Understanding, Identifying and Using Cannabis Leaves

A person holding a cannabis leaf

The leaves are the most recognisable and well-known part of the cannabis plant. Despite the great degree of variation found naturally in local populations of cannabis, the leaves do not alter greatly in appearance between varieties. Here is the story behind the leaves of three main strains, how to identify them and some ideas on how you can use these leaves.

The leaves of a cannabis plant play a big role in supporting its growth and the overall health of the plant. The stomata on the bottom of the leaves, which are tiny little holes that open and close, take in carbon dioxide and release water and oxygen. This is required for photosynthesis, which would be near impossible without the leaves. They also provide a way for the plant to absorb nutrients (foliar feeding).

Cannabis leaf phyllotaxy

According to the standard phyllotaxy (the arrangement of leaves on a plant stem), cannabis leaves are compound (with multiple leaflets, as opposed to simple, where a single leaf grows from the stem) and opposite decussate rather than alternate.

Cannabis leaf phyllotaxy illustration

Opposite leaves emerge in pairs, one each side of the stem, with a clear vertical space between the leaf pairs. Decussate leaves are opposite, but each new leaf pair is at a right-angle to the last pair. Alternate leaves emerge from the stem singly, swapping sides as the vertical height increases.

Although cannabis leaves are usually decussate, as the plant prepares to flower the leaves may begin to emerge in an alternate pattern. Interestingly, rejuvenated cannabis plants demonstrate alternate phyllotaxy.

Experiments with hemp showed that early-planted specimens, which flowered in low light conditions but did not die, began to put out new alternate leaf growth when hours of sunlight increased. The initial new growth was simple rather than compound, and as new growth continued, the number of leaflets gradually increased.

There is some evidence that this phenomenon leads to vegetative growth of greatly increased vigour, although the genetic processes responsible are not fully understood. It is thought that the evolution of opposite-decussate phyllotaxy occurred comparatively recently, from an alternate-leaved ancestor, and that the genes controlling the decussate phyllotaxy ‘switch off’ around the time of inflorescence.

The leaves can help identify common growing mishaps

The leaves of cannabis plants can be very telling. Here are some tell-tale signs of a mishap in the making that can be seen by merely inspecting the leaves:

  • Blistered, twisted, shiny “wet” looking leaves – This may be an indication of mites, which are too small to see with the naked eye. If this is the case, new leaves may grow in twisted, top leaves can droop.
  • Spotted leaves – Spotty leaves may indicate a deficiency (likely a calcium deficiency). This normally affects new leaves or parts that are actively growing.
  • Edge of leaves fading to pale yellow – This is likely a sign of magnesium deficiency.
  • Edge of leaves change to white or bright yellow – If this is seen along with the inner main part of the leaves turning purplish or dark blue, then there’s probably a copper deficiency. They may also appear shiny or start to turn under. This most often affects leaves directly in the light.
  • Curling, folding, miscolouring leaves – If leaves are too close to light or heat, they can start undergoing heat stress. This can lead to them folding up, curling down under and turning yellow or even plainly getting a burnt look to the edges.
  • New leaves grow in bright yellow – If new leaves are growing in from the get-go with a bright yellow colour, the plant may have an iron deficiency.
Illustration of sativa, indica and ruderalis leaves

Leaf differences between the three main subspecies

Putting aside the eccentricities of cannabis leaf growth for a moment, let us take a look at the differences between the three pure main subspecies of cannabis, which are:

  • C. sativa
  • C. indica
  • C. ruderalis

C. sativa leaves are long and slender, often with pronounced serrations, giving the leaves a jagged, almost spiky appearance. The colour of sativa leaves ranges from bright, lime green to blackish-green at the darkest. The largest leaves can often have up to thirteen leaflets.

C. indica leaves are much wider. The largest leaves usually have fewer leaflets than the largest sativa leaves, with seven to nine leaflets. Indica leaves are commonly deep olive-green; very light green leaves are rare and often a sign of deficiency.

C. ruderalis leaves are generally smaller than the other subspecies’, as the mature plant is much smaller overall. The largest leaves may contain anything from five to thirteen leaflets. Ruderalis leaves are usually closer to the indica in terms of width, although they can be much narrower than any indica leaf would normally be.

Mutated patterns seen in cannabis leaves

The incredible variation in cannabis morphology throughout the world has led to some very unusual leaf patterns occasionally occurring. Many of these traits are seen as highly desirable due to their visual dissimilarity to “normal” cannabis, as they can serve to disguise a crop from the unwelcome attention of law enforcement in areas where cultivation is illegal.

