This iconic symbol of the marijuana community has been a known icon since the cannabis explosion in the ’50s and ’60s, this was when the beatnik and hippie subculture emerged and adopted the cannabis 7 weed leaf symbol. but long before this surge in popularity, the cannabis leaf has been part of ancient scriptures and drawings. This is a testament to the centuries-old association of man and weed. Let us take a closer look at this cannabis weed leaf that many have recognized and I’m sure you yourself have learned to draw at an early age.
A Short History of the Cannabis Leaf
The marijuana plant has been around for so long than most people realize. Early indications of marijuana use were traced in cave drawings which were believed to be dated as early as 10,000 years B.C. There have been cannabis drawings in Japan, and even in early Egypt where an Egyptian goddess was depicted with what seemed to be a cannabis weed leaf on top of her head. Ancient Greek medical books also had illustrations of cannabis among their texts. These three civilizations were the early economical powers of their times and it shows that the cannabis plant was also an integral part of their civilized world.
These ancient marijuana strains are what we now call landrace strains, and in their simplicity just brought the ancient civilization the high that we now know could be mind-altering, medicinal strains of the time. These landrace strains are entirely different from the newer hybrids of high THC, High CBD content readily available at the local dispensaries. Be it a landrace strain or a new hybrid, the human population has recognized the plant and the leaf as sources of inspiration, medicinal value, and psychedelic contentment.
Let us now take a closer look at that world-renowned cannabis icon.
Types of Marijuana Leaves
Most of us are only familiar with that weed leaf symbol adorning our t-shirts and caps. but in reality, there is more to it than just that iconic marijuana symbol. There are three general kinds of cannabis leaves. These are the leaves of the three different species of the genus cannabis from the plant family Cannabaceae. These are namely the Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and the Cannabis ruderalis.
These are characterized by their large leaves. they have slender, spiky serrations and jagged-like leaves. Their colors range from light to dark green hue. This is the universally known image of cannabis which appears in most logos and posters. The Sativa leaves may come from female plants (where we get out cannabis weed we all adore) or from the male plants more commonly known as hemp. Hemp has more CBD content in their plants but is more now for the eco-friendly by-products it is derived from, like rope, shoe, textile, clothing, and a lot more useable products. Female sativas have more THC and are therefore used in the processing of what we now smoke as weed.
Aside from Sativa, there is the second popular species called the Indica. The leaf of the indica species is characterized by short and wide leaves compared to its Sativa sister. they contain 7 to 9 olive green leaflets. The Indica leaves are fatter of the 2 popularly known species.
There is third species of cannabis called ruderalis. Although less popular than the first two species, Saiva and Indica, this was identified by a Russian botanist named D.E. Janischevsky. This species was discovered growing in the mountains of eastern Europe and widely used by the Russian and Mongolian people. this was used mainly to treat depression due to the uplifting and mood-enhancing effects this strain offers.
The ruderalis leaves are formed by having 5 to thirteen leaflets or blades and look very similar to that of the indica leaf. The only difference from an indica weed leaf is that the ruderalis leaves are smaller and narrower. This species grows in the wild and does not have that much THC content, thus this is not usually used in making hybrids of cannabis plants nowadays.
There have been lots of discussions on whether ruderalis is a species of its own or just a subspecies or even a variation of either a Sativa or indica. This issue has yet to be settled to this day.
Types of Weed Leaves
Leaves are necessary for the overall health of the plant, they are the main proponents of photosynthesis because it is through them that carbon dioxide and light energy are absorbed by the plant to keep it healthy and thriving. But there is another type of leaf worth mentioning that as a student of cannabis, you should familiarize yourself with.
Sugar Leaves / Trimmings
If you are not familiar with sugar leaves, they are those tiny leaves sticking out from your cannabis buds and are packed with THC goodness. These are very small leaves fully covered in white trichomes, thus the name sugar leaves. The sugary white presence of trichomes on these leaves is where the cannabinoid THC resides, among other places.
These are those large leaves that grow far away from the buds. these leaves are vital in catching the light’s energies but unlike their smaller counterparts, the sugar leaves, they don’t have the same amount of THC trichomes.
Signs Of Sickness In The Marijuana Leaf
There is a saying that “plants talk to you”, they let you know if they are feeling great or require something. a healthy growing marijuana plant will show signs of lushness, greenish leaves and stems flourish and they just show an overall aura of healthiness. this means the plants are happy.
But there are times the plants let you know there is something wrong, leaf discoloration, a general deterioration of the appearance are signs that they need something more, or they are having too much of something. Let us take a closer look at some signs of sickness or unhappiness in the cannabis plant.
Boron deficiency in cannabis plants will manifest itself in two ways:
- gray or brown spots appear in the marijuana leaves
- soft and purplish colored stems between the leaf and the main stem/branch of the plant
over-fertilization could be a cause, be sure to flush out and keep watering the plant and never leave it to dry out. Humidity should always be higher than 25%
Molybdenum deficiency will manifest itself as the plant’s leaf’s edges will start to brown and turn crispy. Take a close look at the center of the leaves and if there are pinkish or orangy-hued colorations, the plant is deficient with this micronutrient. The growing medium could either too alkaline or too acidic for the plant to handle and flushing the potting medium with neutral 6.0 pH water will do the trick. Make sure the water will seep out of the growing pot once this is done. From hereon, only use neutral water to nourish the plant.
It is easy to spot a magnesium-deficient plant. This is when the plants’ leaves and their tips slowly turn yellow and they eventually dry out and brown. Flushing is again the way to go using a neutral pH level water and topping the growing mix with rich organic compost. Organic compost is the best source of magnesium for plants.
A sure sign of overwatering your plant is when the leaves of your cannabis plant will firm up then droop and curl down facing the stems of the plant. This is a clear sign that the plant needs oxygen. What happens here is that the water content of the soil is too much for the roots to absorb, thus “drowning the plant. You will need to cut down on watering and adjust your watering schedule. consider also changing your potting mix to a more well-draining mix to prevent water from staying idle in your potting mix.
The leaf edges will start to curl up if they are exposed to too much light. Yellowing and brown spotting on the leaves will be signs of leaf burn and this means that the light in your indoor garden may be too close to your plant. if this is happening outdoors, consider placing the potted plants ina shadier part of your garden and not be in direct contact with the scorching noonday sun
The Best Way To Avoid Deficiencies
Avoiding these deficiencies or bad growing habits is better than trying to cure an already sick plant. You can avoid these deficiencies by using tested and true organic growing methods and using the popular super soil cannabis mix (you can easily make your own super soil mix). Organic macro and micronutrients are easily available in any gardening store, and this is the best way to nourish your cannabis. Lastly, flushing with neutral pH water will rid away any unwanted or unneeded nutrients from the soil. This will induce a healthier and productive growth of your cannabis.
Enjoying Your Marijuana Leaf without the THC effect
To end this write-up here is something very nutritious and healthy you could try using freshly nipped marijuana leaves. Try this recipe to enjoy our freshly harvested marijuana leaves, making an easy yet healthy juice drink.
Soak these freshly picked leaves in cold water for 5 minutes then take them out and place them all inside a juicer. mix the freshly soaked leaves with any fruit or beet of your choice and start juicing them together and enjoy with lots of ice.
Juicing your cannabis leaves will not transform the raw THCa acid into the psychoactive THC that gives the weed its high. The raw THCa will remain THCa if juiced only as it has not passed through the process called decarboxylation, which is the responsible process of transforming THCa into the potent THC.