Trichomes

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Trichomes

Cannabis also known as marijuana comes from the cannabis plant and is intended to be used for recreational and medical reasons. The plant has a chemical called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for short. (THC) has phychoactive and physiological effects in the body when consumed. When looked at under a microscope you can see trichomes on the surface of the plant.

Trichomes are the physical form of (THC). “In nature, only the strong survive, and it is hypothesized by biologist that trichomes evolved as a defense mechanism of the cannabis plant against a range of potential enemies” (cannabisculture.com). Trichomes look little clear hairs growing from the plant. The trichomes have a sticky resin to prevent insects from reaching the surface of the plant. The resin from the trichomes act as natural sunblock against the UV-B rays from the sun. Over the years humans have had the most influence on the plants by developing different strains containing different types of trichomes. There are three main types of trichomes and they are bulbous, capitate-sessile, and capitate-stalked.

Bulbous is the smallest of the three and its size can range from (15 to 30 micrometers). Cells make up the foot, stalk, and the head of the gland. The head cells secrete cannabinoids and related compounds between the head cell and the cuticle. “When the gland matures, a nipple-like protrusion may form on the membrane from the pressure of accumulating resin” (cannabisculture.com). The bulbous glands are found scattered on the surface of the plant.

Capitate-sessile is the second type of gland and it can range from (25 to 100 micrometers). There are more of these trichomes than there are bulbous. The reason they are called capitate is because capitate means globular shaped head. On an immature plant the head cells lay flush. Their stalk is one cell high, and the head is usually made of 8, but up to 16 cells that form a rosette. The cells secrete cannabinoids between the rosette...
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