The cannabis plant has both served and puzzled us throughout history. With so many components coursing through those leafy green veins, still now in 2021, science is just beginning to uncover its full potential of effects. Several studies are being conducted on the psychoactive elements of the plant as well as breaking down each cannabinoid for its unique benefits. Dr. William Courtney has taken a different approach, looking specifically at the cannabis plant in its raw form. While it has become widely popularized to smoke cannabis for its benefits, Dr. Courtney says, “When we smoke cannabis, we are actually walking away from about 99% of its true benefits.”
“When we smoke cannabis, we are actually walking away from about 99% of its true benefits.” -Dr. William Courtney
Examining the cannabis plant as if it were another vegetable has brought about some incredible findings. Raw cannabis leaves are rich in omega fatty acids, proteins, vitamins, and essential minerals like iron and calcium. Just as we look to other plants and vegetables to balance our diet and promote well-being, the cannabis plant is a crucial player in this arena. With so many valuable molecules, it’s no wonder the plant is full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
Does Eating Raw Cannabis Feel The Same As Smoking It?
When we smoke cannabis we generally use the dried budded flower of the plant. This bud contains concentrations of specific cannabinoids like THCA and CBDA. When we put that lighter to the bowl and apply heat, we are converting that THCA into its active counterpart, THC. It is this THC that connects with the CB1 receptor in our brain and creates a psychoactive experience. Raw cannabis generally is referring to the leaves of the plant. These leaves, sometimes discarded after a harvest, are a powerhouse of health potential. Just like the flowers, the leaves contain varying levels of THCA and CBDA along with a myriad of other cannabinoids, terpenes, and nutrients.
Although we are not getting a psychoactive effect when ingesting raw cannabis leaves, Dr. William Courtney has seen evidence of preventative benefits from doing so. While smoking cannabis and consuming activated THC has shown positive results in treating a variety of symptoms, Dr. Courtney believes that ingesting raw cannabis can prevent the diseases from happening in the first place.
Kristen Peskuski, a former patient and now raw cannabis researcher, provides insight into her medical journey with cannabis. After being bed-ridden and prescribed over 40 different medications, Kristen began to smoke cannabis as a means to manage her pain from Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Endometriosis. While this worked, she craved for something more long-lasting and wondered if she was really harnessing the true benefits that cannabis had to offer. Six weeks after being introduced to juicing raw cannabis leaves, not only did her symptoms subside, but all of her ailments went into remission.
As we expand legalities and open the cannabis market, we have the ability to choose a consumption method that works best with our individual health. For those seeking long-term health benefits without the “high”, juicing raw cannabis leaves could be the superfood you’ve been looking for.
Check out Dr. William Courtney’s research here.