With cannabis becoming less taboo, and even legal in Canada and many other parts of the world, we’re starting to look at it more as a food, supplement or herbal medicine… which is what it is.
When consumed fresh and raw, cannabis is non-psychoactive, meaning it won’t get you high. Raw cannabis contains THCa, which is the acidic form of THC (the psychoactive component of cannabis). THCa only turns into THC and becomes psychoactive when it’s heated. Isn’t mother nature amazing? Cannabis leaves contain less THCa/THC than the buds, which is why they are often discarded.
But beyond the basics of drying out, smoking and vaping cannabis buds, there is a world of health right there in the raw leaves. Sativa salad, anyone? While that might be a little bitter, the health benefits of raw cannabis leaves are pretty sweet!
Raw cannabis is a nutritious deep, leafy green just like kale, spinach or broccoli and it contains many of the same nutrients; iron, fibre, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin C and Vitamin K.
But this magical plant, cannabis, also contains cannabinoids, which interact with our bodies’ endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS works to keep every other body system in homeostasis; an internal state of balance despite the external conditions.
Our bodies are built for cannabis and the endocannabinoid system aids in regulating almost every single aspect of our wellbeing.
All of this wonder translates to cannabis being:
- Anxiety relieving
- Muscle relaxing
So how do we get some of this goodness into our lives? Well, first we get access to fresh, non-chemically treated leaves.
Where Do We Get Leaves?
In Canada, it is legal to cultivate 4 cannabis plants per household. So you could grow your own, or ask a green-thumbed friend to pass some your way.
Then… make some juice.
- 4 cup cannabis leaves lightly packed
- 2 cups filtered or spring water
Make sure your plants are organic and pesticide-free and give them a good cleaning.
Remove stems and place the leaves in a bowl with some cold water. Soak for 5 minutes and then drain the water.
In a blender, place the cannabis leaves and add 2 cups of fresh filtered or spring water.
Blend until smooth. It’s important not to run the blender hot (otherwise THC will be activated by the heat and your juice will be slightly psychoactive), so if necessary, take breaks. It pulverizes pretty easily though.
For a pulp free juice: Using a strainer lined with cheesecloth, strain the juice into a bowl. Squeeze the cheesecloth to release the remaining juice and discard the cheesecloth and pulp.
You can also keep all of the pulp in if you like pulpy juice or if you are going to use it in smoothes.
How to Use Cannabis Juice
You can consume some of it as is, if you’re hard core. It’s fresh, peppery and planty tasting, though a little bitter. You can also blend a shot with your favourite juice or add a shot to a smoothie. This juice is rather potent, so a full glass is probably not appealing, and a little goes a long way.
What I like to do is pour the juice into ice cube trays and freeze cubes to use in smoothies. The recipe above makes 12-16 cubes, depending on the size of the ice tray. If you have a favourite smoothie recipe, try tossing a cannabis cube in there.
Or, try my favourite green smoothie recipe with cannabis:
Canna-Banana Green Smoothie
- 1 frozen banana
- 2 cups fresh spinach (Or other greens - kale, collards, mixed - that you have in your garden or fridge.)
- 1/2 lemon, peeled
- 1 cup Kiju mango orange juice (Or other favourite sweet fruit juice.)
- 2-3 ice cubes
- 1 cannabis cube
Add other supplements if you want. I add:
- 1/2 tsp moringa powder
- 1 tsp sunflower lecithin (This helps to better absorb the cannabinoids. Coconut oil or nut butter also work.)
- 1/2 tsp Hawaiian spirulina
Blend in a high speed blender until smooth and enjoy.
Respect & Care
Cannabis is a food, a supplement, an herbal medicine and a teacher. Pay it respect, have fun with its versatility and determine what is right for you.
As with any other supplements or medications, speak to your healthcare provider if you are taking prescription drugs and/or have an existing medical condition before consuming cannabis.