What is a Trichome?

Wednesday, Jan 20, 2021 | Education

Trichomes are the most desired part of the cannabis plant, with a majority of them being made up of both a stalk and a head. This shape causes their appearance to be similar to a mushroom. Inside of these trichome heads is an oil that consists of a strain’s cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids! This potent oil is what shapes a cultivar’s effects, aroma and flavor. All of this is surrounded by a waxy cuticle that often varies in thickness from strain to strain.

On the cannabis plants, trichomes exist as a defense mechanism. This is a result of female cannabis plants facing many natural threats as they begin producing flowers. These threats can range from insects, to animals, to even harmful UV rays! Trichomes exist to defend cannabis from these threats by giving off a strong and bitter aroma, as well as flavor. This causes the plants to be unappealing to predators, while also coating them to block UV rays originating from light sources. Another aspect of their many functions is to protect plants from high-speed winds and some varieties of fungal growth.

There are many different types of trichomes but only three are commonly found on cannabis; bulbous trichomes, capitate sessile trichomes, and capitate-stalked trichomes. Bulbous trichomes are the smallest variety, all of which are made up of a mere handful of cells and cover the entire plant. These contain no stalk. Capitate sessile trichomes are the next largest type of trichome and do have stalks, although they still are not the biggest or most abundant. Finally, are the capitate-stalked trichomes. These are the trichomes we are after and are the largest variety if the three. Within these capitate-stalked trichomes is a mixture of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids interact to create the signature scents and effects that cannabis is known for.

At Dialed In, we use water and ice to “wash” the trichomes off. Then we remove the water or dry the trichomes in a freeze dryer. After, we store them in a freezer until we are ready to make “rosin”. Stay tuned for our next several post’s, we plan on diving more into these subjects.

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