Understanding and using cannabis leaves
Cannabis leaves can tell a great deal to the experienced gardener. Once you know what to look for, the appearance of cannabis leaves allows you to understand several important factors which affect the health of your plants. Cannabis leaves also allow you to understand the nutritional needs of your plants. If you can interpret and apply the information conveyed by the leaves you will be well on your way to becoming a more skilled and successful cannabis grower. This will allow you to increase the quality and quantity from each harvest. Read on to find out more.
|●||The different types of cannabis leaves|
|●||Most common cannabis leaf pattern mutations|
|●||Cannabis leaf phyllotaxy: arrangement on a plant stem|
|●||Cannabis photosynthesis: why do leaves change colours?|
|●||What to do with cannabis leaves?|
|●||Frequently asked questions and recommendations|
The different types of cannabis leaves
Cannabis leaves are crucial to the health of your plants. Disease, over-watering, virus damage, under-feeding, pests, over feeding, mold, under-watering and many other problems can be seen on your plants leaves if you know what to look for.
Leaves contain the natural pigment called chlorophyll. This allows photosynthesis to occur in the leaves, converting light energy into chemical/biological energy for growth. On the under side of leaves are small pores called stomata. During photosynthesis these allow carbon dioxide to enter the cells as well as allowing oxygen and water vapour to escape. Cannabis leaves are remarkable pieces of multi purpose cellular technology, they can also absorb nutrients fed directly to them in a process known as foliar feeding.
The shape and structure of cannabis leaves tends to vary slightly between the different types of cannabis.
Indica cannabis leaf appearance
Leaves grown from indica cannabis seeds tend to be wide, fat and short. Often you can expect around 7-9 fingers on the leaves. These leaves can be surprisingly large, especially from a pure indica strain such as an Afghani.
The wide, broad leaves from indica varieties can prevent light penetrating too far down. This makes some indica strains less suited to e.g. SCROG grows. Indica leaves often have characteristically deep/dark green leaves. This is a sign of high levels of chlorophyll present in the cells of the leaves. High chlorophyll levels in indica strains is thought to assist the rapid bloom times.
Sativa cannabis leaf appearance
Cannabis leaves grown from sativa cannabis seeds often have slimmer, more narrow leaves with slender fingers. You can see up to 13 fingers on some sativa cannabis leaves. The thin structure of sativa leaves allows light to penetrate down to lower levels. Cannabis leaves on a sativa may not be quite as dark as those on an indica, indicating lower chlorophyll levels which are thought to result in longer bloom times for sativas.
Ruderalis cannabis leaf appearance
Ruderalis leaves tend to be slim, with as little as 3-5 fingers. Some people think they resemble the leaves of sativa seedlings.
Hybrid cannabis leaf appearance
Cannabis leaves grown from hybrid cannabis seeds often display appearance characteristics from both indica and sativa leaves. With a hybrid strain, leaves are often not quite as slender/slim as a sativa. The leaves are also not quite as stubby and fat as an indica. Instead, the hybrid cannabis leaf has similarities drawn from both indica and sativa leaf shapes.
Most common cannabis leaf pattern mutations
As you gain experience with successive cannabis grows you will also start to recognise and understand more about cannabis leaves. If you are observant and curious you will learn a great deal about the leaves and what they can tell you about your plant, its health and its possible needs. There is also a great deal to learn simply about the different types of leaves which can be found on cannabis.
Cannabis leaves have a distinctive, iconic shape. The standard cannabis leaf shape is recognisable by most people. But few heads would be turned by webbed cannabis leaves. Dutch Passion have the world’s most successful webbed cannabis leaf variety with their Frisian Duck strain. The beauty of this strain is that a stabilised natural leaf deformity provides perfect stealth for any cannabis plants which you have growing outdoors. Most people would fail to recognise the plants as cannabis.
If you are keen to grow some plants with a unique cannabis leaf shape them you should take a close look as Frisian Duck seeds and Auto Duck seeds.
Traditionally, two cannabis leaves are produced at each internode. With whorled phyllotaxy plants there are three leaves instead. This can produce a slightly bushier structure to the plants. Whorled phyllotaxy is a somewhat fragile genetic anomaly, it usually disappears quickly when attempts are made to stabilise and replicate the property.
