Consuming Raw Cannabis Leaf
Frequently Asked Questions
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Consuming Raw Cannabis Leaf
Frequently Asked Questions
Please do not use this information as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor. This is meant to be a general informational sheet only.
What are the benefits of consuming raw cannabis?
Some of the potential proposed benefits* of raw cannabis include:
*Proposed benefits are based on pre-clinical trials & animal studies
What are the ‘active’ ingredients in raw cannabis if there is no delta-9 THC?
There are more than 525 molecules found in raw cannabis, some with synergistic effects
What conditions is this helpful for?
Potential conditions that may benefit from raw cannabis include autoimmune disorders, inflammatory disorders, & potentially various types of cancer or pre-cancer dysplasias.
Does it get you high?
No. The main psychoactive compound in dried, aged cannabis is Delta 9 THC, which is absent in the raw, fresh leaf. In general, patients do not experience a ‘high’ from consuming the raw product. However, the other compounds, such as the terpenes, may have an effect on mood or energy levels.
Will it show up on a drug test?
Yes, it is possible that it will show up on a drug test.
What is the difference between juicing raw leaf or bud?
Raw leaf contains mainly THC Acid (not THC), unless you are using a strain that is much higher in CBD, such as Cannatonic. In that case, you will be getting some CBD from the leaf.
Raw bud has a higher concentration of cannabinoids and is an excellent method of consumption if you have the resources to make this possible.
Both are extremely beneficial but they are best combined.
Which leaves should be eaten or juiced? Bud?
Leaves picked from a plant that is 3 months of age. Bud should be at the state where the trichomes are fully present but not yet amber (i.e. cloudy).
How long before I see results?
Expect it to take 4-8 weeks before full clinical benefit is reached.
It takes that long to fully saturate the fat tissue with phyto-cannabinoids. Phyto-cannabinoids are fat molecules that are stored in the adipose or fat tissue similar to the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E & K. Bud may have an effect in a shorter period of time.
Can I expect to see any immediate results?
According to Dr. Courtney, raw cannabis is not effective for acute symptom relief, though one patient at HPRC reported immediate relief of nausea after juicing leaves.
What kind of juicer should I buy?
It appears that a wheat grass juicer is probably the best method of breaking up the cannabis plant cells. There are likely many brands of wheat grass juicers that work well, but the model used by Dr. Courtney and some of our patients is the Miracle Wheat Grass juicer model number MJ 550. This of course is not the only reliable model out there, it just happens to be the one purchased by a few patients and reported to have good results.
If you have found success with a particular juicer, please share your feedback with our program at firstname.lastname@example.org or join our Google group entitled: Humboldt Patient Resource Center Juicing Study.
Should I juice the raw cannabis by itself or add other fruits/vegetables?
Mix with a minimal amount of organic fruit or vegetable juice; just enough to cut the bitter taste of the raw cannabis. Choose lower sugar juices to minimize your ingestion of simple sugars. Check with your doctor if using grapefruit or pomegranate juice, as these may interfere with certain medications.
Are there certain types of fruit or vegetable juice that are best to use?
Choose 100% juice and opt for lower sugar juices. If using high quality juice, such as the R.W. Knudsen Family Just Blueberry or Just Pomegranate, you will only need a small amount to make your drink taste palatable. Make sure you ask your doctor if the medication you are taking interferes with grapefruit or pomegranate juice.
Talk to your doctor if you are taking an anti-coagulant medication such as Coumadin.
High amounts of Vitamin K can work against these medications. Please talk to your doctor about the amount of leafy greens you are ingesting so they can determine the best medication dosage.
The amount vitamin K in raw cannabis has not been well documented; however, most leafy greens do contain high amounts of this vitamin.
Talk to your doctor if you have existing and untreated kidney or gallbladder problems. Leafy greens contain oxalates, which may contribute to kidney or gallbladder stone formation.
There are a few, relatively rare health conditions that require strict oxalate restriction. Please talk to your doctor if you have:
Hypercalciuria, type II
How should I store the fresh leaves in my house?
Store leaves in a green bag in the refrigerator; do not rinse until immediately before using. Dr. Courtney recommends soaking leaves in water for 5 minutes before juicing.
Humboldt Patient Resource Center collects leaves and hands them out in large zip lock bags, un-rinsed. You can transfer them to green bags if you wish. However, patients report that the leaves last 1-2 weeks in zip lock bags in their refrigerator.
Where can I get cannabis in its raw form?
Humboldt Patient Resource Center supplies fresh leaf to a limited number of patients in a pilot study. Please call 826-7988 if you would like to join the juicing study. You may know a local organic grower; ask if you can use their excess leaves or ask about purchasing bud it its raw state. You may also grow your own bud & leaves.
Does it matter if it is organic?
Yes! Only use organic cannabis that does not have any pesticides applied at any point in its life cycle. Make sure there are no toxic miticides.
How much should I consume?
Dr. Courtney recommends using ten large fan leaves per day in juice, salsa, pesto, salad, etc. If you have access to fresh bed, he recommends 1 bud/day.
Can I consume the recommended dose all at once?
Cannabinoids & THCA are cleared rapidly from the blood, so frequent consumption of a small amount of juice is ideal. Split the juice into 5 parts for 5 divided doses per day.
Where can I go to get more information on raw cannabis and cannabinoids?
Dr. Courtney’s website: www.cannabisinternational.org includes links to many scientific papers and the government patent.
International Cannabionid Research Society http://www.cannabinoidsociety.org/
Where can I talk to other people who are juicing?
Humboldt Patient Resource Center started a Google group entitled Humboldt Patient Resource Center Juicing Study. You have to create a Google account (if you already use Gail, you can use the same account) and then request to be invited.
What strains should I juice?
In terms of THC acid, it does not matter that much which strain you use because this does not seem to vary significantly between strains. However, in terms of CBD, Cannatonic seems to be the strain highest in CBD that we have local access to.
Where can I get support and share information with other people who juice?
Humboldt Patient Resource Center started a google group to provide a forum for people to share information regarding their experience with raw cannabis. Please contact HPRC at 826-7988 for information on how to join.
Kym Kemp’s blog recently posted a discussion on raw cannabis consumption: http://kymk.wordpres…g-raw-cannabis/