Trichomes are super tiny glands on the cannabis plant that secrete resin. As you probably already know, this resin makes some buds delightfully sticky. Fresh cannabis resin also contains the plant’s particular flavor and the psychoactive and medicinal substances this plant is prized for.
Basically, if you’re only familiar with one part of cannabis anatomy, trichomes are a great place to start!
420 Pony Breaks Down Cannabis Resin
When chronic smokers hear about marijuana resin they may think of the dark, mildly off putting residue left behind in glass and metal pieces. This accumulates after you smoke some good weed for a period of time. If you’ve ever experienced a cannabis drought or hard financial times, you already know that you can smoke this substance and get high.
It’s not for everyone, though. It’s hardly a gourmet experience.
Regardless, that’s not the cannabis resin we’re talking about today. We’re here to break down the fresh and viscous cannabis secretion that makes some weed the stickiest of the icky.
Trichomes, Terpenes and Cannabinoids
While trichomes are small, they are visible to the naked eye. In the same way a pine tree makes resin, cannabis trichomes produce a similar substance. While the substance is sap-like, it is a totally different type of substance and performs a completely different function for the plant.
Sap is thinner than resin and exists to shuttle sugar and nutrients through the plant. The roots take in the nutrients and sap helps circulate them through the plant’s stem and leaves.
Resin, on the other hand, contains terpenes and in the case of cannabis, cannabinoids. It performs a protective role in the plant’s life. It lies in wait in the outer cells of a plant and rushes to plug the gap if the plant is cut or damaged. This keeps infection from gaining entry through the breach.
The terpenes in the resin ward off predators which is funny considering how highly prized they are for cannabis users. You may find it interesting that cannabis isn’t the only plant with terpenes. Pine trees, mangos, and lemons also create terpenes.
Trichomes, Hash, and Butane Extracted Cannabis Concentrates
It’s worth noting that the trichomes are the the main ingredient in hash making. With methods like bubble hash, water acts as a solvant to lift the trichomes off the cannabis. A good solid thrashing helps separate them. Then, the resulting slurry can be strained. Since all of the trichomes containing THC, other cannabinoids, and terpenes are the end result, the hash is potent and flavorful.
With BHO based concentrates, butane is used as a solvent but the end result is similar. You have trichomes to thank for all your wax, hash, and shatter.