Just the same as webbed cannabis, genetics (used in Frisian Duck seeds and Auto Duck seeds) causes the individual fingers of the cannabis leaf to ‘web’ or mesh together, The result is a leaf which has the same shape as a ducks footprint. Hence the name, ‘Ducksfoot’ cannabis. This unusual leaf appearance is loved by garden growers and outdoor growers, since the ducksfoot leaf shape rarely attracts a second glance and easily blends in with natural vegetation.
Variegated cannabis leaves contain both green and white parts to the leaves. The green parts contain chlorophyl and can photosynthesise. The white parts of the cannabis leaves contain no chlorophyl making photosynthesis impossible. A surprising number of plant species show variegation in the leaves, suggesting an origin deep back in plant evolution. It’s a mutation, but one which plants can live with.
This is most common in tropical strains. Lower branches from creeper cannabis plants bow down and trail along the ground. Along with other plant species, cannabis can occasionally allow these creeping/trailing branches to take root if the conditions are right.
This is an unusual mutation and so far no uses have been found for it, meaning that no cannabis seeds or strains have been produced with this trait. Potentially, it is interesting for outdoor growers or those looking to increase stealth growing properties.
Vine cannabis is a curiosity which has so far not made it into a commercial cannabis seed. With Vine cannabis the stems and branches can twist around each other in a ‘vine’ like growth structure. Some associate this with ABC (Australian bastard cannabis), perhaps being an unusual derivative. Cannabinoid levels have never been shown to be particularly high with Vine cannabis (or ABC). As a result, there has been little interest from the cannabis breeding professionals to convert this into a new cannabis seed variety.
Bud sites often originate at the nodes of cannabis plants. However, from time to time is a seemingly random mutation, buds can also form at the base of a leaf where the leaflet fingers join together. Leaf buds are random mutations, they don’t contribute any significant boost to yields, but they are a pretty way to impress your friends!
Polyploid cannabis is a condition in which the cells have more than two paired sets of chromosomes. Most species whose cells have nuclei are diploid, meaning they have two sets of chromosomes—one set inherited from each parent. Polypoidy is common in nature and a definite curiousity to cannabis breeders.
Some believe that polyploid cannabis will have the potential for greater cannabinoid content and potency. However, so far, no-one has been able to create feminised polyploid cannabis seeds. However, research continues, so watch this space!
Upright mutations are most often seen in plants grown from hybrid cannabis seeds. The mutation, which is a severe inconvenience for indoor growers, causes the plant to grow in a massive way, much like a tree. Heights of over 4m are possible with this ‘random’ mutation, which is difficult to control with breeding. Yields are of course excellent, but for indoor growers this rare mutation brings no benefits.
Occasionally, but rarely, you will get two seedlings from one individual cannabis seed. Think Different is one Dutch Passion autoflower seed which is particularly prone to this mutation. If you are careful, you can untangle the roots from the twins and you will get two adult plants from them. If you get twins, you will be one of the few growers that can boast germination rates in excess of 100% !
Foxtailed cannabis can be seen when one calyx grows on top of the previous one in a sequential fashion. Instead of growing into a ‘ball’ shaped bloom, the bud grows in a more delicate, stacked, way. The buds are slender and elegant, rather than fat and heavy. That’s one of the criticisms of fox tailed buds, many growers would prefer to see traditionally shaped buds with the heavy yields they are used to.
Heat and light stress can cause cannabis buds to foxtail, though some genetics are inherently prone to it.
Australian Bastard cannabis
First reported from the Sydney area of Australia in the 1970’s, this is an unusual looking strain sometimes with round, small, shiny leaves. Examples with longer, spear shaped cannabis leaves are also possible. It looks little like cannabis, perhaps more like a garden shrub/herb. With limited cannabinoid content, these genetics have so far attracted little interest from cannabis breeders.
Cannabis leaf phyllotaxy: arrangement on a plant stem
Because cannabis leaves have numerous individual leaflets (sometimes called ‘blades’ or ‘fingers’) the leaves are classified as ‘compound’ leaves. The other type of leaf is called ‘simple’, such as those seen on herbs such as Basil.
