Discover the health benefits of raw cannabis flowers, buds, and leaves, and get an easy recipe for how to make your own cannabis juice at home so you can reap all of the nutritional health benefits of the whole cannabis plant.
- Dietary Features: vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, nutrient-dense.
- No cooking or baking required! Just juice and enjoy or freeze.
- Perfect light and fresh drink for summer.
- A great way to use up fan leaves without having to discard them.
- Just 7 simple ingredients are needed.
- Easily customizable to include any ingredient you have on hand.
What Makes This Recipe Awesome
Move over celery juice; cannabis juice is here!
Raw cannabis is finally receiving the attention it deserves as a powerful nutrient source, and dare I say - the hottest new superfood of the decade.
William L Courtney, MD, the leading expert in raw cannabis, believes that cannabis arguably may be one of the most nutrient-dense plants to exist (1).
Raw cannabis leaves and buds provide many nutrients believed to be vital for a healthy lifestyle, meaning they are absolutely worth saving and enjoying.
In this guide, you will learn about the health benefits of cannabis leaves and how to make your own cannabis juice at home.
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- Cannabis Leaves - fresh cannabis leaves are the star of this recipe. You can use fan leaves, sugar leaves, or even whole cannabis buds. Be sure to wash them well and remove any long stems before using them.
- Spinach - An optional ingredient, you can choose to add baby spinach or simply double up on the number of cannabis leaves you want to use. Alternatively, you can use any dark leafy green you wish.
- Apples - Red or green, it is your choice. Red apples lend more sweetness to this juice, while green apples lend more tartness.
- Celery - Reap all of the benefits of celery juice by adding it to this recipe.
- Lemon - Both the juice and the zest of the lemon add to the vibrant flavor of this fresh juice.
- Ginger - Fresh, raw ginger is ideal for this recipe, but if you don't have any, ground ginger will work as well.
Note: a complete list of ingredients with amounts and printable instructions is located in the recipe card below.
Step-By-Step Process Overview
- Step 1 - Prepare all of your ingredients for juicing by washing and cutting as needed.
- Step 2 - Run all of the ingredients through a juicing machine. Find recommendations for the best juicer below.
- Step 3 - Collect the fresh juice.
- Step 4 - Enjoy immediately or freeze in individual portions for future use. Find storage instructions below.
Note: complete step-by-step printable instructions are located in the recipe card below.
How To Select and Harvest Cannabis Leaves
A popular method of consuming raw cannabis is to prepare a juice from the fresh leaves and flower buds of a mature cannabis plant.
This step involves harvesting the fan leaves from the plant.
You want to ensure you are selecting the highest quality leaves with no visible sign of damage. From there, ensure you trim off any long stems.
After harvesting and trimming, it is recommended to soak the leaves in a mixture of cold water and apple cider vinegar for 10-minutes to help eliminate any potentially harmful bacteria.
After soaking, drain and pat dry the leaves. You can choose to juice just straight cannabis leaves and nothing else, or you can choose to incorporate other ingredients by following the recipe below.
Raw cannabis juice alone is delicious, but it requires a LOT of leaves.
Depending on how many fresh leaves you have access to, you can decide whether or not you want to juice just cannabis leaves or additional leaves - like spinach and kale -as well.
Selecting The Best Juicer
This is because the extraction gently crushes the plant, resulting in less spontaneous decarboxylation.
Traditional blenders and juicers have been attributed to causing too much heat or friction during the juicing process and unknowingly decarboxylating CBDA into CBD and THCA into THC.
This may be beneficial or detrimental, depending on your desired outcome.
Benefits of Juicing Cannabis For Health
As many home cannabis growers believe, when it comes to the cannabis plant, nothing should be wasted.
While some folks simply choose to discard their fan leaves, many growers prefer to use all parts of the plant to support their health.
Cannabis leaves do not produce cannabinoids quite like the mature female flower buds do, which is why many people feel they are useless or discard them.
Because of this, large fan leaves or small sugar leaves are the most common parts of the cannabis plant used for eating, although the raw cannabis flower buds can be juiced as well.
One of the best ways to harness these important nutrients is to consume cannabis leaves in raw form in a salad or to juice the cannabis leaves.
Additionally, if you get stuck with a male cannabis plant, stripping the leaves may be one of the only beneficial things you can do with the plant before discarding it.
The benefits of eating raw cannabis are incredible.
Just like kale or celery, raw cannabis should be treated as a dark green, leafy vegetable superfood with the ability to act as a functional food.
