I remember excitedly unpacking my Jack LaLanne’s Power Juicer almost 10 years ago. I juiced cucumbers and beets and carrots and apples, and chortled happily as I drank it down, feeling healthier with each sip. Well, now there’s a ‘new’ kid on the block in juicing town. Cannabis, in its raw juiced form, provides some of the best preventative medicine on the planet.
Let’s start by recognizing this: one of the theories for declining health and increased anxiety in the population is, partially, the removal of hemp and cannabis in our food chain around 1940. Before 1940, dairy cows ate feral hemp and passed the CBD on to humans through milk. Livestock was often fed hemp and the CBD’s were in their meat and eggs. In 1938 feral and cultivated hemp became prohibited in Canada under the Opium and Narcotic Drug Act. This act effectively eliminated CBD from our food chain, where it had existed since prehistoric times. It wasn’t until 1998 that commercial hemp (<. 3% THC) was given the go ahead again (with a permit from Health Canada), while medicinal cannabis was given the go ahead again in 1991 (with a permit from Health Canada and a prescribing MD). The phytocannabinoids and essential fats that arguably helped balance our largest neurotransmitter system in our brains and bodies (the endocannabinoid system which every vertebrate has) were replaced with saturated fats and anti-anxiety medication.
Our endocannabinoid system (see The Cannabis Show – Episode 001 if you weren’t aware we have this important system), which is a regulator of stress and inflammation among other functions, is poised to accept phytocannabinoids from the plant, and our cells are happy to receive the essential fats from the hemp.
As for the leaves, cannabis growers typically throw away fan leaves, broad leaves and sugar leaves during the cultivation process. However, it’s a motivating and exciting reason to grow a few plants at home (see applying for ACMPR license. The application process can take up to 3-4 months to get approved by Health Canada). The current Canadian cannabis legalization task force is also recommending that 4 plants per household be allowed. This could happen once the dust has settled sometime in (hopefully) 2018.
Juicing requires raw, freshly picked and properly grown cannabis. Dried cannabis is NOT suitable for juicing. Dr. William Courtney, a dietary raw cannabis specialist, recommends that patients juice 15 leaves, and 2 large raw buds (when the THC glands are still clear rather than amber) per day. Try mixing 1 part cannabis juice with 10 parts raw carrot juice. Cannabis juice should always be diluted, as it is extremely acidic. He recommends that you split the juice into three parts and drink with a meal. It should last for up to three days in your fridge in a tightly sealed container. Cannabis has much of the same fibre, iron and calcium as other leafy greens; add to that all the beneficial cannabinoids and you’ve got a “nutritionally dense very potent medicinal compound.“ Because you are not decarboxylating the plant (heating), the THCA doesn’t become THC. Therefore there is no impairment or psychoactivity.
Many say that some of the ailments that cannabis can help with, could be avoided by using the whole raw plant as a regular preventative treatment. High concentration of cannabinoid acids in juiced cannabis coupled with the perfect balance of fatty acids omega 3 and 6, and the fact that it’s a complete protein could help improve cell function and reduce damage by free radicals through it’s vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Add to this anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative (helps inhibit cancer cell growth) properties and ability to improve bone metabolism and neural function and you can say that cannabis is one of the healthiest plants on the planet, able to help guard against chronic illnesses.