When you grow a cannabis seed a seedling grows and leaves emerge in pairs on opposite sides of the stem in an arrangement known as opposite decussate. The gap between one set of leaves and the next set is called the internodal distance. Short internodal distances are more common with plants grown from indica cannabis seeds. Longer ‘stretchier’ internodal distances are seen on plants grown from sativa cannabis seeds.
When cannabis is in flower you can see alternate spiral arrangements of the leaves as the set starts to stretch and internodal distance increases.
Cannabis photosynthesis: why do leaves change colours?
One of the great joys of cannabis cultivation is seeing your prized plants approach bloom. Not only do you experience the rich aromas of harvest and see the blooms and resin go into overdrive. You may also see the natural beauty of the leaves taking on some autumnal shades as the leaves gradually change colour.
Your green leaves may start to fade revealing some beautiful red, yellow, purple/blue, orange (and other!) hues. For the cannabis connoisseur this final colour display can seem like the best part of the grow. Even the buds can start to display some great new colours. But why do your plants show these different leaf colours? Which chemicals and pigments cause these changes?
The role of Anthocyanin
Changes in cannabis leaf colour are thought to be related to the appearance of a family of natural water-soluble plant pigments called anthocyanins. As well as being found in cannabis, anthocyanins are responsible for the colours found in blueberry, raspberry, black soybean and many other plants. Carrots were originally purple due to anthocyanins before some clever European breeders produced the orange ones which we are familiar with today.
Anthocyanin compounds can take on several different colours. These range from red, blue, black and purple. Small pH differences at plant cellular levels can cause striking colour changes. You can see the colours in the stem, leaves, branches, buds, trichomes and occasionally the roots.
Low temperatures in bloom encourages the formation of these colours. For cannabis connoisseurs, the presence of extra colour in your buds only increases the bag appeal. Some genetics are also prone to producing these colours, for example Auto Blackberry Kush seeds can produce phenotypes with very dark purple buds. A lack of Phosphorus in bloom is also suspected to enhance colour production.
Purple and blue cannabis strains
If you love buds with blue/purple hues then there are several strains which tend to produce colourful phenotypes.
Auto Blackberry Kush seeds. With genetics from Blueberry x Hash Plant, these autoflower seeds are easy to grow. They take around 10-11 weeks to grow from seed to harvest under 20 hours of daily light.
Feminised Blueberry seeds. Though many phenotypes are green, you may be lucky enough to get a coloured phenotype. Especially in cooler bloom conditions. Auto Blueberry is also available for lovers of high quality autoflower seeds.
Red and pink cannabis strains
Auto Banana Blaze seeds, especially when grown in cooler bloom conditions, can produce some beautiful warm red/pink colours. The great bag appeal combines with a satisfying and enjoyable high alongside heavy yields.
Cannabis deficiencies and nutrient problems
If the cannabis plant is short of essential nutrients or minerals you can often see the warning signs on the cannabis leaves themselves. This is one area where the experienced cannabis grower can put their knowledge to huge advantage by ‘reading’ the leaves.
Often the health and appearance of the leaves are one of the first signals from the plant that not all is well. When a plant isn’t watered you will notice that the plant wilts. That’s the simplest signal that the leaves give us and it’s a signal which most growers would understand. As you gain experience, try to understand more about leaf health/appearance and the signals which they give about nutrient issues. Many detailed/illustrated books exist which can help, as can online resources.
What to do with cannabis leaves?
In the rush to chop, trim and harvest their buds, many growers simply discard the leaves. After all, the blooms provide most of the eventual pleasure. But if you can be bothered with a little bit of extra work, you can easily turn your leaf trash into stash. Below are a few proven options:
Turn sugar leaves into hash or kief
All those small, resin soaked leaves are a rich source of resin. Once you have finished trimming your buds, save and dry the best of the leaves which are often called ‘sugar leaves’ since they appear to have been sprinkled with sugar.
Once the leaves are dry they can be turned into kief simply by shaking the leaves above a fine screen which will allow the dry trichomes to pass through and be collected. Or you can make your own hash, e.g. using the ice water method.
Make homemade thai sticks
Thai sticks are an ancient creation. Buds are tied to a stick or skewer to cure. Sugar leaves can be pressed in with the buds and in some cases some cannabis oil (hash oil) is used to help bind it all together. The sticks can then be wrapped in sticky fan leaves. Many thai sticks were brought home from the vietnam war by returning troops. Some people suggest that the remarkable potency of these legendary thai sticks was increased by the addition of opium.
