What Are Trichomes?

Photo Credit: Civilized

Photo Credit: Civilized

If you've handled the marijuana plant, you've probably encountered its trichomes. Trichomes are the little sticky and aromatic resin glands or outgrowths that exist on many plants like algae and lichen. Trichomes are the last part of the cannabis flower to develop, and it is within these glands that the highest concentrations of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids are produced and stored. For this reason, it is the trichomes that are extracted for the production of infusions and concentrates. Cannabis contains three different types of trichomes: bulbous, capitate-sessile, and capitate stalked. The capitate-sessile trichomes secrete cannabinoids and other compounds that have accumulated between the rosette and the outer membrane, but it is the capitate-stalked trichomes that produce the highest concentrations of cannabis-unique chemical compounds.  

Cannabis concentrates, or extracts, are more effective and potent than the herb form of cannabis due to the fact there are higher concentrations of cannabinoids and other compounds. They can contain up to 99% pure CBD and THC. If you have encountered kief, dry dieve, hash, hutane hash oil (BHO), Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), or Rosin, then you have encountered cannabis concentrates. Kief is the lowest-quality extract, and dry sieve is a more refined version of kief. Hash uses icy water extraction to separate trichome heads from parts of the plant with no medicinal value. BHO can contain THC concentrations in the 80-90% range. RSO, also known as cannabis oil or hemp oil, is frequently used for treating cancer and other diseases. Rosin is a simply and quick technique using heat and pressure to create quality solventless hash.

In the end, the efficacy of concentrates and extracts still depends on the cannabinoid content of the strain used before extraction. If you are testing out any of these methods, document all of the information you have available to you in addition to your symptom relief in the journaling section of our app so that you can better understand which dosing regimen is most appropriate for you. This information has been provided in part by Civilized and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.