We are on our second of third trichomes today. Hope everyone is have a relaxed, productive week!
Capitate sessile trichomes – Are slightly larger and contain both a head and a stalk. These trichomes are quite a bit more abundant than their bulbous brethren, but cannot hold a candle to the bountifulness and size of the third trichome variety, which we will dive into tomorrow. Capitate-sessile trichomes range from 25-100 microns in diameter (with a single-cell stalk) and secrete fewer cannabinoids overall than capitate-stalked trichomes. These smaller capitate-sessile trichomes may be more suitable for edibles and other products intended for cannabis infusion.
Cannabinoid synthesis within the trichome begins as cannabis plants move into their bloom phase. As they begin to produce flowers, trichomes form along the outer surface of the above-ground plant vegetation and begin to transport vacuoles and plastids from their stalk into the gland head. At this point, cells within the gland head will begin to metabolize and form precursors for what will eventually become cannabinoids.
The rate and concentration at which a cannabis plant produces trichomes will be contingent on both genetics well as some environmental factors. Though plants containing higher concentrations of trichomes don’t always produce the highest concentration of cannabinoids and/or terpenes, variables such as UV light greatly affect cannabinoid and terpene synthesis within the trichome head. Typically, plants that receive a broader spectrum of light will produce higher concentrations of cannabinoids, though in many cases these reactions will be strain-specific.
Light is perhaps the most important factor in your plants life cycle. Cannabis has been shown to produce higher levels of THC when receiving UV-B lighting during the last 2 weeks of flowering. Light in the UV-B spectrum (290 to 320 nm) is the same spectrum of light that makes us tan and gives us cancer. It causes a similar kind of stress to a cannabis plant. In response to the stress of the UV-B light, cannabis plants will start to produce more trichomes, which act as a sort of sunscreen against the intense UV-B light.
If you want to increase trichome yield, which thereby increases THC and CBD levels, there are two important things to remember;
- Temperatures should remain between 70-80℉. Dropping below 70° makes the plant feel too cold which can result in decreased flowering and plant discoloration, while temps above 80° can wreak havoc on potency by essentially cooking off the good stuff.
- Keep relative humidity levels below 30%. Using a dehumidifier or even an air conditioner can help to maintain consistent levels. Cannabis loves to flower in a dry climate, so this is a way to mimic that by reducing relative humidity.