Trichomes, Terpenes, Terpenoids Guide to What They Are and Their Uses

Trichomes, Terpenes & Terpenoids: Guide to What They Are and Their Uses

Everyone has an endocannabinoid system (ECS). It manages your body’s functions, including memory, appetite, pain, and mood. Think of this system as being a lock and key. When the keys, or cannabinoids, enter the system, they will interact with your body’s receptors, or locks. 

That will play a role in the effects that cannabis has on your body. Trichomes, terpenes, and terpenoids are cannabinoids in the same way that CBD and THC are. But they are not as well known. Terpenoids and terpenes are the same thing. Many people use the terms interchangeably. The terpene is a hydrocarbon that occurs naturally, and terpenoids are similar to terpenes. 

The trichomes are hairy growths that you can find on many kinds of plants. In the cannabis family, they are similar looking to mushrooms. They give the plant its aroma and flavour that helps you tell the difference between the different types of marijuana. Today, you will learn the differences among the different compounds in the cannabis plant, as well as how they change the strength, flavour, and taste of the plant. You will also learn what you can use the terpenes for.

About Trichomes

These are small hairs that come from the stems, buds, leaves, and stalks of the marijuana plant. You may be surprised to learn that many species in the fungus and algae family also have trichomes. They consist primarily of a head and a stalk. This head will create cannabinoids, such as CBD and THC.

But there are also some other functions that the trichome can create. That will ensure that the plant can reach maturity and stay healthy.

Functions of the Trichomes

There are many purposes of the trichomes. They look like hairs that have crystals on them. The word comes from a Greek word that means “hairs.” One of the main functions of the trichome is to create a sticky resin that will attach to your fingertips each time you handle your cannabis. The small hairs can protect the plant from threats in the environment. It can also produce marijuana’s active ingredients.

However, that doesn’t mean you can just go out and buy a few trichomes. Their main function is to protect the plant and boost its overall well-being. Their purpose is not to get you high. One of the more surprising functions of this is to deter animals in the wild. The fibres do not taste good, and that makes the animals think that the plant can’t be eaten.

That way, the trichomes allow the plant to yield more because it is not eaten by animals. That also increases the plant’s chances of remaining healthy. However, there are still other factors that can influence the plant’s health, including UV rays and wind.

One plant that has a lot of trichomes on it is OG Kush. OG stands for “ocean grown,” and plants that grow near the sea need to be protected from the amount of salt in the air. By producing more trichomes, the plant can protect itself. You end up with a bud that appears frosty. When you see a bud that has many trichomes on it, you know you will enjoy the experience.

Kinds of Trichomes

Kinds of Trichomes

There are three main types of trichomes. These are capitate-stalked trichomes, bulbous trichomes, and capitate sessile trichomes. These offer some of the most important functions to the plants. But the exact role that they will play will depend on the kind of trichome they are. The location also plays a role. For example, the trichomes on the leaves and the roots can help the plant to absorb nutrients, like water and minerals.

The trichomes on the leaves can also help to bring down the plant’s temperature in hot weather. They can protect the plant from hydration loss and the UV rays.

You can find bulbous trichomes all over the plant. They are small orbs that are made up of only a few cells. They do not have as much of an impact as the other kinds of trichomes. But the cannabis plant still needs them.

The medium size trichomes are the capitate sessile ones. While they are bigger than the bulbous trichomes, they are not the largest ones you can find. You can find them near the plant’s head.

When you think of trichomes, you are most likely thinking of the capitate-stalked ones. They are the largest ones, and you can see them with your eyes. They are fibrous and waxy, and you can find them on the leaves of the plant. 

Even though you can find cannabinoids in all of the trichomes, the capitate-stalked ones make the most, which are what many people harvest for different oils.

Stages of Trichome Growth

As marijuana begins to grow, the trichomes are produced, but the production is minimal. When you look at them, they will look clear and white. Once the plant begins to flower, more trichomes will be produced. Within the last couple of weeks of flowering, the trichomes may begin to appear white and cloudy. 

In fact, this is the best time to determine when you should harvest your plant. When the plant starts to mature, the trichomes will look dark red or amber. But before you harvest your plant, you will want to see that around 75% to 80% of your trichomes are amber.

What Do Trichomes Look Like Under a Microscope?

Looking at trichomes under a microscope will help you get a better understanding of the cannabis plant. The look is nearly otherworldly, and it will allow you to see transparent bristles, which are the trichomes. Think about what a pine tree might look like after a light snowstorm in the winter.