Raw cannabis could be the ultimate functional food, as the definition of functional food is a food that has a potentially positive effect on health beyond basic nutrition.
Nutritionally speaking, cannabis leaves, stems, stalks, and seeds can provide the body with almost all essential nutrients, including carbohydrates, protein, fat, water, vitamins, minerals, and trace amounts of calcium, sodium, potassium omega-3 fatty acids.
In addition to many nutritional benefits typically associated with dark-green leafy vegetables, the cannabis plant also contains unique phytocannabinoids that provide enormous contributions to our health maintenance and restoration.
It is even speculated that the raw version of cannabis activates the endocannabinoid system more effectively than dried, cured, and combusted cannabis.
Cannabis Contains Terpenes
All plants contain volatile organic compounds or aromatic essential oils called terpenes.
Terpenes determine the aroma and taste of the plant material and have their medicinal properties, including potent anti-inflammatory activity (3).
Different chemotypes, or strains, of cannabis can have a distinctive composition and concentration of terpenes.
Compared to traditional dried forms of cannabis, raw cannabis will retain most of its terpenes, lending to the potential health benefits of consuming raw cannabis.
Cannabis Contains Chlorophyll
Chlorophyll, the most abundant found pigment in plants, is responsible for the bright green color associated with juiced greens such as kale, celery, and cannabis.
Chlorophyll has been studied for years for its role in health promotion.
With its structure similar to that of hemoglobin in the blood, chlorophyll has plenty of other benefits, including preventing DNA damage, promoting detoxification within the body, treating inflammation, and possibly helping to prevent certain types of cancer (4).
Compared to traditionally dried and cured cannabis flowers, raw cannabis leaves, and flower buds retain the most chlorophyll.
Cannabis Contains Cannabinoid Acids
Beyond acting as a dark-green leafy vegetable superfood, raw cannabis is also a functional food supplying important cannabinoid acids.
These essential chemical compounds are the precursors for every phytocannabinoid we love, including CBD and THC (5).
Cannabidolic Acid (CBDA)
Cannabidolic acid, also known as CBDA, is a cannabinoid acid found in raw cannabis plants.
CBDA is an inactive precursor for CBD, and CBDA is what produces CBD.
CBDA is non-intoxicating, meaning it will not make you feel ‘high,’ and it has many potential therapeutic applications, including anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, and pain-relieving properties (6).
Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THCA)
THCA is the non-active form of THC, and because it is in a non-active form, THCA has no potential intoxicating activity, meaning it cannot get you high.
Research suggests that this chemical compound in its raw form is considered a plant-based superfood and has potential anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antiemetic properties (6).
Frequently Asked Questions
Making cannabis juice can be brand new to even the most seasoned cannabis consumer, so here are some of the most common FAQs I get asked from my Well With Cannabis Facebook Community.
Yes, cannabis juice alone is delicious, but it requires a LOT of leaves. Depending on how many fresh leaves you have access to, you can decide whether or not you want to juice just cannabis leaves or additional leaves - like spinach and kale -as well.
No worries if you don't have a juicer, you can easily enjoy the benefits of raw cannabis by blending cannabis leaves into smoothies in a blender.
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How to Make Raw Cannabis Juice
- 1 cup cannabis leaves packed
- 1 cup baby spinach packed
- 2 large apples cored
- 2 stalks celery
- ½ whole lemon peeled and seeded
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ inch fresh ginger peeled
- Prepare all of your ingredients for juicing by washing and cutting as needed.
- Slowly add the cannabis leaves, spinach, apples, celery, lemon, lemon zest, and ginger to a juicer.
- Enjoy immediately, refrigerate, or freeze.
- If you don't plan on consuming the juice immediately, store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Shake well before enjoying.
- For long-term storage, freeze the juice in individually packed serving sizes.
- Although this is a rare side effect, reports suggest that raw cannabis can be mildly irritating on the digestive tract.
- The best juicer for making cannabis juice is a masticating juicer like this is one we use and recommend. This is because the extraction gently crushes the plant, resulting in less spontaneous decarboxylation. Traditional blenders and juicers have been attributed to causing too much heat or friction during the juicing process and unknowingly decarboxylating the cannabinoid acids.
- You can use cannabis leaves, spinach, and/or kale interchangeably here, or use other dark green leafy vegetables, depending on what you have on hand or in season.
- Fresh, raw ginger is ideal for this recipe, but if you don't have any, a ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger will work as well.