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Leaf

Perhaps the most iconic symbol of the marijuana plant, leaves stick out of branches and usually have five or seven points. They absorb light and are essential for photosynthesis.

“Most people discard the fan leaves, but they can be juiced.”

“I ran out of weed, so I smoked some fan leaves—not only were they harsh, but I didn’t get high.”

What is a cannabis leaf?

The leaf of the cannabis plant is probably the most recognized symbol of cannabis culture. Cannabis leaves come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most have five or seven points (blades), but some can have nine. Typically, indica plants have short, fat leaves, and sativas have long, skinny leaves. 

Leaves are essential for the growing cannabis plant. They act like solar panels, absorbing light for the plant, and are essential for photosynthesis. Leaves also tell the grower about the health of the plant—discoloration in the leaves can mean the plant is lacking a certain nutrient, and some pests will attack leaves. 

Difference between fan leaves and sugar leaves

When buds start to grow on a plant, they will envelop some leaves close to nodes, but other leaves will have long stems and extend past buds. The leaves in the buds are called sugar leaves, and the ones extending out are fan leaves. Sugar leaves are fully or partially covered in trichomes because they grow inside buds—hence their name—whereas fan leaves have little to no trichomes because they grow far away from the buds. 

When a cannabis plant is harvested, both types of leaves are removed, however, fan leaves are usually discarded or composted, and sugar leaves are usually saved as “trim.” Although less potent than buds, trim can still be used for pre-rolls, extracts, and other cannabis products.