For those of you who are completely unfamiliar with juicing cannabis I’m going to give you a quick rundown:
You take raw cannabis, process it with a juicer, and turn it into a liquid that is super high is cannabinoids. It won’t get you high, but many researchers and physicians believe consuming raw cannabis has a variety of health benefits. That’s the simplest explanation for juicing cannabis that I could come up with. BUT, there’s so much more to it.
The rest of this article explores the idea of juicing cannabis in much greater detail. In addition to information from leading experts, I’ll also share my experience trying cannabis juice in preparation for this article.
I hope you’ll read the whole article, but if you need to find something specific you can use the links below to jump around.
The Benefits Of Cannabis Juice
Dr. William Courtney
Scholarly Research on the Benefits of Cannabinoids
Do You Get High From Cannabis Juice?
How To Juice Cannabis
Cannabis Juice Recipe Ideas
Will Cannabis Juice Affect A Drug Test?
Where to Buy Cannabis Juice?
Since raw cannabis doesn’t have psychoactive properties the main reason people juice cannabis is for the health benefits. That is, cannabis juice isn’t a recreational substance.
So, why is cannabis juice so good for you? It’s because cannabis is filled with compounds known as cannabinoids. One of the most known cannabinoids is THC. CBD is another well-known cannabinoid. Well, there are dozens of additional cannabinoids, and each one could potentially be the cure for all kinds of ailments.
When it comes to juicing cannabis and the benefits of cannabinoids in general Dr. William Courtney is one of the leading experts. He has seen thousands of patients giving him plenty of first-hand experience treating a variety of ailments using cannabis.
Dr. William Courtney thinks of cannabis as not just a medicine, but as a necessary part of everyone’s diet. He believes cannabis should be view more like a vegetable than a medicine or drug.
Dr. William Courtney believes juicing cannabis could be an effective treatment in a huge variety of illnesses including cancer. Unfortunately, due to the extremely prohibitive nature of cannabis research we don’t really have a solid peer reviewed article to reference – yet. Dr. Courtney’s work has produced some very promising case studies. Here’s a video featuring a woman who replaced over 40 prescription medications with daily cannabis juicing.
There is a pretty large body of research on cannabinoids and how they can be beneficial. I’ve listed a few of those studies along with a brief description of the health benefits presented by each study. Some of these studies do include THC (not found in cannabis juice), however, the studies that include THC also include other cannabinoids that are found in cannabis juice. For more information, visit the source links below.
- Depression, Anxiety, Drug Dependency, and Dementia – This article looked at a huge variety of cannabinoids and terpenes, which are both found in raw cannabis. source
- Appetite, Food Intake, and Energy Balance – This study indicates that cannabinoids could be useful in treating obesity and related cardiometabolic risk factors. source
- Sleep – The Journal of Brain Research published a study that suggests increased activity within your cannabinoid receptors can help induce sleep without the psychoactive effects of THC. source
- Memory – I thought this one was super interesting. Cannabis is typically considered to cause memory loss. This may be true for THC, however, researchers have found that certain cannabinoids can actually improve your memory. source
- Immune System – This study found that endocannabinoids could help with “muscle spasms, inflammation, and other symptoms of multiple sclerosis”. source
- Stroke – This finding came from scientists at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). They found, “The cannabinoids block a neurochemical, known as glutamate, that leads to the formation of toxic oxidizing molecules that kill brain cells.” source
Again, this is not an exhaustive list of every study or every health benefits. Many researchers believe that cannabis in its raw form (such as juicing) can have positive effects on nearly every system in your body. As research on cannabis is more widely allowed I’m sure we’ll start seeing all kinds of benefits that have been hidden behind decades of prohibition.
The quick answer is: no, it’s very unlikely you’ll feel any psychoactive effect. The reason lies in the difference between THC and THCa. Ready for a quick science lesson? I’ll try to be brief and simple.
A growing plant actually contains no THC. Instead, it contains THCa (the a stands for acid). THCa will not get you high. It’s not until a plant is heated that the THCa is converted into THC. A small amount of THC will be converted during the curing phase, but as we’ll discuss later the juicing process happens before the curing phase.
Now, just as a precaution I have to insist that if you’re first starting out you treat this as if you could get high. It is possible (although unlikely) small amounts of THCa have converted over which could affect someone with a low tolerance. Again, if done properly you should not get high off of cannabis juice, but take precautions when you’re just starting out.
