Australians are increasingly supporting cannabis decriminalisation nationwide. Cannabis leaf has been a source of powerful inspiration for many cultures throughout history, and is becoming more widely accepted in modern society. Cannabis leaves are the principal energy gatherers of the cannabis plant, transforming it into a vital fuel.
Cannabis consumption among the general population in Australia was stable between 2001 (12.9%) and 2016 (10.4%). Increasing tolerance for regular adult cannabis consumption was noted among the general Australian population - rising to 14.5% in 2016.
Decriminalisation of cannabis in Australia. Source
Types of cannabis leaves
There are three cannabis species: sativa, indica, and ruderalis. Each have distinct properties, but most cannabis or cannabis-infused products we use these days are a hybrid.
Cannabis sativa belongs to the Cannabaceae family, which includes both hemp and cannabis varieties. It mainly grows in warmer weather, especially in countries located on or near the equator, including Mexico, Thailand, Colombia, and Southeast Asia.
Sativa leaves are long and slender with pronounced serrations. This gives the leaves a jagged and spiky appearance. The color of these leaves can be bright, lime green or blackish-green at the darkest. The largest leaves can feature up to thirteen leaflets.
Cannabis sativa is used for its fiber, seeds, and oil, and is also used for nutritional and medicinal purposes. Cannabis strains made from sativa leaves are extremely pungent because of their distinct terpene profiles. These produce aromas that can be fruity, citrus, and sweet to earthy, peppery or piney.
Cannabis indica has a higher ration of cannabidiol (CBD) to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Therefore, it is used for various medical applications since it produces lower levels of anxiety as compared to other strains of cannabis.
Indica leaves are much wider than sativa leaves, and the largest leaves can have seven to nine leaflets. Indica leaves are usually deep olive-green, and very light green leaves are rare.
Cannabis ruderalis is a stalky plant with small leaves, especially when compared to sativa and indica. The height of the plan is between 1 and 2.5 feet and has a rugged and shaggy growth pattern.
Cannabis ruderalis leaves are wide, and their coloration is light green. The buds are small but still relatively chunky and feature the sturdy, thick stems. These leaves consist of naturally low THC concentrations. However, the stability and short lifecycle make these leaves versatile because of its autoflowering trait. Breeders can create autoflowering hybrids of ruderalis with the advanced potency.
What can cannabis leafs be used for?
Like other green leaves including kale and spinach, cannabis leaves contain iron, vitamin K and vitamin C, folate, calcium and phosphorus. They are an excellent source of dietary fibre, flavonoids, and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids that are great for joints and brain health.
Cannabis leaves can be used in cooking and baking edibles, such as cakes, cookies, chocolates, candies, drinks, butter, and more. Cannabis edibles are also popular. Cannabis leaves can be added to almost anything – some notable examples include cannabis coconut butter, Keto fall balls, protein balls, and many more.
Cannabis oil extracted from these leaves nourishes skin and hair. The salve is used as a face mask and a scalp inflammation remedy. Massaging with the oil provides relieve from inflammation and stiffness in joints and muscles.
What can cannabis leaves tell you?
With increasing hybrid experiments, cannabis leaf mutations are becoming common. Certain mutations are now used as the basis for some of the most popular strains available on the market.
Some leaf mutations are initiated by breeders with the purpose of better camouflaging the plant, while other mutations are a minor defect inherent to some cannabis strains. Gnarly-looking leaves on young plants, widespread leaf mutations with even numbers of fingers and ugly deformities are rare. Excessive mutations indicate bunk genetics and poor breeding techniques.
To identify a possible pest infestation, discolouration of cannabis leaves doesn’t provide much indication. A careful inspection will reveal some signs of pests’ presence. Cannabis leaves with white veins are of inferior quality.
While most of the cannabis plant is useful in some ways, cannabis leaves have a range of different applications and health benefits depending on their use. The leaves are an important indication of how healthy the plant is, and can be used to determine the strain. When making edible, medicinal or recreational products from marijuana, the leaves are the powerhouse of the plant in more ways than one.