How do Trichomes get you High

The cannabis plant produces resinous hair-like structures which erect from the flower of the bud. Trichomes contain THC which house the psychoactive effects of weed and when activated produce a euphoric “high”.

A green cannabis bud blooming with colours. Clear hair like structures  sprout out of the bud.
A high definition close up of trichomes, growing out of the flower of the cannabis plant.

What are Trichomes?

The definition of a trichome is a small hair or other outgrowths from the epidermis of a plant, typically unicellular and glandular.

Trichomes are common throughout the plant world. Most plants have them but are slightly different than the cannabis plants.

Trichome meaning “hair” are tiny glands growing out from a plant. They have many different uses and functions.

a green cannabis plant grows with thousands of trichomes. An insect is stuck in the sticky trichomes.
Trichomes capture an insect in there sticky grands. Trichomes main purpose it to protect the plant.

The main purpose of trichomes is to protect the plant from herbivorous insects and other danger. Other important uses are reflecting radiation, reducing water loss by capturing drops of rain between them, and lowering the temperature of the plant.

Green cannabis leaf sprouting, clear trichomes.
Macro shot of trichomes growing out of a cannabis leaf.

How are cannabis trichomes different

The use of trichomes in cannabis is no different. They are produced to protect the plant from dangerous insects and the harsh environment it may face.

Trichomes keep the plant healthy. They are a vital function in the plant’s life.

The difference in trichomes in the cannabis plant is they contain cannabinoids that react with the endocannabinoid system to produce medicinal and psychoactive effects.

Clear hair-like structures sprout from the cannabis bud. Trichomes resemble hair.
Macro shot of trichomes. Here you can see the hair-like structures sprout from the bud on the cannabis plant. Filled with cannabinoids like THC and CBD.

How do trichomes get you high

THCA and CBD are found in the resinous glands produced by the cannabis plant (the trichomes). In this form, they have no effects. They need to be heated in order to undergo a chemical reaction which makes them activated. To learn about the difference between CBD vs THC check out that blog!

When these trichomes come in contact with fire they combust. When this chemical reaction happens it transforms THCA into THC.

Clear hair like structures sprout out from the cannabis nugs.

THC interacts with the cannabinoid receptors found in the brain and attaches to them. This produces the psychoactive euphoric feeling that is present when high.

What is Kief

Kief is the crystallized powdery substance. The most common place to get kief is at the bottom of your grinder or in the corners and cracks of it.

After a while, it starts to pill up. Once you have ground up enough weed has using that grinder you’re left with a good stash of this green sand. What is it you may ask?

a silver grinder is filled with green shards of kief.
A grinder filled with kief.

Kief is the leftover trichomes which have fallen off the bud of the plant. It is a highly concentrated form of cannabis. In other words, it’s very potent.

The cannabis world treats kief as a “delicacy”, enthusiasts love to collect it. Once you save up long enough you have enough to enjoy it.

Sand like greenish clear trichomes pile up in the side of the grinder. There are thousands of these gathering.
Kief pilling up in the corner of a grinder. There are thousands of tiny trichomes that make up this yellow sand.

Methods to smoke trichomes

There are many methods of smoking kief. I picked my favourite three and hope that you can try a few of them out! If you’re looking for the best methods to smoke, check out the previous blog!

Smoking kief through a joint

Smoking trichomes (kief) out of a joint. For this method you must roll a joint and 1) either add kief inside the joint, or 2) roll the tip of the jay in the kief and then smoke it.

Smoking kief through a bong

Smoking kief out of a bong. This method is action packed indeed. Bongs are the fastest method to get really high really quick. Add some kief into the mix and you have a whole new party! This combo is sure to knock you down because of its potency!

Adding kief to your Coffee

Add kief to your coffee! Yup you heard that right! I recently stumbled upon this method and can’t believe more people haven’t heard about it yet… Coffee Edibles!

After reading this blog you understand that THC needs to be activated in order to produce the sought after effects. Coffee is hot enough to do this!


A cup of Coffee. Which is hot enough to activate THC and get you high. Just add some kief!

Add a scoop or two of kief, ruffly 0.10 – 0.25 grams. Depending on the strain and potency you might have to add more or less. Wait a few minutes give your coffee a stir and drink up.

After about 15 – 30 minutes the euphoric stoned feeling will start kicking in. This high also lasts hours longer due to the method of ingestion.

Summary of trichomes

In conclusion, the trichomes that we want are unique to the cannabis plant. The trichomes in the cannabis plant house cannabinoids which are vital in getting high.

When in contact with heat the trichomes melt and the THCA is activated and transformed into THC. When inhaled or ingested this chemical combines to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Which produces psychoactive effects.

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