Press trim to extract rosin
Once you have harvested and manicured your buds you can collect and dry the trim to produce rosin. Rosin is made by pressing two metal plates together. Often the metal plates are heated, to assist the process of squeezing out the oil. The trim/sugar leaves need to be dry otherwise you will also produce a lot of water in your rosin. Note that rosin that is pressed from trim won’t reach the same quality level as rosin that is pressed from high quality buds.
You can buy specialist rosin presses. Or you can use a pair of hair straighteners. Put your buds in some grease proof paper, heat up the hair straighteners and squeeze the buds hard for a minute. The cannabinoids and resin flow out from the bud onto the grease proof paper. Your rosin extraction is complete, and you didn’t use solvents to make your cannabis concentrate!
Make cannabutter and edibles from leaves
Many people make cannabutter from their spare cannabis leaves. Often the leaves/trim are put in a pan containing boiling water and butter. The butter dissolves all of the oily compounds and cannabinoids from the plant material. The mixture can be poured through a cheesecloth filter to remove insoluble plant matter. Once cool, place the pan in the fridge. The butter sets solid, save it and pour away the water. Then you have your own canna butter to use in cooking!
Use leaves as dry herb for food-seasoning
It’s not to everyone’s taste, but dried/ground trim can be used as a seasoning to add flavour to your food and snacks. This could be added to a warm stew or a cold salad.
Juicing fan leaves
Some people simply collect all their trim and unwanted leaves and put it in a food blender to be liquidised. Often, other ingredients (ginger, fruit etc) are added to improve the flavour. This could be sweet ingredients such as chocolate/milk (e.g. to make a smoothie) or savoury ingredients. So long as the liquidised mixture remains unheated it will not allow the THCA to convert to THC. This means that you will not get high from your juiced fan leaves.
Frequently asked questions and recommendations
Many growers feel a little bit guilty for not using their cannabis leaves and just throwing them away. It doesn’t take that much effort to turn your plant waste into genuinely useful products. In legalised cannabis markets such as North America, there are specialist firms which buy and collect waste trim and leaves from licensed growers. Usually this is turned into cannabis concentrates. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about cannabis leaves.
How long for cannabis seeds to get their first set of leaves?
When the cannabis seed germinates you usually see a pair of cotyledons. These can be thought of as baby leaves, they allow the seedling to start photosynthesis even before the first true set of leaves (with the distinctive serrated edges) appears. The first set of true leaves can be seen with a magnifying glass as they emerge from the node between the cotyledons. Within a week you will see the first set of cannabis leaves.
How many fan leaves before you can start blooming a cannabis plant?
It doesn’t really matter. Those that use the sea of green method can even germinate their seedlings under 12/12 light when growing from feminised cannabis seeds. Usually people grow their photoperiod seedlings for 4-6 weeks before flipping into bloom conditions in order to produce heavy yields. You can have many pairs of fan leaves present before initiating bloom conditions or you can have none at all.
Can cannabis leaves get you high?
Yes they can, especially if they are coated in a generous layer of trichome resin glands. The best varieties have leaves which are crusted with resin, and few growers want to throw away such a good source of THC and cannabinoids. The easiest way to get high from them is to vape/smoke them or use them for producing cannabis concentrates such as hash, hash oil, cannabis oil, kief etc.
Can you smoke fan leaves?
Yes, though the taste may not be quite as sweet as well cured buds and can have a slightly bitter taste. Some people find a vaporiser is preferred for getting high from fan leaves. Just choose the best parts of the best fan leaves, grind up and vape!
How to store sugar leaves?
Most of the time growers either fully dry the sugar leaves and trim for subsequent processing. Or they are immediately frozen, for example by those who will eventually make hash using the water/ice method.
Enjoy using your cannabis leaves and trim!
We hope this article has given you a fresh insight into the roles and uses of cannabis leaves. Remember that most professional growers would never consider throwing away their cannabis leaves. With a little effort, you can turn your waste plant material into genuinely potent and hugely enjoyable cannabis concentrates.
