Raw & Vegan: The Power Of Juicing Cannabis
Juicing cannabis is the new frontier in the health food and medicinal scene that has been slowly emerging out of the shadows. There are incredible health benefits that have been discovered and are continuing to be discovered as more people take interest in this method. Juicing cannabis may very well be the next “Wheat grass craze” as the medical marijuana industry paves the way in alternative healthcare.
The human body believe it or not, houses a Endocannabinoid system in which its receptors regulate a whole slew of physiological processes including the mediation of cannabinoids. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabinol, and cannabidiol, are the three cannabinoids we are most well versed with. Cannabidiol or CBD, is gaining much attention due to the fact it carries a large amount of health benefits without getting the user high.
There are many methods that can be employed to create nutrient dense drinks in the privacy of your own home. There are 3 recommended methods for juicing in which the patient can use the buds, sugar leaves, or fan leaves. Most people only want to smoke or decarboxylate the buds for the obvious psychoactive and medicinal properties of THC, which makes it less desirable for juicing. While yes you can juice buds, the reality is that you are wasting high concentrations of THC when you only want CBD’s. And in my opinion, buds are best saved for smoking, vaping, and making edibles.
So what does that leave? Sugar leaves and fan leaves. Sugar leaves are best reserved for making the various forms of hash, concentrates, topicals, balms and salves. Yes, you can bake and cook with sugar leaves but in my opinion that should be saved for a last resort for multiple reasons, which is discussed in my book. You can juice with sugar leaves, but again, you are wasting a smaller amount of THC that is better saved for the aforementioned. Fan leaves are where it is at. Full of CBD’s the leaves will relieve inflammation, nausea, anxiety, debilitating illnesses and act as an effective treatment against cancer. Not to mention the high mineral, vitamin, and antioxidant properties without getting “high”. And that is just the tip of the iceberg concerning medicinal benefits.
I would highly recommend using fan leaves as it is the most logical and practical out of the three options. A great way to utilize non-sugar leaves from a grow is to flush the plants with distilled water before harvest time and collect the good fan leaves to juice. This method of harvesting fan leaves comes from a “waste not” mentality and is a great way to use the remaining leaves for additional health benefits. This maximizes the medicinal uses of your plants without leaving much plant matter to be potentially turned to waste. But the most efficient and consistent way to juice would be to have plants that are only kept in the vegetation state in your home. What this allows is the ability for you to juice on a daily basis by freshly picking your leaves when you want to. And do not forget, it is perfectly fine to save fan leaves from strain varieties in the freezer if it is impossible to have plants in veg state in your house.
Once you figure out which method of harvesting fan leaves is right for you, the fun begins with mixing in different specific strains, fruits, and vegetables for amazingly delicious flavors. I started strain specific cooking and baking to impart specific flavors from buds into the edibles I was making when I moved to Colorado many years ago. And I found in my juicing journey that flavors of strains even transcend through the leaves when juiced. The beauty of juicing is that it is highly personalized and limitless. The sky is the limit when it comes to the creativity of flavors that can be created through the juicing process.
A great way to tell what kind of flavors each strain will impart is the smell of the leaves. Take a leaf in your hand then squeeze and roll it between your fingers to release the terpenes. Place it under your nose and inhale. This is a clear indication of what flavor profiles are going to be released into your juice. You could also go the route of smoking, vaping or eating an edible that uses that strain variety for flavor profile testing as well. The former is much more simplistic and efficient. Strain specific recipes are so valuable in many culinary applications for flavor profiles in general, and juicing also benefits from this school of thought.
Now that you have had a little taste of my journey through juicing, it is time for a delicious drink recipe for you! I have the pleasure of juicing not only for myself but for my boyfriend Erik. He has found that cannabis juice in the mornings offer him many positive health attributes that set him off feeling amazing throughout the day. Sustained energy, high nutritional value, the ability to fill you up without suffering a heavy stomach, upbeat mental focus and the feeling of a centered body without becoming high are all reasons he partakes in this drink.
There are a few words of caution when it comes to juicing and how it can affect people with sensitive digestive systems or compromised immune systems. The first is that the leaves on the cannabis sativa, cannabis indica, and cannabis ruderalis all have tiny microscopic hairs that are almost like thorns that can be highly irritating. People with sensitive digestive tracks should use caution as it may irritate the lining of the throat, stomach, and intestinal lining. My best advice would be to use the following recipe but only drink it in small amounts to see how your body reacts to the juice. I have personally found, combinations of high acidic fruits paired with a good juicer seem to dampen or even eliminate the effects of irritation on sensitive stomachs by breaking down these tiny hairs.
Secondly, you absolutely need to make sure that the plants you are juicing on are not infected with any kind of microbes, fungus, diseases, or pests. Anyone with a weak or compromised immune system could potentially become ill by ingesting plant material that is not clean. Lastly, I highly recommend that when you juice, that you only juice from organically fed plants and not plants that are using chemical nutrients.
This drink recipe and all of the knowledge contained within this article is my gift to the reader to improve the quality of their life. Be creative and make your own fruit, vegetable, and strain combinations so that you may enjoy the gift of Jah to its fullest potential. The following recipe uses fan leaves from Durban Poison which lends a sweet lemon and citrus flavor with a slight hint of spice which really round out and balance the fruit flavors in this drink. Happy juicing!