It's all about Trichomes. Do you know what they are and why they are important?
In the age of epic Instagram pictures, there is no shortage of beautiful cannabis plant captures.
The favorite seems to be the ones that show off frosty plants or buds, and by this, I mean the almost frosted like appearance that the plant takes on.
As with so many popular cannabis community slang terms, there are a lot of us that don’t know the true meaning behind the term and let us tell you beauty is not just skin deep and nature sure proves that to us in the form of the Cannabis plant.
The short answer to our frost question is simply Trichomes. But, what fun is the short answer anyway?
The definition of trichomes is as follows:
”fine outgrowths or appendages on plants, algae, lichens, and certain protists.”
If you are anything like us, scientific mumbo jumbo gives you a headache, therefore we like to look at the root word to help out a little more.
Trichomes come from the Greek word “Trichoma” which means “growth of hair.”
So, the frost we are complimenting is simply fine hair-like growths on the cannabis plant.
To be fair, hair might be a little misleading since they look more like clear micro mushrooms.
In fact, they are mushroom factories that produce the hundreds of known cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that make up the entourage effect of potency, uniqueness, and effectiveness we have come to know and love from our favorite strains.
Believe it or not, trichomes are not actually produced for the sole purpose of making our high better (We know, Bummer), they are actually a defense system for the Cannabis plant when growing in the wild.
Trichomes, the natural defense
When the female cannabis plant starts to flower in the wild it becomes vulnerable to animals and insects.
In the wild Trichomes alone serve as a deterrent from animals due to it making the taste of the plant bitter and the aroma too strong for them.
There are three types of trichomes on each plant:
- Bulbous: These are the smallest trichome set, 10-15 micrometers tall, and appear on the surface of the entire plant.
- Capitate Sessile: Slighter larger than the Bulbous and more abundant.
- Capitate Stalked: These are mushroom-like trichomes that can be seen with the naked eye and are 50-100 micrometers in size. The heads of these babies are the epicenter for cannabinoids and terpenes.
It is important to note that trichomes can be damaged due to:
- physical contact: When the plant is handled too rough or moved through too many processes the trichome count can go way down which affects the test results when it comes to cannabinoid and terpene levels.
- Heat: If the temps are too high during the growing and harvesting process then you can say goodbye to that trichome count.
- Light: Too much light can be just as damaging as not enough light.
- Time: If the plant is left to its own devices for too long, it will start to eat itself and first on the menu? You guess it, trichomes.
So the next time you're scrolling through your feed and you see some frosty bud, you will know exactly what that means and why you might want to give it a try!
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