Juicing Raw Cannabis

Raw, Unheated Cannabis is Completely Non-psychoactive
Raw cannabinoids like THCa have a carboxyl group that changes the way it interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid system. None of the compounds produced by the cannabis plant are psychoactive until they have been decarboxylated, a process which happens quickly when the plant matter is heated, or slowly over time as cannabis is aged. Cannabis is a functional food that provides highly digestible globular protein, which is balanced for all of the essential amino acids and has the ideal ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3, so juicing with cannabis is certainly healthy. However, these nutritional benefits can also be obtained from hemp seed oil, which is inexpensive and easy to find; the restrictions on cannabis make it impractical as a health food. Most of the medicinal effects we know about so far, including acute pain and anxiety relief as well as most of the anti-cancer benefits, come from decarboxylated cannabis. However there is still so much we don’t know, so the bottom line is, if you suffer from an intractable medical condition and think juicing might help, give it a try! One thing we do know is, it can’t hurt.pouring

There hasn’t been very much formal research into the medical effects of raw cannabinoids, but a growing body of anecdotal evidence suggests they may have significant therapeutic value:

  • Anti-inflammatory properties for treatment of arthritis and lupus
  • Neuroprotective properties for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases
  • Anti-emetic properties for treatment of nausea and appetite loss
  • Anti-proliferative properties noted in studies of prostate cancer
  • Antispasmodic suppresses muscle spasms
  • Immunomodulatory THCa has been shown to have a balancing effect on immune system functions

Raw cannabis seems to show the most promise in treating neuro-immune disorders.

When it comes to juicing, the fresher the better. Cannabis that has been dried and prepared for smoking is not suitable for juicing. Raw buds are flowers harvested when the THC glands are clear rather than amber.

It is recommended that you mix with other juices to cut the bitterness of the raw cannabis. A popular choice is carrot juice, and a ratio of 1 part cannabis juice to 10 parts carrot juice is a good rule of thumb, but be creative! Add kale, fresh fruits in season, some ginger to spice it up — juicing is as delicious as it is nutritious and healthy.

Use a masticating juicer (like the ones used to make wheat grass juice) for best results, but any powerful blender will work.

Noted researcher Dr. William Courtney recommends juicing 15 large leaves and several 2 – 4” buds each day.

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13 Comments

    • Well, I didn’t have an hour and 20 minutes to watch the whole video, but the well-respected juicing advocate himself said that it WON’T get you high unless you follow his one specific recipe. I’d be interested in finding out what the recipe is, but there’s no website aside from the youtube channel.

  1. Recipe contains fresh greens with a few insubstantial lower flowers, tangerine, & coconut. Their hypothesis is the three are interacting. Pretty cute ending. 😉

    • That would be my hypothesis as well — something in that combination removes the carboxyl group. When you say “insubstantial lower flowers” you are talking about the cannabis flowers, right? So it would only be the coconut / tangerine juices that would cause it?

      This is really interesting, have you reproduced the effect?

    • OK! We’ve done a little research and here’s how we think the juice turned psychoactive:

      1. A combination of fatty foods and acidic foods tends to speed up decarboxylation.
      2. Coconut is high in fat, specifically MCTs which are converted to ketone bodies. (Note: there is such a thing as “ketonic decarboxylation” but I’m not sure that’s what is happening in this recipe).
      3. During the juicing process, the cannabis sits in the auger with the fatty coconut and the acidic tangerine. It then gets tossed around in the stomach and can decarb a bit there too.
      4. These dudes both drank forty ounces* of juice, which means that even if they only decarboxylated (for example) 10% of the cannabis, and only 10 – 30% of that was bioavailable, that would still be a significant amount of THC.

      So that warrants the addition of a disclaimer to this page, so I’ll do that now. We certainly don’t want anyone getting super-high (unless they want to, of course, but there are FAR more cost-effective ways to do that!)

      We’re going to do some science and see if we can reproduce this effect, too!

      *by comparison, the juicing leaves we offer on our menu produce about 1 teaspoon of juice, so you’d need approximately 240 of those for this recipe 🙂

    • Well since no one here had 5 extra pounds of leaves to juice, we haven’t managed to re-create the experiment but from our research it *is* plausible if only for the massive, massive amount of THC that would be in the amount of leaves it took to make 2 40-ounce glasses of juice. Even if .001% of it was decarboxylated by the citrus juice / gastric acids it would still be one heck of a dose.

      We’re not too concerned that anyone will inadvertently get super-high, though, mainly due to the quantities involved 🙂

  2. I harvested lots of fresh leaves during pruning to improve airflow in the plants, and using a Vitamix blended them with flax seed oil (I suppose hemp seed oil would be even better but I didn’t have any). I then froze the stuff in ice cube trays and when frozen popped them out into a ziploc bag. I add 1-2 cubes to my Vitamix green drink every morning. The other ingredients are usually kale, grapefruit or orange, a chunk of ginger and then what ever else I have like cilantro, carrots, etc. I add regular ice cubes and water. The vitamix is not a juicer but a masticator so I get to drink the entire plant and not just the juice. It is delicious and mildly psychoactive. One could I suppose leave out the ice cubes and the heat of the Vitamix motor might provide enough heat to effect decarboxylation, not sure. I am looking more for the general health effect of another fresh, organic green plant.

    • That sounds extremely healthy, delicious, and a great way to start the day! The heat of the Vitamix would probably do some decarboxylation, for reference the maximum amount of psychoactivity is achieved at 292F for 7 minutes or 252F for 27 minutes. Probably your Vitamix doesn’t get anywhere near that warm, or keep things at high temperature very long, but I’m sure some it does a bit of decarbing — and of course oils will help extract and citruses (and all acids) will “cook” things. You could forego the ice, of course, but as long as you’re already getting plenty of THC from other sources, might want to go ahead and keep things frozen to maximize the amount of THCa you get.

      Not a lot of research has been done on THCa, but it has shown some promising anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic effects, and there are likely lots of other benefits we don’t know of yet.

  3. do we have a source to purchase bulk leaves for juicing? I remember Sespe had some for a while, but I don’t see any options here any more.

    • Yes they are more perishable than most items so we don’t keep a large quantity on hand. Please email us and let us know how much you’re looking for and we’ll do our best to help!

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