If you grow marijuana it is important to know what the leaves can tell you. If there is something wrong with your plant, it will first tell it through the leaves. You must be able to read the cannabis leaves. In this article you will find an overview of all types of weed leaves and their associated characteristics.

What functions does a weed leaf have?

The leaves are of vital importance for the cannabis plant. The top of the leaf functions as a kind of solar panel, which is due to the chlorophyll (a pigment) in the leaf. At the bottom of the leaves there are kind of very small mouths, these open and close like small doors. Water and oxygen is removed through it, and carbon dioxide enters through it. Leaves are also important for photosynthesis and, moreover, they can absorb nutrition, so-called leaf nutrition.

Types of cannabis leaves

types of cannabis leaves

For people who don't know much about the cannabis plant, may think there is only 1 type of weed leaf. The iconic leaf with the long leaves. But there are actually 3 very different types of leaves, all of which are considered the same. Most plants that people grow at home are hybrid strains, which have different genetics from different types of plants. Yet it is important to know what the leaves of different strains look like.

Sativa leaves

The leaves of the sativa have long fingers and are quite long and slender. Up to 12 leaf fingers can grow on it. The color of sativa leaves is fresh green, a little lime-like. There is not so much chlorophyll in sativa leaves compared to other leaf types, and that is mentioned as the cause for the long flowering period of the staivas.

Indica leaves

The leaves of cannabis indica are shorter and wider than the sativa, and usually grow 7, 8 or 9 fingers. There are indica strains that can produce very large, heavy leaves. The indica leaves have a green color that is very dark. The short flowering period can sometimes be caused by the high amount of chlorophyll in the leaves.

Ruderalis leaves

The leaves of cannabis ruderalis are on the narrow side and they usually only produce 4 or 5 fingers. You could compare them with a small sativa leaf with fewer fingers. The special thing about these leaves is that they ensure that the plant starts flowering automatically, they are so-called autoflowering cannabis strains. Regardless of the number of hours of light received, they naturally go into flowering.


Sometimes mutations are made to the leaves by growers, so that the cannabis plants do not stand out among other plants. This is actually a kind of camouflage. It is also possible that certain mutations are alread embedded in the DNA of the plant. If you notice deformed leaves, you are dealing with poor cannabis genetics, so always buy your seeds form a trusted seller. After harvesting your crop, the cutting residues may have resin on them and can be used to make a cannabis concentrate or hashish. So don't just throw them at the compost pile. There are also people who eat raw cannabis leaves because they are supposed to be full of vitamins. So you can also toss the cannabis leaves in a green salad!