In the cannabis world, up close photos of cannabis buds are commonly seen to highlight the mesmerizing ‘crystals.’ Those little crystals that cover the plant and leave a sticky residue on your fingers are called Trichomes.
What are trichomes? Trichomes are an outgrowth from the epidermis of plants, as a hair; a microorganism composed of many filamentous cells arranged in strands or chains. Trichomes are not exclusive to cannabis, many other plants such as tomatoes also have Trichomes.
So, besides being responsible for the ‘frosty’ crystallized look of marijuana, what’s the hype about trichomes?
Cannabis trichomes are full of cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes. This means trichomes are responsible for the medicinal effects of a plant, as well as its aroma. Some people like to refer to trichomes on their buds as THC crystals. The plant also uses trichomes as a defense against pests and harmful UV rays. The interesting thing about this is that research suggests that THC and CBD evolved as a reaction to being subjected harmful UV rays near the top of the Himalayas or an ancient virus … maybe both! Research done at the University of Toronto has found THC and CBD “sprung to life thanks to ancient colonization of the plant’s genome by viruses, researchers have found.“ On the other hand, there are other sources, such as the AIMS Institute with research showing these cannabinoids may have formed due to unusually intense UV rays at the top of the Himalayas in ancient times.