Cannapedia Encyclopedia of cannabis strains


The stickiness of ripe female cannabis flowers – buds – together with strong aroma is one of the best ways to assess the potency of plant’s effects. But why are cannabis flowers in the time of harvest so sticky? And why is this stickiness crucial for growers and recreational as well as medical users?

This stickiness with almost a glue-like quality on the surface of buds is caused by so-called cannabis resin.


A hidden treasure

The term cannabis resin encompasses a wild mix of various substances and molecules, including the most important ones that have been the reason for growing and using cannabis for thousands of years: cannabinoids and terpenes.

The best-known cannabinoid, THC (as well as several others), interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the brain to produce the psychoactive effect of the plant. Together with other cannabinoids, it is responsible for its medical effects as well. Terpenes have their specific medical use, too, and they also cause the well-known typical cannabis aroma, which can be truly intense and may draw unwanted attention.

When growing cannabis, the maturity is best determined by the stickiness of resin on flowers, as well as by the fact that the stigmas (hairs), which produce this resin, start changing color from white to murky red or orange. The resin comprises of tiny trichomes and due to their small size, growers must use a magnifying glass to be able to see them.


Other properties of resin

Botanists believe that from the evolutionary point of view, resin evolved as a protective mechanism of the plant against insects and animals. The tart taste and strong aroma protect the flowers during the period of their life cycles when they could become an easy target for animals such as deer.

From medicinal perspective, resin blocks solar UV radiation, thus protecting the terpenes and cannabinoids contained in the trichomes.