Fruits and vegetables are essential staples for a healthy and balanced diet, but it can be difficult to ensure you’re eating enough leafy greens. That’s why many people are juicing their greens -- but have you ever considered juicing your raw cannabis leaves and buds? In its raw form, cannabis is a dietary essential supplement -- a complete protein that provides a great balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. And as long as you have access to fresh leaves and a juicer, cannabis juice is easy to make and store at home.
Dr. William Courtney is a northern California physician who's been studying the dietary uses of cannabis for years, working with over 7,000 medical marijuana patients in the process. Dr. Courtney believes cannabis is the single most important vegetable on the planet because of its ability to boost our immune systems, act as an anti-inflammatory, improve bone metabolism, and even boost neural function.
You should talk with a medical provider before juicing cannabis if you’re taking any prescription drugs or antibiotics. Juicing may not be the best idea for you if you have kidney or gallbladder issues, or if you are on blood-thinner medication. But if you feel that juicing cannabis is the right move for your health and you’re looking for some tips to get started, here are five things to consider:
A common misconception about cannabis is that the plant contains ample amounts of the intoxicating delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but that’s not exactly true in raw form. Fresh cannabis actually produces tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), which converts to THC when exposed to heat and light in a process called decarboxylation.
Because the raw plant contains very little THC, you shouldn’t expect to experience any significant psychoactive effects after consuming juiced cannabis.
When juicing your cannabis, you should always use freshly-harvested leaves. The older the plant material, the more prone it is to be exposed to oxygen, break down, and lose its nutrients. The best time to harvest your plant is when it is flowering -- the third week of flowering is typically considered ideal.
Opt for the leaves on the inside of the plant -- the outside fan leaves are the ones catching all of the sunlight and helping your plant grow and flourish.
Try This host Mandee Lee recommends using a wheatgrass juicer, like this one. Wheatgrass juicers are better for juicing more fibrous materials to ensure your juicer doesn’t get clogged. It’s also best to opt for an electric juicer rather than a hand crank machine -- it takes quite a bit of weed (about 15 leaves) to make a small amount of cannabis juice, and your arms are bound to get tired.
As for technique, it’s important to always rejuice the pulp. You’ll get more juice out of it, and since you’re using so much plant material, every little bit helps. You should also soak your cannabis leaves in cold water for about five minutes before juicing. This helps open the plant’s pores to fully access its nutrients. Make sure not to juice the stems -- they’re quite fibrous and can lead to a clogged juicer.
Freshly juiced cannabis has a fresh and vibrant flavor -- similar to a wheatgrass shot. But it’s not a taste that everyone enjoys, so adding some water or coconut water to dilute it can be better for consumption. You can also mix in another type of veggie or green juice (like carrot juice) to blend the flavor a bit.
Cannabis juice can be stored in a refrigerator in a sealed container for up to three days. But since you likely won’t be able to harvest and juice on a daily basis, the easiest thing to do is to make the juice into ice cubes. Opinions on how long it lasts in the freezer vary from around 1-3 months, but freezing will certainly extend the life of your cannabis juice. You can easily add a cube to your smoothie or other juice recipes without even tasting the difference.
Most dispensaries are unable to offer cannabis trim to their patients or customers, so the best thing is to seek out a local grower and ask if you can have their leftover trim. Most growers end up wasting their trim anyway, so there’s a good chance they will offer it to you if you’ll make good use of it. Just make sure it is organic and pesticide-free. If you don’t have access to a local grower, you can always grow yourself (if it’s legal to do so in your state). This allows you the most access and freedom to pick and harvest whenever you desire.