If you have ever seen a cannabis plant ready for harvest you will see tiny, sticky, shiny things on flower. That shine and stickiness come from the trichomes. Let's dive into what these plant parts are all about.
Why Do We Care About Trichomes?
Think of trichomes as the kitchen of the cannabis plant. This is where all the good stuff is cooked up! They’re responsible for the unique flavors, scents, as well as the cannabinoids we want (and the THC if we happen to want that part). When we are looking for CBD for horses, we must keep the legal limit of less than 0.3% TCH, of course.
So, What Exactly Are Trichomes?
Imagine teeny-tiny, mushroom-shaped glittery dots covering your weed. These glittery bits are trichomes. And they're not just for decoration. Other plants have them too, but for cannabis, they're extra special. They basically store the essence of the plant.
The Trichome Lifeguard Team
Trichomes are nature's way of protecting the cannabis plant. Think of them as the plant's bodyguards. They shield the plant from nasty things like harsh weather and hungry insects. How? By producing strong aromas and flavors that deter those pests and a protective coating against wind, frost, or molds.
Trichome Variety Show
Just like apples come in different types, so do trichomes. Here’s a quick rundown:
Bulbous Trichomes: Think of these as the sneaky ones. They're so small you'd need some serious magnifying power to see them.
Capitate-Sessile Trichomes: These are like the middle child – a bit bigger, mostly chilling under the plant’s leaves.
Capitate-Stalked Trichomes: The stars of the show! These big ones are easy to spot and are the main chefs cooking up compounds like CBD and THC.
Magic Factory: How Trichomes Work
Imagine trichomes as tiny labs. In simple terms, they take basic ingredients and transform them into the special compounds that make cannabis into the powerful plant that it is. Through a step-by-step process, they produce things like all the different cannabinoids which is what is needed for the benefits of feeding CBD to horses.
It’s Harvesting Time!
Knowing when to pick the cannabis plant is a bit like knowing when your cake is done baking. Growers usually wait for a signal from trichomes. When they turn a nice amber color, it’s go-time. This is when the THC and CBD levels are just right.
The Birth of CBD (and THC) in Trichomes
Let’s break it down. First up, trichomes whip up a basic compound called CBGA (cannabigerolic acid). Think of CBGA as the dough that can be baked into different types of pastries. With some heat and time, CBGA turns into the stars of the show: CBD and THC.
Love and Care for Trichomes
Trichomes are sensitive souls. Too much sun, heat, rough handling, or even age can upset them. After the plant is harvested, growers have special tricks, like gentle drying or freezing, to keep the trichomes (and their special contents) in tip-top shape.
Squeezing the Goodness Out
Ever wondered how you get cannabis oils, vapes, or edibles? That’s all thanks to extracting the goodness from trichomes. There are many ways, from using chemicals like butane, propane, ethanol, or Supercritical CO2 to just pressing or sifting them. After extracting, you can get oils that can be used in various products like CBD for horses, edibles or vapes for people or topicals.
So, in a nutshell, trichomes are these little powerhouses on the cannabis plant that give us the flavors, smells, and effects we love for our horses. And understanding them can help you appreciate your cannabis even more!