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Exploring the fascinating development of cannabinoid-producing trichomes – Zamir Punja, PhD


Tags: cultivation, potency, cannabinoids, terpene, resin, cannabis growing, yield, harvest

Zamir Punja presents “Exploring the fascinating development of cannabinoid-producing trichomes in cannabis flowers” at CannMed 2022.

Glandular trichomes produced on bracts of female inflorescences of THC-containing plants are known to produce cannabinoids. What are the details of how these structures develop ? The fascinating process of capitate stalked trichome development was studied using light and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Two strains– Moby Dick and Space Queen – were compared at 3 weeks and 6 weeks of the flowering period. Four morphologically distinct trichome types will be shown: nonglandular hairs (stacoliths) and three glandular (secretory) forms –pedicillate bulbous (15-30 um in diameter), sessile peltate (30-45 um in diameter) and capitate (40-85 um in diameter) that were stalked or sessile. The stalked capitate trichomes are formed in greater numbers on lower compared to upper bract surfaces, and at higher frequency on Space Queen compared to Moby Dick as maturity of the inflorescence progressed. Trichome glands increased in volume with maturity and resin was secreted through cracks or tears in the surrounding cuticle, resulting in collapse of the trichome gland. Dried buds of four cannabis strains showed varying trichome densities, stages of development, trichome stalk length, and degree of gland dehiscence. These findings may be extrapolated to develop a method to estimate trichome gland maturity to optimize cannabinoid levels at harvest.


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