A close up of a cannabis leaf

Webbed leaves are a common mutation, and one which various breeders have attempted to stabilise. Such efforts have unfortunately not prevailed to the point where webbed varieties are now commercially available, though. In the past, however, it was possible to source webbed varieties such as Ducksfoot in seed form.

A bird’s eye view of a cannabis seedling growing in the soil

Whorled phyllotaxy is another common mutation, although this is less desirable as a concealment trait as the plants still definitely resemble cannabis.

However, many growers find the trait desirable for cosmetic purposes, Some believe that such plants yield flowers of higher potency, although this has not been demonstrably proven.

A bird’s eye view of a Australian bastard cannabis growing in a pot

Australian Bastard Cannabis is perhaps the most striking mutation yet seen in cannabis. It is believed that this mutation was first seen in escaped populations around Sydney. Breeders have also attempted to stabilise this trait … again, without commercial success.

This mutation takes the form of hairless, succulent leaflets, usually with no more than five leaflets to a leaf. The individual leaflets usually do not exceed a few centimetres in length.

Despite the allure of cannabis that does not resemble cannabis, most attempts to breed viable strains using these genetics have ended in failure.

Not unsurprisingly, the best results will usually be gained from healthy plants that exhibit normal characteristics. However, the success of breeding ruderalis genetics (which are poor in cannabinoids) with higher-potency varieties indicates that further research may yield improved results.

What to do with cannabis leaves

  1. Make cannabis leaf tea

Enjoy a nice warm cup of cannabis tea! Simply boil some water, throw in a few tablespoons of fresh or dried leaves to a strainer and steep for about five minutes. The tea can be customized to cater toward flavour of choice with tea bags, honey or seasonings like cinnamon or ginger.

  1. Use cannabis leaves for juicing

Juicing is another option for using cannabis leaves and is believed to have many potential health benefits. When using fresh leaves (not dried), there should not be any psychedelic effects, as it has not been decarboxylated. Again, many flavours can be created depending on the recipe used. How about juicing them with apples, beets, celery, cucumber, lemons and ginger?

  1. Use them to make thai sticks

If you are interested in making your own thai sticks, make sure to keep a few leaves, as you will need those to roll the sticks in.

  1. Simple dry seasoning

The leaves can be dried and ground up to create a dry seasoning that can be added to anything you like, just as you would use parsley or oregano. On that note, the leaves could simply be tossed into a salad mix and eaten as is (just as one might do with baby spinach leaves).

  • Disclaimer:
    Laws and regulations regarding cannabis cultivation differ from country to country. Sensi Seeds therefore strongly advises you to check your local laws and regulations. Do not act in conflict with the law.


139 thoughts on “Understanding, Identifying and Using Cannabis Leaves”

  1. I have a small plant I don’t know what strain the seed came from its definitely a female but the leaves have five points and a very small extra point on it and it’s in random leaves…..it got attacked by bugs but it bounced back has any one else seen this

    1. Mark - Sensi Seeds

      Good morning Deangelo,

      Thanks for your question,
      Don’t worry, cannabis is a very robust plant and should have no problem recovering from a pests!
      This article on Top tips for preventing pests outdoors may be of interest to you.
      Good luck with your project, and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog.

      Thanks again,


    2. Nathaniel Masau

      I’ve just learnt, something new,from this article, that Cannabis Sativa has both lime green colour,as a plant, as well,as dark green. The dark green C.Sativa,seems to be a weak plant, due to ants,snails and during heavy downpour. But,the lime green C.Sativa,is highly resistant to disease and insects.Furthermore,the nodes are much further,apart,between branches. I had assumed that the plant was a cross,hybrid between Ruderalis and Sativa,or Afghanistan 🇦🇫 Kush. The lime green leaves and stem ,seem to gain height,within a few weeks .

  2. PowerPlantsmoke

    Its really helpful and informative , Amazing work…
    Way of explanation and pictures presentation is attractive .
    It cleared many of my doubts while blogging.

    1. powergrowing

      Very informative article. I have a question: if I use dried leaves for making cannabutter should there be any psychedelic or physical effects?

  3. Reading your article about using leaves I don’t see anything about smoking them and the impression is that the only parts of the plant with potency are the buds. I haven’t grown cannabis since the 70’s/early 80’s (outdoors in the UK) but am going to have a go again with a selection of your seeds. Back then I used to just germinate random seeds found in different kinds of grass (S. African & Thai mostly) and didn’t know much about it – often harvesting before flowering when the plants got to a decent size (as I thought it was all about the leaves). Strength varied but, in a good summer, I got decent yields of potent grass – particularly in a greenhouse! Are the modern varieties bred to just maximise the bud, in strength and yield, or are the leaves still worth smoking – or using for making hash? Thanks for the great service btw – my seeds have arrived and I am really looking forward to getting back into growing again (properly this time!)

