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What Are Cannabis Trichomes?

31/03/2022
What Are Cannabis Trichomes

Have you ever wondered what cannabis trichomes are? Of course, we can answer this question for you and at the same time, we want to tell you some interesting things about the small resin glands. “Glands?!” we hear you say. No, we’re not talking about the human body and, by the way, trichomes aren’t only found on hemp plants!

With CBD edible products online in Australia becoming more and more popular, it’s necessary to understand everything about cannabis in general. We’ve covered many topics about cannabis, CBD, and more on our blog.


Now, let’s find out more about cannabis trichomes.  

What Are Cannabis Trichomes Used for?

Trichomes or plant hairs are hair-like structures that occur on the surface of various plants. They usually differ in density, size, and shape. Different trichomes have different jobs and functions. Most serve to defend the plants against pests.

Trichomes are the source of resin and cannabinoids on cannabis plants. They’re small balls of pure cannabis resin. They’re found on all parts of plants. Optimum harvest time can be determined by the appearance and maturity of the trichomes.

Simple Unicellular Trichomes

These trichomes are found on the top and bottom of cannabis leaves. They aren’t spherical like their close relatives but merely look like tiny hair. Besides, they’re missing the round resin gland. Therefore, they produce few cannabinoids. 

In addition, they’re more of a defensive effect against small animals and insects. Researchers also hypothesize that the small, single-celled trichomes may also protect from light and wind.

Capitate Stalk Trichomes

These extra-large trichomes are highly sought after by cannabis growers and cannabis enthusiasts as these trichomes provide the most resin.


The resin contains the precious cannabinoid spectrum. These trichomes are particularly high in THC, CBD, CBG, and CBN. It’s believed that around 115 different cannabinoids are found in the hemp plant, most of which are found in the capitate stalk trichomes. These’re therefore also the most well-known trichomes. They’re roughly up to 100 micrometers wide and can grow three times as high. Therefore, you can see them very well with the microscope and the naked eye. They’ve got a comparatively large stalk and a spherical head and are therefore reminiscent of a mushroom-shaped structure.

The different trichomes are found on both male and female cannabis plants. However, it must be said that the female plants produce significantly more trichomes and therefore also cannabinoids and terpenes.

Sessile Gland Trichomes

These trichomes, which are also very difficult to recognize, are the sessile gland trichomes. Although they are larger than bulbous trichomes, they’re still difficult to see even under a microscope. They have a round trichome head and a small stalk. They’re about twice as wide as bulbous trichomes.

Bulbous Trichomes

This type of trichome is particularly small, with a short stalk and a very thick and bulbous resin gland head. It also produces various cannabinoids and terpenes. They’re up to 10 microns across, making them the smallest cannabis trichomes in existence.

Cystolithic Trichomes

These small and also difficult-to-see cystolithic trichomes are very similar in shape and size to unicellular trichomes, as they also only have a small stalk with no proper resin gland. This type of trichome is referred to as a non-glandular trichome.

The Trichome Maturity

Many experienced cannabis growers can use the size and color of the trichomes to determine the optimal harvest time to harvest a particularly THC-rich cannabis plant (we’ve written an article about the different CBD cultivation methods). The small resin glands change color as they get older and more mature. 

If you wait too long, the THC will turn into CBD. In the beginning, the resin glands are particularly white and clear, almost transparent. Towards the peak of flowering, the translucent trichomes turn into milky trichomes. At the end of a cannabis plant’s life, the trichomes are mostly amber in color. This’s the point where the hemp plant has the most THC. If you wait another 14-21 days and then harvest the plant, you’d have cannabis flowers that are particularly rich in CBD. This is the type you want for CBD edible products online in Australia.

The terpenes of the cannabis plant, i.e., the aromatic substances, are formed evenly with the THC in the early stages of the trichomes. With age, THC levels continue to rise, and terpenes intensify their profile. Many growers and patients bred their plants towards this peak to cultivate a particularly high-THC product.

Final Thoughts 

To date, very little is known about trichomes, terpenes, and cannabinoids. The research on this is ongoing and we’ll of course always keep it up to date.

Our CBD edible products online in Australia are tested by independent laboratories. Our main goal in Down To Earth is to provide people with high-quality CBD and hemp products. You can check the reports here.

We also want to change how people look at CBD products such as edible CBD products. That’s why we’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you’ve got. Please feel free to contact us whenever you want!

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