The Importance Of Cannabis Fan Leaves
Fan leaves are the typically fingered leaves in cannabis plants, they are the bigger leaves that stick out of the plant. And even though most growers don’t know it, they’re the most important organ of the plant.
1. What Do Fan Leaves Do?
All leaves on a cannabis plant are essential to the process of photosynthesis and due to the size of fan leaves, they’re even more. Leaves absorb light to photosynthesize, allowing the plant to perform the processes needed to continue growing and developing.
They also have pores that open and closed (called stomata), allowing them to “breath”. Plants take in CO2 and let out oxygen during the day (under light), in the process of photosynthesis.
And they take in oxygen and let out CO2 during night time (in the dark), in the process of cellular breathing. This is why fan leaves are the most important organ of the cannabis plants.
Tip : Fan leaves are called like that because the multiple fingers resemble the fan blades.
2. Parts Of A Fan Leaf
Fan leaves are the typical fingered cannabis leaves, they’re composed of the petiole, ventral surface, dorsal surface and apex. Each one of these parts work together to absorb light, perform photosynthesis and breathe, exchanging CO2 and oxygen with the environment, this allows it to multiply the cells and grow.
Petiole is the short stem that connects the leaves to the branch, this not only connects them but also allows energy, information, and food to be transported between them.
The ventral surface is the upper side of a leaf (including fan leaves), this is the area your plant has available to absorb light.
It is extremely important for a plant to have healthy leaves. If you see them yellowing or browning, it is a sign that something is wrong and it can affect the growth rate of your plant.
The dorsal surface is the lowers side of the leaf and it is where plants can store small amounts of water. This water is used by plants to avoid reducing yields when they’re being grown in hot climates.
This is the name given to the tips of all kinds of leaves, and not only fan leaves. For example, cotyledons (the baby leaves) have 1 apex while fan leaves can have 5 apexes or more.
3. Do Fan Leaves Contain Cannabinoids?
Fan leaves usually only contain around 0.3% THC and 0.7% CBD. They are used to make hash, cannabutter or other types of concentrates when they’re covered in trichomes. If your fan leaves aren’t frosty, there won’t be a lot of cannabinoids you can extract.
Have in mind that to get high you need around 100mg of THC, to be able to get that from leaves without a lot of trichomes you would need around 300g of fan leaves.
4. When To Remove Fan Leaves?
Although it is not recommended to remove fan leaves, there can be too much of them in the beginning of the flowering stage.
If there are too many fan leaves covering the plant, the light won’t be able to reach deep, blocking other leaves from absorbing light and also blocking the airflow that helps prevent mold and bugs.
Because of this, if your plant is too bushy and you think it is affecting it in a bad way, it is recommended to slowly remove around 20% of the fan leaves to allow a better airflow and light absorption to the lower part of the plant.
5. Uses For The Fan Leaves
If you grow a strain that doesn’t produce many trichomes on the fan leaves, you can still use them.
As you may know, cannabis leaves and petioles have a high amount of fibers and can be used in nutritious juices, salads, or even give them to your pets to help with digestion. Just make sure to clean them before consuming them!
Fan leaves are also used in the making of cannagars, where they are used as the rolling paper or can be used to brew teas.
Note: Giving fan leaves for your pets to eat or brewing teas with them won’t have an effect because the amount of cannabinoids is extremely low.
6. In Conclusion
Fan leaves can have various uses, depending on what to aim to do with them and the amount you have available.
But if you want to make hash for example, you will need a strain that produces a high amount of resin, for this case we recommend our new Strawberry Pie Auto .
Fan leaves are the typically fingered leaves in cannabis plants, they are the bigger leaves that stick out of the plant. And even though most growers don’
What Are Cannabis Fan Leaves?
Published : Oct 15, 2020
Keep reading to find out what fan leaves are, and the crucial role they play in growing healthy, resilient cannabis plants. Even better, we have put together five ways you can use fan leaves once plants have been harvested!
CANNABIS PLANT ANATOMY: THE BASICS
Fan leaves are an essential component of the cannabis plant’s anatomy, but they aren’t the only. To help understand their function, we need to know where on the cannabis plant they exist, and what other structures exist alongside them.
