What are sugar leaves?

Published May 7, 2019 10:33 a.m. ET
Photo Credit Justin Tang

What are those small strange looking leaves that are growing out of my buds? You will not be able to find the stems of these leaves, they're within the bud, they are hidden and only show their tips. At the end of the flowering stage, these tiny leaves are covered in white crystal or trichomes. The fan leaves do have trichomes but not nearly as concentrated so potent as these lovely sugar leaves, or “sugar babies.”

Fan leaves vs sugar leaves

Your sugar leaves grow out of the bud and have many trichomes on then. The fan leaves, however, have a visible stem, and much fewer trichomes are on them.

Uses of cannabis leaves

Don’t throw away your fan leaves, they may not be good for smoking but are perfect for utilizing in your edible recipes. Sugar leaves will make some delicious edibles. Your canna-butter and concentrates can be made from these sugar leaves. You can infuse anything from cookies to prime-rib or roasted chicken. I could go on forever about all the way to use sugar leaf infused butter; it's endless. If you have enough trim, you can save your bud for better uses. The sugar leaves will do the job.

There are countless recipes for using the trim or fan leaves to make hash, when done properly the results are potent and delicious.

If you are looking for uses of cannabis leaves in a more therapeutic way you can use them as a sort of super food, this can be accomplished by making a tincture from the cannabis leaves and then infusing it into healthy fresh fruit or vegetable smoothies. Remember when eating before or with your smoothie, the effects are more powerful, so remember to have a healthy snack nearby, in case you get the munchies.

Here is a quick recipe for tincture if you do not have one.

• Step 1 - decarboxylate your herb
• Step 2 - let your leaves soak in a jar with 90% alcohol for at least 1 month
• Step 3 - after the month open the jar for a week
• Step 4 - the alcohol will evaporate, and the tincture will concentrate further
• Step 5 - store in a sealed container in the fridge for future uses.

The increased number of trichomes on the plant will provide a more potent product. There are some strategies that can aid in increasing the number of trichomes. These components are needed in knowing how to make sugar leaves. The more buds, the more sugar leaves will be available.

• The correct light
• The environment of temperature and humidity in the last 2-3 weeks of flowering
• Stressing your plants in a good way by lowering the humidity, super-cropping or bending the stems without breaking the skin of the plant
• Providing supplements to your plants are another way to increase the potency and the number of trichomes on your buds
• Do yourself a favor and pick a strain that naturally grows tons of trichomes

Here are a few strains known to have an abundance of glitter or trichomes

Critical Hog
Tahoe OG
Bubblicious Autoflower

Fan leaves vs sugar leaves:  the use of both of these leaves ensures that the whole plant is a usable commodity, with invaluable benefits to your health, enjoy!

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