by Carolanne Wright
August 02, 2015
"If cannabis were discovered in the Amazon rainforest today,
would be clambering to make as much use
as they could of all of the
potential benefits of the plant.
Unfortunately, it carries with it a
of being a persecuted plant."
Dr. Donald Abrams
Chief of Hematology Oncology
at San Francisco General Hospital
Approximately 106,000 Americans die yearly from prescribed
medications, according to the American Medical Association.
more frightening, preventable medical errors account for a
staggering 400,000 deaths in the U.S. each year - and is considered
the 3rd leading cause of death.
"It's equivalent to 2,000 commercial
jets taking off each year knowing that they don't have enough fuel
to complete their journeys," notes Peter Edelstein M.D.
allow your spouse to board one of those planes? Your friend? A
Increasingly, people in the West are seeking out
treatments that work harmoniously with the body, instead of against
it - in other words, they're walking away from the medical
establishment and all its mishaps, mistakes and pharmaceutical
A case in point is cannabis, especially in its raw form.
A Rich History
Marijuana is one of those plants that, to many, conjures visions of
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raids and hippies in a
But it wasn't always this way.
"The ancient Chinese knew of marijuana's pain-relieving and
mind-altering effects, yet it was not widely employed for its
psychoactive properties; instead it was
cultivated as hemp for the
manufacture of rope and fabric.
Likewise, the ancient Greeks and
Romans used hemp to make rope and sails. In some other places,
however, marijuana's intoxicating properties became important. In
India, for example, the plant was incorporated into religious
During the Middle Ages, its use was common in Arab lands;
in 15th-century Iraq it was used to treat epilepsy; in Egypt it was
primarily consumed as an inebriant.
After Napoleon's occupation of
Egypt, Europeans began using the drug as an intoxicant. During the
slave trade, it was transported from Africa to Mexico, the Caribbean
and South America. Marijuana gained a following in the U.S. only
During the second half of the 19th century and
the beginning of the 20th, cannabis was freely available without a
prescription for a wide range of ailments, including migraine and
ulcers," Roger A. Nicoll and Bradley N. Alger remind us in
Even American Founding Father Thomas Jefferson declared:
"Hemp is of first necessity to the
wealth and protection of the country."
So what happened?
In 1937, the United States Congress decided - against the
recommendation of the American Medical Association - to pass the
Marijuana Tax Act. The legislation essentially banned the use of
marijuana by making it excessively expensive and difficult to
It has been downhill ever since. That is, until the last few
years where legalization of marijuana has exploded in the U.S., for
both recreational and medicinal uses.
For our purposes here, we're
going to look at the health benefits of the plant - which are quite
An Essential Vegetable
"It [cannabis] has captured these
molecules that help our bodies regulatory system be more
The bottom line is it's a dietary
essential that helps all 210 cell types function more
effectively. I don't even refer to it as medicine anymore,
strictly as a dietary essential."
Dr. William L. Courtney
It may be a stretch for some to recognize raw cannabis as the next
in-demand superfood, but Dr.
William L. Courtney, a physician with extensive
medical training who specializes in the dietary uses of cannabis,
presents a provocative case.
When you heat or age cannabis, Dr. Courtney believes that you lose
99% of the benefit cannabis provides.
In contrast, if you consume it
raw, you'll reap the full value of the plant. Plus, raw cannabis is
non-psychoactive, so you won't experience a high - an important
point for those who would like to utilize the healing aspects of
cannabis without feeling drugged or off-center.
This means you can
also consume a much higher amount of health-promoting compounds with
raw cannabis juice compared to if it was smoked or extracted as an
oil, according to Dr. Courtney.
versatile: they are lipophilic, interact with cell
membranes, neuronal and muscle ion channels,
neurotransmitter receptors, G-protein coupled (odorant)
receptors, second messenger systems and enzymes."
The researchers explored the powerful effect terpenes exert in
Limonene was found to increase serotonin in the
prefrontal cortex and dopamine in the hippocampus region of the
brain - both of which help fend-off depression and feelings of
Moreover, limonene induces apoptosis (cell death) of breast
cancer cells and demonstrated exceptional radical scavenging
properties. It's also remarkably bio-available, rapidly metabolized
and is highly non-toxic and non-sensitizing.
Myrcene is anti-inflammatory and an effective sleep aid, while
pinene acts as a bronchodilator and broad spectrum antibiotic - including the destruction of lethal MRSA bacteria.
Pinene also curbs
inflammation. Linalool is a sedative and anticonvulsant.
Caryophyllene is antimalarial, anti-inflammatory and useful in
treating duodenal ulcers.
Nerolidol inhibits fungal growth and
Phytol increases GABA expression, resulting in
a calming effect.
These are just a handful of the 200 varieties of terpenes found in cannabis.
How to Enjoy More Raw Cannabis in Your Life
For a daily dose, Dr. Courtney advises juicing fifteen cannabis
leaves and two buds, which is then added to a small amount of fruit
or vegetable juice that is consumed throughout the day.
If you would
like to learn more about juicing cannabis,
this article offers tips and suggestions. Keep in mind that juicing improperly
may create heat, which will cause THC to form.
Jeffrey C. Raber,
Ph.D. also recommends having the strain of marijuana you're using
tested at a reliable and accurate lab so you know exactly what you