Can you smoke Cannabis leaves?

Wondering if you can smoke cannabis leaves? We will tell you on this article.

Cannabis leaves can be smoked

Last march was harvest time for my dear Juanita. After six months or so, I took care of her, fed her, watered her, and talked to her. Then, oh happy day, drying, curating, and smoking time.

As I was storing my precious flowers in a jar I looked at my pile of leaves, and thought:

“I wonder if people smoke these leaves?

And it turns out many of you do wonder if you can smoke cannabis leaves. Today we want to tackle this question so you can use your plant to the last stem.

About cannabis leaves

As you surely have noticed, cannabis has, just like any other plant, leaves of different sizes and shapes. (an article about cannabis plant parts).

Fan leaves

Fan leaves are the biggest ones in the plant. A fan leaf has a 5-point, hand-like shape that has made it the star in many cool cannabis hand peace sign drawings.

These leaves appear all over the vegetative station of the plant, and their main function is to catch light and turn it into energy for the plant to develop.

These leaves are also a nutrient storage unit, helping the plant when lacking food. When this happens, fan leaves start turning yellow until they finally fall from the plant.

Fan leaves have a low, yet definitively present cannabinoid concentration. They also absorb fertilizers, pesticides, and other gardening chemicals. When chemicals are present, you can’t use them.

Sugar leaves

Covered with delicious trichomes that make them look like a cute and tiny dessert, sugar leaves are the tiny ones growing between the flowers. They help to structure the buds and keep the flowers together.

These leaves appear in the flowering station and have a higher cannabinoid concentration than fan leaves. They also get a good trichome bath by being near the flower. It’s all about location.

Sugar leaves also have a higher chlorophyll concentration, thus making them a little disliked by people who really care about cannabis flavor.

Can you smoke cannabis leaves?

Now is very clear that your cannabis plant has two different types of leaves. But, can you smoke them?

The simple answer is “yes”. For what is worth, you could smoke every single part of your plant: the flowers, leaves, stems, seeds…

If it can catch fire, then you can smoke it.

But, just because you can smoke the leaves, doesn’t mean you should do it.

Large fan leaves normally have chemicals like fertilizers, root enhancers, pesticides, and many other products that farmers use to get top performance from each plant.

Chemicals can make the plant produce chubby, shiny, and cute buds. But chemicals also produce nasty, poisonous, and really unhealthy fan leaves that should not be used under any circumstance by anyone.

But, if you have grown your own plants, you know where the palnt comes from, and it’s organically grown (free from chemical pesticides and fertilizers) you can use your leaves the way best suits you.

Just keep in mind that these leaves have the smallest cannabinoid concentration in the whole plant. Best case scenario, fan leaves can have a 0.4% of THC concentration, which is ridiculous compared to the 6% to 35% that you can find on cannabis flowers (a report on cannabis THC concentration).

So, it’s a “sometimes” on fan leaves. But, what about sugar leaves?

Sugar leaves grow with the flowers, so they are as consumable as flowers are.

Since they share the same space with flowers to help them keep their structure and not fall apart, they are in constant contact with the trichomes. This gives them a higher THC concentration than fan leaves, which makes them a better option for smoking.

Nevertheless, the “green flavor” of these leaves is not pleasant for many people, so they cut them to discard or store them.

So, in conclusion, you can smoke both fan and sugar leaves. You just have to make sure it’s an organic plant to smoke fan leaves and keep into account that you will get a different flavor than you’re used to.

When can’t you smoke cannabis leaves?

As we have stated before, you can smoke the leaves of your cannabis plant.

But not just any leaves. Keep these tips in mind if you want to smoke cannabis leaves:

  • Avoid smoking leaves from plants with an unknown origin
  • Don’t use the fan leaves from commercial cannabis plants. They usually use pesticides and fertilizers
  • Don’t use any sick, wounded, or overdried leaves
  • Don’t use leaves attacked by bugs
  • If you’re looking for exactly the same effect you would have with flowers, don’t use the leaves

How to smoke cannabis leaves?

It’s a fact: you can use your cannabis leaves and smoke them. This is good news for any cannabis small farmer, all those people who grow their plants and home and want to maximize the benefits from their plant.

Is good to know that the leaves can be smoked. After all, it’s not a tiny amount of leaves that you can get from medium and large size plants. You can actually get a good amount of leaves to smoke out of a medium plant.

But as you know, your cannabis leaves don’t have a large concentration of THC.

So, here are some ways you can really take advantage of your leaves:

Roll up a joint

There are different ways to use your cannabis leaves

The first and most obvious thing you can do is roll up a joint and smoke it. It’s quite simple: all you have to do is cut your leaves small and roll them into a cigarette.

For this to really work, your leaves must be dry. Green, fresh leaves can’t be used, as they won’t burn.

Most people save all their leaves for an emergency moment. This is a great way to use the leaves because you will not have to go through the day without weed.

But there’s azbigger benefit to using your leaves this way.

You see, by leaving your leaves for last, you will have a good stack of cannabis ready for you when desperation strikes.

If you’re like me, you will probably even forget you have those leaves. But that is a great thing because as time goes by, your cannabinoid tolerance will decrease and your leaves will be so much more valuable. As you know, the more time you spend without smoking, the higher you will get the next time you smoke.

And yes, that includes smoking leaves.

