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What marijuana looks like under the microscope

What marijuana looks like under the microscope

Rochester Institute of Technology professor and science photographer Ted Kinsman captures an unseen side of Cannabis in his new book, “Cannabis: Marijuana Under The Microscope”. These microscopic images capture a close up view of Marijuana. We spoke with Ted to find out more about his scanning electron microscope photos. Following is a transcript of the video.

This isn’t some alien planet

It’s cannabis!

These images were taken with a scanning electron microscope.

It’s not your ordinary microscope.

It fires electrons at a sample.

Which creates a high-resolution image by scanning the surface topography.

As well as data about the surface composition.

“Cannabis: Marijuana Under the Microscope” is a book by Ted Kinsman.

He’s a photographic sciences professor at Rochester Institute of Technology.

These fascinating photos reveal a world beneath the surface.

Ted Kinsman: “I like to think what a person would see if they were just a few microns tall.”

But Ted doesn’t just photograph Cannabis.

Ted Kinsman: “I look for things that haven’t been done recently, or haven’t been done well, or even done at all”.

This is a real bedbug, in excruciating detail.

And this close up reveals the many eyes of a spider.

Ted has even photographed human brain cells.

Each image starts out as black and white.

And has to be colorized by hand.

Ted Kinsman: “I pick visually exciting colors.”

“I’m trying to make science visually exciting and appealing to the general population”.

Ted paints the THC-containing cannabis sacs a bright color in order to stand out.

This image of pond water shows bacteria, algae, and unidentified protozoa.

And this is what a pumpkin leaf looks like on a microscopic level.

Samples can take several hours to prepare.

Each one has to be completely dried so that water vapor won’t obstruct the image.

Then placed in a vacuum chamber to be photographed.

But, there is no camera involved.

Instead, samples are conductively coated in gold and bombarded with electrons.

Then a computer records how many electrons are scattered from each point on the sample.

Scanning a sample takes about four minutes.

The data is collected to a file and an image is generated.

Ted continues to photograph worlds that are rarely seen.

Full story is available here.

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