Hemp trichomes: what are they and what are they for

Trichomes are formations consisting of epidermal cells, located on various above-ground parts of various plants. The name comes from the Greek language and literally means the word “hair”. Hemp has many of these microscopic glandular outgrowths, which look like small hairs covered with dew droplets. Cannabis trichomes vary in structure, size and shape, so they are divided into several varieties such as medical marijuana doctors in oklahoma.

Types of Trichomes:
Bulbous (or bulb-like).
The smallest glandular hairs available in the cannabis plant. Bulbous trichomes are so tiny (15 to 30 microns) that they can only be viewed in detail under a microscope with a good magnification.

They consist of only a few cells. The stalk and stem are formed by 1-4 cells, and the head also consists of 1-4 cells. The pressure of the resin secreted by these glands produces drop-shaped protrusions between the head cells and the cuticle (percutaneous tissue). Bulb-like trichomes are found on all parts of the cannabis plant above the ground. They most likely secrete cannabinoids or similar substances, although this fact is still poorly understood.

The glands of this species are several times larger than the bulbous ones, reaching sizes ranging from 25 to 100 microns. The unicellular stalk is almost invisible under the massive spherical head, which occupies most of the gland – most often it consists of 8-16 cells. Under the outer membrane of these cells, various cannabinoid compounds accumulate, which causes the head to enlarge, giving it that shape.

Cephalic-footed (or cephalic-chested)
Head and stem trichomes are the most numerous; they cover all parts of the plant abundantly during the flowering period of the cannabis plant. They appear in the process of complicating the structure of cephalic trichomes. Most of them are located on the preflower calyxes (the leaves covering the flowers). These trichomes are very elongated, due to the long multicellular pedicel supporting the ball head. The release of cannabinoid resins is very active during cannabis flowering, so its trichomes become visible even to the naked eye. They reach 150-500 microns, and if you look through a good magnifying glass, you can examine them in more detail.

What function do trichomes have

The trichomes of the cannabis plant are supposed to protect the plant from all kinds of negative external influences.

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To protect the cannabis plant from parasites. Thanks to the occurrence of trichomes, the surface of all tissues is covered with an even layer of sticky resins, protecting all parts of the plant from the penetration of fungi and various insects. Also, some substances excreted by the cannabis through the trichomes make it unattractive to be eaten by animals or birds.
Weather protection. By forming a kind of carpet covering the entire space of the plant, trichomes make cannabis less susceptible to ultraviolet solar radiation. The small hairs help to gently catch gusts of wind, making the tissue walls of the plant more flexible. Moisture, too, is much less likely to penetrate through such a protective screen.
Trichomes help determine when to harvest
To the grower, trichomes are an indicator of maturity. As the plant matures, it actively releases various cannabinoids through the trichomes. But in addition to the THC contained in cannabis, there is a wide range of other cannabinoids, including a breakdown product called CBN (cannabinol), which has the opposite effect. The signal that the trichome has been maximally saturated with THC is that its color has changed from clear to bright white. As the trichome begins to cloud and become warmer and then amber in color, the THC in it gradually converts to HPA.

So you have to choose the optimum time when most of the trichomes have time to turn white, but don’t start to overripe. Opinions are divided here, though: some growers wait until about half of all trichomes have turned turbid, while others prefer a slight turbidity to a slight transparency. After all, a few weeks of maturation can make a big difference in the effect.

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