Weed Leaf 101

Weed leaf 101—what ya need to know about the marijuana leaf

Weed leaf 101 is in session so sit back as we deliver everything you need to know ‘bout the majestic marijuana leaf from how to identify their varying varieties to how to drink them.

The weed leaf is of course the most well-known and recognizable aspect of the marijuana plant. And now that marijuana is becoming mainstream it seems like the humble old marijuana leaf is appearing everywhere from billboards, to train car advertisements to t-shirts.

Marijuana leaf phyllotaxy

Marijuana leaves  are compound with multiple leaflets. Unlike several plants where a single leaf grows from the stem. Also unlike several other plants they don’t form an alternating pattern, rather weed leaves emerge in opposite pairs. You’ll find one cannabis leaf on each side of the stem. You’ll also notice a clear vertical space between the pair of weed leaves. Their decussate leaves or the ones that grow in an “x” pattern are opposite, but each new leaf pair is at a right-angle to the last pair. Alternate leaves emerge from the stem singly, swapping sides as the vertical height increases. Any cannabis typically exhibits opposite decussate growth patterns, or phyllotaxy, but it can also produce alternate or whorled leaves. Leaves that radiate from a single point and surround or wrap around the stem are called whorled leaves.

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difference between indica and sativaDifferent marijuana leaves

Sativa Leaves

Cannabis sativa leaves are long and slender and typically have really pronounced serrated edges. This gives the sativa leaf it’s jagged almost spiky look. The color of a sativa leaf ranges from bright, lime green to almost dark. The largest sativa leaves can often have up to thirteen leaflets.

Indica leaves

Cannabis Indica leaves are much wider than sativa leaves and typically have fewer leaflets than a sativa leave. On average you’ll find about seven to nine leaflets on an Indica plant. Indica leaves are commonly deep olive-green. Light Indica leaves are usually a sign of some sort of nutrient deficiency. In fact a lot of nutrient deficiencies can be determined by looking at marijuana leaves. v

Ruderalis marijuana leaves

Ruderalis leaves are generally smaller than the other two marijuana subspecies. In fact ruderalis plants are  much smaller overall. Ruderalis leaves look more like indica leves than sativa leaves in terms of width, although they can be much narrower than any normal indica leaf and the largest leaves may contain between five to thirteen leaflets.

Mutated marijuana leaves

The mighty weed leaf comes in a lot of shapes and sizes. Because marijuana is so widespread and bread all across the world intentionally and unintentionally there have been an incredible variation that’s lead to some really odd leaf patterns. Many growers dig these traits just because they’re rare and don’t look like normal marijuana plants—a good thing when you’re trying to get over on law enforcement or rippers. Anyhow here are some variations on the common cannabis leaf:

webbed marijuana leavesWebbed leaves

Webbed leaves are a common mutation. In fact some breeders have attempted to stabilize the webbed weed leaf. Unfortunately they haven’t quite succeeded to the point where webbed varieties are commercially available. Although in the past it was possible to source webbed varieties such as Ducksfoot in seed form.

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Whorled leaves marijuana leaves
Whorled leaves on a marijuana plant

Whorled leaves

We mentioned whorled leaves above. Whorled leaves are another common mutation although it’s less desirable as a concealment trait because the plants still definitely resemble cannabis. However many marijuana growers think it looks dope. Some believe that pot plants with whorled leaves yield flowers of higher potency, although this hasn’t totally been proven yet.

Australian Bastard Cannabis
Australian Bastard Cannabis

Australian Bastard Cannabis

The most striking weed leaf mutation? Australian Bastard Cannabis. The weed leaf on these guys looks more like something you’d see on a cactus. Folklore states that Australian Bastard Cannabis is from Sydney and that breeders have attempted to stabilize it as well. This weird weed leaf mutation takes the form of hairless, succulent leaflets, usually with no more than five leaflets to a leaf. The individual leaflets usually do not exceed a few inches in length. Despite the allure of cannabis that does not resemble cannabis, most attempts to breed viable strains using these genetics have failed. Why? Since you haven’t yet seen a weed leaf that looks like a succulent at the local dispensary and there are just a scant scat erring of ’em online you can rest assured that this breed has yet to reach commercial success. When it does—call us.

Can you smoke marijuana leaves?

Those small marijuana leaves that are encrusted trichomes could be smoked, but they’re typically reserved for making things like hash or cannabutter, even co2 extraction if you’ve got enough. But ordinary marijuana leaves, especially the large fan leaves, don’t contain much THC so they’re really not worth smoking. That’s why you never see people smoking a bow of weed leaf. Keef? Yes. Weed leaf? No.

Weed leaf juice

If you’re looking for something healthy you can juice a weed leaf. Many people believe that cannabinoids in their acid form may have some pharmacological benefits similar to their familiar non-acid form without the psychoactivity. Since male marijuana plant leaves contain the same cannabinoid acids as females just in differing concentrations and ratios they can also be juiced. Juice male cannabis leaves just as you’d juice the leaves from a female cannabis plant. Avoid the thick stalks and maybe the biggest fan leaves to minimize bitterness—then drink it down and stay healthy.

Have we left out anything interesting about the majestic marijuana leaf or weird weed leaf mutations? Email us your best weed leaf drawing and let us know about your experience drinking or eating weed leaves in the comments below…

One Response to “Weed Leaf 101”

  1. Jason Smith

    Sativa leaves are the best for me

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