With the home juicing phenomenon taking over kitchens across America, it’s not uncommon to find someone enjoying a green, vegetable-infused smoothie for breakfast in the comfort of their own home. However, the term “green” is starting to take on a whole new meaning as marijuana enthusiasts explore the benefits of juicing a different kind of plant.
More and more individuals are infusing their drinks with a blend of fan leaves and flowers of raw, undried cannabis. Here are four reasons why.
1. Avoid Experiencing the High
Although many people consume cannabis in order to feel a high, some marijuana mavens prefer the taste and health benefits associated with the plant. Those consumers who want to avoid the euphoria associated with THC but enjoy the health benefits of the plant can use marijuana in their juicers instead. When cannabis is heated—such as when it’s consumed using either a vaporizer, joint or bong—the acids stored in the plant are converted to cannabinoids, which include the psychoactive element THC. However, because the cannabis remains cool as a cucumber(or any other vegetables you decide to mix in with it) when juiced, juicers can enjoy their concoctions without having to worry about experiencing a high.
2. Ability to Up Your Doses
Because marijuana’s psychoactive elements are more potent when heated, individuals looking to consume larger amounts of cannabis are better served to try it in its raw form. According to cannabis juicing proponent and founder of the Cannabis International Foundation Dr. William Courtney, THC can be taken in doses of hundreds of milligrams when raw. However, once heated, the tolerable dose drops to 10 mg a day. By ingesting it raw, he says juicers can better experience the plant’s medicinal benefits, such as pain and nausea relief.
3. No Need for Smoking
For those concerned about inhaling smoke but who still want to enjoy the taste or health benefits of marijuana, juicing provides a no-smoke option. While smoking cannabis has not been linked to lung cancer, it has been linked to irritation and minor respiratory symptoms, so resorting to juicing may help concerned consumers breathe easier—both literally and figuratively.
4. Enjoy Versatility and Choice
When marijuana can be juiced alongside other vegetables or fruits, it opens up a world of possibilities for the cannabis connoisseur. Whether it’s marijuana and watermelon juice or cannabis-carrot mocktails, the world is your oyster! Juicing also makes it easier to ingest cannabis in places where you might otherwise be unable to smoke a joint or use a vaporizer.
Tips and Tricks
With these benefits in mind, here are some key tips for ensuring success in your green juicing endeavors:
The fresher the better: As with any vegetables, using fresh ingredients in your juicer will make for a healthier, more effective blend. Avoid using dried cannabis that has been prepared for smoking.
Raw is right: Make sure your buds are harvested when the THC glands are clear, not cloudy or amber, to ensure you’re receiving all the possible health benefits.
Balance with veggies: In order to cut through the bitter flavor of raw cannabis, mix in other strong-tasting vegetables, such as carrots.
Use a wheatgrass juicer: If you can get your hands on one, a wheatgrass juicer is recommended for those blending large quantities of cannabis. Bud-juicing proponents say it’s quicker, easier to clean, and you recover a higher percentage of the ingredients you set out to blend.
Although the health benefits are seemingly vast, cannabis juicers currently face the challenge of finding enough raw plant material to juice on a daily basis. According to Dr. Courtney, patients should be consuming 15-20 large fan leaves and a couple of buds per day. Unless you live in a state where medical marijuana is legal or where you can cultivate your own plants (and lots of them), the new green juice may have to remain an occasional treat for cannabis lovers—at least for now.