Did You Know: There are Different Types of Trichomes?

Did You Know There are Three Different Types of Trichomes?

Trichomes are the tiny, hair-like outgrowths that cover cannabis and hemp flower. They make the cannabis flower look like it has been dusted in sugar or sand. They produce the valuable terpenes and cannabinoids like THC and CBD, that drive cannabis and hemp markets.

Most of us have seen the oil-rich trichome of a cannabis or hemp plant. It’s the sought-after“fruit” of the cannabis or hemp plant that drives our industry. But did you know that there are actually three different types of trichomes? 

While this fact is sometimes not all that important to the extractor, to a grower or to a hash maker this can be a crucial detail to look for in your plant material because it may affect your extraction process and ultimately, your final end-product.  

Did You Know There are Three Different Types of Trichomes?

The three different types of trichomes are listed below from smallest to largestand also on average from least abundant to most abundant.

  1. Bulbous trichomes                10-30 micrometers 
  2. Capitate-Sessile trichomes  25-100 micrometers
  3. Capitate-Stalked trichomes  50-500 micrometers (most abundant) 

The Capitate-Stalked trichomes are those which are visible to the eye and are recognizable as the iconic oil-rich cannabis or hemp trichome. Bulbous trichomes and Capitate-Sessile trichomes are both invisible to the naked eye but do also produce cannabinoids. These trichomes are frequently found on less-desirable parts of the plant such as leaves and stalks.

The sought-after Capitate-Stalked trichomes increase in density during the flowering stages of the plant, and are by far the most abundant. They produce the highest quantity of desirable cannabinoids and terpenes, and which are ideal for the production of cannabinoid derivatives.

However, a smart cannabinoid extractor will try to use as much of their biomass as possible, and will therefore not overlook the Bulbous trichomes and Capitate-Sessile trichomes as a source of cannabinoids.