Resin Glands

Last updated: November 22, 2021

What Does Resin Glands Mean?

The resin glands of the cannabis plant, known as trichomes, occur on the plant’s buds, flowers, leaves, and even to a lesser extent on the stems. Trichomes are derived from the Greek word ‘trikhoma’ which translates ‘growth of hair’.

When looked at through a microscope, the cannabis resin glands look like small mushrooms. The resin glands are what produce the cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as well as the terpenes of the plant.

The cannabis plant’s resin glands create three types of trichomes: bulbous, capitate-stalked, and capitate-sessile. The bulbous are the smallest cells to make up the resin gland. They occur on the foot, stalk, and head of the gland. As they mature, they develop a small nipple-like protrusion that secretes resin. The capitate-stalked glands produce the most cannabinoids and occur on the female plant’s flowers and on the small leaves located near the flowers. The male plant also has capitate-stalked resin glands, but far fewer than the female plant. Capitate-sessile glands are bulbous and secrete cannabinoids only as the plant matures.


Maximum Yield Explains Resin Glands

Researchers believe that the cannabis plant develops resin glands as a form of defense against insects and herbivores. The trichome production makes the plant unpalatable. The secretions of the resin glands also help prevent fungus growth on the plant. The fine coating of resin glands act as a sunscreen for the plant and protect it from the sun’s harmful UV rays. They also afford the plant protection from excessive winds and humidity.

In human cannabis consumption, the euphoric qualities of the resin glands and the widespread medicinal benefits have made cannabis cultivation a science as cultivators work to develop strains with superior and excessive resin gland development.

The resin glands of the cannabis plant give growers an idea of when to harvest. Usually, harvest occurs when the resin glands are fully developed.


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Plant GrowthPlant ScienceCannabisTrichomes

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