Trichomes and what they do
The cannabis flower is an amazing source of wellness and recreational fun, helping us to garner a bit more pizzaz out of life. Knowing exactly how and why it gives us the amazing experience it does is something that is still being looked at, now more than ever, so all the answers aren’t available to us yet. What we do know for sure though, is that trichomes play a major factor.
What are Trichomes?
Put simply, trichomes are the tiny hair like appendages that appear on the surface of a variety of different plan species on Earth, including cannabis. These perform a variety of function for the plant and in the case of cannabis, is produced to keep insects, pests and even variety of fungal growth from harming the plant while it’s flowering. These trichomes are also responsible for a vast amount of the cannabinoids and terpenes that creates the high experience that humans feel when consuming cannabis. When a grower is cultivating cannabis, they would observe the trichomes coloration as one of the means of determining when the plant is ready to be harvested, with milky white trichomes generally representing higher THC potential while darker amber colored trichomes represent higher amounts of other cannabinoids.
These trichomes need to be treated very carefully following the cultivation of the plant, as they are very fragile and susceptible to damage from extreme temperatures, oxygen, and sunlight. Grower’s try to prioritize protecting this trichomes during the trimming and packaging process, with some craft cannabis growers going the extra mile and doing everything by hand; no machines touch their flower and as such the trichomes stay largely intact. The flowers these growers produce tend to be of higher quality, with a better concentration of terpenes and cannabinoids.
Does all cannabis produce trichomes?
Due to the nature of trichomes as a defense mechanism against predators during the plants flowering period, they tend to show up in large concentrations almost exclusively on female cannabis plants. Therefore, when you are smoking cannabis, you’re always smoking a female plant, as the female plant is the only one that has the concentration of trichomes and cannabinoids that is required to create a significant bio active effect in humans. Male plants are used for breeding and are often disposed of after being used. This isn’t to say male plants are useless as they contribute to genetic diversity within the cannabis plant family as well as help repel pests.
Trichomes are beloved by the cannabis community and flower that features heavy deposits of it on the surface of the bud are widely sought after. This is either smoked directly, cultivated as kief or transformed into other products like concentrates and hash.
Want to try some flower that features some immaculate trichome action? Browse our craft cannabis selection!