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Glandular Trichome

Last updated: June 22, 2021

What Does Glandular Trichome Mean?

Glandular trichomes are a subcategory of trichomes: small, often hair-like growths that are found on the leaves, stem, bracts, and flowers of many plants. Their appearance and function varies depending on the plant species or their location on the plant.

Glandular trichomes are found on approximately 30 percent of plant species. One of their primary functions is the creation of odorous oils or resin to deter pest insects and animals.

In cannabis cultivation, glandular trichomes are the glistening resinous crystals found on the leaves and buds of a mature female marijuana plant.

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Maximum Yield Explains Glandular Trichome

The word trichome comes from the Greek word for hair because they resemble little hairs. Glandular trichomes are a special part of the plant because they are what produce, hold, and secrete essential oils.

Cannabis plants produce three types of glandular trichomes: bulbous, capitate-sessile, and capitate-stalked. Capitate-stalked trichomes contain the majority of the cannabinoid and terpene content of the cannabis plant.

Although the leaves contain small amounts of cannabinoids and terpenes, glandular trichomes are the powerhouses that holds the most of these materials. For this reason, cannabis growers and connoisseurs seek flower with a high density of glandular trichomes.

Growers also refer to these trichomes to determine harvest time as the glandular trichomes will begin to change color—from clear, to cloudy, to amber—during the latter half of its flowering cycle. A mix of cloudy and amber trichomes is often considered the ideal time to harvest.

Glandular trichomes are also the primary component of cannabis products like kief or hash where the trichome heads are removed from the dried cannabis flower through various techniques.

As opposed to glandular trichomes, plants also produce non-glandular trichomes. UV protection is believed to be the only function of non-glandular trichomes.

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Plant TypesHarvestPlant ScienceCannabisTrichomes

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