    1. Karl Pausblau

      Hey man,

      younger hobby grower here.
      As far as my research and understanding goes cannabis plants mainly produce THC during flowering time and even then the largest trichome production proceeds in the flowers or buds.
      However there are a lot of other things that your body reacts to in a weed plant than just THC, although you’ll probably realize yourself that it makes a huge difference if you smoke the properly harvested, dried and cured buds opposed to just the leaves and stems.
      Leaves and stems aren’t worthless tho, besides the uses mentioned in this article you can also use them as tobacco substitute. It tastes a lot better!
      I can personally recommend Sensi Amnesia from the Research project I recently tried that one and the potency and taste are overwhelmingly beautiful to say the least (I only used standard vegetable soil and organic Guano fertilizer and a tiny grow closet so a greenhouse might get even more out of that plant)

      Anyways hope you’ll have a good grow and stay safe and healthy


      1. Mark - Sensi Seeds

        Good afternoon Karl,

        I hope you’re having a great day!
        Thanks for your comment and your feedback.
        That’s great you’re enjoying our Sensi Seeds Research strains, Sensi Amnesia is a classic!
        Thanks again, and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog.

        With best wishes,


    2. Hey Dr Phil, how go’s it? I too am a early 80s grower and love fine herbs myself. Yes back in the day we got what we got. You either paid big bucks to get something from Cali like Mawie Wowie or Panama Red, or lucky to get something without 500 seeds per bag and 4 grams of stems. You were lucky to get any sensimillia at all! Then! The 70s was nothing but leaves and stems. The kicker? 1% average thc in the 70s and around idk 2 to 5 percent in the 80s. THC! I mean??? The law would throw our ass in jail over jacked up low grade shitty weed? Wow we were such bad people . Anyway pot I grew then was so stupid haha I’d hide it 8 miles from everywhere in the middle of the woods that got a couple hours of sun a day only to get a half yellow half green half dead nute starved dirt weed plant that would give you a headache more than a buzz. Hell no wonder we wanted hash. At least it had about 5% thc haha. My point here is simple yes you can get high on the leaves ” especially claxi ,cola leaves all snuggled into your Buds and now? Hell some leaves are so potent with thc because of the ” sugar,,” setteling on them that they are just as potent as your bud. I’m saying the bud leaves now, not the crusty ones from before flowering as big as your stearing wheel , im talking about the bud leaves lol ,if you grind up these leaves after drying depending on the strain you can get a shit ton of Keef ( the finest part to smoke on your grinded bud located on bottom plate or bud dust ) and it will Couch lock your ass for at some point everytime and usually tastes amazing and every bit as good as your bud. I for one love the place were at with pot. Finally it’s super strong, you can grow or purchase the percentage you want as opposed to the dirt weed of the past. But I can’t gauge from your letter if you smoke now. If not you should know it will kick the holy crap out of your brain these days. I just grew 4 Gelato strained pot and had it tested out at 24% to 25% percent between them. I was a proud papa lol I’ve got a northern lights out back 6 foot tall 8 foot around! It could if it stays on course top out close to 29 to 31% as a buddy of Mine gave me a clone from his that was at 29% when tested. SO if your just used to smoking leaves sensi seeds may be using to much of the force Luke haha hope this helped peace and hair grease and happy growing

  4. My idea is so simple.
    I’m betting it does nothing ,but

    Does anybody know what happens if you take either two of the opposing 2 leave shapes in a juvenile weed plant with four leaves and dis-guard them.

    (two apposed leaves are usually round and the other two apposing leaves usually pointy which make up 4 leaves in total in a juvenile weed plant)

    I’m hoping it will magically turn a plant female,

    but I’m sure if that was the case even I may know already.
    I would of heard it through the grape vine.
    It may have been under our noses the whole time.
    just staring us in the face.

    all puns aside googled this for years getting no where lack resources to experiment.

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi Andre,

      Unfortunately, all that happens is that your plant did have four leaves, but now – thanks to the magic of your hands – only has two. This is not very good for the plant, especially at this early stage in its development (four leaves good, two leaves bad, as George Orwell would have written if he’d set Animal Farm in a growroom). So while I applaud your desire to find an easy way for us to all enjoy feminized plants, this isn’t it.

      Feminized seeds, however, are your friends.
      Thanks for your comment though, and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog.

      With best wishes,


  5. Bryan French

    One of my plants has very skinny leaves…..Almost like pine needles but not dry or stiff just spindly. What is causing this? Not a male, has been this way from sprout and is growing fine just has funky leaves!?