Starting from the bottom of the cannabis plant, we have the roots, followed by the main stem, fan leaves, branches, and sugar leaves. Toward the top of the cannabis plant, among the smaller sugar leaves, will be your trichome loaded flowers. Usually, it is the flowers or colas we’d be most interested in, but that doesn’t mean the remaining parts of the cannabis plant are useless. Head back down to the bottom, and we find the much larger fan leaves, an often forgotten part of the cannabis plant.
WHAT ARE CANNABIS FAN LEAVES?
Don’t be fooled into thinking fan leaves are just for show. Their large, multi-fingered shape is an essential tool for collecting as much sunlight as possible. The primary purpose of fan leaves is to support photosynthesis. The leaves themselves are also packed with phytonutrients and, to a much lesser degree than sugar leaves and buds, cannabinoids.
Fan leaves are also incredibly useful for understanding your plant’s overall health. Given that the majority of fan leaves are located near the bottom of the plant, any issues with nutrients or water will show on fan leaves first. After all, they are the closest to the root system.
Carefully observing fan leaves throughout the vegetative stage can give you an early indication of problems and deficiencies. Powdery mildew, infestations, nutrient burn, and a lack of water—all of these aliments will show in the fan leaves first, so take note!
Finally, it’s worth pointing out that it’s beneficial to retain fan leaves during the vegetative growth phase to encourage healthy development. However, many growers will trim excess leaves during the flowering stage to improve airflow and strengthen bud development.
5 ALTERNATIVE USES FOR CANNABIS FAN LEAVES
Whether you have a few fan leaves left over after pruning or a huge selection of foliage lying around, below are five ways you can put them to good use.
1. CREATE NATURAL ROLLING PAPERS
This may take some practice, but many cannabis connoisseurs swear by the authentic experience of rolling fan leaf joints. The key is to dry them flat so they’re easier to roll. You could also try creating Thai sticks using hemp string to keep your bundle of fan leaves, flower, and hash oil together. Either way, there’s plenty of ways you can utilise fan leaves in your daily smoking rituals. Plus, imagine the look on people’s faces when you arrive with a giant fan leaf joint in hand—priceless.
2. BREW CANNABIS-INFUSED TEA
A symbol of sophistication, tea has been consumed around the globe for over 5,000 years. With the help of fan leaves, you can bring the same level of class and wisdom to your favourite herb. Although the resin, and therefore the cannabinoid content, is much lower in fan leaves than other parts of the cannabis plant, brewing the leaves will help extract every last drop.
For an organic experience, leave dried fan leaves to steep in hot water with a teaspoon of coconut oil, creating a homemade herbal tea. Don’t expect intense waves of euphoria, but there should be enough cannabinoid content to provide a very mild, relaxing buzz.
3. MAKE RAW CANNABIS JUICE
Juicing raw cannabis leaves has become increasingly popular in recent years. Not only is there nutritional value in the leaves, stalks, and seeds, but fresh juice contains a diverse spectrum of cannabinoids/cannabinoid acids. However, cannabinoid acids in raw leaves (like THCA and CBDA) haven’t been activated by heat, and therefore interact with the body differently. You won’t get high, but there is research to suggest that raw cannabinoids may have several health benefits of their own. While studies are ongoing, juicing is a simple, effective, and tasty way of putting unwanted plants and leaves to good use.
4. COMBINE FAN LEAVES WITH EDIBLES
Remember watching cooking shows as a kid and seeing the chef use basil leaves as a garnish? Bring a touch of stoner innovation to your culinary skills by using fan leaves instead. You can use the entire leaf for dramatic impact, or flatten, dry, and crush them before sprinkling on a range of dishes.
The flavour can be pretty overpowering, so we advise using your fan leaf garnish sparingly. And don’t worry about intoxicating your guests, THC levels will be minuscule at best.
5. CREATE FAN LEAF TINCTURE OR HASH
Think of tinctures as a more advanced, and more potent, cannabis-infused tea. Rather than steeping the fan leaves in water with a touch of fat, we use exclusively alcohol or coconut oil. These bind with cannabinoids more effectively, ensuring you capture all of the available THC, CBD, etc. Either heat the leaves gently in coconut oil or let them steep in vodka for several weeks. Once you’re happy with the mixture, sieve out the remaining plant matter and store in a glass dropper bottle.
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Follow the link to find out why fan leaves are an essential part of the cannabis plant. They can be used as rolling papers, to make tea, and much more.