As cannabis experiences a long-awaited resurgence in the U.S., many users in states where the plant is legal and accessible have begun juicing fresh, undried cannabis buds and leaves, alone or as part of a fruit-and-veggie smoothie.
Raw cannabis contains many nonpsychoactive compounds, including chlorophyll, terpenes, flavonoids and the acid forms of both delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THCA) and cannabidiol-acid (CBDA). Through the process of drying and curing the buds, and when they are heated for cooking or smoking/vaporizing, these acids are removed from the molecular chains. This transforms the nonpsychoactive THCA into the “high”-inducing THC. (Neither CBDA nor CBD is psychoactive.)
Because the THC in raw cannabis is not in its psychoactive form, juicing raw leaves and flowers does not result in a “high.” Beyond that, the science of juicing is not terribly well developed; researchers have tended to focus more on the nonacid forms of these compounds.
For example, we have promising clinical data on the tumor-fighting properties of CBD. However, initial exploration into the anti-tumor capacity of CBDA showed such a “negligible” effect on tumor cells that one set of researchers at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco decided not to look any further into it.
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