Trichomes on the marijuana plant are sometimes referred to as Crystals and contain the majority of the THC in the cannabis plant. Crystals are harvested and used to make concentrates such as chief or hash. Cannabis that has a white, frosty appearance usually has a high crystal content. If a cannabis plant has plenty of crystals, it is typically considered to be very strong and most likely contain high cannabinoid levels.
Generally, the crystals are shiny and very sticky if you touch them with your hands. They release the specific telltale aromas from the many different strains of cannabis. The crystal production of cannabis plants is dependent on the amount of light they receive. If they are receiving broad spectrum illumination, then this allows large crystals to be formed by the plant.
The cannabis plant’s crystals function in the wild as a defence mechanism. They contain a bitter taste and have a pungent scent. This is what helps discourage insects and herbivores from consuming the cannabis plant, especially when the plant is in full bloom and excreting a high amount of crystals. Crystals also help protect the plant against high winds, fungal growth, and adverse weather conditions. When the plant enters its flowering stage, this is the time that the crystals will form on the plant. Genetics are a key part of the plant’s crystal production.
Many strains produce an excess amount of crystals, whereas some produce and very little is produced by others. Without the trichomes, consumers wouldn’t be able to get high or experience any of the associated medicinal benefits of cannabis. When an experienced cannabis user sees a plant that is completely covered in crystals, they almost get a sense of astonishment because they will know that in most cases, it means the strain will give them greater psychoactive effects.
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The Great White Shark I got from Dylan was covered in crystals, it was literally white!