Ask a Stoner: What Are Sugar Leaves?

Dear Stoner: What are sugar leaves? Are they for smoking or eating? I'm embarrassed to ask the budtender.

Dear Meredith: I’m guessing you first came across the term on a dispensary menu or while talking with a pot-shop employee, so don’t feel bad about asking a budtender to explain. Potheads tend to get lost in their lingo, and the ganja jargon can get thick. Sugar leaves are the leaves on the marijuana plant close to the plant’s flowers, or buds. The flower is where the plant’s trichome production takes place, so that’s where all the cannabinoids — THC, CBD, CBN, etc. — are located.

Some leaves close to or wrapped around the buds also get some of those cannabinoids, and it’s easy to see their sugary presence, hence the name sugar leaves. In addition to processing the leaves into hash, dispensaries will sell them in cheap ounces or pre-rolled joints. Some of my friends will buy sugar leaves to cook with, often making cannabutter or cooking oil. Although you can use the leaves for smoking, all of that chlorophyll can create a harsh, bad-tasting smoke — so buyer beware. But if your wallet is thin, we won’t judge!

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