Kinds of Terpenes

About Terpenes 

The terpenes emit aromas, and you can find them in many types of plants, as well as insects. This is considered to be a minor cannabinoid. It consists of a compound that is known as isoprene. That is what makes cannabis be psychoactive. They may be vital for patients who want to relieve pain. Like many other types of cannabinoids, they may bind to your brain’s receptors. That may cause a range of different psychological effects.

Kinds of Terpenes

When you think about the different kinds of terpenes in nature, they are nearly endless. When it comes to cannabis, you can find them in both marijuana and hemp. Let’s take a look at a few of them.


This is not one of the most common kinds of terpenes. You do not get very large quantities of this terpene. However, it has a range of flavours and aromas. It might have flowery, pine, or citrus scents.


Terpenoids are a type of terpene that you can find in several groups. This name might be used with terpene, although there is a slight difference between them. For example, you might find chemically altered terpenoids that will give you a better effect.


As its name may suggest, this terpene is common in all foods that have a citrus aroma. For the cannabis plant, this terpene has a similar scent. It is often considered to be very bitter.

Terpenes vs. CBD, CBN, and THC

It can be confusing to understand what terpenes are when you compare them with THC, CBD, or other derivatives from the cannabis plant. The difference between terpenes and other compounds in the plant is just the way that they behave.

The reason that terpenes stand out is that you can find them in many types of plants. For example, you can find them in oranges, lavender, and other flowers. Depending on where you can find them, they will have different impacts. On the other hand, you can only find compounds like THC and CBD in the marijuana plant. 

Scents and Flavours for Terpenes

Scents and Flavours for Terpenes

Terpenes can give the marijuana plant its flavours and scents, which allow you to have different effects from different strains. Every terpene is different. Because of how many strains of the plant you can find, cannabis is fun and interesting. There are many things that differentiate OG Kush from Sour Diesel, for example. The colour, type of high, and potency are all examples.

But each one also has its own flavour and scent. That is how terpenes impact the plant in the biggest way. For example, this is where Blueberry Kush gets its blueberry scent from. If you can think of your favourite cannabis scent, then that is likely because of terpenes.

We have already seen that you can find terpenes in many different plants. Many people are enjoying using terpenes in more than just the cannabis plant. You can add terpenes from the cannabis plant or other ones to oils, lotions, food, drinks, or other products.

Using Terpenes

You might know what they are, but you may still not know the right way to use terpenes. If you get an extract, then you might use terpenes to relax and kickback. What it does for your body will depend on the type of chemical you have. For some people, terpenes might make a high more potent. But for others, the terpene may make the high seem more relaxing and mellow. 

However, getting high is not the only time you can use terpenes. You might use them for aromatherapy, for example. When the terpenes are not altered, they will act consistently. If you are using them for aromatherapy, then you will need to heat them to their boiling point, which is hotter than the boiling point for water. 

However, the application for terpenes can vary because there are so many kinds out there. It can be hard to find the right products. You want to make sure that you are getting them from a reputable manufacturer, so you get a pure product. Luckily, you can most likely find some terpene-infused products.

Products Infused with Terpenes

Products that are infused with terpenes are becoming more popular. That’s because more people want products that have the flavour, smell, and taste of their favourite strains of cannabis. They also enjoy the relaxing aroma of these products. There are several products that you can find out there.

Terpene-infused wine is one example. Different terpenes are used to infuse red and white wine. You can find a wine that has notes of lemon, which might help you to relax and feel less stressed. Other wines are infused with Sour Diesel, which has an earthy aroma and helps you feel more energized. You can even find liquors, beers, and some non-alcoholic drinks that are infused with terpenes.

Essential Oils from Terpenes

Essential Oils from Terpenes

Many people who have inflammation, anxiety, or pain believe that terpenes may help to reduce their symptoms. That means they want to find terpenes but might not want to have the high that is associated with traditional forms of cannabis

Terpenes can be extracted from the cannabis plant, which will make essential oils. That is another way to get some of the effects of cannabis. You may consume them or use the essential oils in another way.

Some essential oils have prominent terpenes from the cannabis plant. You can inhale them or diffuse them with a special infuser. You can even use lotions to help your skin absorb them better. But not every kind of essential oil has terpenes in it.

Candles with Terpenes 

You do not need to stick with drinks or topicals to enjoy terpenes. You can also use terpenes with only your nose. Candles that are scented with terpenes are one example of engaging with some of your favourite compounds from cannabis

Closing Thoughts

Terpenes and trichomes can give you a great experience no matter how you decide to take them. When the day is over, there are many ways you can enjoy terpenes without getting high. But if you want to enjoy a good high, then getting a bud full of trichomes is a great way to go.

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