Definition - What does Sugar Leaf mean?
A sugar leaf is a finger-like leaf that develops around the bud of a cannabis plant. It often has a white cast to it, as if were coated with a dusting of powdered sugar. The sugar-like appearance to these small leaves is due to the presence of THC trichomes.
“Sugar Leaf” may also refer to a Washington state based grower of cannabis products.
Note that sugar leaves and sugar blooms are two distinct things.
Hydrolife explains Sugar Leaf
Different strains of marijuana have different amounts of trichomes and sugar leaves. The ratio of sugar leaves to trichomes, however, is not linear and more sugar leaves do not necessarily mean higher trichome levels and vice-versa.
Some growers trim the sugar leaves off and others leave them on. The resin of sugar leaves can be used if removed to make hash or cannabis infused butter (cannabutter).
Growers cite various reasons for leaving the sugar leaves on, such as protecting the buds, increasing yield weight, slowing down the drying process, or even purely for aesthetic reasons.
Other growers remove them, as they can have a harsh flavor or at least will alter the flavor of a particular strain. Still others remove them since they can be used in the production of hashish or other edibles. Others remove them as they want to hasten the drying process.