The physical and mental health benefits of combusted cannabis are no mystery to most these days, particularly in legal states and within the medical community. However, less commonly known are the benefits of raw cannabis, which offer a completely different set of cannabinoids. Steep Hill Labs outlines this succinctly below, delineating the three forms of cannabis (raw, heated, and cured), and their respective cannabinoid bioavailability. (Click on the image to view an enlarged version.)
While it’s tempting to debate which form is best for your health, it’s actually a matter of apples and oranges: each cannabinoid provides its own unique health benefit. Ardent supporters of ‘whole plant medicine’ or ‘the entourage effect’ (which refers to utilizing the entire plant for maximum health benefit) need not squabble with concentrate enthusiasts, since that's a matter of cannabinoid nutritional bioavailability, whereas concentrates provide access to cannabinoids nonexistent in raw cannabis.
While raw doesn’t offer the characteristic cannabis high, that should not devalue the notable physical and mental sensation of cannabis as a nutrient dense food — eat good, feel good, as they say. This recipe aims to maximize the nutritional benefits of raw cannabis, choosing blending over juicing to ensure all cannabinoids are captured (cannabinoids stored in plant fiber is removed during the juicing process). Further, in honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, sweet potato was selected for its high concentration of carotenoids, which breaks down into Vitamin A and is known for fighting a list of serious diseases including breast cancer.
Unfortunately, unless you grow your own plants, cannabis leaves can be hard to come by. Your local dispensary may be a great resource in finding leaves, either offering you their own or putting you in touch with growers who have plenty. This sweet, robust drink satisfies multiple diets, including vegan, vegetarian, paleo, and raw. Do your health a favor and get to blending!
Recipe for Raw Cannabis, Sweet Potato, and Pear Smoothie
- Raw cannabis leaves
- Sweet potato
- Orange juice
- Assemble equal parts of each ingredient and chop into chunks manageable for your blender.
- Blend all ingredients until desired consistency, adding water as necessary.
- To increase nutrient concentration, consider adding carrots, kale, or red bell peppers, which are all rich in carotenoids.
- These ingredients lean towards the grainier side, so to smooth the consistency you can replace the orange juice with milk, either dairy, soy, almond, rice, or hemp.