If you’ve been following Dr. William Courtney‘s work on dietary raw cannabis, you may have gotten on the band wagon of juicing or blending raw cannabis into your smoothies. The main benefit of doing this is that you can consume cannabinoids without experiencing any psychoactive effects.
According to Dr. Courtney and others, raw cannabis can reduce inflammation, supports the immune system, is a source of antioxidants, is neuroprotective, and may improve bone metabolism. And it can do all this without getting you high since you are consuming cannabis in its acid form. Raw cannabis contains THCA (Tetrahydrocannabinolic–acid) and CBDA (Cannabidiolic-acid). When cooked or smoked, these turn into THC and CBD. This “decarboxylated” form of THC causes the psychoactive effects, which often are not desirable.
Pretty much the only way to consume raw cannabis on a daily basis is to have a plant growing (or a friend with a live plant) so you can readily pinch off some fresh leaves each morning to put into your smoothie. Needless to say, these plants must be grown without any chemical pesticides/ fertilizers or other contaminants.
Why I Prefer Smoothies
Though many people discuss the dietary benefits of raw cannabis, such as the plant being a source of complete protein as well as other nutrients, and providing omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the perfect ratio – eating 15 or so leaves a day will not be a significant dietary source of these critical nutrients. Their greatest contribution is the concentration of cannabinoids that they provide. Therefore, I like the extra benefits of mixing raw cannabis with other superfoods and beneficial ingredients that provide substantial omega-3, protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, phytochemicals and more.
In my ebook, Health Begins in the Kitchen: Delicious and Easy Vegan Recipes and Seasonal Food Plan, I talk about the major components of a good smoothie (this is not a cannabis cookbook, but one you should consider if you are fighting illness or being proactive about improving your health).
First of all, every kitchen should have a high-speed blender, such as a Vitamix, especially if you are going to successfully blend cannabis leaves, kale, nuts, and other fibrous foods.
Every smoothie starts with liquid – I prefer an organic, non-dairy milk or a blend of raw, soaked nuts and water.
To this I always add greens, such as kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, or a vitamin-packed herb such as parsley or a “weed” like purslane.
To make a thick and creamy smoothie, I select fruits that are in high in fiber – such as ripe pears or mangos. Frozen bananas add thickness and sweetness.
I always add berries, especially antioxidant-packed blueberries, since they deliver a strong nutritional punch, particularly for neuronal support. Blueberries are also low in terms of glycemic index so they won’t spike your blood sugar like some fruit. They also turn your “green smoothie” a nice shade of purple which, for some, is more palatable.
For omega-3, I add ground chia seed or, if using whole ones, soaked and hydrated. Cold pressed flaxseed oil is a very concentrated source of omega-3.
For protein, I like raw hemp powder, which not only is a good source of complete protein, but is also a source of omega-3 as well. I don’t use too much of this as it can taste a little chalky.
I almost always throw in a few Brazil nuts, which are an excellent source of selenium.
Don’t forget the probiotics! I like to add non-dairy yogurt. If you enjoy and can tolerate dairy, goat yogurt is easier to digest than that made from cow’s milk.
Feel free to add additional superfoods, such as raw cacao, algae, and matcha powdered green tea.
For the type of raw cannabis to use, you’ll have to experiment with different strains and pick the one that provides the cannabinoids to which you respond well. I prefer leaves from CBDA-rich strains such as AC/DC, Cannatonic, or Ringo’s Gift. You may prefer ones higher in THCA.
A note about the internet claims of being able to consume a large amount of raw cannabis and not feel “anything.” Although you are definitely not going to get “high”, you may very well feel “something.” So start with just a few leaves and pay attention to the results.
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The Ultimate Raw Cannabis Smoothie
Vegan, Gluten Free
[makes 4 (1-cup) servings]
This fresh combination of raw fruits, nuts, seeds, and greens is rich in fiber, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, selenium and non-psychoactive cannabinoids.
Requirements – High speed blender
Ingredients – Use organic ingredients where possible
1 ½ tablespoon chia seeds
3/4 cup room temperature water
1 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup plain soy or other yogurt
15 cannabis leaves (more or less, depending on needs)
1 cup raw kale leaves, ribs removed
1 large pear
1 medium banana
3/4 cup blueberries
3/4 cup strawberries
2 tablespoons raw hemp protein powder
2 Brazil nuts
Mix the chia seeds with water in a small cup and stir vigorously. Stir a few more times until the seeds are well separated. Set aside until the chia seeds absorb all the water. This will only take about 15 minutes.
Place all the ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth, and serve!
Nutrition per 1-cup serving (4): 179 calories, 7 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 849 mg omega-3 and 1,623 mg omega-6 fatty acids, 5 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 7 g dietary fiber, and 73 mg sodium. (Nutrition from the cannabis leaves is excluded. )