Microscopic Scans

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These images were taken from Mail Online. The photos were taken by Professor Ted Kinsman from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Their captions are included.

Pictured is an image of the top of a cola blade (the solitary leaf that extends out from a large bud). The purple heads in this image are glandular trichomes which are responsible for the smell of the plant when you brush it.

Pictured is the edge of one of the two first true leaves made by the cannabis plant. The surface is covered with the low thorn like structures. These trichomes are responsible for the sandpaper feel of the leaves when the leaf is mature.

The bottom side of a two-week-old plant shows a very different view of the leaf (pictured). This part of the plant is also protected by long hair-like trichomes.

Pictured is the pollen nestled into the female stigma. It is in the process of transferring genetic material to the female to create a seed. To achieve this image, female plants were grown right next to male plants each in full bloom. The pollen is 20 um in diameter. A single grain of pollen is too small to see with the human eye.

Pictured is an image of the stem in the middle of a mature plant. The central cavity is well developed and surrounded by pith cells. The pith cells in the center is associated with storing nutrients.

Pictured are the numerous trichomes found in the fold of a young bract leaf. The older the leaf, the higher the chances the trichomes have stuck together or collected dust.

Pictured is the base of a young bract leaf collected from a cannabis bud. Samples take several hours to prepare and have to be completely dried out beforehand so water vapor won't obstruct the final image.

Pictured is a false color SEM image of a Calcium oxalate crystal. Even a small dose of calcium oxalate is enough to cause intense sensations of burning in the mouth and throat. These crystals are a non-desirable ingredient in medicinal cannabis. (Harsh?)

Pictured is the surface of a stem in a false color SEM image. This is what the skin of a five-week-old plant looks like along the stem. The hair-like trichomes form a matt of thorns that protect the center of the stem from insect attack.

Pictured is cannabis seed after three days of incubation at (21ºC) on a damp paper towel in the dark. This seed is ready to be transferred to soil or a hydroponic system.

Pictured is a macro image of the bract leaf extending from the female flower. The sandy coating on the leaf is actually the stalked trichomes which is where THC is produced in the cannabis plant. Cannabis was listed as one of the 50 essential herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine. Other plants on list included rhubarb, cinnamon, ginger, and licorice.

Pictured is a false color scanning electron microscope image of a germinated cannabis seed. This seed had only germinated for 24 hours when the image was taken.
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