If you tend to ignore your cannabis leaves then you may be missing out on valuable nutritional feedback and cannabis concentrates. Read on for more
The Marijuana Leaf: Everything You Need To Know
By Anthony Franciosi
The Marijuana Leaf: Everything You Need To Know
Long before it became a ubiquitous symbol of the modern global cannabis community, the marijuana leaf was a source of powerful inspiration (artistic and otherwise) for stoners in many cultures throughout history.
In this post, the all-things-cannabis experts at Honest Marijuana break down the biology behind the most common types of the marijuana leaf in addition to showing you a few leaf variations you may not have heard of.
We’ll also make sure that you can spot signs of poor leaf and plant health. Lastly, we’ll discuss the benefits of juicing and cooking your leaves into cannabutter in order to make the most out of them.
A Brief History Of The Marijuana Leaf
The cannabis plant has been around for a long, long time. Longer, in fact, than many people realize.
Stoners of yore — and we’re talking extremely yore — have been drawing the marijuana leaf on cave walls for millennia.
Take, for example, this cave painting in Kyushu, Japan dated from around 10,000 years B.C.
See the seven-lobed indica leaves in the orange circles? Ancient marijuana, man! And is that a unicorn at the top? Methinks it is! It’s no wonder that some of the best cannabis in the world comes from this area .
And lest you think the cannabis craze was isolated in the far east, check out this illustration of the Egyptian goddess Seshat. Pharaoh Tuthmosis III described this deity as, “she of the seven points.”
She’s obviously got marijuana on her mind. Smart lady.
Even the ancient Greeks got in on the marijuana-leaf action. Below is an illustration of the cannabis sativa plant taken from the Vienna Dioscurides, a Greek medical textbook, dated at around 512 A.D.
Scientists now call these ancient plants landrace strains because they are very different from the high-THC and high-CBD strains you can buy at your local dispensary.
Landrace strain or brand-new variety, it’s obvious that humans have recognized the marijuana leaf (and the cannabis plant as a whole) as a source of artistic inspiration, medicine, and, yes, psychedelia, for at least 12,000 years — and probably a lot longer.
Isn’t that groovy, man? We’re part of a long history that stretches back to before the domestication of crops and animals. Can’t say that about too many things these days.
Now that you know a bit about the history of the marijuana leaf — this really is a tiny amount; there’s so much more to learn — let’s turn our attention to the types of marijuana leaf we see today.
The Marijuana Leaf: Types
All of the different types of cannabis leaves belong to the general umbrella category or genus known as Cannabis sativa L .
The “L” in the plant’s genus name stands for Carl Linnaeus’s last name. He was the first to identify and name the species in 1753 according to the modern taxonomic nomenclature that he developed.
Linnaeus didn’t “discover” cannabis —- remember its use stretches back thousands and thousands of years — rather, he established the classification system (binomial nomenclature) that we’ve used for the past 260-odd years to describe plants and animals (even ourselves: Homo sapiens ) and keep everything straight in our heads.
Biology lesson complete, let’s dig into each type of marijuana leaf to see what we can learn.
Large cannabis sativa leaves can have up to thirteen long, slender, pronounced, jagged, spiky serrations.
The coloration of sativa leaves ranges from light to dark green.
Sativa leaves can come from either female plants — from which we harvest the smokable weed we all know and love — or from the male plants known as hemp.
Hemp plants produce more CBD than THC but are typically grown for a mind-blowing array of renewable, eco-friendly, industrial, planet-saving purposes.
Check out the illustration below for just a few of the many uses.
So even if you can’t use the marijuana leaf as medicine or to get high, you can use it and other parts of the plant for some truly righteous things.
Linnaeus mistakenly assumed that the cannabis genus was monolithic, meaning that it only had one species — the sativa variety itself.
There are, however, several other varieties of marijuana leaves that grow from the different subvarieties of the Cannabis sativa plant. Case in point: Cannabis indica.
Cannabis indica leaves typically grow much shorter and wider than sativa leaves and contain seven to nine olive-green leaflets.
French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck coined the name Cannabis indica in 1785 to account for the differences between the Cannabis sativa hemp grown mostly for agricultural purposes in Europe and the Cannabis indica plants grown for medicinal purposes in India.
Russian botanist D.E. Janischevsky identified a third species of marijuana plant that he named Cannabis ruderalis. Cannabis ruderalis grew across eastern Europe and was commonly used by Russians and Mongolians to treat depression.
