Cannabis buds are the star of the show as the smokable flower of our beloved plant — but did you know that you can make use of the fan leaves as well? Fan leaves might not have near the same concentration of THC that buds do, but that doesn’t mean that they’re unusable.
The average fan leaf contains around 0.3% THC and 0.7% CBD, so you won’t get much out of it by rolling it up and smoking it. However, you can use cannabis fan leaves as an addition to salads, smoothies, and even to make tea and skin products. Whether the strain you’re growing produces a little or a lot of trichomes on fan leaves, they’re still very usable!
Are Fan Leaves The Same As Sugar Leaves?
Sugar leaves are the small leaves that grow out of the buds themselves, while the fan leaves are much larger leaves surrounding the flowering colas. Sugar leaves can be frosted with trichomes, the resinous glands on the cannabis plant containing most of the cannabinoids like THC and CBD. Fan leaves don’t contain many trichomes — they mostly supply the plant with sunlight and oxygen. Sugar leaves are usually trimmed off buds, while fan leaves are often discarded entirely.
Here is a list of things that you can do with leftover cannabis fan leaves.
Mix Into Smoothies and Salads
Cannabis fan leaves contain various phytonutrients that can add a boost of nutrition to smoothies, particularly those that already contain dark, leafy greens like kale or spinach. You want to use cannabis fan leaves raw in this application, without heating or cooking to activate any cannabinoids through decarboxylation.
You can also mix fan leaves into a salad — with raw leaves, you won’t get any psychoactive effects; you’ll only receive the leafy green nutrition.
Make Tea With Fan Leaves
Making cannabis tea is simple, but it’s not going to get you high unless you heat the leaves in a fat like coconut oil first. THC is best extracted into a fat, so decarbing it and infusing it into butter or a plant oil before adding hot water will help, if the high is what you’re after.
Make Rolling Papers With Fan Leaves
You can use the leaves to make natural rolling papers, if you dry them flat. It’s tricky to roll when they’re completely dry and brittle, but you can give it a shot if you have big fan leaves left over from your grow, and cure them properly to roll with.
Make Cannabis Tincture Or Oil With Fan Leaves
Just like with cannabis buds, you can make infused tincture or oil with fan leaves. This is great if you’re growing your own plants and you want to use of every bit of the plant possible so you have the least amount of waste. Follow the same basic process that you would when using buds to make your tincture. It won’t be as potent as an infusion with cannabis flower, but it’s better than wasting it, and can make for a mellow high.