During the flowering period, trichomes form on the cannabis flowers. These small glands act like a Phytocannabinoid factory. Phyto cannabinoids are used by humans for treatment or for their psychoactive effects. But,the plant uses them differently.
Why does cannabis produce cannabinoids?
Although cannabis pollination is led by the wind. Pollinating insects can also forage from males to females forming the next generation of weed. Cannabinoids deliver odors that attract these insects. While pollinators are attracted to some cannabinoids, others concentrating in repelling pests. These make the plant indigestible to herbivorous predators.
They also serve as a fungicide and natural antibiotics to keep the plant healthy. For Professor Mechoulam, discoverer of THC: “Plants do not have an immune system. As a result, they survive by creating special chemical combinations.
THCA: anti-predator shield or sunscreen?
THC is obtainable only after decarboxylation. The plant contains THCA at the origin rather than the origin.
In Fact,a study conducted by the University of Maryland in 1986 . Sought to understand the development of cannabinoids due to exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
Scientists have discovered that plants exposed to high ultraviolet rays. Develop a higher THC level than those that were not exposed to them. THCA would then serve as a shield against ultraviolet rays . Also, protect the precious flower from excessive exposure that would degrade it. The study even specifies that ultraviolet light does not influence the growth of the plant. But it does promote the development of THC in flowers.
For a long time, THC used only as a repellent against predators. However, Robert C Clarke, a botanist , has a reservation to this hypothesis.
“The high concentration of THCA does not protect plants from pests either”.
The hypothesis is, thus, more towards natural protection against the sun.