Juicing is all the rage in the quest for health: if you juice strawberry ice cream, it suddenly becomes good for you, right? While juicing certainly can induce wellness with the proper ingredients – some juicing involves kale or carrots or avocado – it’s not always the nutritional trend it’s painted to be. Some stores sell malts and shakes and call them “smoothies.” Sure, they might have blueberries, but they also have lots of sugar and other things not known for nutrients.
Commercial products tend to steer away from purely good-for-you foods because they are trying to sell a product and in order to sell that product it needs to taste good…and not like feet. Kale juice isn’t enough to inspire the pallet of the average drinker. Kale juice with rainbow sherbet….that’s another story.
This tendency of store-bought concoctions forces those serious about what they put inside their body to engage in a little do-it-yourself action. And these people are looking towards the leaf for answers: welcome to the world of raw cannabis juicing. Pull up a chair and puree.
The Plea of Your Taste Buds
Cannabis, at its root, is a vegetable (see what I did there?). And, it’s true, vegetables, whether or not they’re mashed and grinded into oblivion, are still vegetables; in other words, they’re not tiramisu.
It’s very possible to make a cannabis drink that tastes and does good. The key is often to use fruits that add flavor and sweetness
Depending on your individual tastes, cannabis is great combined with things like mangos, bananas, orange juice, pears, and peaches. Sweet potatoes work too.
Marijuana for the Masses
One of the best things about raw cannabis juicing is that it’s pot not limited to potheads: juicing doesn’t get you high.
Juicing enables you to ingest the benefits of cannabis without any of the psychoactive effects
It allows you to reap more benefits than forms of recreational consumption too: smoking and the like has the potential to decrease many of the benefits of the plant.
For any person concerned about health, juicing with marijuana makes as much sense as juicing with any other vegetable…yes even Swiss chards.
The Benefits of Juicing Buds
Cannabis is full of things that are good for you like terpenes (compounds found in plants). It’s also full of phytochemicals, compounds that plays an instrumental role in preventing disease in humans. There’s phytocannabinoids too, which help the body control chronic inflammation. This is useful in warding off cancer and preventing pain and discomfort in already present illnesses, such as MS or arthritis.
Of course, cannabis offers the benefits of any other vegetable. It gives you fiber, calcium, iron, and the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to function at an optimal level.
Raw cannabis leaves offer a potency not found in pot shop weed. This isn’t a potency when it comes to your trip (more on that below), but rather a potency when it comes to health.
Raw cannabis provides your body with the innate benefits of marijuana, without losing the beneficial health effects in the heating process
It’s easy, really: what raw cannabis takes away in psychoactivity, it returns in wellness.
Why it Can’t Get You High but it can Get You Healthy
Juicing cannabis doesn’t get you high any more than chewing on a marijuana leaf. There is one reason for this: heat (or, more accurately, lack thereof). Without heat, the psychoactive cannabinoids in cannabis remain dormant – they aren’t activated or released and they have no mind-altering effect if you ingest them.
This is also the reason you can’t make pot cupcakes simply by sprinkling some flowers into the icing (well, you could make them, but they wouldn’t be any fun).
The fact that cannabis juice doesn’t get you high is beneficial (for real!)
This is because it enables you to ingest many more cannabinoids than smoking (or eating edibles). Some cannabinoids, like CBD, are believed most effective in high doses. You could smoke joint after joint after joint to get these benefits. Or you could make your boss reconsider firing you and juice instead.
Juicing cannabis better maintains the integrity of the plant’s nutritional profile (as touched on above). Heat activates the high weed is known for, but it decreases the innate nutrients in the process.
This phenomenon is frequently talked about in culinary circles, with the belief that going raw is better than any vegetable introduced to a flame or oven. But, per NPR, this isn’t the case; instead, it’s vegetable-dependent.
Broccoli, like cannabis, appears to be sensitive to heat; if you cook a stalk for more than a few minutes, it loses some of its antioxidant potency. Broccoli supplements, likewise, do very little when compared to the real thing. It’s best to eat it raw.
Carrots, on the other hand, offer more antioxidants when cooked and tomatoes, to make this that much more confusing, are best eaten with some type of fat, like olive oil (or, heck, chocolate cake).
If you’re going to juice with cannabis, keep in mind that the weed you purchased for your bowl isn’t appropriate for your blender: juicing needs fresh leaves free of pesticides and other contaminants. Fresher is better, the same as any other vegetable.
It’s always possible that a dispensary will have fresh leaves, but it’s not all that likely. You’re better off growing them yourself. If you don’t have the time or money (or green thumb), consider asking around.
Local dispensaries may be able to point you in the right direction if they’re not able to supply the fresh leaves themselves
Finally, anyone who begins a juicing regimen should consider discussing it with their doctor before proceeding, especially if you have a preexisting medical condition. You may be advised to juice less (or more). You may also be advised to refrain from adding things like grapefruit to the blender as it’s known to interact with certain medications.