What is a Trichome in High Grade Marijuana?

Ever wonder about those little white crystal type protrusions that signified high grade medical marijuana?

Trichomes are a great way to tell a medical marijuana plant sample’s strength and potency. These beautiful glistening white crystal-like growths  are a medical patients best friend, acting as an indication of plant maturity to growers and patients alike.

Throughout the plant’s life, trichomes, glandular sacs,  develop to protect the plant from potential environmental threats. They generally appear as clear, yellowish type protrusions or globs, usually covering the surface of the female flowers. The bulbous heads on the stalks of the trichomes swell as cannabinoids and perspective precursors develop as the plant matures.

Much like a water balloon filling up, these “liquid at room temperature” cannabinoids are protected by a membrane, thus creating the globe upon the hair like protrusion seen below. Sometimes trichomes may become so swollen that they will actually tip over at the stem from the weight of the bulb.

These “trichomes” contain several varieties of cannabinoids, one of which is THC, the main psychoactive component in marijuana. Examining a bud’s trichomes is a great way to judge the potency of the marijuana in question. Clear, or non-existent trichomes signify low THC content and therefore low potency. Large and cloudy and amber trichomes likely means the THC content is high.

A translucent hair grows as a globe shaped droplet forms on the top. As the plant matures, the globe begins to bulge with cannabinoids among other things.

Viewing trichomes with a jeweler’s loop allows us to examine and them more closely. When about one out of ten trichomes allows are amber colored, we know the sample is near mature. Sometime giving hints or telltale signs the effects we can expect it to have.

Medical cannabis harvested in its prime should show visibly show mostly cloudy trichomes with some being amber in color.

(A beautiful albino strain showing off many trichomes five weeks plus from full maturity)

Trichomes play many important parts in a plant’s life and are very important to medical patients. Trichomes are the source of a patient’s medicine.  Cannabinoids such as THC are created and stored in these little droplets of gooey sticky goodness. The plant also uses trichomes as a defense mechanism from environmental factors. This ability to readily adaptive to most climates has led the plant to most every corner of our world.

Medical samples with higher concentration of amber colored trichomes will be higher in CBN than plants harvested with mostly cloudy trichomes on a sample.