Benefits of Juicing Cannabis

Pierre Van ZylHeal, Health Awareness

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Pressed juices allow people to extract high levels of nutrients from fruits and vegetables. The practice has been around in its current form since the 1950s and is still a very popular way to process food today.

It should come as no surprise that the juicing trend has made its way into another popular arena – the cannabis industry.

While still in its infancy scientifically, the benefits of juiced cannabis, specifically cannabis roots and leaves, is looking promising. 

Juicing Cannabis Won’t Get You High

When juicing cannabis, you’re either going to juice the leaves or the roots. Both parts of the marijuana plant offer independent benefits, and here is the kicker – by juicing either of them, you won’t get high. 

As many already know, the sensation of being ‘high’ comes from THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in marijuana. It turns out, raw cannabis leaves don’t contain THC or even CBD (cannabidiol) per se, but rather, the non-psychoactive cannabinoids THCA and CBDA, also known as tetrahydrocannabinolic acid and cannabidiolic acid respectively [1] [2]

In order for THCA and CBDA to convert to THC and CBD, the cannabis must be heated through something like smoking or baking [2]. This is why some claim that by consuming raw cannabis leaves, you’re getting all the benefits of the plant without getting high. 

Benefits Of Juicing Cannabis Leaves

Cannabis leaves are a ‘superfood’ like no other. In addition to all of the vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids, cannabis leaves contain a unique combination of cannabinoids, including THCA, CDBA, and CBG (Cannabigerol). While the evidence is preliminary, some of the purported benefits include aiding with sleep, pain, and acting as an anti-inflammatory [3].

As with juicing other fruits and vegetables, by juicing the cannabis leaves, you’re able to extract a nutrient-dense juice that can easily be consumed raw on its own, or blended with other drinks or juices. 

While the leaves could simply be chewed and eaten raw, they have a bitter taste. By juicing the leaves, you have the opportunity to turn cannabis into a tasty drink that you can consume whenever you want. Juicing also helps to concentrate the nutrients and aid with absorption. 

Benefits of Juicing Cannabis Roots

Studies looking historically at the medicinal uses of cannabis root show that it has many traditional uses and benefits [4]. Unlike the leaves, you don’t drink cannabis root juice. Instead, it is mostly used as a topical medicine. Furthermore, it doesn’t contain high amounts of more known cannabinoids like THC or CBD, but rather others like friedelin and epifriedelanol [5].

Traditionally cannabis roots were used in various ways. To prepare them medicinally they were either boiled, mashed or juiced. The juice was thought to help treat ailments such as skin burns, assisting with the cessation of hemorrhage after childbirth, as well as helping treat certain infections [4].

The most practical use for juicing the root would most likely be skin ailments like minor burns. Traditionally some physicians documented the use of cannabis root juice being combined with oil or butter [4]. This is not far off from a salve. DIY Cannabis salves have become quite popular. To make a salve, the root juice or ground roots can be used.    

How To Juice Cannabis

Now that we know the benefits of juicing cannabis, it’s time to talk about the juicing process itself. 

If you’re interested in juicing cannabis, one thing has to be clear from the beginning. The plant needs to be fresh.

You can’t expect to throw dried cannabis into a juicer and be able to extract any sort of juice from it. In order to make cannabis juice, whether it’s from the leaves or the root, you’re going to need raw, freshly picked cannabis. 

Just like juicing other fruits and vegetables, the fresher the ingredients are, the better. If you can get your hands on something that is grown organically or one that you know is free of pesticides or other contaminants, this is best. Regardless, be sure to wash everything you plan on juicing thoroughly. 

You can use the same juicer, like any of the ones found here, that you use for other vegetables like apples, celery, carrots, and leafy greens. You don’t need any special additional equipment to juice cannabis. 

To create a tasty juice, it’s recommended that you use around 15 cannabis leaves, and mix that with another vegetable, like carrots or celery, to cut down on the bitter flavor of the cannabis [6].

The juice can be broken down into 3 servings, which should be chilled and can last for up to 3 days in your refrigerator. 

Is Cannabis Juicing Right For You?

Before you make the switch to cannabis juice, you should always talk to a medical professional first. You should go over your symptoms, and ensure that cannabis is the right choice for you. You should also tell your doctor about any other drugs (prescribed or otherwise) you’re taking, and make sure the juice won’t have any adverse interactions.

If you get the okay from your doctor to start juicing and consuming cannabis, you should lay out a plan on how frequently you want to drink cannabis leaf juice.

As with juicing other fruits and vegetables, you need to be careful and practice moderation. The juice that is produced by a homemade juicer is full of nutrients but also very concentrated, because of this, you can potentially get too much of a good thing and actually overwhelm your body. 

Certain plants, cannabis included, contain nutrients that your body may not tolerate at high quantities. In fact, something as harmless as kale juice when consumed consistently and in high amounts can damage your kidneys, and even be life-threatening if you already have have a pre-existing kidney disorder or high blood pressure [7]. These problems are due to high concentrations of potassium and oxalate found in the leaves.  

When you start a new juicing routine, be sure to start slow and take notice of how your body reacts. Don’t consume anything beyond what is recommended daily and spread your consumption throughout the day. 

Wrapping It All Up

While some medicinal benefits of cannabis have been established for some time, oddly there’s still some debate around using it this way. With research always in the works, social norms being challenged, and legalization occurring in various places it’s only a matter of time before it gains complete acceptance. 

Smoking and consuming marijuana edibles may not be on everyone’s to-do list because of their psychoactive properties. However, when juicing raw cannabis you get none of the high. Do you get all of the medical benefits of non-raw marijuana that contains THC and CBD? While the evidence is limited at this time, raw cannabis does seem to have a promising future. With its minimal risk and potential to help, raw cannabis juice may be just what you needed.  

As with anything, practice moderation and remember to listen to your body when you start any new nutritional journey.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and is for information only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition and/or current medication. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.

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