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.
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.