So much to say, and so little time. In May I joined a medical cannabis patient group here in New Mexico and it has consumed so much of my time that I have been unable to do what I love most – writing about my cannabis journey. Now I’m back on it.
Since I started educating myself on the medicinal qualities of cannabis I have seen a huge increase of information available to medical cannabis consumers, and the information is becoming more clinical as opposed to the very useful yet but less accepted anecdotal evidence passed from person to person during the decades of prohibition. For example, when searching for information about cannabis terpenes back in 2010-2011 there was little information to be found, but now evidence of cannabis terpenes and their properties is commonly found in any internet search or in cannabis periodicals.
While attending Oaksterdam University’s intensive traveling seminar in Las Vegas this June, I was re-acquainted with the usefulness of raw cannabis juice and decided to look into it a little further to try it out for myself. Juicing raw cannabis leaves is done just like juicing any other green leafy vegetable and you can use a Cuisinart machine, blender or better yet, an actual juicing machine, by just adding the leaves and water, and running it to a watery consistency. The juice can be stored in ice cube trays, each cube being one dose for me.
Cannabis fan leaves have been considered a waste product for a long time. They either went to the trash can, compost bin, or dried to sell as “trim” or cuttings by dispensaries who felt they needed to get a few more dollars from their customers. Acting on a tip from a friend with MS, I decided to go to a local dispensary that was providing cannabis juice cubes, free of charge to card carrying patients. Oh yeah. Free medicine.
Two of my medical conditions cause pain from inflammation, and another is nerve/muscle pain. Lo and behold, raw cannabis really helps with both of theses things, and here’s why. THCAa and CBDa, are precursors of THC and CBD, just two of the hundreds of cannabinoids that may be present in the cannabis plant. These two cannabinoids are the ones we know the most about, medicinally so that’s what I focus on. All cannabinoids interact with our body’s own endocannabinoid system to help heal our body, regulate imbalances, reduce inflammation and to block pain. They are aided by the terpenes, (fragrant carbon molecules found in just about any plants that have an aroma), that are present in cannabis. Like cannabinoids, the terpenoids present in cannabis can vary widely and also serve up some pretty incredible medicinal properties.
THCa and CBDa, the acid forms of these popular cannabinoids, are only present in the fresh, raw form of the plant. These cannabinoids also offer the patient some very effective anti inflammatory, anti spasmatic and general analgesic relief. If you are growing your own cannabis, the fresh leaves may be frozen and stored until you have enough to make a batch of juice. There isn’t much information out there on dosing, so you will have to experiment on your own to see what works for you.
THC is the only cannabinoid present in all cannabis plants that has psychoactive effect on our minds, but not in the acid form. Once cannabis begins to dry and cure the THCa begins to transform into THC. When exposed to extreme heat, as in smoking or vaporizing, THCa and CBDa are fully converted, and THC’s psycho activity will result, along with the other health benefits. When creating some concentrated forms of cannabis medicine, and when creating edibles, a heat process called decarboxilation transforms the THC to be psychoactive when consumed. So in the raw form, there is really no way to get high, making raw cannabis juice a perfect medicine for daytime use, especially when you have to go to work.
From my own experience with raw cannabis juice, and what has been reported to me from other patients, the THCa will give you moderate relief from pain from inflammation, suppresses spasticity, and tames nerve pain and numbness. It will also give you a spring in your step and a pretty positive attitude to help you get through the workday. It is a relatively new thing in the mainstream medical cannabis community, but it is becoming more and more well know every day. In a perfect world we would all be able to grow our own cannabis in the quantities we need to make raw cannabis juice every day. For now I will rely on the very special dispensary I go to in Albuquerque for my free cannabis juice cubes. Some people need a very large dose; more than what you can get from leaves alone, and they will add fresh cannabis flower, or buds, when juicing to increase the percentage of cannabinoids.
Now that I know my dose to be one cube in the morning, and one in the evening, and know the THC milligrams per cube to be 4-6% THC. That is all I need right now in conjunction with the THC/CBD canna caps I take before bed time with a 20-40mg cookie or candy for a refuel sleep. In the morning I use the canna juice cubes to make smoothies adding other vegetables, fruit, or tea. Adding milk or cream is good too. Don’t be afraid to experiment. You can even add a few mint leaves to the cannabis before you juice it to add more flavor. It doesn’t taste bad, it just tastes very green. When I juice my own leaves I like to add some mint. Have some fun with it. Be sure to give regular cannabis juicing a week to ten days to notice a big difference in the way you feel, and adjust your dose accordingly.