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Cannabis Sugar Leaves: What They Are And What To Do With Them

Last updated: 28 September 2023

cannabis sugar leaves

When you think of cannabis leaves, you probably think of the big, broad fan leaves with five or seven leaflets. This iconic shape symbolizes stoners everywhere, but did you know there’s another type of cannabis leaf? They’re called sugar leaves. If you grow your own cannabis or have bought some with a bit left untrimmed, you’ve seen sugar leaves! These cute little bud leaves are nestled in among the flowers and are also plentiful in trichomes, so sugar leaves needn’t be cast aside when trimming. Let us fill you in!

What’s The Deal With Sugar Leaves?

marijuana sugar leaves

What are sugar leaves? The delicious-sounding name comes from the beautiful sparkle of trichomes that coat the leaves toward the end of the flowering stage of growth. You’ll likely collect a whole bunch of sugar leaves while trimming your bud after harvest. You can distinguish a sugar leaf from the fan leaves by their size and appearance: they’re small and dispersed throughout the buds, and glistening with sparkly trichomes, unlike the fan leaves that protrude from the plant’s branches. 

Can You Smoke Sugar Leaves

However, smoking sugar leaves isn’t going to make for an ideal smoke experience. The smoke is super harsh and will have a terrible flavor if you smoke them by themselves. Sugar leaves are far less concentrated in THC than flowers and contain a lot more chlorophyll, which isn’t tasty when burned. There are far better ways to use sugar trim – we’ll clue you in.

Better Ways To Use Sugar Trim

Even if you shouldn’t smoke them, there’s still plenty to do with the sugar leaf trim left over from your last harvest! If you’re not sure what to do with sugar leaves, take our advice and use one of these methods to get the most out of them.

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Try Vaping

bud leaves

If you’ve already invested in a vaporizer, you’ve probably considered just tossing your sugar leaves in there and vaping them away to happiness. Since sugar leaves contain cannabinoids and terpenes that get you high with some nice flavors, this is a pretty ideal solution instead of trying to smoke them in a joint.

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Get Creative With Cannabutter

You can really maximize the potential of your marijuana sugar leaves by using them to make some amazing cannabutter. Check out this easy recipe!

sugar trim


  • 28 grams (1 ounce) of trimmed sugar leaves
  • 250g (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 300ml (1 ¼ cups) water, plus 50ml (⅓ cup) per hour of simmering


  • Sharp kitchen knife or blender
  • Cheesecloth
  • Storage container
  • Mason jar

Step 1: Prepare The Sugar Leaves

sugar leaf weed

Before turning on the stove, the sugar leaves need to be activated. To properly decarb your cannabis leaves, chop up the sugar trim super finely with a kitchen knife or run the plant matter through a blender – whichever you prefer! Then, all you need to do is distribute the ground up leaves on a baking tray and bake at 100°C (212°F) for 40 minutes in a preheated oven.

Step 2: Simmer All Day Long!

can you smoke sugar leaves

Now it’s time to get cookin’! Melt the butter in a pan, add the water, and whisk until combined. Add your magical sugar leaves and set the heat to low. Every hour, add another 50ml (⅓ cup) of water. Simmer for a total of 4-8 hours. Keep an eye on your mixture and be prepared for things to get pretty fragrant!

Step 3: Filter And Store

what are sugar leaves

Once the mixture is done simmering, it’s time to filter. Secure a cheesecloth around your mason jar using a rubber band or piece of string. Strain the mixture and behold the glorious green liquid you’re left with. Transfer to your preferred storage container and place in the fridge to solidify. You now have beautiful cannabutter!

Grind Your Way To Some Kief

cannabis sugar leaves

Since those sugar leaves are frosty with trichomes, you can absolutely use them to make some kief. You’ll need a three-chamber grinder and plenty of sugar leaves. All you need to do is load up the grinder and grind away. The kief will get separated from the plant matter and accumulate in the bottom chamber. You could even go so far as to use a pollen press to turn all that kief into a nifty little hash coin!

How About A Hot Cup Of Sugar Leaf Tea?

what to do with sugar leaves

If you’re interested in some sugar leaf tea, the recipe is straightforward and rewarding. Load a gram of decarbed sugar leaves (using the method explained above) into a tea infuser. Toss this into your mug with a teaspoon of butter to bind the cannabinoids to the fat. Optionally, add your favorite tea, then pour boiling water over the leaves and stir to combine. Let it steep, and sip away. Alternatively, a scoop of cannabutter will do the trick.

Tinker With A Tincture

sugar leaf trim

To make a tincture, you’ll need plenty of decarbed cannabis sugar leaves and 90% alcohol to soak it in. Load everything into a jar and let it sit for a month or longer. Open the jar and let it sit in a well-ventilated area for a week or so to let some of the alcohol evaporate, concentrating the tincture even further. Once it’s ready to use, we suggest spiking your morning smoothie with a dropperful!

Save Those Sugar Leaves

When it comes time to trim your harvest, sugar leaves are not to be just tossed aside! They have plenty of trichomes, and we don’t want to waste those. Whether you vape, make edibles or create concentrates, you’re now equipped with the knowledge you need to get the most out of your sugar trim. What do you usually like to do with yours? Let us know in the comments!

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Great tip’s will definitely try a few
Hello RJ! Thank you for your comment - it's nice to hear you've found this useful :)
Trill Savage
wow. always thought that its never worth it to picking up those leaves. just realised, I threw away a holy baloney of really good ones
Who knew?
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