A lot of amateur cannabis users don’t know the details about cooking with cannabis. They might think that adding raw marijuana leaves to their sweets and dishes might produce some sort of effect. While this isn’t at all true, raw marijuana does have some interesting health benefits.
Not that long ago, researchers began to notice the benefits of the other parts of the cannabis plant, removing their focus from THC and CBD. These compounds and terpenes are plentiful and vastly different, to a point where researchers don’t even know how many there are and what their effects are in full.
Consuming raw cannabis has been likened to eating leafy greens. While the plant in this state won’t get you high or produce any psychoactive effects, it might help in preventing diseases, providing vitamins, minerals and cannabinoids. It most likely will taste really bad.
For the THC in the cannabis plant to become effective — providing the high and the sensation of relaxation or creativity — the plant needs to go through decarboxylation. It’s the process many unfortunately skip before eating marijuana (edibles). Decarboxylation occurs when you apply heat to the plant, be that when smoking a joint or when preheating cannabis before adding it in to your edibles.
Eating Raw Cannabis
Juicing leafy greens like spinach and kale for their healthy properties might not sound that amazing to you unless you’re a juicing enthusiast. But pressed vegetable juices are increasing in popularity — with consumers, nutritionists, athletes and healthcare professionals.
Have you ever considered juicing marijuana, though? What we’re talking about here is the juicing of raw cannabis, and it’s nutritionally complete and very therapeutic — not to mention, since it’s freshly harvested and not dried or cured, it won’t get you stoned.
The Benefits of Raw Marijuana
The marijuana plant’s leaves are rich in properties such as antioxidants, polyphenols and antibiotics as well as cancer-reducing and anti-inflammatory compounds known as cannabidiols. These compounds are what makes raw weed a superfood.
In fact, the marijuana plant is made up of more than 400 different chemical compounds. Because of the number of acids, vitamins and essential oils in the plant, experts like Dr. William Courtney, who provides patients with raw marijuana therapeutic services in his Luxembourg clinic, call cannabis a “dietary essential.”
Marijuana is a powerfully beneficial vegetable. Even its seeds have nutritional value and contain:
- Minerals (calcium, iron, etc.)
- Fatty acids (Omegas 3,6,9 and palmitic and stearic acid)
- Vitamins (A, B1, 2 & 3, C, and E)
The protein content in cannabis seeds contains amino acids, including those the human bodies need and can’t produce on its own. Also, a tablespoon of hemp seed can have up to 2,500 mg of omega-6 fatty acids and up to 1,000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.
When you juice the leaves, you extract essential minerals, antioxidants and other elements as well. They include:
The marijuana plant has more abundance and variety of plant phytochemicals, which are stored in the trichome heads and leaf tissue, than just about any other species. For instance, it shares limonene with lemons, beta carotene with carrots and anthocyanins with cherries and blood oranges. Anthocyanins are a very effective analgesic even though they are non-narcotic.
Along with its nutritional value, raw weed also contains cannabinoids (acidic form) and terpenes (essential oils in marijuana) that are responsible for most of marijuana’s therapeutic effects. And, since marijuana contains high cannabinoid acid concentrations, it’s considered to be an exceptional plant in the nutrition world, with its acids being essential for basic cell function.
Raw marijuana juice activates the endocannabinoid receptors of your brain and prompts an antioxidant release that removes damaged cells from your body. Both humans and animals have an endocannabinoid (EC) system that manages a broad range of physiological processes, such as pain sensation, memory, appetite and mood.
The EC receptors are located in your connective tissue, brain, glands, organs and immune cells in your body. Your body produces endocannabinoids naturally to stimulate all those functions. However, cannabis also stimulates your EC receptors and boosts your well-being.
According to studies, raw weed has the potential to:
- Treat lupus and arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Treat neurodegenerative diseases due to its neuroprotective properties.
- Help with appetite loss and nausea due to its antiemetic properties.
- Prevent the spread of malignant cells of prostate cancer because of its anti-proliferative properties.
- Prevent cell damage that can lead to serious illness and poor health due to it being rich in nutrients like protein and essential amino acids, omegas 3 and 6 fatty acids and antioxidants.
The U.S. federal government found in its pre-patent research that CBD was a stronger antioxidant than vitamins C or E. Since you’re able to consume CBDs in large amounts when eating raw pot, you’re also increasing the number of antioxidants you’re getting per serving.
The terpenes are thought to have their health benefits as well. For instance, linalool is said to have anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
The Difference Between THC and THCA
Raw cannabis has two primary cannabinoids: tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA). The “a” represents that they’re non-psychoactive, acidic form. Your body can metabolize THCA in larger doses than THC since it’s non-psychoactive. Therefore, if you’re looking for the medicinal benefits of marijuana but don’t want to get “high,” THCA is a better option.