There is some debate as to whether Cannabis ruderalis is actually its own species.
The leaves of the ruderalis plant possess five to thirteen leaflets and are very similar to those of the indica leaf. The only significant difference being that ruderalis leaves are somewhat smaller and narrower.
Ruderalis grows wild and doesn’t have as much THC content as the other species of cannabis plants.
In recent years, growers have experimented with crossbreeding ruderalis and indica plants in an attempt to create strains with shorter growing seasons.
Cannabis sativa and ruderalis crossbreeds have produced strains that flower automatically without having to reduce the amount of light (i.e., number of hours) to which the plant is exposed.
Wild Weed Leaf Variations
Marijuana is a very adaptable, dynamic plant that loves to mutate if given the chance. We’ll discuss three common mutations of the marijuana leaf.
However, it’s worth knowing that deliberate attempts to grow marijuana plants with these mutated leaves don’t always produce the best medicinal cannabinoids.
The Webbed Marijuana Leaf
Growers of the past (i.e., before cannabis was legal) attempted to stabilize the webbed mutation in order to disguise their plants from the prying eyes of The Man.
These webbed varieties have fallen out of favor in recent years because now growers can plant and cultivate the regular varieties (sans mutation) right out in the open.
If you’re interested, you can still obtain webbed varieties on the internet (Ducksfoot is a common option), but you’ll have to grow them from seed.
The Whorled Marijuana Leaf
In recent years, some growers have come to believe that plants with a whorled marijuana leaf produce flowers with higher potency. There is, however, no scientific evidence to prove this belief true.
Australian Bastard Cannabis
Australian bastard cannabis is another common marijuana mutation. The plant has hairless leaflets with no more than five points, which are only a few centimeters long.
As novel as these mutations may be, the best results for growing your own cannabis will come from cultivating a seed that comes from a healthy plant with normal characteristics.
To help you get the most out of DIY grow operation, we’ll now discuss how to keep your plant in good condition .
Signs Of Sickness In The Marijuana Leaf
The leaves of your pot plant are clues to all sorts of issues that your plant may encounter during the growing process.
Your leaves will show specific discolorations and deteriorations if the plant is deficient in key nutrients, such as boron, calcium, copper, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, or zinc.
Boron deficiency is characterized in two ways:
- Large gray or brown spots on the marijuana leaf
- Soft, purple stems between the marijuana leaf and the main body of the plant
To prevent boron deficiency, make sure your plants don’t dry out too often, don’t over-fertilize, and make sure the humidity in your grow space is above 25 percent.
Molybdenum deficiency is difficult to diagnose because it looks so much like other issues, such as nitrogen deficiency and calcium deficiency.
Molybdenum deficiency usually rears its ugly head by causing the marijuana leaf to develop brown, crispy edges and orange or pink shades in the center.
The best solution for molybdenum deficiency is to flush the growing medium with pure 6.0 pH water and then to make sure the pH of your soil is perfect from there on out.
Magnesium deficiency is characterized by a yellowing of the marijuana leaf and tips that eventually become dry, brown, and crunchy.
Curing your cannabis plant of magnesium deficiency involves flushing the substrate with 6.0 pH water, feeding the plant with an optimal-pH fertilizer, and then adding a high-quality, cannabis-specific magnesium supplement into the mix.
The Best Way To Avoid Deficiencies
You can avoid these deficiencies entirely by utilizing tried and true organic marijuana growing methods involving proper cannabis compost and our super soil formula for organic 420 fertilizer .
You can still add specific organic nutrients to the soil and stimulate new ganja growth if you keep the PH range of the soil optimal for the specific nutrient.
You’ll need to flush your lines with clean, neutral pH water containing half the plant’s nutrients for the deficiency to clear up and to stimulate new growth if you’re using hydroponic growing methods.
You’ll know you’re overwatering if the marijuana leaves grow firm, droop, and curl down toward their stems. At that point, they are essentially starving for oxygen.
If you see this happen, you’ll need to cut back on watering and give them time to recover.
You can try increasing the temperature from the lights and your airflow if you are growing indoors to speed up water absorption. You can also poke some holes in the soil with a pencil to give them some oxygen. Your plants may also require a better drainage system.
