There are plenty of health benefits from juicing any fruit or vegetable and the market for juicing is growing in popularity around the world. There is no surprise that medical cannabis patients and health care professionals are looking into the health benefits of juicing the misunderstood plant.
Vegetables usually consist of roots, leaves, stems, and flowers of a plant. Technically speaking, cannabis is a vegetable with similar nutrients found in other leafy greens (fiber, calcium, and iron). Cannabinoids are unique to the cannabis plant; they can improve cell function and reduce damage caused by free radicals.
When Cannabis is juiced, it is a nutritionally dense, medicinal compound without the psychoactive components that are normally activated when the plant goes through decarboxylation. Decarboxylation is basically the heating of the cannabis plant; it is a chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases carbon dioxide.
There is a high concentration of raw cannabinoid acids and the perfect amount of fatty acids in juiced cannabis. This can reduce inflammation and improve two-way communication with nerve cells.
How to Juice Raw Cannabis
Really, you can’t just get dried flower, throw it into a juicer, and expect magic healing potion. When juicing you want raw, freshly-picked, and properly grown cannabis. It is important to avoid any plant material that may have been exposed to pesticides or other microbiological contaminants.
Like most vegetables when it comes to juicing, fresher is better. Do not juice cannabis that has been dried and prepared for smoking as it is not suitable for juicing. Since most local dispensaries do not have a supply of raw cannabis, many patients and caregivers grow their own medicine to ensure quality material for juicing.
When juicing, it is recommended that people juice 15 large fan leaves, 30-40 sugar leaves, and two large (2-4 inches long) raw buds per day. Raw buds are flowers that are harvested while the trichomes are clear rather than amber.
Mixing another vegetable juice to cut down on the bitterness of raw cannabis is highly recommended. A popular choice is carrots — a ratio of one-part cannabis juice to 10 parts carrot juice is a good rule of thumb. When you have your juice, split it into three parts and drink with each meal or store it for up to three days refrigerated in a sealed container or in the freezer for several months.
(For additional ways to use cannabis trim, check out 6 Ways To Use Your Cannabis Trim.)
Carrots and Cannabis: A Juicing Match
Carrots and carrot juice in ancient practice were used as therapeutic agents. Carrots are rich in biotin, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, organic sodium, and more. Most of a carrot’s nutrients are concentrated just beneath the skin, so it’s important you try not to peel the skin off. You can simply brush the carrot’s skin with water until the dirt is cleaned off.
The cannabis leaves and buds contain much-needed cannabinoid acids: tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THC-A) and cannabidiolic acid (CBD-A). These acids found in cannabis have been shown to reduce or eliminate epileptic seizures, treat certain forms of cancer, and assist in the management of many other health issues. Cannabis is a complete protein and natural source of healthy omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
When carrots and cannabis are juiced they have a great deal of fiber. This fiber can create a foam at the top of your drink and most people consider this too thick to drink with ease. If you can get past the unpleasant texture, you will be doing your body a favor.
Juice derived from carrots contains more vitamin A than nearly any other juice. Vitamin A assists the liver in flushing toxins out of the body, making this a great recipe for detoxing.
Health Benefits of Juicing Raw Cannabis
The cannabis plant is more than a psychoactive drug. In raw form cannabis leaves and buds are loaded with non-psychoactive, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer nutrient compounds known as cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is proving to be a “superfood” capable of preventing and reversing a host of chronic illnesses.
The human body has a built-in endogenous cannabinoid system, complete with cannabinoid receptors, using CBD from cannabis can help normalize the body’s functional systems, including cell communication and proper immune function.
CBDs bridge the gap of neurotransmission in the central nervous system, including the brain, by providing a two-way system of communication that completes a positive feedback loop. The unique two-way transmission system engaged by cannabis CBDs mimics the body’s own natural two-way communication system.
Individuals with autoimmune disorders, cellular dysfunction, chronic inflammation, cancer cells, and various other illnesses can derive a wide range of health-promoting benefits simply by consuming CBDs.
Juicing Provides Ample CBDs
One of the best ways to acquire CBDs is to juice raw cannabis leaves and buds, according to Dr. William Courtney, who runs a clinic in Luxembourg that provides raw cannabis medicinal services to patients in need.
“CBD works on receptors, and as it turns out, we have cannabinoids in our bodies — endogenous cannabinoids — that turn out to be very effective at regulating immune functions, nerve functions, bone functions,” says Dr. Ethan Russo, a Washington area physician who is also a senior advisor to GW Pharmaceuticals, a British drug company that is utilizing CBDs healing powers in a new epilepsy drug called Epidiolex.
More Variety, More Nutrients
Fiber is a very important part of our diet because it contains nutrients that help with digestion but when we juice, more nutrient absorption happens because the gut doesn’t need to digest all that fiber.
Juicing makes getting the recommended vegetable serving possible and introduces nutrients directly to the bloodstream. Minimize high fructose fruits like apples and strawberries. Our bodies only need 15-25 grams of sugar. A good ratio to follow would be 80 percent vegetables and 20 percent fruit. Of all the apple varieties, green apple has the lowest sugar content. As you become accustomed to the taste of green juice, lessen the fruit to the bare minimum.
People new to juicing can find it tough because drinking vegetable juice isn’t palatable. If you mix lemon to the strong flavor of dark greens the taste is less bitter, and lemon has low fructose content.
Juicing will have you consuming vegetables you didn’t think you would eat, cook, or enjoy. When you juice before every meal you can use four or five different vegetables per day that may include dark leafy greens or different cannabis varieties. More variety means more nutrients.
You have lots of options in terms of recipes and your only limitation will be your garden or your grocery store availability. Juicing can inspire us to choose new vegetables and create a new juice each time.
Carrot & Cannabis Juice Recipe
This takes about five minutes or less depending on your juicer. The recipe makes two to three servings, is vegan and gluten-free. Using a masticating juicer when juicing cannabis is best, they operate at lower temperatures and retain the most nutritional benefits of the plant.
What You Need:
7-10 raw cannabis leaves, freshly picked (within 2-3 days)
6 swiss chard leaves
2 cups chopped organic carrots
1-in. fresh ginger root
½ green apple
1 slice of lemon
Steps to Making Cannabis & Carrot Juice
Soak the cannabis leave in cold water for a few minutes and then drain
Start by slicing the carrots until you have about 2 cups
Cut one slice of lemon and remove any seeds
Remove the skin from the ginger root and add it to the juicer
Add the ingredients and be sure to mix in spurts so the cannabis inside the juicer does not overheat
Pour over ice and enjoy