strains, such as Charlotte’s Web, for a more sober medical high.
Another indication that may be used to determine when to harvest your cannabis for the specific chemical qualities you desire it to have is the little hairs that grow from the interior of the calyxes or pistils. At the end of a plant’s flower growth period, the pistils will turn from brilliant white to rusty orange or brown.
If you’re wondering whether or not your marijuana’s THC/CBD ratio is balanced, check out the end of the spectrum. If there are more white guns than red weapons, it suggests that your cannabis will produce a more euphoric THC high. On the other hand, if there are significantly more red weapons than white ones, this indicates that your marijuana will create a more calm CBD-induced stupor.
The THC:CBD ratio of cannabinoids in cannabis plants produced near the middle of the flowering cycle, when roughly half of the trichome heads are opaque and the pistils aren’t yet brown, should be more balanced.
Examine Your Bud Before You Partake
If you have some exceptional ganja, you might be able to see the trichomes developing there. You can do so and always should before consuming marijuana by inspecting the trichome resin with a small, inexpensive pocket-sized magnifying glass (another must for any serious cannaseur’s stash box) in your hands.
When you’re smoking your marijuana, take a second to inspect the trichomes on each new bud. You should practice this habit of scoping out your trichomes whenever you obtain a fresh supply of marijuana so that you may appreciate the complete beauty of the trichome patterns.
This examination also ensures that you don’t have any spider mite-infested, Aspergillus mold-infected, or otherwise contaminated marijuana.
Trichomes, on the other hand, are magnificent; but unless they’ve been decarboxylated, they’re useless as a recreational or medical add-on.
We understand it’s a frightening term, but don’t be concerned. It’s actually quite simple in practice. To decarboxylate simply means to heat something up.
Drying your cannabis is an important step, but it isn’t the only thing you should think about. You’ll also need to apply a bit more heat than nature provides on its own.
Any amount of artificial heat may be used. However, when your bud reaches a specific temperature, certain chemistry (i.e., enchantment) kicks in. The carboxyl molecule (COOH) separates from the rest of the chemicals as a result of the higher temperature.
This transforms THCA (that is largely useless) into THC (which is by no means useless).
To decarboxylize cannabis, you can put it in an oven preheated to 230 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 minutes. If you want to bake your marijuana in a pie or use it in a smoothie, this is an excellent method to prepare it.
Making fire is the simplest method to decarb your Mary Jane. Because of the intense heat of fire, you decarboxylate your bud automatically when you set your joint, blunt, or bong on fire. It’s true that in the process, marijuana is completely destroyed; however that isn’t what matters. What matters is that you’ve transformed it into a gas so you may breathe it in.
The most effective way to decarboxylate marijuana while retaining the terpenes and trichomes is to vaporize it.
Tasting Your Trichomes
The goal of various vaporizing devices—which are available in a variety of forms, sizes, and colors—is to heat the plant material (decarboxylate) until the cannabinoids in the trichome resin heads melt and sublimate into vapor.
This is considered to be less dangerous than smoking (which necessitates burning) since the lower temperatures avoid breaking down and re-combining the molecules into new forms.
When the trichomes have been converted, this all-but-invisible, trichome-rich vapor may be breathed into your lungs, where it will enter your circulation and travel throughout your body.
This hemp oil is extracted without the use of fire, making it an ideal choice for people who utilize cannabis to manage asthma symptoms… or for anybody who wants to medicate discreetly in public.
Today’s vapes are all about vaporizers, and they can be used to heat trichome resin off the flower or in concentrated form.
Hash pipes are smaller than regular pipes and have a smaller bowl. They’re generally a little longer than typical pipes because they allow the hash smoke to cool down somewhat more before it reaches your lungs.
However, there is no one-size-fits-all method for smoking hash. It’s whatever works best for you. You may smoke hash in any pipe that is intended for marijuana (not cigarettes) usage… to be crystal clear.
It takes more heat to combust concentrated hash than it does cannabis flowers. Before you fully ignite your hash, warm it up with a lighter.
You may also crush or break up hash pieces and add them to your regular flower for a boost!
Sprinkling a tiny amount of kief from the base of your three-chamber grinder into some ground herb before rolling it into a joint is one of the simplest, most efficient methods to enjoy your trichomes.
A dab rig may be used to prepare concentrates from trichomes that are more powerful and faster-acting in relieving pain for a medical patient than rolling a joint. Dabbing is also the greatest method to take advantage of the terpenes contained in the trichomes.
Tying It All Together When it Comes to Trichomes
Trichomes are the gooey, sticky resin that you find on cannabis. This sticky resin protects the plants from predators, animals, and the sun while it develops.
You should attempt to consume as much of the trichomes as possible, since this is where all of the plant’s medicinal and recreational chemicals (such as THC, CBD, and terpenes) develop within the head of the trichome glands.
You may remove the trichomes from the ganja using butane (only if you’re a qualified professional BHO maker), ice water extraction, or a normal three-chambered grinder when the trichome gland heads become opaque.
You can also choose to taste your trichomes by smoking, dabbing, taking a tincture, or vaping them. So have fun with it!