Sugar leaves are the small leaves that hold the buds of your cannabis together. Growers will often trim them off during the harvest to let the buds shine. However, these leaves take their name from the trichomes that cover the leaves, appearing to give them a sugary coating. While they may be part of your cannabis trim, you can make the most of sugar leaves by including them when you make concentrates and extracts.
What Do Cannabis Sugar Leaves Look Like?
In the first two weeks of flowering, you’ll start to see buds form on your cannabis plant. As the buds develop in the next 14 days, you’ll see sugar leaves begin to separate and develop. Buds are known for being packed with trichomes, the small, hair-like tendrils on the surface of a cannabis plant. They produce terpenes and cannabinoids, the effective ingredients in cannabis.
These are the tiny, single-fingered leaves that point out directly from each cannabis bud, rather than the famous fan leaves that have become a symbol of marijuana.
Should You Smoke Cannabis Sugar Leaves?
Like other cannabis trim, you could smoke the sugar leaves, as they contain cannabinoids and terpenes. Therefore, they can give you the effects of the overall cannabis strain. However, they tend to be far less potent than buds of the same plant. Of course, you’d still need to dry and cure the sugar leaves just as you do your buds.
Smoking them in a joint or a pipe can lead to a harsh flavor because the leaves have more chlorophyll than the buds. However, you could vape them more effectively without the unwanted flavor.
You can trim your sugar leaves before or after drying the plant. In most cases, you’ll want to trim the sugar leaves if you’re offering your cannabis for sale. Pure buds are more appealing to the eye, and cannabis with sugar leaves intact has lower potency overall than bud with the leaves removed.
However, you could wait to separate the sugar leaves until after you dry your flower, providing your bud with extra protection through the process.
What Else Can You Do With Cannabis Sugar Leaves?
You can get more out of your sugar leaves from your plant by using them in cannabis concentrates. Because concentrates isolate the active ingredient in your plant and maximize their potency, they can be a great source for the trichomes and cannabinoids that make up a powerful concentrate or extract.
If you want to repurpose your sugar leaves, take care during the trimming process. When you move and handle the leaves, they can easily shed trichomes. Hold each branch by the stem and carefully collect your trimmings. You may want to trim on top of a screen to keep your leaves and their trichomes intact.
Sugar leaves are also a great ingredient in edibles. You should plan to use around double the weight that you would use in buds if you’re cooking with sugar leaves to make up for their less potent composition.