What is a Trichome?

Wednesday, Jan 20, 2021

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

Interestingly enough, trichomes exist as a defense mechanism for cannabis plants. This is a result of female cannabis plants facing many natural threats as they begin flowering. These threats can range from insects, to animals, to even harmful UV rays. Trichomes fend off these threats by producing 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 that come 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, and they’re made up of a mere handful of cells that 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. Lastly are the capitate-stalked trichomes. These are the trichomes that we are after, and they’re the largest variety of the three. Within these capitate-stalked trichomes is a mixture of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that interact to create the signature scents and effects that cannabis plants are known for.

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