Exploring the Cannabis Leaf

The different types of cannabis leaves.

The number of leaflets on cannabis leaves may vary according to the type of cannabis plant. It also depends on the growth cycle. Usually, there are many strains of cannabis, but there are three varieties of the plant: Sativa, Indica, and Ruderalis. 

Types of cannabis leaves

Different types of cannabis

What can cannabis leaves be used for?

Cannabis leaves can be used in many different ways. Fan leaves of the cannabis indica plant contain low amounts of cannabinoids(CBD). These are rich in flavor, phytonutrients, and resin that promote wellness and health. On the other hand, smaller sugar leaves are coated in white, delicious trichomes and contain higher levels of CBD than fan leaves.

Both fan and sugar leaves can be used to make nutrition-rich and cannabinoid-infused edibles and beverages. The cannabis plant is rich in essential vitamins and minerals, fibers, flavonoids, terpenes, fatty acids, and CBD. Raw cannabis leaves produce healthy green juices.

You can make cannabis-infused butter using the flowers and leaves of the plant by combining it with olive oil or coconut oil. Cannabis butter pairs well with baked goods like brownies, baked potatoes, and steaks. 

What can cannabis leaves tell you?

The cannabis leaf is the major component of the plant’s life support. These leaves contain chlorophyll —  a green pigment that serves as solar panels for the plant. Cannabis leaves are crucial to the photosynthesis process. Additionally, the underside of these leaves have tiny stomata — microscopic holes close and open like doors.

These leaves take in carbon dioxide and release water and oxygen like other plants. In addition to these, cannabis leaves absorb nutrients that are responsible for the growth of the cannabis plant. This is called foliar feeding.

There are generally three species of the cannabis plat — sativa, indica, and ruderalis — all with distinctive leaves. The most cannabis obtained by consumers in the market these days are hybrids that are the combination of generic traits of those three species. 

Cannabis species and their leaves

Different types of cannabis leaves tell different stories:

  • Sativa

Cannabis sativa leaves are large with up to thirteen slender, jagged, and spiky serrations. The color of these leaves can be light or dark green, or sometimes lime green shade. Sativa leaves from female plants are used to harvest the smokable cannabis, while those from male plants are known as hemp.

Hemp plants contain more CBD than THC. These are grown for renewable, industrial, plant-saving, and eco-friendly purposes. If you can’t use the cannabis leaf as medicine or to get high, you can surely use the leaf and other parts of the plant for many righteous things.

  • Indica

Previously, it was believed that cannabis had only one variety: Sativa. However, several other varieties of the plant were later found, and these varieties grow from subvarieties of the Cannabis sativa plant.

Cannabis indica is one of these varieties. This typically is shorter, oversized, and extra-wide in size as compared to sativa leaves. Indica contains seven to nine olive-green Shaded leaflets.

The name Cannabis Indica was coined in 1785 by French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck. He noticed the difference between the Cannabis sativa hemp that is mostly cultivated for agricultural purposes in Europe and the Cannabis indica harvested for medicinal purposes in India. The higher chlorophyll content accelerates the bloom cycle of this variety.

  • Ruderalis

Russian botanist D.E. Janischevsky discovered the third species of the cannabis plant known as Cannabis ruderalis. This plant grew across Eastern Europe, and mostly Russians and Mongolians used this to treat anxiety and depression.

The ruderalis plant leaf features five to thirteen leaflets. These are similar to indica leaves, with the only major difference being that ruderalis leaves are smaller and narrower. Cannabis ruderalis grows wild and doesn’t contain much of the THC content like other species of cannabis plants.

These days, cannabis growers experiment with crossbreeding indica and ruderalis plants for the purpose of producing strains with shorter growing seasons. Cannabis ruderalis and sativa crossbreeds produce strains that don’t require reducing the amount of light used for the plant’s exposure. 

Final words

The cannabis plant has several varieties, and the cannabis leaf is just one of them. The leaves can be used to identify the different species of the cannabis plant. Being able to differentiate between species can come in handy for those who prefer certain cannabis effects, as each specie is known for distinct effects. To do this, you’d have to get familiar with the cannabis leaf.

Published by Neil

Neil believes Cannabis has medical benefits and should be prescribed by a Doctor. This site aims to provide accurate information on the science and legality of Cannabis so you can make informed decisions.

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