The serrated edges of the leaves will begin to curl up if they are exposed to too much natural or artificial light.
You’ll see yellow and brown burn spots on the leaves if they receive too much light or especially direct contact with a bulb.
To alleviate these issues, decrease the intensity of your lighting and increase air circulation with fans to help your indoor plants recover. Hang a large cloth or sheet or build some other source of shade for your outdoor plants.
Water them in the early morning and late evening to help them retain water and recover from heat and light stress.
Making The Most Out Of The Marijuana Leaf
Soaking your freshly harvested marijuana leaves in cold water for five minutes and then juicing them with some lemon, apples, carrots, beets or other vegetables is an extremely easy and incredibly healthy way to make the most out of your marijuana leaves.
Juicing your cannabis leaves won’t transform the raw THCA acid into the psychoactive THC cannabinoid that will get you high. However, many patients love experiencing the health benefits without the euphoric high by juicing ganja leaves.
Kristen Peskuski was bedridden, taking forty medications a day, told she would never be able to have children, and was near death due to a degenerative condition known as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus when Dr. William Courtney (pictured above) prescribed raw cannabis juice.
Kristen recovered, married Dr. Courtney, and wound up giving birth to a healthy daughter without any complications or medical intervention.
This high-powered, 420-friendly family has since become a leading advocate for the miraculous medicinal powers of raw cannabis leaf juice.
Don’t Smoke The Leaves!
Well, actually you can! However, smoking raw marijuana by itself will only give you a mild buzz as opposed to a proper euphoric high .
This is why we don’t recommend smoking marijuana leaves unless you’re using them to smoke good ground bud by rolling it into a custom joint for yourself!
You can also harvest the THC-bearing trichomes on your marijuana leaves into an edible 11-Hydroxy-THC body high by cooking your leaves into cannabutter .
A Quick Cannabutter Recipe
Wash and soak about 3.5 ounces (100 grams) worth of your freshly harvested pot leaves in cold water for five minutes the same way you would before juicing them.
Then chop and grind up your leaves.
Toss in about 4 grams of your favorite ground weed bud for good measure.
Heat and simmer the ground weed leaves with equal parts butter and water in a saucepan for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pour the mixture through a strainer to remove leftover plant matter, and let the mixture refrigerate to solidify into cannabutter that you can use to make a wide variety of marijuana edibles.
You can also harvest the trichomes from the marijuana leaves by using a grinder with a kief catcher to grate the plant matter. Once you’ve collected enough kief, you can sprinkle it in your joint before you close, mix it in your breakfast smoothie, or go crazy and make some moon rock weed .
The sky’s the limit at that point, so get creative with your kief.
A Quick Guide To Grinding Your Marijuana Leaves
Here’s how to collect the most kief from a four-piece grinder:
- Get a four-piece grinder (duh!).
- Make sure the grinder is clean .
- Assemble the grinder so it’s ready to go.
- Tear the marijuana leaf into small pieces that will fit in your grinder (depending on how many leaves you have, they may not all fit in the grinder at one time).
- When the grinding chamber is empty, reload and grind again.
- If the collection chamber fills up, empty the ground-up plant matter into a bowl for further processing.
- Once you’ve pulverized all your marijuana leaves, put the already-ground plant matter back into the grinder and grind some more.
- This time around, before emptying the collection chamber, bang the grinder against your hand or a table (gently) to separate more of the kief into the kief chamber.
- When you’re all done with the second round of grinding, we suggest steeping the ground-up plant matter in some hot water to make a weed tea .
- While your tea’s brewing, empty the kief chamber of its contents so you can use the powder as you see fit.
- Alternatively, you can leave the kief in the grinder and collect more when you grind your raw bud. It’s up to you.
If you do decide to store the kief in the grinder, we suggest at least cleaning the other parts of the grinder. That way the marijuana leaf plant matter doesn’t dilute the full-strength ganja you’re going to grind next time around.
Leafing You Dazed and Educated!
As a final reminder, it’s important to keep your leaves healthy so that you can enjoy the immense health benefits from juicing or creating cannabutter with your freshly harvested marijuana leaves.
Want to get to know the pot plant better? Learn about the marijuana leaf. The experts at Honest Marijuana tell you everything you need to know.