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Cannabis 101: Juicing

By Sue Vorenberg
Cannabis Daily Record

Juicing is a growing trend in the health food community – and an excellent way to add more fruits and veggies into your diet in a concentrated form.

(cannabis leaves)

(cannabis leaves)

But there’s one added ingredient that, while somewhat difficult to get, can add even more healthy bang to your juice: Cannabis leaves (the parts of the plant that typically end up on the grow room floor or being recycled as mulch on a farm).

“Raw cannabis juice is the most nutritious fuel in the world, even when you put it up against something like kale,” said Farmer Tom Lauerman, a medical marijuana grower and activist in Vancouver, Washington. “It’s just loaded with everything.”

Cannabis juicing is becoming more popular in the medical marijuana community. It provides a wide array of vitamins and green nutrients, doesn’t get you high and it’s great as an anti-inflammatory, digestive aid and also helps with anxiety, said Pam Dyer, who runs the Twice Baked in Washington medical site and is a member of the Marijuana Business Association.

(veggies)

(veggies)

“The most beneficial parts are things we don’t even know about yet,” Dyer said of the hundreds of cannabinoids and other components of marijuana. “Taking it gives you a great energy lift.”

Some of the nutrients include Vitamin K, Chlorella, antioxidants, Vitamin C, Vitamin B, fiber and Omega 3 fatty acids, she said.

Dyer has been juicing cannabis for about two years, and it’s helped her feel much more healthy, she said.

“When you first start taking it, it’s kind of like a cleanse,” Dyer said. “After a few weeks, you feel younger, invigorated. It also alleviates pain.”

Adding cannabis leaves to any juice is fairly simple. One of Lauerman’s patients, who asked that we just use his first name, James, said his favorite blend is a mix of cannabis leaves, kale, beets, carrots, lemons, cucumbers and apples. He sometimes uses mint and cinnamon to mask the taste of the cannabis leaves for others, but personally he likes the taste, he said.

(washing veggies and leaves prior to juicing)

(washing veggies and leaves prior to juicing)

“With cannabis, there’s no real trick, you just add it,” James said. “If you have access to organic quality cannabis, you should always add it to juice.”

For a small pitcher full, James likes to use between 15 and 25 cannabis leaves.

Dyer said she uses about 3 ounces of leaves with other fruits and veggies to make about 3 ounces of juice. She often blends it into a smoothie rather than just juicing it, she added.

James usually juices with a juicing machine, but he also makes crackers out of the left over pulp so he can get more of the plant fiber.

When he juices, James rolls the cannabis leaves inside of kale leaves – he calls it the cannabis burrito – because the leaves go more easily through the juicer that way.

(rolling the "cannabis burrito")

(rolling the “cannabis burrito”)

James has Chron’s disease, and he’s been juicing for the past few years, he said.

“I was in the hospital for Chron’s, but actually with juicing I haven’t had a hospital visit for about a year and a half,” James said. “I’ll never stop using it because I just feel so much better.”

For now, the main issue facing people who want to try juicing cannabis on the recreational side of the industry is that state requirements in most recreational states demand that growers destroy any excess plant material – like stems and leaves. So all that great material that could go into a juice blend is basically tossed out.

“Anything in Washington has to be pasteurized and shelf-stable, which you can’t do with this,” Dyer said. “You can actually freeze the juice, but then you loose some of the enzyme properties.”

Recreational users may see juice blends on the market in the future, but for now restrictions in Washington make it close to impossible to get out on store shelves.

(juice!)

(juice!)

Home growers might be able to get enough material to do the occasional juice blend, but if it’s something you want to do every day, the best way is to track down a friendly medical farmer like Lauerman.

James likes to take some of his juice and freeze it in an ice cube tray – using the cubes as an added pick-me-up over the week.

Typically the juice is best fresh – or at least used in the first day or two. Frozen juice can last a week or two.

What do you think? Have you tried it? Do you have a favorite recipe? Please let us know in the comments section!

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