Raw cannabis juicing: a guide to the green elixir of life
Juicing is one of the simplest way to get an incredible high variety of vitamins and phytochemicals into your body without having to munch down hectares of fresh fruit and vegetables. Clearly this is a great advantage for most consumers, non-herbivores and children.
It allows to rapidly ingest a vast quantity of unalduterated raw essential amino acids and their therapeutic properties.
For a plant like Cannabis this is particularly advantageous. Here is why.
Raw Cannabis Chemistry
The plant Cannabis sativa produces over 421 chemical compounds, of which a number close to 80 are phytocannabinoids, which are synthesized and accumulated as cannabinoid acids. [1,2,3]
These compounds (terpeno-phenol) are incredibly peculiar to Cannabis plant only, in fact they have not been detected in any other plant. [4,5]
In its raw form, Cannabis sativa’s main constituent is D9-THCa, the acid form of the (in)famous D9-THC (or THC, for short); these two brother molecules are the chemical correspondent of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, (where probably the latter is named Mr High): in fact, the acid form of THC has no psychotropic effect. (4,5,6)
In pharmacology THCa is defined as a “weak agonist” for the main cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). (5)
“Weak agonist” can be easily explained by a metaphor: think of receptors as doors of very exclusive clubs (neurons); the entrance is granted only to a few category of individuals.
There are the organizers of the event, which have free access (we can call them endogenous agonists, from Greek endon– inner), such as Anandamide; then, there are VIPS and celebrities whom only need to show a badge and they are rapidly allowed in, these are full agonists, such as D9-THC for CB1 receptors. Last, there is a group of ordinary individuals with an invite to the club; they can enter the club but do not have full access to the all area, and not for as long as the others, these are the “weak agonists”, like D9-THCa for CB1 receptors.
The same process is valid for the acid form of CBD (CBDa), which is readily decarboxylated into CBD. (Neither of the two forms are psychoactive but both benefit from immuno-regulating properties). (6)
Raw Cannabis Health benefits
Cannabis Sativa is a pure concentrate of anti-biotic, anti-fungal, anti-viral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunoregulating and anti-prolific (anti-cancer) compounds, and, maintained raw, does not deliver any psychoactive side effect, making it a safe medication for children too. (7)
As the pie chart above shows, phytocannabinoids present in the raw Cannabis plant can deliver a great diversity of actions, here we will examine a few of the main targets, which have been proven highly beneficial both by patients and in the labs.
Unfortunately the greatest amount of data on raw cannabis juicing is coming directly from the physicians and patients whom medicate with it, rather than from standard double-blind, randomized medical trials.
We hope that such evidences will finally bring more attention (and funding) towards the topic.
Moved by this reason, I co-founded with other professionals and patients “Raw” a non-for-profit organisation that promotes research with Cannabis Juicing and other Complementary Alternative Medicines. You can check us out and give us your support here!
Which conditions benefit from Raw Cannabis Juicing?
Not only THC is the chemical deputed to analgesic actions. The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD were found to be very beneficial for treating chronic pain and even to block progression of Rhematoid arthritis; (19, 20)
Cannabis plant can suppress pain not only whilst engaging in movement, but also at rest. (20)
CBD blocks lymphocyte proliferation and induced cytokine (TNF) production, which are both dysregulated and overproduced during chronic forms of inflammation. (20, 5).
Studies showed that THCa in unheated Cannabis extracts were also capable of inhibiting the Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) production from blood macrophages in a dose-dependent manner. (5)
TNF is released during acute inflammation and causes fever, cell death, wasting syndrome. Its dysregulation is linked to a vast disease spectrum, ranging from major depression, cancer, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease to Alzheimer’s disease. (22)
D9-THCa is a great anti-inflammatory as it also inhibits the cyclooxygenase 1 and 2 (COX-1) (COX-2). (22) Pharmacological inhibition of COX is the way of action of common painkillers (such as ibuprofen and aspirin), causing relief from inflammation and pain.
Thus, the chemical constituents of Cannabis are hence effective for treating virtually any type of inflammatory and neuropathic pain; they are also incredibly safe (0 deaths attributed to cannabis consumption alone vs 106,000 death per annum in North America only from analgesics) (7)
Gout, carpal tunnel syndrome, shingles and sores, muscle spasms, injuries, post-operative recovery, DOMS (post-workout soreness), cancer, MS and diabetes pain.
Cannabinoid acids have been shown to be antibiotic and antifungal since the early 50’s. D9-THC, CBN, CBD,
CBC and CBG have been recently found to exert a potent activity against several Staphylococcus aureus strains, which were otherwise resistant to methicillin. (4)
Preparations from Cannabis sativa are great topical ointments both for oral cavity and skin, delivering strong anti-septic as well as anti-tubercular effects. (9)
D9-THC, D9-THCa and CBD show strong antiemetic properties, indicating that they may be used in the treatment ofchemotherapy-induced nausea and anticipatory nausea. (15) We discussed how cannabis is used by pregnant women as an anti-emetic here: “Endocannabinoids co-creators of life, from conception to breastfeeding”
Studies on non-psychoactive cannabinoids which deliver anti-seizure activity are still few. There are, however, many on the oral active cannabinoids.
