How and Why You Should Juice Your Weed
Juicing cannabis leaves and buds is becoming increasingly more popular as consumers and health care professionals begin to better understand how cannabis can benefit the human endocannabinoid system. Having worked in the medical cannabis industry for the past several years I have been able to learn from medical doctors and patients alike who found relief from various symptoms using a more whole plant approach.
I have a license to legally grow my own cannabis medicine and it occurred to me that I was wasting much of the plant. I spoke to my physician about juicing and he whole heartedly agreed that it was a great idea. Just as juicing carrots and kale and other fresh produce produces a nutrient dense drink thats easy to digest, juicing cannabis leaves is said to be one of the most healthful ways to consume your cannabis, this according to Dr. William Courtney, an expert on medical cannabis.
The Health Benefits
There are several benefits to juicing your weed:
- You can take your medicine without getting high. This is a big one for lots of people who may not want the psychoactive effects you get from smoking, vaping or eating edibles. The reason you don't get high is because in order to produce the psychoactive effects of THC you must first use heat to decarboxylate (or heat up) the cannabis to convert THC-A into THC as we know it. No THC = no high.
- If you aren't getting high (and you're ok with that) then you can take much higher doses. Dr. Courtney talks about how when juicing you can take hundreds of milligrams a day compared to inhalation where many patients top out at roughly 10 milligrams a day/dose.
- This seems obvious but when you remove the smoke factor your lungs will thank you.
- Using cannabis as a dietary supplement you can enjoy the anti-inflammatory, anti-oxident and neuroprotective properties of this hero plant. You don't need to be combating illness to benefit, look at it as preventative medicine.
What You Need to Know First
- You need to use fresh leaves and/or bud. Using dried buds from your local dispensary won't do it. It can be difficult to source fresh cannabis if you aren't growing your own but hopefully one day that will change.
- You need a good juicer or blender. Weed is sticky and can gum up your standard juicer. I recommend a masticating juicer like the one I use: The Omega J8006. It has never failed me and I have put this thing to the test! Really, any juicer that is suitable for leafy greens and wheatgrass will be suitable for weed too.
- You need quite a bit of raw material. Think 15-20 leaves per drink or 2-3 fresh buds.
- Cannabis is bitter as heck so be sure to blend with other fruits or vegetables such as carrots or apples to increase the quantity of drink and cut through the bitterness.
Harvest your leaves or buds. For juicing, fresh is better so don't leave cut leaves sitting around your kitchen for too long. If you can't juice daily consider juicing a lot at one time and freezing portions in ice cube trays for future use in smoothies. This is a good idea if you live somewhere with a shorter growing season, at harvest time you can juice and freeze for the coming months.
Note: If juicing buds look for flowers with clear THC glands as opposed to amber.
Like any good chef be sure to wash your veggies first. Even if you grew them yourself you still want to ensure they are clean and free of particulates. Again, weed is sticky as heck and you'd be surprised at what can stick to buds; We're talking hair, dust, dirt, even bugs!
Assemble and prepare your ingredients. Again, I recommend using apples and carrots but I also like pears for added sweetness. Sometimes pear juice is overly thick and can slow down your juicing progress so be prepared to stop and clean the filters or save thicker fruits like pears and bananas for blending in a standard blender.
Do remember that cannabis juice should be consumed or frozen within a coulple of days to prevent spoilage.