The plants leaves are the food stores which help with the photosynthesis process, so removing them so early on isn't the best idea buddy. Only time you really needed to defoliate is if bud sites need to be exposed to more light etc. But as you're not in flower yet I'd leave them be.
Your best bet is some LST (Low stress training ) at least for a little while till she has built up a strong root system and is a healthy vibrant looking plant with no stress. A fan blowing over her will help thicken up her stems. Hope this helps.