With the drug now legal in Washington and Colorado, blended cannabis could become the health food craze of 2013
One of the nation’s leading cannabis doctors has an idea for a New Year’s diet: a marijuana smoothie. Dr. William Courtney, who has spent years researching the potential health benefits of medical marijuana, argues that juicing whole hemp plants can provide a host of healing properties, ranging from pain relief to even helping prevent diseases like cancer.
Yet, many of the health benefits are lost, Courtney says, when a patient ingests marijuana in the most typical way: by smoking it. Burning the plant kills off enzymes, which can diminish some of the curative properties. Juicing the entire plant, on the other hand, retains the enzymes and may be more medically beneficial. Plus, smoking the plant kicks the THC–and its psychoactive properties–into high gear, producing marijuana’s high, which many find to be a curative effect in its own right, but is not always what the patient desires or wants.
The health benefits of marijuana are slowly gaining traction in the medical community, especially now that medical marijuana has been legalized in 18 states. It is often used to treat chronic pain, arthritis and the nausea associated with chemotherapy and other painful treatments. It has even gained some attention–and skepticism–forpossibly helping cure more serious conditions, such as seizures and tumors. And while marijuana juice has not yet taken off as a form of medicine–or even as a short-lived health-food fad–Courtney contends that a four to eight ounce smoothie daily could be one of the most potent medicines in the world.
Dr. William Courtney recently gained media attention for publicizing the case of an eight-month-old cancer patient whose tumor, he said, was drastically reduced by twice daily cannabinoid oil treatments, which were rubbed onto the baby’s pacifier.
Yet, not all doctors are convinced that marijuana juice holds the curative properties that Courtney envisions.
Michael Backes, a doctor at the medical marijuana clinic, the Abatin Wellness Center, said that the juice hypothesis has not yet been fully tested.
“The medical benefits of large doses of acidic cannabinoids have not been subjected to controlled clinical trials. The evidence at this point is anecdotal. And if someone is not harvesting the cannabis fresh and consuming it immediately, then there is a risk of significant THC intoxication,” he told Xeni Jardin writing for Boing Boing.
Plus, said Backes, a badly prepared smoothie could actually cause damage on the way down.
“The throat irritation is based on the fact that the stems of cannabis have sharp little hairs,” explained Backes.
Still, don’t be surprised if you start seeing marijuana smoothies popping up in hippie health stores in Colorado sometime in 2013. Just make sure to pop off the lid and check that the plant has been blended sufficiently.
More Related Stories
- Developers evict historic women's shelter to build luxury hotel
- Kaitlyn Hunt refuses plea offer, will go to court over high school relationship
- The secrets of cicada survival
- Nobody "needs" to rape
- Catholic Church in market for more exorcists
- Report: Nearly a quarter of all Americans struggle to afford food
- Louie Gohmert: Women should be forced to carry nonviable pregnancies to term
- This is what Guy Fieri looks like as a balloon
- Boy Scouts to members: Just don't be a gay adult
- Anonymous rallies behind Kaitlyn Hunt
- Mistrial in penalty phase of Arias case
- My text blew up in my face
- Boy Scouts end ban on openly gay boys
- Mississippi could begin prosecuting women for miscarriages
- Teenage girl claims she was beaten up for looking like Taylor Swift
- Billionaire hedge funder: Babies, breast-feeding "kill" focus, keep women from succeeding
- "Bookless library" set to open in Texas
- Man arrested for sending Craigslist sex party to neighbor's house
- Greek yogurt, toxic waste hazard?
- Glenn Beck: CNN interview with atheist tornado survivor was a setup!
- Incoming BBC news director on journalism gender gap: "We can do better"
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11
Salon is proud to feature content from AlterNet, an award-winning news magazine and online community that creates original journalism and amplifies the best of hundreds of other independent media sources.