High-quality cannabis is defined by many standards, including its pungent smell and large green (not brown) buds. The one characteristic that truly defines top-shelf herb, however, is its “stickiness.” But why is the glue-like quality of a particular sample of cannabis a reasonably accurate determinant of its quality as a potent medicine—or its desirability for adult (“recreational”) use?
Resin, sometimes called “essential oil,” is a gooey, almost adhesive substance that produces all of the medical and euphoric molecules of cannabis.
The part of a bag of pot that’s actually sticky is the resin (not to be confused with rosin). Resin, sometimes called “essential oil,” is a gooey, almost adhesive substance that ranges in color from translucent to a cloudy reddish or orange tint. Resin is produced by specialized, nearly microscopic glands on the surface of the flowers and leaves of the plant called trichomes. Trichomes manufacture myriad medicinal molecules in service to the plant, all of which are found within the resin.
Trichomes are the Source
Because they produce the trichomes, all of the medicinal and euphoric value of cannabis is contained within the flowers. The flowers are the part of this special vegetable that matures toward the end of the growth cycle. Plants harvested prior to the formation of mature flowers will have little or no medicinal or euphoric effect.
Those who want to take their knowledge of the cannabis plant and trichomes to the next level should understand that there are actually six different types of trichomes that may be present on a particular strain of cannabis. Of these, it is the largest and most resin-filled, the capitate-stalked variety, that is most desirable.
Cannabinoids & Terpenes
It’s understood that cannabis resin is produced by very small secretory glands called trichomes and that, when present in sufficient quantity, these glands make the flowers of pot sticky. But why, exactly, is sticky marijuana considered to be of higher quality than samples that are not?
The primary job of trichomes is not merely to produce resin, but more specifically to manufacture specialized molecules called cannabinoids and terpenes. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are examples of cannabinoids; myrcene and pinene are two major terpenes.
Both cannabinoids and terpenes have been shown to fight cancer (by shrinking and killing tumors), reduce pain, and battle inflammation (helpful for arthritis sufferers). Cannabinoids and terpenes are also known to do things like stimulate appetite, eliminate nausea, and decrease depression and anxiety—all without the negative addictive side effects of pharmaceutical drugs. In addition to their medical efficacy, terpenes are responsible for the unique and often pungent aroma of cannabis.
If you really want to get serious about understanding why cannabis is sticky and how to make your weed more sticky, we strongly suggest following the experts over at CaliCropDoc. They have a wealth of knowledge on how to get the most out of your grow. They did, after all, make possible one of the most naturally resinous strains of cannabis: Pinkman Goo. Developed by CaliCropDoc owner, Twompson Prater, there is literally a goo glob on the nugs of Pinkman Goo! See below.