Collectively, evidences describe that D9-THCV acts to limit excitation via increase in GABA release, confirmed also by animal studies model of epilepsy. (16) It has also been reported that CBC decreases duration of seizures.
CBD has been found very beneficial in epilepsy studies, its inhibitory response being mediated via reduction of [Ca2+]i, demenishing rate and lenght of convulsions. (4)
- Antiproliferative (anticancer)
D9-THC, CBD, CBG, CBC, D9-THCA and CBDA proofed to exert anti-proliferative/pro-apoptotic effects in several tumor cell lines, such as human breast carcinoma, human prostate carcinoma, human colorectal carcinoma, human gastric adenocarcinoma, basophilic leukemia and transformed thyroid cells. (8)
To know more about cannbinoids & cancer, we suggest you watch this video: “Does cannabis oil treat cancer?”
Many consumers of Cannabis are familiar with the knowledge that CBD is the phytocannabinoid deputed to counterpart the possible paranoic thoughts induced by D9-THC. CBD has hence been evaluated in models of schizophrenia, an an antipsychotic.
In these studies, CBD has been found similar to the mode of action of atypical antipsychotics such as clozapine; the main difference to ‘‘typical’’ antipsychotics such as haloperidol, was that of inducing fewer unwanted side effects, such as catelepsy. (17)
There is a vast number of studies which report accurately the anxiolytic properties of CBD, both in humans as well as animals. The effects of CBD are not mediated by the benzodiazepine receptors, thus providing the advantage of being devoid of the side effects associated with the hypnotics and anxiolytics, which are extremely dangerous. (Benzodiazepine’s side effects)
CBD exert its action by attenuating the acute autonomic response of stress (i.e. increased blood pressure and heart rate) as well as retention of aversive memories, showing to play a role in psychoterapies for depression, post traumatic stress disorder and insomnia. (10, 11) To know more about CBD & PTSD, check out this article “Cannabis & PTSD: the insight of a NeuroPsychiatrist”
- Bone formation
Phytocannabinoids CBDV, D9-THCV and CBD are beneficial on bone formation and fracture healing via recrutring of Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) present in the bone marrow. (14)
- Cerebral and myocardial ischemia
Both D9-THC and CBD can reverse brain damage caused by cerebral ischemia. (1) CBD does so both when administered pre- but also post-ischemia, its cerebro-protectant effects are long lasting and not associated with the development of tolerance (12).
CBD has been found crucial in re-establishing blood homeostasis in the brain, to improve brain metabolic activity post-insult, to shrink brain oedema and seizures associated with temporary occlusion of carotid arteries and hypoxia in newborns (13). Thus, via neuroprotective effects, CBD improves also cardiac, hemodynamic and ventilatory functions. (12,13)
Find out more about CBD use for children here: “CBD for newborn babies”
- Chronic fatigue
Upon the first glass of CannaJuice, all consumers report a “strong increase in energy levels, feeling invigorated almost immediately” (7). This is due to Edestin, the highly digestible protein solely found in Cannabis, which aids the immune system and repairing the backbone of the DNA. (25)
To learn more about Chronic Fatigue check out “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: learn how the Mind-Body method works”
- Diabetes and weight
Consumers report that the juice is again different from heated Cannabis as it has appetite suppressant qualities; (7)This is due D9-THCV and CBD, which mimic CB1 antagonists (Rimonabant), reducing both food intake and body weight.(4)
We have deepened this topic here: “Medical Cannabis & Diabetes: a review of the evidences”
CBD is capable of modifying directly the cells deputed to insulin production, the pancreatic islets, preventing their destruction. CBD’s antioxidative properties have been demonstrated to be critical at preventing retinal cell death and vascular hyperpermeability in the diabetic retina. (26)
- Neurodegenerative diseases
Given the antioxidant, neuroprotective role of CBD, it has been investigated its role in treating pathologies such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Huntington’s disease (HD).
CBD prevents apoptotic signalling in neurons via restoration of Ca2+ homeostasis (prevents their death); it also induces an anti-apoptotic effect on neurons that suffered damage by the b-amyloid peptide (Ab) (the AD marker). (18)
We recommend this article for further reading: “Alzheimer’s Disease & Cannabis”
Neural degeneration is greatly linked to production of oxidative stress, often due to mitochondrial impairment (think of mitochondria like the cell’s power station); D9-THCA is a strong antioxidant, acting primarily in the cells of midbrain (21).
D9-THCa, CBN and CBD inhibit keratinocyte proliferation, which is over-regulated by this inflammatory disease; (24) not only juicing is indicated for this condition, but also topical ointments and creams.
Raw cannabis juicing: the green elixir of life!
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