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi Bryan,

      Unfortunately, legal restrictions mean we can’t answer grow-related questions or give grow advice on this blog. However, other readers of this blog will often answer questions like yours. Sorry I can’t be of more help, and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog!

      With best wishes,


    2. Karl Pausblau

      Hey Bryan,

      fellow hobby grower here.
      Seems like you have stumbled upon a sativa plant with a rather rare phenotype.
      This means nothing more than that there’s a little variation in the genetics that makes it look a little different but that should be it.
      If you want to share your experience with the plant after your comment I would be interested to read that.

      Hope I could help, good luck with your grow and stay safe and healthy.


    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi J.,

      Thanks for your comment, as it enabled me to do some digging into an interesting area that I was aware of, but didn’t know the details of! There have been various debates and changes in the area of cannabis naming and classification in the last 100 years or so. In this article, the traditional names (indica, sativa, and ruderalis) are used as these are the ones most widely understood by our readership and the wider world.

      In 2014, Dr. John McPartland published a paper calling for the renaming of these three classifications thusly:

      Cannabis sativa becomes Cannabis indica
      Cannabis indica becomes Cannabis afghanica
      Cannabis ruderalis becomes Cannabis sativa

      after learning that a Cannabis afghanica plant had been wrongly identified as Cannabis indica back in the 1970s by Richard Evans Schultes, who created the original taxonomy for cannabis.

      However, in 2013 Robert Connell Clarke (author of ‘Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany and other books on cannabis) proposed a different reclassification. He wrote this article which gives a detailed and thorough explanation of four subspecies, using a completely new taxonomy.

      Although we are committed to providing the most accurate and up to date information, we believe that to implement any of these changes at this point would make our articles less accessible to our readers, so we have chosen to continue using the most widely understood names for now.

      I hope this answers your question, and that you continue to enjoy the blog.

      With best wishes,



        WHY oh WHY not take the plunge and rectify the current erroneous taxonomy A wise Sufi once said “that the moment you realise you are on the wrong path stop immediately and change course” just for the sake of convenience it does not help the advancement of understanding cannabis geneology by perpetuating an old and mistaken nomenclature, considering the true complexity of pheno-geno typing of this unique species the quicker we put the three accepted types to bed as they are just dumbing down current and future generations of potential pioneers in exploring the real identities behind the genetic make up of any given variety,especially at this time when true Landrace strains are almost extinct Now is the time to admit that we are on the wrong path and stop this most simplistic and fundamentally wrong way of classifying cannabis into the three types C.Sativa C.Indica and C.Ruderalis just for “convenience” as we will only have to travel further back down this wrong path to get back to a point where we can start accurately naming and ultimately knowing the inner secrets of this most beautiful and enigmatic plants to have blessed us on our long and winding journey to understanding who we are

      2. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

        Hi Julian,

        Thanks for your comment, and for your obvious passion about the plant. My answer to your question remains pretty much the same – we want to keep our content accessible to as many people as possible. Plus, I’ve since contributed to this article about the difference between indicas and sativas; I wrote the section on effects, and during the course of my research I once more came upon studies that suggest we’re still at the tip of the iceberg of cannabis science. So it may well be that in a few years’ time, we have to develop a whole new naming system to reflect the most recent discoveries.

        I hope this answers your question, and that you continue to enjoy the blog.

        With best wishes,


    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi Kristin,

      Please don’t do this! It won’t have any psychoactive effect, it will smell and taste awful, and it will often make a popping noise and shoot out potentially burning bits of seed near your face! 0/10 do not recommend 😉

      With best wishes,



    A great guide to read commutatively is informative yet effective. So, thanks for sharing…

  7. Sebastian Rahaus

    I got some really good pieces of information from the article. Thanks for sharing such an epic Knowledge.

  8. I need to know about the HTC strengths of different stages of plant growths , seedlings and older plants . Is there more potency in the stem and roots than the plant /leaves and seeds.
    I refuse to go for cancer treatment and cannot afford to buy at pharmacy . I am prepared to make my own oil even if it is still illegal in South Africa. Please don’t give me the alcohol way , I tried it and my body do not react very well to it .

    1. No, the highest concentration is found in flowers and sugar leafs, definetly not in stalks or roots. Do you have a magnifying lens or a small microscope? You’ll identify trichomes as they are very shiny (use your phone flashlight to locate richest concentration part). Also, you should consider getting a rosin press if you are a cancer patient as it is the purest/safest/cleanest way to get your concentrate, and you can use the remains to make butter.

      Have faith friend!

