A healthy coat of amber trichomes on a cannabis plant is a good sign, and most regular cannabis consumers know that.
But do you know what these tiny, frosty particles are? In this article, we will explain it all to you in detail.
What are Trichomes?
Trichomes are microscopic particles that look like crystals and grow on cannabis plants. You may have noticed that some buds have a frosty appearance; it is because of those trichomes that help harness the power of cannabis. Trichomes can store a greater concentration of cannabinoids and terpenes, which is the main reason behind the unique flavor, aroma, and effects of different strains of cannabis.
What are the different types of Trichomes?
Trichomes exist in various shapes and sizes. There are three main types of Trichomes available abundantly, namely –
- Bulbous trichomes: These are the smallest trichomes present in cannabis plants, whose size ranges between 10 and 15 mm. They mostly occur on the entire plant surface and can be seen only through a microscope.
- Capitate sessile trichomes: These look like mushrooms, and they are a bit larger. These trichomes are more abundant than the bulbous ones.
- Capitate-stalked trichomes: These are the largest and most abundantly occurring trichomes that are found on the plant. You can see them with the naked eye. They have a stalk and head, which is the center of terpene and cannabinoid production.
Separating the trichomes
While consuming cannabis, it is essential to separate the trichomes from the flower to get rich concentration. There are some ways of separating it effectively like:
- Dry shifting- here, the dried cannabis flower is rubbed against a sieve that produces a fine powder called kief.
- Hand rolling- here, cannabis bud is rolled in your palm for a fair amount of time. In the process, the trichomes get separated from the plant.
- Hot pressing- dried bud is pressed between two hot surfaces so that the trichomes are heated and separate from the bud.
- Solvent-based extraction- here, various solvents like alcohol, butane, ice water, etc., are used to separate the trichomes from the buds.
- CO2 extraction- It is the most advanced technique to separate the trichomes from the bud. First, the CO2 is turned into a superficial liquid used to extract terpenes and cannabinoids from the plants. One needs lab equipment and technical knowledge to perform this method.
What is the use of trichomes?
Trichomes are like the powerhouse where terpenes and cannabinoids are produced. These are the components that make cannabis special and are created as the plant matures.
Once the flower starts blooming, the trichomes start their activities. Researchers have yet to find out the reason behind these components getting stored in the trichomes.
When trichomes mature, one can notice a change in their color. Cultivators look up the trichomes’ color to understand the plant’s maturity to determine its harvest time. However, the fragility of trichomes is exceptionally high. They can get damaged easily by light, heat, and contact, and can also wither or die after a given period.