Go Green: The benefits to drinking juiced cannabis leaves

Juicing anything, from fruits to veggies, has been popular for decades, and people have been enjoying both the taste and the health benefits.


But what about cannabis? What does juiced cannabis taste like and what will it do for you?


When we talk about juicing cannabis, we don’t mean taking the dried buds you’re used to smoking and tossing them in your Vitamix. It’s more akin to juicing fresh produce. In fact, you want raw, fresh cannabis — not dried — as the base of your juice. You can juice both the leaves and the raw buds, making use of almost the whole plant.


Freshly grown is ideal, and for obvious reasons it’s best if the cannabis wasn’t grown with any chemicals or pesticides.


Even better, since you’re using raw cannabis, you’re actually consuming much more of the good stuff the plant has to offer than if you smoke or eat it in an edible — in these forms, the cannabis is exposed to high temperatures to activate the plant cannabinoid THC, which produces the “high” feeling).

Raw cannabis contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids and phytochemicals. Add to that the cannabinoids and terpenes in raw cannabis and you’re looking at a true power plant. And, because you’re ingesting cannabinoids in their raw, “acid” form (THCa and CBDa), you’ll receive all of those healthful aspects of the plant without the psychedelic high. This can be useful for people looking to treat various health conditions without disrupting their daily life and activities.


So, what does all that good stuff do? The nutrients in raw cannabis are believed to improve the body’s immune system’s functioning and can be used to treat symptoms of autoimmune diseases such rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. It also offers potential anti-inflammatory benefits, improved bone metabolism and neural function, along with gastrointestinal relief and decreased muscle pain.


Stories and anecdotes about the benefits of juicing are everywhere.


Tyler Hurst, who is the co-host of the Burning Bush podcast, knows firsthand the myriad benefits that juiced cannabis can provide. He began juicing in the summer of 2016 in an attempt to heal and improve his physical health after a Complex PTSD diagnosis. In addition to the diagnosis, he was coming off of 17 years of being prescribed psychiatric meds, and was looking for something that would help with the transition. “Everything I’d read about juicing raw weed seemed like it would help in every way I needed it,” says Hurst. “I had, a few months prior, eaten some pressed buds from rosin and enjoyed the energy and clarity they provided, so this was a natural next step.”

Hurst says he experienced many benefits once he started juicing. His mental energy increased and he was better able to regulate his emotions, which improved his quality of life. Hurst enjoys his juiced cannabis a number of ways: straight up (he says it tastes “like sappy dried leaves, sort of like an herbal tea without any sweetener”), or added to mixed-fruit smoothies.


Unfortunately, Hurst recently moved away from Portland, Oregon, to a state where his access to fresh cannabis pretty much ended. He says he noticed a significant change in his energy levels and his healing slowed down “quite a bit.”


Amanda Grace Kirkman, who works for the cannabis festival Emerald Exchange, juices regularly and offers up an important tip. Citrus can actually activate the THC in the leaves (think of it like ceviche, the acid in the citrus “cooks” the plant, releasing the THC). According to Kirkman, she “kept getting a ‘ghost of a high’ feeling all day, so don’t use citrus or a juicer that will heat it.”


Kirkman also stresses that it’s best to get your leaves and plants from a reputable source. You’re ingesting this and you want the best.   


If you live in a location where you have access to some fresh, leafy, cannabis greens, why not try this powerhouse of a trend? It might just be the delicious boost you never knew you needed.

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