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi Mark,

      Unfortunately, current legislation means that we cannot ship CBD products to New Zealand at this time. However, we keep a close eye on the changing legality of cannabis products, so if this changes in the future then we will definitely take advantage of it!

      With best wishes,


  9. I am a marijuana smoker i daily smoke alot. Thanks for writing these great posts for us, your blog help me to choose the best starins. i appreciate your work man.

  10. Elemental Ingredients

    There’s definitely a great deal to know about this issue. I love all the points you made about cannabis leaves.

  11. Hi,
    I live in Pakistan and have seen a lot of sativa plants (I believe according to my observation) growing as weeds near homes, shops, etc basically every where. Some are as tall as 5.5 feet, again in my limited observation.
    I wanted to know, if you guys can help and Pakistani sativa species of plants, is it good for usage as fiber for making clothes?..
    I know industrial hemp from china is good for it and has low content of narcotic stuff, this local plant may have larger content but is it still good for industrialization?….


    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi Westeros,

      This is quite a tricky question to give a definite answer to! Sativas growing outdoors in warm climates can easily reach heights of 6 or 7 feet without being industrial varieties, and the strains bred for fibre can reach 14 feet even in the cold wet climate of the Netherlands. However, you could technically use the sativas you describe for industrial fibre purposes even if they do have a high level of THC. They just wouldn’t give you the extremely long fibres that industrial hemp is prized for. You might also find this article about cannabis in Pakistan interesting. I hope that this kind of answers your question?

      With best wishes,


  12. my plant is about 5 months old. it has 5 leaflets in every leaf and the whole plant is now about 2-2.5 feet.. now flower has come yet..the leaves are green. not dark, not light.. pure green..now I want to know what strain is it? in every grown leaves the longest and middle leaf is about 8-9 cm long and 1 cm wide… please let me know if you can help!

  13. I moved into a new house a month who and I found pot plants smattered all over my back yard what ddo I do

  14. It was like a fresh air of hopes in my life when I started using cannabis in my life. Now i rarely get drawn into the anxiety than i used to before using medical marijuana . I frequently purchase calming lotions, high CBD strains from a legal medical marijuana dispensary near me in LA, I hope it helps !

  15. You have decussate and distichous switched around on your diagram in the phyllotaxy section. Decussate should have opposite leaves that progress at right angles to the previous pair. Distichous leaves will all be on a flat plain, either alternating or opposite.

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi Sandy,

      Thank you so much for catching that error! I’ve requested a replacement graphic and it will be uploaded as soon as possible. In the meantime, I will remove the inaccurate image. I hope you continue to enjoy the blog!

      With best wishes,


  16. Allainyaha Charlene Matthews

    I started with one male that had abnormaloties within the leaves, cloned the healthier sections. Crossbreed with two female plants. The three leaflets showed up in each test plant as the second set of leaves only, there’after each leaf has 5 leaflet.

    Each test plant:
    Two are from seeds left behind after harvest, found growing in pot. Two I started from seed in red cups.

    I waa hoping for 7 leaflet per leaf, but overall they plants are doing well.

    I crossed male harlequin with auto flowering Tutankhom, outdoor sungrown, I began introducing harlewuin pollen to the female from seed, once stable, I placed the cloned male, the orginal plant and thr female in the same pot

  17. I think this guide was pretty “dope” and better understood my learning in this stuff

  18. Need help have some out door clones they started off perfect and not have shot a heap of singular leaves :/ never seen this before anyone have and info for me?

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi Zeunz,

      Thank you for your comment ? Unfortunately, for legal reasons we cannot respond to grow questions on the blog, but we do have the Sensi Seeds Forum where you can ask a thriving community of gardening fans for advice, share your experiences, and see if your question has already been covered. I hope this helps.

      With best wishes


  19. I have a plant that has went from three leaf to one leaf on wondering what is going on can you please tell me somebody

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hello Dawn,

      Thank you for your comment ? Unfortunately, for legal reasons we cannot respond to grow questions on the blog, but we do have the Sensi Seeds Forum where you can ask a thriving community of gardening fans for advice, share your experiences, and see if your question has already been covered. There is also this post on mutations, perhaps you recognise something here? I hope this helps.

      With best wishes


  20. Thanks for the information. I almost tossed my crop because I thought they were deformed. I am new to growing. So thank you very much. Any suggestions from other reader’s would be accepted with open arms. Thank you.

