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  • Writer's pictureStronger Roots


🔷What Are Trichomes?

Trichomes are the mushroom-like appendages on the surface of cannabis flowers and leaves that produce and hold the plant's cannabinoids and terpenes (the natural chemicals that give the plant its psychoactive and medicinal properties and distinctive smell) while also giving it a frosty white appearance.

•By definition, a trichome is “the small outgrowth on a plant”

•✨Their bitter taste and strong aroma acts as a deterrent against most animals and insects / Small bulbous trichome glands can even trap and confine tiny insects / Terpenes also help the plant maintain optimal surface-level humidity, so it doesn't dry out.

•CBG (Cannabigerol) is the precursor to the most abundant cannabinoids including THC. Enzymes break down and modify CBG to create the other cannabinoids - this all takes place within the Trichomes

🔷Types of Trichomes

•Three different trichomes found on (cannabis) plant:

1.) Bulbous: the smallest with a few cells and contain NO cannabinoids

2.) Capitate-sessile trichomes: “Medium sized” trichomes and the most abundant; do produce some levels of cannabinoids

3.) Capitate-stalked trichomes: Largest and most familiar (mushroom shaped) of the three types, these are responsible for producing the majority of the plant’s cannabinoids and terpenes.

•The largest, mushroom-shaped stalked (glandular) trichomes are the richest source of THC and CBD forming metabolites and fragrance-giving terpenes.

🔷Stages of Trichomes

•Understanding the various stages of trichome development is vital for cannabis growers who are searching for particular effects, as it can help to determine the best time to harvest the plant.

•✨ Some growers like to complement visual appearance with the use of aroma and will monitor changes in their plants according to changes in aroma type (and intensity).

•As a grower you need to know approximately how many weeks until your specific plant reaches near-harvest. Then, using a HD Digital Camera or handheld microscope, check trichome development to determine when it’s time to harvest.

❗️Using a magnification of 30x or better is highly advised!! I personally recommend this product here: Handheld Microscope

Stages of Trichome development:


When the plant is in the early stages of the flowering cycle, the trichomes will be small and clear. They are translucent as the plant is still producing resin within the glands and slowly filling them. At this stage, the trichomes do not have enough potency so harvesting now can have negative consequences on yield.

•CLOUDY (more of a “head” high)

As the plant reaches maturity, the resin inside the trichomes will turn opaque and will eventually turn pale yellow... Cloudy trichomes occur prior to harvest and indicates that cannabinoid levels have reach their maximum/production peak. OTHER FACTORS (like genetics, environment, nutrition, lighting, cannabinoid and terpene levels) will determine how potent the final product is...

•AMBER (more of a body high) more of a body high) (more of a body high

Tend to produce the heaviest and most physical effects. Bear in mind that trichomes turning amber do indicate deteriorating THC levels

🔷Things to Consider…

❗️The abundance of trichomes isn’t a good indicator of the cannabinoid content (%) or flavor of a particular plant

❗️OTHER FACTORS (like genetics, environment, nutrition, lighting, cannabinoid and terpene levels) will determine how potent the final product is; Typically, plants that receive a broader spectrum of light will produce higher concentrations of cannabinoids

❗️Not all strains of cannabis are the same and some trichomes will display maturation differently

❗️ Harvesting too early means less potent buds, with less essential oils and terpenes, so your buds will taste like grass or hey, even when correctly dried and cured.

❗️Concentrates are the product of extracting that resin from the trichomes and separating it from the rest of the plant matter

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