Donald Abrams, the Chief of Hematology Oncology at San Fransisco General Hospital, has become an advocate for marijuana over his years of research into the medical benefits of cannabis. In his new short film, Leaf, Abrams provides new insight into consuming cannabis in its raw form, rather than cured for consumption through smoking. The film introduces the newest form of consuming raw cannabis, juiced. Much like any other pressed juice that has become popular in the United States, cannabis juice is easy to consume and digest. It has even been argued that cannabis should be considered a vegetable because its fits the description as a “plant cultivated for food, edible herb or root.” Marijuana, like many other vegetables can loose some critical enzymes and nutrients when heated, meaning smoking marijuana could potentially leave behind health benefits.
Juicing cannabis provides many medical benefits of marijuana, in the form of cannabinoids, without the high. Plus it contains extra benefits including: calcium, fiber, iron, and fatty acids. Dr. William L. Courtney believes that cannabis in its raw form can be preventative as well as healing, “It (cannabis) has captured these molecules that help our bodies regulatory system be more effective. The bottom line is it’s a dietary essential that helps all 210 cell types function more effectively. I don’t even refer to it as medicine anymore, strictly as a dietary essential.” Drinking cannabis juice regularly has been anecdotally found to assist with immune function and provide anti-inflammatory benefits, partially by reducing damage caused by free radicals. Cannabis can also help restore two way communication pathways in nerves if they have been disrupted, further helping reduce inflammation in the body. It has also shown to improve overall cell function, bone metabolism, and neural function. Juicing cannabis allows people to consume the full profile of the plant. Dr. Courtney has seen positive effects from nearly 8,000 people who have begun a protocol of juicing cannabis.
Juiced raw cannabis does not provide any psychoactive side effects because the raw plant only contains THC-A. To become psychoactive THC, the plant must be heated. Without the heat, there is no high. Due to the delivery method, the body can handle much higher doses of cannabinoids from juiced marijuana, meaning you are getting far more positive cannabinoids in your body with every dose. The FDA has established a daily allowance of 600mg of CBD, which is a quantity that is impossible to reach without consuming cannabis through juicing. Increasing the number of cannabinoids in the human body has greatly positive effects. Ethan Russo, a senior medical advisor for GW pharmaceuticals, explained the benefits, “CBD works on receptors, and as it turns out, we have cannabinoids in our bodies, endogenous cannabinoids, that turn out to be very effective at regulating immune functions, nerve functions, and bone functions. The endogenous cannabinoid system acts as a modulator in fine-tuning a lot of these systems, and if something is deranged biochemically in a person’s body, it may well be that a cannabinoid system can bring things back into balance.”
Kristen Peskuski, a woman featured in the short film Leaf, suffered from many ailments ranging from endometriosis to anemia to lupus. She first tried smoking marijuana, but she found very little relief. Once she started drinking cannabis however, she was able to see a dramatic decrease in symptoms. Her OBGYN believes that drinking cannabis juice may have even helped her with her pregnancy, something that was originally thought to be impossible for her due to her severe endometriosis. Katie Marsh, who shared her story with Fox News, had similarly life changing results from juicing cannabis. Marsh suffered from acute rheumatoid arthritis and had excruciating side effects from her medication that was virtually ineffective. She could barley get out of bed and take care of herself, so she tried juicing cannabis after many unsuccessful trials with other natural anti-inflammatory remedies, such as ginger and turmeric. Within a few days of consuming juiced cannabis Marsh was able to stop taking prednisone and ibuprofen, and nearly a year later her condition is completely in remission.
There is little risk in juicing cannabis, out of Dr. Courtney’s 8,000 patients only two have reported an allergic reaction. Also, 1 out of 1,000 have reported feeling physcoactive effects, but this rare reaction could be do to extreme sensitivity of the patient or an unusual marijuana plant. Dr. David A. Greuner, a double board certified surgeon and the managing director and co-founder of the Surgical Associates of New York City, believes that juicing raw cannabis has all of the same positive benefits of smoking marijuana. He states that juiced cannabis can help relieve pain and nausea in cancer patients and help increase the appetites of patients who suffer from HIV.
In order to juice cannabis it must be fresh, not marijuana that has been cured for smoking. Dr. Courtney recommends juicing both the buds and leaves. Cannabis can be juiced like any other vegetable in a cold pressed juicer. Due to its bitter taste, people often mix cannabis juice with other fresh vegetable juice, such as carrot juice, so much away for the taste you like. The juice is convenient and easy to drink, but finding fresh cannabis plants may be difficult for some people in states where they are not allowed to personally grow marijuana. Juicing cannabis has opened new doors for providing people with immense health benefits.
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