  21. I started growing an plant. And originally I had it planted outside for 100% natural growth. I come back weeks later from a trip and a friend change the plant settings where I was explained half of the roots of the plant is ripped off. And place new soil for “weed enhancement”. The German weed soil company says it is the ” best” on the market. Now what I see with my own eyes, black and brown spots forming, coloration went from nice dark colored green to now, well, faded green. I have lost four leaves where it turned yellow on me. And the smell is also gone, it smells like a normal plant of any.
    This is what’s being used….
    Alega Grow by Plagron,
    and Growthmix also by Plagron.
    Ive done research on these products and says its good,but the results I see I completely the opposite.
    All the instructions is being followed, but not getting the results, why?

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi Daniel,

      Thank you for your comment ? Unfortunately, for legal reasons we cannot respond to grow questions on the blog, but we do have the Sensi Seeds Forum where you can ask a thriving community of gardening fans for advice, share your experiences, and see if your question has already been covered. I hope this helps.

      With best wishes


  22. Sandra Trask

    I would like to know if marijauna leaves have a sweet perfume smell if rubbed together. I found a plant that looks like marijauna but I am quite ignorant on the subject. what part of the plant is smoked? Thanks for your insight Older Wannabe

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi Sandra,

      Thanks for your comment. Cannabis definitely has a distinctive smell, but it varies between strains, so is not always sweet. The flowers are the part which is smoked or otherwise consumed for its psychoactive properties; the leaves can also be juiced and even eaten, but this is usually for health reasons, not to achieve a psychoactive effect. There are a few plants that are similar in appearance to cannabis, so it is wise to make sure that you know what it is before you start experimenting with it! Please have a look at this post on growing cannabis outdoors which has some good pictures of different outdoor cannabis plants, and check out the Sensi Seeds Forum for tons of useful information.

      With best wishes,


  23. one of my plants during its seedling stage has lost 1 of its 2 very first leafs, will my plant survive ?

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi kaleb,

      Thank you for your comment ? Unfortunately, for legal reasons we cannot respond to grow questions on the blog, but we do have the Sensi Seeds Forum where you can ask a thriving community of gardening fans for advice, share your experiences, and see if your question has already been covered. I hope this helps.

      With best wishes


  24. My plant has just started to kinda look dry an there are dark grey to black “stains” on my leaves. Started it from a seed I found. Any idea what’s wrong? I also changed my lighting recently and have now gone back to what it almost was before.

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hello Susan

      Thank you for your comment ? Unfortunately, for legal reasons we cannot respond to grow questions on the blog, but we do have the Sensi Seeds Forum where you can ask a thriving community of gardening fans for advice, share your experiences, and see if your question has already been covered. I hope this helps.

      With best wishes


  25. I think Im spoiled. I had one great crop of Ghost Train. Last two crops have grown tall and wispy. Nodes of white hairs intermittent along stem to top. No bulk happening. And leaf deformities. single and triple leaf leaves sprouting along stem. Hiars on nodes not turning yet so I am assuming there not ready yet. Have not looked at trycombes yet but to naked eye have not yet turned amber. Hairs still white and tricombs white ,, weather clear or cloudy still white.
    My problem is ,,, why are my buds not bulking up. Scronny stems.. Getting frustrated. Wish I could post a pic. If someone is willing to help me with this I would be forever grateful as I have some Purple trainwreck in route and if I cant get bud ,, Im going to wrap up this 3000.00 dollar Ebb n Flo suystem and give up. PLZ HELP

    Thank You Whomever!!!!!

  26. Dave van leeve

    Having been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer of the prostrate, bones and glands and told I had 2 months, I have been taking cannabis for 6 months and continued doing gym under strict supervision. All of my vital signs have come back to normal and I am in remission. PSA was 2391, now 0.4 bone density is now above normal. I am a believer.

    1. Lynne price

      Hi Dave van Leeve
      That is fantastic news. I hope it continues to help.
      How are you using the cannabis. Eating raw or smoking?
      I have just started growing my own and have read about how good the leaves sre for juicing and smoothies for health purposes. I also want to try it to see if it helps my bone marrow disease.
      Kind regards

  27. This info was very helpful but I have a question how do I tell which is female an male kinda having a hard time telling

  28. Ive just started to plant a few seeds in my south africa garden… so do both males and females bud or am I just hoping for females

  29. I started my plant outdoors as a clone. It had a handful of 7 prong fan leafs, then the new growth went to having 5 prongs, and new everything new only has 3. Any rhym or reason why?

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hello Ted,

      Thank you for your comment ? Unfortunately we cannot respond to grow questions on the blog, but we do have the Sensi Seeds Forum where you can ask a thriving community of gardening fans for advice, share your experiences, and see if your question has already been covered. I hope this helps.

      With best wishes


  30. Simon Young

    If anyone is wondering what to do with the leaves.

    Dry them in an oven, turn the leaves into a powder and mix those in clarfied butter, use this to make your edibles with.

