Can you smoke weed leaves? This is something that many cannabis users have wondered at some point. In the past, they were smoked and, in some cultures, they still are. Today they are mainly mashed and mixed with the bud, which is where most of the plant's psychoactive components are found. But they are also used for many other things, like extracting resin to prepare tea or gauging the plant's health. Learn more about them in this post.
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Cannabis is usually grown to obtain quality buds for smoking, although there’s much more to it than just buds. The leaves, for example, can also be used to roll a joint or as a good gauge of the plant's health, but that’s not all. Today, we will tell you how to get the very most out of them.
All about marijuana leaves
First things first, let’s find out whether weed leaves can be smoked. It was done in the past, but now, as THC levels in buds are way higher, leaves have been pushed to the background. What many people do is crush them up and mix them with the buds, in a joint, pipe or bong. They make a great fallback option too when there’s no cannabis left. You can store them and dry them for some emergency.
The views on the use of leaves for joints are definitely split. Some prefer smoking bud with no leaves mixed in, as it slightly modifies the taste. Others prefer a bit of tobacco in the mixture. There are also those who are totally up against it because it has given them headaches. The best you can do is try a nicely shredded mix of buds and leaves and decide whether you are one who likes to smoke leaves or not.
Just a heads up: not all leaves should be smoked. The largest ones, for example, must be used with caution as they may contain great amounts of chemicals if the plant has been treated with unknown fertilisers. Those tiny and gooey leaves closest to the bud, on the other hand, are extremely valuable, great for carrying out top-notch extracts with. A common practice known since time immemorial, when in some areas of Asia, like in Nepal, the resin was extracted by rubbing the buds or leaves by hand to obtain top-quality charas, that has survived all the way until today.
Another way to obtain the so-coveted resin is with techniques such as the Ice-o-Lator. But how? It's very simple. All you have to do is place them and the leftover plant material on a mesh located atop other smaller ones and dip it in a bucket of very cold water. Little by little the resin will start to come out through the meshes and you'll be able to collect it.
However, before smoking them or extracting the resin, there’s something very important you can do with them: check your plant's health. Leaves turning brown may indicate the pH levels of the irrigation water are not quite right while yellow leaves may be caused by nutrient deficiencies, over-fertilisation, or heat stress. Brown or yellowish spots on the surface could be a sign of calcium deficiency. The solution to some of these problems could be an adequate use of nutrients or a change in the heat source. Only when a leaf is very damaged, maybe due to a pest, should it be discarded.
Remedies and drinks with cannabis leaves
If smoking is not your thing, don't worry: there’s much more we can do with them. Cannabis leaves have long been used as a remedy against many diseases. With them, you can make a rubbing alcohol. In a well-covered glass bottle, macerate a litre of alcohol with rosemary and 20 - 30 g of marijuana leaves for three or four weeks. Keep it in a cool and dark place.
The leaves can also be used to prepare a nice weed tea. Remember that this drink by itself does not produce any effects as the cannabinoids are not hydrosoluble. If you want to really experience the effect, you'll need to mix them with oil or butter, add the mixture to the tea, and stir. Place everything in a filter and steep in hot water for half an hour.
Cannabis leaves have been found to have medicinal properties as well. Former cricket player Viv Richards once shared that, on one occasion, when travelling to Jamaica, he told his friends about some serious sight problems he had been experiencing. They took him to a herbalist who recommended a green tea with raw marijuana leaves. “Whenever I drank that tea, I knew that it was going to do wonders for me.”
Make sure you remember, though, to check whether the plant you’re about to use hasn’t been exposed to many fertilisers. If your leaves don’t belong to homegrown plants, be sure to use only the ones that come from organic cannabis plants.
If this option is just not your cup of tea, you can always make juice. On the Internet, you will find a number of recipes to choose from. Some people simply mix green leaves in a blender with a store-bought or previously-prepared juice, as seen in the video above. This is precisely the advantage of this drink: you can mix the leaves with whatever fruit flavours you like.
Animals like the cannabis leaves
If you have pets at home and plants in the backyard, it is not unusual for them to be drawn to cannabis plants and even to take a bite or two of them.
Although they may enjoy munching on the leaves, you do need to prevent them from consuming cannabis-based products such as oils or butter as their THC content can adversely affect them. As long as it's just a bite here and there, you won't have any problems.
As you can see, your plants can be used for much more than just filling your joints. Plant leaves can yield a set of pleasurable products, or even be used for treating different ailments. Good for you and for your animals. Could anyone ask for more?