Stretch your weed

This is an all-time favorite for those of us who like to enjoy all cannabis layers. Cutting your cannabis leaves and mixing them with your weed is a great way to extend your stack of weed to enjoy for longer.

This method is also a great idea for cannabis beginners. Adding leaves to a joint can offer you softer effects, decreasing the THC intake, thus controlling the dosag.

Vape your leaves

Any type of smoking can affect your lungs, and although smoking weed in low doses can have a positive effect on lung capacity (find a study on that), many experts recommend vaping instead of smoking.

For those of us, old-school smokers, vaping is ok, but there’s just something missing when compared with our regular joint. Nevertheless, vapers state that the high’s quality, duration, and effects are better when you vape.

Vaper users also state that vaped cannabis flavor is way superior to the flavor you get from regular smoking. When it comes to cannabis flowers, vaping can create a nice bouquet felt in each puff that makes some people prefer it over joints.

Some vaping lovers also comment that leaves vaped have a soft flavor, are less “raw” and are more robust than when smoking.

Vaping has many benefits when compared to smoking. One of them, allowing you to control the heat to find the perfect combustion temperature to smoke the leaves without burning them, thus obtaining more THC than with other methods.

Other ways to use cannabis leaves

Rethinking the whole cannabis-leaf smoking and looking for other creative ways to use them? We have some ideas for you:

Tea and infusions

One very popular way to use cannabis leaves is to infuse them in water for a relaxing hot tea. With a similar flavor to any herbal tea, new users will blend it seamlessly with their regular hot beverages, while seasoned users will really appreciate the fragrant bouquet in every zip.

You can make a straight cannabis tea, or you can mix it with other herbs you like, such as camomille, mint, or any other.

Non-heated infusions with cannabis leaves have are used to treat pain and bounds. Macerating cannabis leaves in oil, alcohol, and even water for at least 5 days will give you a powerful topic pain killer that doesn’t get you high.


Nothing like having a brownie and feeling high all day long, am I right?

The high you get from edibles is very different than the high you get from smoking. Eating cannabis has a long-lasting effect that some people love and others hate.

I’m in the “love” team.

When you use cannabis leaves instead of flowers, you will not get as high, but you will still be able to feel the effects of cannabis, such as relaxation, pain decrease, better mood, and many others.

There are plenty of recipes where cannabis leaves are welcome. From simply shredding them and using them as condiments, to more complex recipes like gummies or butter.

You can also add your cannabis leaves to any juice blend you like. Just as if it was another spinach for a fresh flavor and a bomb of nutrients.

Cannabis works great with sweet or savory recipes, and you can use any part of the plant to obtain different effects.

But to get a high effect from infusions and edibles, you must add an extra step to boost your cannabis leaves and give them superpowers.

What is decarboxylation?

To make it simple, decarboxylation is the process that activates your weed.

The psychoactive cannabinoid that we know and love, THC, is found on plants as THCA, a pre-THC cannabinoid that doesn’t make you high.

Turning THCA into THC so you smile to life and laugh about nothing, anything, and everything is actually fairly simple.

You just have to turn the heat. Literally.

The decarboxylation process is about applying heat to cannabis leaves or flowers to activate the THC in them.

By smoking or vaping, you apply heat to the plant and turn THCA into TCH. Vaping offers a lower and better-controlled temperature for your cannabis and is the reason some people think is better to vape than smoke.

When it comes to cannabis edibles, and other non-smoking cannabis products, decarboxylation may be necessary to assure a psychoactive effect.

In cases like brownies, cannabutter, or any other heated recipe, decarboxylation is recommended but not mandatory. THC can be activated during the cooking station, because there is still a source of heat acting on the THCA.

But when you use cannabis for cold infusions, as a condiment, with a juice, or any other raw preparation, decarboxylation is a must if you want to feel any high effects.

You can make the decarboxylation process right at home. You will need a heat-resistant tray, parchment paper, your leaves, a regular oven, a toaster oven, or a microwave.

To decarboxylate your leaves, just grind or cut them small. Put the paper on the tray and spread the leaves on top. If you’re using a regular oven, set the temperature at 221°-240°F and let them “bake” until ready.

For toaster ovens, the same temperature should work just as well.

The decarboxylation time-lapse will depend on factors such as the number of leaves you use, your oven power, and even the weather, so a lot of trial and error is involved.

A microwave oven is the least recommended way to decarboxylate because the temperature isn’t controlled most of the time.

But if it is the only thing you have, who am I to kill your dreams?

So, to use your microwave find a microwave-safe tray. Put the parchment paper on it and then your cut leaves.

Some ovens have special programs with lower or higher temperatures. You can try a low-temperature program if possible.

Set the timer on 3 minutes and turn it on. Stop the process in the middle of the time, take out the tray, mix the leaves, and spread them again. Let them bake for the remaining time.

Once you have decarboxylated your leaves, the THC on them will be activated and you will enjoy the common benefits Juanita has for you. Just keep in mind that even after going through this process, your cannabis leaves have a substantially lower content of THC than cannabis flowers.

Well! I hope this article was useful for you. Now you know what kind of leaves your plant has, which ones you can smoke, which ones are a no-no and several ways to light them up.

So, next time you think about ditching your cannabis leaves, don’t! Cannabis is a wonderful plant, and all its parts can be put to good use.

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