  31. This is a great post; it was very edifying. I look ahead in reading more of your work.

  32. How can u tell the difference between a hemp plant and marijuana plant that’s growning wild?

    1. You can’t visually see a difference between “Hemp” and “Marijuana” because they belong to the same plant family, cannabis. “Hemp” and “Marijuana” are differentiated only by cannabinoid content. “Marijuana” is a slang name used to identify strains of the cannabis plant that contain cannabinoids in quantities large enough to have noticeable (beneficial) physical and neurological effects. “Hemp” is the general name given to strains of cannabis sativa that are commonly used for industrial purposes, by governments and industry, because they are naturally low in cannabinoids (specifically THC). Strains of cannabis sativa that contain high amounts of cannabinoids (Marijuana), can be used for the same industrial purposes as Hemp but are not because of governmental laws and restrictions regarding cannabis production and use. Ending governmental laws and restrictions of cannabis production and use would free us up to use the healthiest, most beneficial and versatile plant on the planet, to help rebuild ourselves and our civilization in a healthy, abundance providing and Eco-friendly manner.

  33. Summer time

    I would like to know how to tell if my plants are male or female by the leafs any answers ? Thank you

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hello Summer, thank you for your comment.

      It is not possible to tell what sex a plant is from its leaves, only from the flowers, which will not appear until a couple of weeks (usually) after the flowering cycle begins. This post on the Sensi Seeds forum has tips on how to recognize males from females, and this blog post has good photos and also handy tips for what you can do with males.

      With best wishes,


  34. I have a 6 leave plant still waiting to see if its a male or female its 2 1/2 weeks. but never see all 6 leaves before. could it be a hybrid?

  35. I have a plant with 3 milk leaves I have never seen this trait it’s also whirling leaf pattern

  36. Nasstradamus. A.K.A. Nass.

    Knowledge is power. Actually, what you people sells to us is the great information that allow me to know the basis of marejuana, canabis, sativa, indeca and rudrallis. But what l dont understand here is which one is best for smoking with rolling paper, becouse mutulation is man made it may be conterdeminated in one process or the other. While smoking it naturally will be the best way of using it? Please help me the more couse we only smoke it. Thanks to you all over there. #One Love.

  37. I have a medical plant that has budded I think its about ready but now there is different leaves growing all off a sudden… Looks like a different plant is growing out of the systems can anyone help harvest now or leave it with is othe plant growing on the systems

    1. Sounds like the plant has foxtails growing. Its cause from the colas being too close to the light.

    1. No it doesnt not really the best way to change the qaulity of the plant is to make sure you feed it excactly what it needs to be fed everytime and if its flowering it must have a 12 hour light cycle and when its in the dark the plant cannot get any light for 12 hours then it needs 12 hours of light and repeat until harvest

  38. My plant leaves is not ragged on the ends it look like oval-shaped the ends is smoothly not ragged my plant is 3week old marijuana plants (cannabis plants I would like to know what kind is it thank boleiy

  39. I have a plant right now with the weirdest mutation ive ever seen. Its growing all started leaves kind of looks like a palm tree. Im still wondering whether the mutation will wffect its potency.



  41. Chris walther

    having trouble with outdoor plants I have some yellow & brown spot on my leaves and don’t no what it is ???

  42. I asm appalled that mutations are being discussed as an option to breed and stabilize. All mutations are caused by man made ionizing, carbon life destroying isotopes. Why would I want to use such a crippled and broken DNA to breed with ???

  43. Have new grow some R 5 leaf some have a little 6th leaf not a full one..I can send a photo if you need.

  44. romallamadon

    I believe I have one of the whorled phyllotaxy. …. 4 cotyledons on it, pics on rollitup look for mutant cannabis

  45. I have a og plant that has fan leafs (all) have 13 points and are almost 9″ wide & long
    I can’t find anything tells me why

  46. Thomas Lazarus

    Can one suffering from Brain cancer directly ingest the calyx/Trichomes, from the plant. The procurement of cannabis oil is difficult and the production of oil at home is cumbersome and may not be produced in the desirable fashion. Does the Rudrallis variety of Cannabis plant have the same ingredients in its flowers as the Sativa or Indica? Thanks.

  47. Leon Panwaskar

    Okay, so i’ve bought a house that was previously used to grow cannabis plants. In the loft there are approximately 8 bags of cannabis leaves, just the leaves, is there any value in these? can they still be smoked after being in there for over a year?

    1. Seshata - Sensi Seeds

      Doubtful. I wouldn’t recommend smoking them, for sure. But you could try to extract any remaining cannabinoids using solvent/ice-water extraction. Depending on how they were stored, and at what temperature, there may still be something left in there. I wouldn’t spend too much time on it as you’re unlikely to get much out of it.

