Sugar Leaves: What They Are & What To Do With Them
Sugar leaves are the small single-finger leaves that grow out of your cannabis buds during the flowering stage. They are called “sugar leaves” because these leaves are often covered in sparkly trichomes which look like a dusting of sugar.
Small single-finger leaves that grow out of your cannabis buds during the flowering stage. They are called “sugar leaves” because these leaves are often covered in sparkly trichomes which look like a dusting of sugar.
Different strains of marijuana have different amounts of trichomes and sugar leaves. The ratio of sugar leaves to trichomes, however, is not linear and more sugar leaves do not necessarily mean higher trichome levels and vice-versa.
Some growers trim the sugar leaves off and others leave them on. The resin of sugar leaves can be used if removed to make hash or cannabis infused butter (cannabutter).
Maximising the Utility of Cannabis Plant
Cultivators are always looking for ways to maximise the utility of every single part of the cannabis plant. This includes utilising trim for various purposes, which ultimately involves extracting cannabinoids for consumption. But there are parts of the cannabis plant that fall in a grey area of whether they should be considered trim or smokable.
You might not know what they are by name, but you’ve certainly seen them on your cannabis plants! Some growers trim them completely from the buds, but others will just leave them on for reasons you’ll soon understand. Let’s get a better sense of what sugar leaves are, and what they’re used for.
The title “sugar leaves” comes from the white coating of delicious trichomes they have at the end of the flowering phase. While fan leaves also have trichomes, they are far less concentrated and therefore, less potent.
However, fan leaves can still be used when making edibles. Having more sugar leaves does not mean more trichomes, nor will resinous flower automatically signal more sugar leaves. Their size will also vary a lot.
Sometimes they’ll cover the bud, while other times, they’ll barely peek through the flower. This will also be affected by how their size compares to that of the bud.
What affects the amount of trichomes on the sugar leaves?
Over the years I’ve noticed that you tend to get more trichomes on the sugar leaves when the buds are smaller. It’s like the plant has a certain number of trichomes it can make per bud, and if the buds stay small the trichomes spill out onto the leaves. But if you have a very thick cola, often the sugar leaves are not as sparkly as on the buds themselves.
Some sugar leaves seem like they should be saved, while others don’t. As you harvest more plants over time, you’ll start to get a feel for what you like best!