Sugar Leaves: What To Do With Cannabis Trim?

Growers often trim ‘sugar leaves’ off their flower to make cannabis buds look more attractive. Where some would just throw this out as trash; other growers go out of their way to get the most out of their crop. Use these tips to put your sugar leaves to use too and never spill a gram again.

Sugar Leaves

Sugar Leaves are the small leaves growing out the sides of a cannabis bud. Not the iconic bigger fan leaves with multiple fingers, but the small one-fingered ones that usually glister with trichomes. These are sugar crystal-like glands that get their name from their appearance; and they’re extremely important parts of the cannabis plant. After all, it’s where most of the plants cannabinoids (like THC and CBD) and terpenes are stored.

sugar leaves
Sugar leaves are often covered in cannabinoid-carrying trichomes

It’s these trichomes that make cannabis trim – the stuff you are left behind after trimming your buds – valuable ‘trash’. To be fair, we don’t think it’s trash, but the Dutch literally call it knipafval [‘cutting trash’]. Where some growers would trim these small leaves off and throw it out to make their flower more esthetically pleasing; most cultivators search for ways to get the most out of their precious crop. And with the following tips you will be able to do the same, without having to do the research.

1. Vaporizer

volcano vaporizer amsterdam genetics
Sugar leaves? Throw them in a vaporizer!

If you own a vaporizer, this might be the most obvious solution for you. Sugar leaves contain both cannabinoids to get you high and terpenes for flavor (and to steer the strain’s effect). Because that’s what is essentially consumed with a vaporizer, vaping is the perfect way to utilize your trim with little effort. Where smoking the leaves in a joint would give a harsh taste, due to an excess of chlorophyll and other unpleasant tasting components in the leaves. The lack of combustion of the leaves, but rather the evaporation of cannabinoids and terpenes on them, make vaporizing sugar leaves a super tasty experience.

2. Edibles

Another way to make good use of your sugar leaves is to process them into edibles. Although we must admit, this method requires a bit more time and effort than the previous one. Especially if you produce edible pieces of art, like Amsterdam Genetics’ Michelin-Star Baker Rick does. To make edibles, most baked bakers infuse butter or coconut oil with cannabis to bake with. In this case, with sugar leaves, it is advised to use double the weight you would with cannabis buds. Because though sugar leaves carry cannabinoids and terpenes in trichomes, the glands are far less concentrated on these leaves than they are on a nug.

3. Hash / Extracts

Why not make treasure from trash, by turning sugar leaves into hash?

The most laborious way to use your sugar leaves is to turn them into hash, otherwise known as extracts. Methods like dry-sifting, ice water extraction, CO2-extraction, mechanical drums (and more) could potentially turn your trash into treasure. One downside, it takes some time, effort and investing in the proper equipment. But as soon as you get a hold of this hash-making thing, you might just become the coolest kid in the neighborhood.