There hasn’t been enough research conducted on THCA to positively state how effective it is and what it treats, though. However, preliminary research is suggesting that as the industry evolves, THCA will become a big part of marijuana medicine.
The main difference between THC and THCA is that when the pot plant is growing, it isn’t psychoactive. The THC psychoactive chemical isn’t present as of yet. It’s only in its elemental or decarboxylated form (THCA). You wouldn’t receive any effect from the fresh buds of the plant. You first need to convert the THCA into THC to get the psychosomatic effect you get with marijuana.
It’s when THCA is heated (cooking or smoking) or curated that you get this conversion to THC. If you were to eat the plant raw, you wouldn’t get the THC. Digested weed needs to enter your bloodstream to give you that “high” feeling. Since it’s difficult for your body to break down the composition of weed, it doesn’t absorb the chemical. It just passes through your digestive tract instead.
If your body is compromised by cellular dysfunction, autoimmune disorders, cancer cells, chronic inflammation or other illnesses, consuming CBDs provides an array of health benefits. One way to get your CBDs is by juicing the buds and leaves of raw cannabis. Mix the juice of cannabis with other things such as fruits, vegetables and juice to create a healthy drink.
What Is Juicing
Because of its health benefits, juicing raw cannabis is gaining a lot of attention. Marijuana isn’t just for eating or smoking. You can now drink it as well. And, when you juice it, you’re getting a lot more of its health benefits than if you were to eat or smoke it.
In fact, you’re losing around 99 percent of the health benefits of marijuana when you smoke or cook it.
Many health enthusiasts and dieters have been juicing their vegetables. Juicing creates a beverage that’s rich in nutrients and easy to consume and digest. It’s convenient if you have a busy schedule, too, since it’s simple to make it and take it with you.
When you juice raw weed, you’re getting large doses of THCA and CBDA. These two cannabinoids help saturate your CB1 and CB2 receptors with cannabinoids, which benefit the natural endocannabinoid system of your body. This produces an effective two-way communication system between your cells and nerves which was not present previously. Patients with everything from nerve disorders to diabetes realize the power behind juicing raw weed.
Raw Marijuana Juicing Health Benefits
Dr. Courtney claims that juicing marijuana, a potent vegetable, is the most beneficial and healthiest ways to consume the plant. He says that many of the disorders you treat with marijuana, you can prevent by consuming raw marijuana juice regularly, and about 8,000 of his patients drink raw marijuana juice.
In addition to being rich in the same nutrients (iron, fiber, calcium) as leafy greens, it’s also loaded with beneficial cannabinoids exclusive to the weed plant, and juicing cannabis is an extremely potent and nutritionally-dense medicine. Ingesting raw marijuana through juicing may be beneficial for alleviating the symptoms of certain conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, as well as for for general health maintenance.
NYC Surgical Associates’ co-founder and managing director and double-board certified surgeon, Dr. David A. Greuner, said that you get the same therapeutic effects juicing raw cannabis for certain conditions as you do by smoking medical cannabis. For instance, studies show that cancer patients find relief from nausea and pain with juiced cannabis while it helps HIV patients who have difficulty eating.
Other benefits of juicing cannabis include:
Ways to Consume Raw Cannabis
You can enjoy all the benefits of raw cannabis by consuming it in its natural form. The best way of using this plant for its nutrients is by extracting the juice. However, you can also chew and swallow fresh, recently harvested cannabis leaves and buds, too.
One suggestion is to consume around 30g of fresh leaves each day to use it as a supplement. You can also consume the oil from hemp seeds each day, toss sprouted cannabis seeds into your salads or divide 120 to 240 ml of raw cannabis juice into five doses.
Other tips when juicing raw cannabis are:
- Use a blender. When you are processing a big amount of leaves, using a juice extractor is recommended. Use a blender to shred buds so you reduce the loss of cannabinoids that can attach themselves to the filter of the juice extractor. To blend large quantities of cannabis leaves, use a wheat-grass juicer. This type of blender makes it easier and quicker for you to clean. In addition, you’ll recover more of what you place in the blender.
- Freeze your weed juice. You can make ice cubes with your weed juice to prevent dilution in your drink.
- Create the perfect smoothie. Use your favorite recipe and add in your marijuana juice.
To extend the freshness of raw cannabis before blending, store it (un-rinsed) in the freezer or refrigerator in freezer bags. Before juicing, rinse well and soak the leaves in cool water for five minutes.