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Alana Rossi
August 19, 2023

Cannabis leaves are the iconic green botanical structures that extend outward from the branches and stems of the marijuana plant in a staggered alternating pattern along the shoots and stalks. There exists two main types of leaves - larger broad fan leaves with divided leaflets or blades, and smaller sugar leaves found closer to the flowering buds. Cannabis leaves come in nearly endless variations of shapes and sizes, with diverse patterns of leaflets or blades in numbers ranging from 1 to 15 depending on precise genetics.

The broad fan leaves grow farther away from flowering buds and act as biological solar panels meant to capture and absorb the maximum amount of available sunlight rays for photosynthesis. Meanwhile, the smaller sugar leaves nestle in closely among stacked buds to efficiently supply developing flowers with absorbed light energy. Chlorophyll and other plant pigments residing within cannabis leaves lend them their ubiquitous green hue which can take on more vibrant yellowish-green colors under ideal healthy conditions. The appearance, texture and robustness of cannabis leaves also serve as visual indicators of overall plant health.

While sugar leaves are carefully trimmed off and utilized for extraction processes, the larger fan leaves generally end up being discarded as waste material. This is because fan leaves contain very little concentration of beneficial cannabinoids or terpenes. However some juicing raw cannabis fan leaves can provide nutrition from amino acids, antioxidants and essential minerals.

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