      1. sheila B rodriguez

        You can smoke the leafs and you will get high! I have done this:)

    2. Yes. You can take everclear and soak the leaves in everclear for an hour and then strain into pyrex dish. The double boil on about 250 until the alcohol evaporates. You will have a concentated distillate. If the leaves are good.

      1. Decarb in 250F/20-30 mins. (Double that time for hemp.)
        Put leaves & alcohol in freezer 24 hours, in separate containers.
        Combine (enough alcohol to cover the leaves) and shake vigorously for 3 minutes. Strain (micron filter, at least once) and let drip.
        Place in flat bottomed beaker on a candle warmer to evaporate the alcohol off. (Safer – won’t cause an explosion like flames and alcohol can.)
        Let bubble slowly. When bubbles stop, it’s done. You now have FECO.

  48. if the leaves start to have brown patches on them,and crisping on the edge,why is that plz

    1. It’s most likely nitrogen burn. Stop feeding it for 3-5 days and give it straight water the start feeding again at about 2/3rds what you were feeding before.

  49. this year while cultivating a strain i acquired in 79 i encountered something i have never seen on the plants that i believe are of Lebanese decent had 13 leaflets but not the standard pattern 12 and 13 came out in the #2 and 3 positions with the tips in the same direction as #2 and 3 the size was correct being the smallest they were just piggy backing 2 and 3 what do you think this occurred on several plants all from seed i am having the product tested Monday so i will let you know the results i am 50 and have cultivated since the curious age of 12 only in the past ten years have been trying to pull out the individual strains that were from the triangle year of 78 or 79 given to me by my bro by way of Darrell trip i believe

    1. can you help me out please? ive just accidentally knocked off one of my leafs in its first step of seeding, the seed had just fallen off but one the leafs went with it, will my plant survive

    2. Kevin-i realize this thread is old, and I hope you check back from time to time. what are your secrets to getting your seeds from the 70s to germinate.
      I have seeds from The 1980s that won’t germinate. I have tried every trick that has been suggested.

      1. read the whole post
        my plant is about 5 months old. it has 5 leaflets in every leaf and the whole plant is now about 2-2.5 feet.. now flower has come yet..the leaves are green. not dark, not light.. pure green..now I want to know what strain is it? in every grown leaves the longest and middle leaf is about 8-9 cm long and 1 cm wide… please let me know if you can help!

    3. Hey mate love ya work, what part of the world u living in, I’m in Queensland, Australia lots of sunshine 🙂 just experimenting, love to here more from you.

  50. Very informative all the years of growing this was great to see that someone took the time to post this.. thank you

  51. Yes there is a big difference in potency between the 3 sub species. Sativa normally has the highest THC content, Indica is higher in CBDs and ruderalis is almost none existent.

      1. Qual’è la percentuale di thc nelle piante super skunk femminilizzati?

      1. I planted three Sensi seeds and placed them in my grow tent. I’m using 250 watts on a god bulb in a 24” 48” by 60”. My seeds started sprouting and when I woke up this morning the plant looks completely burnt. Are the seedlings dead? If so what did I do wrong? Should I not put them in my grow tent? I paid a lot of money for the seeds and I would hate for it to be a total loss.

    1. DaSofaSurfer

      Pure Ruderalis strains are useless as far as getting high they have next to no potency. However they have proven to be of the upmost importance since every autoflower is a ruderalis hybrid. without ruderalis autoflowers would not have been possible. at first autoflowers were trash. very small and weak. breeders who messed with autos were ridiculed at first. They had the last laugh on this matter. with short life cycle thanx to persistence and skill of breeders and careful sifting and they were able to increase the yields and especially the potency of these “bonsai cannabis” making their overall desirability exponentially sought after in a relative short period of time (+/- 15 years) . Today they enjoy a strong foothold in the market and they are not going anywhere. In fact many argue they are only getting started

      1. Thank you for the info. I’m growing some autos and not real familiar with them but wanted to try so will see (1000w phytomax blackdog LED) 5×5 gorilla tent

    2. No, potency will depend on food you use and how well your lighting is. Remember, scheduling is everything with light schedule. Enjoy!

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    Sensi Seeds

    The Sensi Seeds Editorial team has been built throughout our more than 30 years of existence. Our writers and editors include botanists, medical and legal experts as well as renown activists the world over including Lester Grinspoon, Micha Knodt, Robert Connell Clarke, Maurice Veldman, Sebastian Maríncolo, James Burton and Seshata.
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