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Why also non-glandural type of trichomes on Cannabis?

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    Why also non-glandural type of trichomes on Cannabis?

    Hi all,

    I have been struggling with a question for a while. I hope somebody can enlighten my mind and/or can share some links with interesting information about the subject.

    What I'm struggling with is that I fail to see the evolutionary point of why Cannabis has also non-glandural trichomes (ie. cystolithic hairs).

    What benefit(s) does non-glandural trichome types provide the plant that the glandular capitate stalked trichome can't give the plant if they would be the only type present on Cannabis?

    Why does Cannabis have both types (glandular and non-glandural) of trichomes?

    The amateur hashmaker inside me wants to know.


    trichomes are modified cells and look like hairs or spikes, the majority of "hairs" on plants are for doing what our hair does, protection. most offer protection from insects or animals some from other environmental factors(bead water). some for reproduction.

    but to keep it simple think of why lizards have horns.


      That's kinda what I'm thinking also that the glandular capitate stalked trichomes are evolved out of the non-glandural types. All are for the plants protection (or other benefits). And that in some regions on the plant (ie. flowering bracts) the concentration of the glandular capitate stalked trichomes is much higher then in other regions. While the spread of the non-glandural types are more consistent across the entire plant and not just concentrated in specific regions.


        The skinny needle ones are there to sting you like a bee to protect all those fat honey bulbs.
        I'm probably up to no good.

        Terpene Amplification


          Originally posted by troutman View Post
          The skinny needle ones are there to sting you like a bee to protect all those fat honey bulbs.
          Lol. I hadn't even considered that the cystolithic hairs -those skinny needles ones- might provide some kind of physical protection (ie. stinging). Do you happen to have some info about it? Links to articles?

          I belief the answer to my question might me that it will be either a physical protection like you said that the glandular capitate trichomes can't provide or it will be -if I rephrase my previous post- that Cannabis is just hairy where in some regions there are also concentrations of glandular cellular structures to be found where the honey is located.


            Not all resin is in the heads. Still not convinced those are glands, they act like sinks for the cultivated plants excess metabolites. Trichomes are much shorter when metabolites profile are more balanced. Hash makers influenced breeding selection in a positive way, now the placebo visual western market have influenced in a negative way: lots of "frost" on chemmy bud never melts down in a vaporizer, its not resin, its hard calloused toenail-grade plant pubic hair.
            For the last time, I'm pretty sure what's killing the crops is this Brawndo stuff.

            "But Brawndo's got what plants crave."


              wewll, first off, they might not really have a very clear purpose, plenty of traits exist just because it didn't give a detrimental effect big enough that evolution filtered it out. you could better say 'survival of the sufficient' instead of 'survival of the fittest'.

              but there are some functions of trichomes that non-glandular ones could provide.

              -against insects. trichomes on a plant are like a forest that the insect has to wade through, more/denser trichomes make it harder/slower to crawl over a leaf.

              -to reduce transpiration. there's a thin layer of more stagnant air around a leaf, trichomes can increase the thickness of this layer. with a thicker layer of stagnant air there, the water lost out the stomata will first increase the humnidity in that airlayer, and the higher humidity there will reduce the amount of water leaving the stomata.

              -maybe also some sunlight-protection, although that seems less likely with the spiky form. olive-plants do have trichomes that protect from sunlight, but they're more the shape of an umbrella.


                some seeds have trichomes that even attach to fir to be carried away to grow somewhere new!

                there is something interesting with hairs and progress in evolution, best is to get a botany book merlin aka clarkes buddy from hawaii has many papers and books about botany/ethnobotany that touches on the more interesting aspects of least for most of us anyhoo


                  Great presentation, Cvh!!! How'd I miss that one!!!????
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                    Hi Aridbud! Thank you for those kind words!!!

                    To all, here are some more pictures I found across the web and in scientific literature.








                            My guess would be based on where and when it's produced by the plant.
                            Hair-like structure on the underside of fan leaves, also seen during veg. Limits air circulation and heightens the "dew point", giving the plants a bit more resistance to heat and dry air.
                            Seen in many plants.
                            Bug repellent? Don't think so. If we had an evolutionary race i pest control, cannabis would probably suffer less from pest attacks compared to your garden plants without those weapons.
                            Glandular and cannabinoid rich belongs to the flower. My guess is to protect the seeds.
                            I've seen birds pick my sunflowers, my corn my everything but cannabis seeds. And it's not like they don't like them..
                            Current grow: