cannabis under microscope/

Cannabis Under Microscope: Microscopical and Chemical Study of Cannabis Sativa

Marijuana is a marvel of nature, as we all know. However, when was the last time you really glanced at it before lighting that bowl?
Although it wouldn’t hurt, you don’t have to be high to appreciate the biological beauty of marijuana. The marijuana plant’s pistils, which serve a reproductive function for the plant but don’t significantly affect taste or potency for the smoker, are visible even to the unaided eye.
As you go closer, you’ll notice the milky, clear-white glands called trichomes sprouting on the epidermis of the buds and leaves. This resin layer creates cannabinoids like THC, the psychotropic component of marijuana, as well as making marijuana sticky.

A Closer Look at Trichomes

cannabis under microscope

The study’s findings support what many cannabis enthusiasts have long hypothesized: that the biggest, mushroom-shaped stalked glandular trichomes are the richest source of metabolites that give cannabis its distinctive scent and THC and CBD.
Despite its tremendous economic potential, our knowledge of the biology of the cannabis plant is still in its infancy due to limited legal access, according to co-lead author Teagen Quilichini, a postdoctoral scholar at UBC botany and Anandia Laboratories Inc.
“This work is the cornerstone for understanding how trichomes manufacture and store their valuable products,” says the author. “Trichomes are the biochemical factories of the cannabis plant.”
According to a previous study, there are three different forms of glandular trichomes: bulbous, sessile, and stalked. However, it was unknown how much each type contributes to the chemical synthesis of cannabis flowers.
A fast-flowering hemp cultivar of cannabis Sativa known as “Finola,” the UBC researchers utilized a mix of sophisticated microscopy techniques and chemical profiling to explore the interior architecture and development of individual trichomes for this study.
The stalked trichomes were discovered to emit a vivid blue color when exposed to UV light and to include a sizable, recognizable disc of cells in the shape of a pie. The smaller, stalkless sessile trichomes gave off a red color, had smaller secretory discs, and generated less aromatic terpenes.

Monitoring Cannabis Ripeness with Uv Light

cannabis under microscope/

According to Livingston, UV light might be used to track the trichome maturity of flowers and determine the best times to harvest them.
In order to understand how the instructions in the trichome DNA are transformed into the plant’s metabolic products, the researchers also performed a gene expression analysis. They discovered that Finola’s stalked trichomes were particularly well-suited for producing terpenes and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA).
“We discovered a treasure mine of genes that support the creation of cannabinoids and terpenes,” said Anne Lacey Samuels, a professor of botany at UBC.
With future research, this might be utilized to combine traditional breeding methods with molecular genetics to create marijuana strains that have specific cannabinoid and terpene profiles or are more productive.
The investigation into how trichomes export and store the metabolites they create will come next.
According to Livingston, trichomes store the metabolites in their cell walls. The fact that such large levels of a product should be poisonous to the cells is pretty amazing, therefore we want to know how they handle it.
The Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and a MITACS Elevate postdoctoral fellowship, in collaboration with Anandia Laboratories, provided funding for the study.