The process of juicing cannabis really isn’t difficult at all, but there are a few important things that you’ll need to know. Keep reading for a step by step guide to juicing cannabis:
Step 1: Obtain Proper Material – This part is so incredibly important it cannot be overstressed. You CANNOT just use any regular weed that you would buy from the dispensary. Cured weed is useless for juicing. If you’re not sure if your weed is cured then it most likely is, and you shouldn’t use it.
So, where do you get it? Well, in the case you have to go straight to the source – a grower. For juicing cannabis, you absolutely must use fresh cut cannabis – the fresher the better. Preferably you make cannabis juice right after cutting the plant down. I got very lucky. I live in Colorado and had a grower friend who was happy to donate to the experiment.
It’s incredibly important that you get material that has been grown organically without any pesticides, fungicides, etc. These can make you very sick so it’s important to obtain material from a reliable source.
Leaves or buds? Well, this one is really up to you. Of course, the leaves hold less value so you can probably get them much cheaper from a grower. The buds, on the other hand, are more heavily concentrated in cannabinoids. In the end, use what you can get.
Step 2: Soak Your Material (optional) – This is a method I picked up from Katie Marsh. You don’t have to do it, but after playing around with a few different methods I did like adding this step. This method works especially well with leaves.
Take the material and place them in a bowl. Add just enough room temperature water to cover the material and let soak for 30-60 minutes.
I found this method made it easier for the juicer to process the material. Of course, you’re going to be getting extra water weight with this method, but you’re going to end up diluting it anyways which we’ll discuss in the next section.
Step 3: Juice Your Material – Now, you’re going to take your cannabis and put it in a juicer. Any juicer will work, so if you’ve already got one at home then you’re good to go. This is the juicer I bought because it was relatively inexpensive compared to other models.
I used about a half ounce of material at a time and as you can see from the cover picture it didn’t produce a whole lot of juice. Even then, a lof of it was water. The truth is, it takes a lot of cannabis to produce a juice. How much should you use? I can’t really answer that. I guess it depends on how much cannabinoids you think you should ingest that day. Everyone is different so you’ll have to experiment with different amounts.
Step 4: Strain Your Material – I like to use cheesecloth for this, but you can use a metal strainer. First, you want to strain out any solid material in your juice cup. You’ll also probably get a little bit of foam that with strain out. Next, you want to strain out any additional liquid that falls into your juicer’s pulp container. This is why I like cheesecloth. You can put all your pulp into the cheesecloth then really squeeze out any liquid. You can also resoak your pulp in a bit of water then strain again.
Step 5: Enjoy, But Not Really – At this point, your cannabis juice is ready to consume, but let me tell you from personal experience that it is going to taste absolutely awful. Don’t get me wrong – I love the taste of weed when I smoke it, but drinking it is some kind of terrible. For this reason, I wrote the next section which gives you some suggestions on ways to make this juice more palatable.
As I just mentioned, raw cannabis juice is completely unpalatable. It’s tastes like dirt peed in a cup. So, you’re gonna want to mix that freshly juiced cannabis with some other ingredients so you won’t gag trying to get the stuff down your throat. I would be careful heating or adding acidic juices (like orange juice) and it could affect the nature of the cannabinoids.
Who doesn’t love a good smoothie? I’m not going to bother taking the time to list out a full recipe because you can really use any smoothie recipe and just add your cannabis juice in.
You’ve already got the juicer out – why not just juice up a couple of tasty fruits or vegetables to add in. It will make it taste better plus you can get some extra nutrients from the additional fruits and veggies.
The answer is possibly, so if you’re going to be subject to a drug test then do not drink cannabis juice. THCa is used as a biomarker when labs do drug tests. This basically means that a lab may test specifically for THCa as a means of creating a differential between someone who has consumed plant material vs. a prescription such as Marinol (source). So, will THCa show up on every type of drugs test? No. Do some samples get tested for THCa? Yes. You have to decide if the chances are worth it or not.
This part is rather unfortunate. I could not find a single place that sells juiced cannabis commercially. No dispensaries seem to carry it. I’m sure this is because THC products are just so much more popular. It’s also rather expensive to produce so many customers are not going to be happy with the price.
For now, you have to make cannabis juice on your own which is unfortunate. I hope that eventually cannabis juice could become more widely available. Most of all I hope more research is done so we can really understand the true healing powers of cannabis.
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