Cannabis Leaves: Everything You Need to Know

annabis leaf is the most prominent part of the cannabis plant. It is not only the best source of the potent properties for which the herb is hailed for, but also it harbors fascinating history and facts that will really change your perception about it.

And though many are the varieties of cannabis, there is very little alteration on how the leaves look like from one strain of cannabis to another. Here are some of the other facts you should know about cannabis leaves:

Cannabis leaves phyllotaxy

Cannabis leaves are not alternate as most of the other herbs in the same family, but rather, they are compound and decussate-opposite. The leaves emerge in pairs on either sides of the stem and they also have a characteristic vertical line in between the spaces. Though the leaves are decussate when they are young, they normally begin to form alternate patterns as the plant nears flowering stage.

Leaf difference between the three main strains

The three main cannabis strains are sativa, indica and ruderalis. From a broader perspective, the leaves may be seen to have no difference amongst them, but a close look will reveal subtle differences as follows:

  • Sativa leaves – the leaves are long and slender. They have very conspicuous serrations which make them look spiky and jagged. The color of the leaves is also distinct and normally ranges from blackish green at the darkest to lime green. A fully grown sativa leaf can contain up to 13 leaflets.
  • Indica leaves – these leaves are wider and larger compared to their sativa counterparts. A fully grown indica leaf may contain between seven and nine leaflets and the color is normally deep olive green. It is not common for you to find this strain with very light green leaves and if that happens, then it points to a deficiency.
  • Ruderalis leaves – these are the smallest among the strains and a fully grown leaf may have anywhere between five and thirteen leaflets. In terms of width, the almost equal indica, though at times they can be narrower than any indica leaf can be.

Mutated leaf patterns cannabis

Due to the incredible variation in cannabis morphology in different places around the world, different rather unusual leaf patterns have been noticed. Most of these variations are desirable by most people, especially the illegal growers, since they will not attract a lot of attention from the law enforcers. Some of the variations include:

Webbed cannabis leaves – this is a common mutation and quite a number of breeders have tried to stabilize it. Though their efforts haven’t brought forth good fruits, webbed varieties can now be found in the markets, albeit very few of them.

Whorled leaves – this is another mutation in the cannabis leaves, though it is a less desirable one it nearly looks like the common cannabis leaves.

Australian bastard cannabis – this is the most unique mutation and it was first recognized by breeders around Sydney, who went ahead to attempt to stabilize it, but with no commercial success. With this mutation, the leaves are succulent, with no hairs and each leaf will have utmost five leaflets.

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