Let raw cannabis juice start your day off right with wholesome nutrition and painkilling/anti-inflammatory action.
Move over wheatgrass; it’s time for cannabis juice to take over the juicing market. Raw cannabis juice is one of the latest trends at juice bars across the US. From New York to California, people are starting to explore the benefits of cannabis juice in their health shot. Juicing cannabis is putting a new spin on how we look at the medicinal effects of the plant.
You might be wondering why anyone would want to juice cannabis, instead of getting the benefits through more conventional methods – like smoking or in an edible. It’s a good question. After all, we are just starting to understand the full spectrum of cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant. Most of these require heating via smoking, vaping, or baking to access.
Now experts are starting to dig into the potential of raw cannabinoids. You have to remember – it wasn’t all that long ago that cannabis was an unlikely treatment option. Although people have been using cannabis as medicine for thousands of years, it is only very recently that science has ‘proven’ the plant’s therapeutic potential. Now, the value of raw cannabis is going under the microscope. Early indications show fresh cannabinoids may be just as medicinally valuable as the activated ones.
Raw Cannabinoids 101
If you are familiar with edibles, you’ve likely come across the term decarboxylation. Also known as decarbing, this process transforms raw cannabinoids into the activated ones we all know and love. For example, it converts the Tetrahydrocannabinolic-acid (THCa) into THC and the Cannabidiolic-acid (CBDa) into CBD. While we know the activated cannabinoids have many health benefits, we are now coming to understand that raw cannabinoids do too.
Another interesting point about raw cannabinoids is that they’re not intoxicating. THCa only becomes a psychoactive stimulant once it is subjected to heat and transforms into THC. Which means you can technically drink all the green juice you want, and feel no high whatsoever. Cannabis juice is safe and thought to be without risk of serious adverse reaction.
Benefits of Raw Cannabis Juice
Juicing raw cannabis allows you to reap the benefits of two cannabinoid acid molecules: THCa and CBDa. These compounds aren’t as widely studied as the more popular CBD and THC versions, but there are still a handful of preliminary studies demonstrating some exciting potential.
In one case, THCa and CBDa were both found to have anti-inflammatory properties. Specifically, they inhibit the activity of the cyclooxygenase enzyme. Pharmaceuticals that inhibit this very same enzyme provide pain relief and reduce inflammation. Theoretically, if CBDa and THCa reduce the activity of this enzyme, they could produce a similar effect. Therefore, inflammatory diseases, like arthritis and Crohn’s, may benefit from a little daily green juice.
Another interesting preliminary finding of THCA is its neuroprotective properties, which scientists have identified in petri dish and animal models, thus far.
According to a study from 2012, both THC and THCa produce a neuroprotective effect against a neurotoxin called 1-methyl-4-phenyl pyridinium (MPP+) thanks to the powerful antioxidant properties. This specific neurotoxin is used to study Parkinson’s Disease. Although these are early days, it seems possible that THCa has a role to play fighting cell death by MPP+.
How to Incorporate Raw Cannabis Juice into Your Routine
Unless you grow your own cannabis or know someone who does, it is still a little challenging to get your hands on fresh cannabis. Dispensaries sell everything for smoking or cannabis concentrates, but rarely the raw, fresh plant.
If you do come across a stash of fresh bud or leaves, try incorporating them into your daily juicing routine. Keep in mind not all juicers effectively extract leafy greens, so do a little research beforehand to avoid wasting product.
Juiced cannabis tastes mildly pungent, but in the right juice recipe, it’s barely perceptible. If you usually use wheat grass, try adding a shot of cannabis juice alongside it. Combining cannabis with other green juices (think kale, spinach, cucumbers) is a sure-fire bet for a delicious morning drink.
Use fan leaves, sugar leaves, and fresh buds if you can find them. The cannabinoid content increases as you move up the plant towards the crystal covered trichomes. However, because the cannabinoid content is higher in the buds, they are harder to source in their uncured, raw form.
Never consume the stalks, as these can be hard on the digestive tract thanks to little microscope hairs. The hairs tend to irritate all the way down from nose to tail. For a full look at how to prepare cannabis juice, check out this in-depth preparation guide.
Tasty Green Cannabis Juice
The greener the juice, the better it is for you. Try adding handfuls of fresh herbs alongside the other fresh green ingredients. Mint, cilantro, basil, and parsley are all known for their cleansing properties and work well together. The more herbs you throw in, the healthier it becomes.
- 5 handfuls of spinach
- 3 kale leaves
- 7 large cannabis fan leaves
- ½ cucumber
- ½ lemon
- 1 Fuji apple
- Throw it all in the juicer and enjoy!
- Feel free to swap out the lemon for lime, or the apple for pears. Use what’s in season for the best nutritional value.
The beauty of the cannabis plant is that you can enjoy the benefits of the raw cannabinoids with a shot of cannabis juice, and follow it up with a more conventional and smokable joint. Just because you want to reap the therapeutic value of the raw cannabinoids, doesn’t mean you have to forgo the heat-activated compounds.
In fact, because they often target many of the same health issues, you might want to double up. A joint and juice may boost the medicinal value through the synergy of the many compounds. Sounds like a great way to start the day!