Young, Fresha and Green
Sick of kale? Juice raw cannabis instead. And no, it won't get you high.
Just about everyone is extolling the health benefits of juicing fruits and veggies these days, but some frontline foodies have taken it an extra herbal step: they’re swapping kale for cannabis. "By drinking raw cannabis, you’re getting a lot of the green nutrients that balance the PH levels in your system, it’s packed with antioxidants, Vitamin C, and B, and acts as a natural cleanser," explains D.C.-based nutritionist and blogger Pamela Dyer, who documents her cannabis-infused food and beverage adventures on her website Twice Baked in Washington.
And for those wary of wavier side effects: No, drinking raw cannabis will not get you high. By employing popular cold-pressed juicing methods, the raw plant matter is kept from heat, and, unlike with edibles, can yield a high quotient of nutrients without activating the psychoactive THC chemical compound found in cannabis. "It’s similar to taking a wheatgrass shot," she says.
Dyer, who has been juicing for two years, has found that raw cannabis helps improve immunity, reduces inflammation, and acts as an antispasmodic for the chronic spinal condition she has managed since childhood. She describes the plant as an essential dietary superfood. "Cannabis has fiber, protein, and Omega-3 fatty acids, which makes it an extremely unique member of the plant world."
For those curious about trying raw cannabis juice, Dyer says it’s all about selecting the best produce and handling your fresh greens with care. "Know where your plant is from and make sure that it’s organic and free of powdery mildew or disease," says Dyer. "Refrigerate picked leaves and store them in an airtight container. In order to avoid destroying live enzymes, avoid freezing leaves. Experiment with mixing it into different juice flavors."
And, if pure, raw cannabis juice still sounds a little intense to you, Dyer explains that mixing it with other ingredients into a creamier, subtler smoothie not only tempers the taste, it’s just as healthy. "I’m a huge fan of blending the leaves with anything citrus, something that is kind of sweet or acidic to balance out cannabis’ peppery flavor."
Below, Dyer shares a few of her time-tested recipes for cannabis-boosted green juices and tropical smoothies.
The Monkey Brain Cannabis Smoothie
Great for positive mental health and a quick meal anytime of the day.
1 frozen banana
1 teaspoon maca powder
3 tablespoons hemp protein powder
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon hemp seed oil
2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1 cup coconut water
1 ounce raw cannabis juice
1-3 ice cubes (optional)
coconut flakes, for garnish
banana slices, for garnish
cacao nibs, for garnish
Blend all the ingredients together. Top with coconut flakes, banana slices and cacao nibs. Serve immediately.
Green Cannabis Juice
2 celery stalks
1 apple, cored
4 leaves kale
1/3 cup cannabis leaves
1/2 lemon, peeled
1 inch piece of ginger
Cannabis leaves, for garnish (optional)
Juice all the ingredients. Serve immediately.
Raspberry Pineapple Raw Bud Smoothie
Tropical fruit and tart raspberries compliment the spicy nature of raw cannabis buds making for a terpene rich culinary experience.
1 ½ cups coconut water, divided
1 cup cubed frozen pineapple
1/2 lemon, peeled
2 tablespoons dried cannabis flowers
5 tablespoons hemp seeds
2 tablespoons hemp seed oil
1 cup frozen raspberries
Dragonfruit slices, for garnish (optional)
Blend 3/4 cup coconut water with pineapple, lemon, 1 tablespoon dried cannabis flowers, 2 tablespoons hemp seeds, 1 tablespoon hemp seed oil. In another batch, blend together remaining ingredients. Pour into each glass for a layered look. Garnish with dragonfruit slices.
Story: Zeyna Sy Photo: Diana Yen