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What are Trichomes?

The world of cannabis has undertaken many transformations within the scope of the past few decades; a process that began a long time ago but that really picked up speed in the 20th century. As technology has advanced, so has research and information associated with major phytocannabinoids such as THC and CBD, among many others. Here at Lazy River Products, we’re excited to share our amazing self-care selections with our audience while also providing  extensive information regarding the specifics of what really makes cannabis and hemp truly remarkable. 

In our previous blog, we talked about the position of terpenes in the scheme of potential cannabis benefits. Keep reading as we discuss the functions of trichomes and how they relate to cannabis and hemp, specifically.

The Basics 

Trichomes are the tiny, sugar-like substances that appear on the buds and adjacent leaves of flowering plants. They contain resin, which is responsible for giving cannabis that “sticky” texture when touched, harvested, and even after a properly managed cure. Their small size shouldn’t be underestimated, however, because they’re responsible for producing plentiful supplies of the beneficial compounds found in the cannabis plant.

Types of Cannabis Trichomes

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s talk about the many different kinds of trichomes that are present within the cannabis plant, generally categorized into two categories — glandular and non-glandular:

Glandular trichomes are “specialized hairs found on the surface of about 30% of all vascular plants and are responsible for a significant portion of a plant’s secondary chemistry.” 

Non-glandular trichomes are known as protective epidermal appendages, responsible for shielding plants from UV light by behaving as optical filters. 

Here are the different types of cannabis trichomes: 

Antherial sessile: glandular trichomes – contain basal tissue under a disk of secretory cells, and a ‘head’ that stores terpenes and cannabinoids. 

Cystolithic: non-glandular trichomes – shaped like thin, curvy hairs that do not have a ‘head’. 

Simple unicellular: non-glandular trichomes – also with no resin ‘head’ and found on both sides of leaves; they’re mainly responsible for protection against pests. 

Capitate-stalked: glandular trichomes – largest, most abundant within the cannabis plant, providing the majority of cannabinoids, THC & resin. 

Capitate sessile: glandular trichomes – containing ample cell numbers in order to form a ‘head’ and small base. 

Bulbous: glandular trichomes – the smallest type, found across the full surface of the plant but very difficult to see due to low number of cells. 

Trichomes: Cannabis Biochemical Factories

Researchers at the University of British Columbia have been working on trichome studies in hopes of finding out more about cannabis and hemp. According to a recent study published in The Plant Journal – as has long been suspected, glandular trichomes are the richest source of THC-forming metabolites and fragrance giving terpenes. Thus, we can then consider them as ‘biochemical factories’, vital to our understanding of the complex and still mostly mysterious structure of the cannabis plant.

Why are Trichomes Important?

For plants, trichomes provide necessary protection from pests, wind, and light. For us humans, trichomes are important because it is within these microscopic agents that we are able to access the beneficial aspects of the cannabis plant, including flavonoids, cannabinoids and terpenes, as mentioned above. Consequently, all of these factors combined are crucial to achieve the desired entourage effect

 

Our team at Lazy River Products is excited for the future of our brand, and for the future of legal cannabis and hemp in the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Keep following our blog for more educational cannabis content, as well as the latest LRP news & information about community events.  

 

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