A Natural Remedy and Health Booster
As part of the impending legislation to legalize recreational cannabis use this summer, every Canadian household will potentially be allowed to grow four cannabis plants without a permit. This will afford cannabis enthusiasts, casual users, gardeners and medical patients alike, the opportunity to grow cannabis for their diverse needs. As a result, home growers will have the potential opportunity to produce a substantial harvest to use for whatever their desired purpose might be.
This is welcome news for a variety of reasons. Growing one’s own cannabis allows the grower a full jurisdiction of choice affecting the outcome of their plants. Individuals can choose to grow indoors, outdoors—or both. Growing can be done organically, if preferred. The gardener can choose to grow naturally, choose to use nutrients and soil amendments, and decide whether they want to use pesticides if problems arise. Growers will be able to choose from thousands of existing varieties of cannabis strains and hybrid seeds to tailor the plants they grow to suit their needs. Some will choose high THC, for the psychoactive effect. Others will choose high CBD, non-psychoactive but with powerful medicinal properties. Many will choose a combination, to take advantage of all the plant has to offer—full plant medicine.
Serious medical cases seeking cannabis treatment should always be done through one’s doctor and, preferably, with help from cannabis specialists. With that understood, cannabis will now be used as a remedy to treat minor, less serious conditions, at home.
Avid gardeners and home healers have grown and produced their own medicine for generations. Plants like aloe vera, chamomile, echinacea, eucalyptus, and dozens more, are globally grown and used medicinally. In Canada, we will soon be allowed to add cannabis to this medical home arsenal.
As someone who is both a medical cannabis patient and who counsels cannabis patients professionally, I know, firsthand, the miraculous healing power of the cannabis plant. I have witnessed medical cannabis successfully treat a wide spectrum of health issues from most types of pain, to complications from cancer, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, MS, Parkinson’s, mental health issues like PTSD, and scores of other ailments. I firmly believe the plant has the potential to also treat less serious ailments at home. Furthermore, I am a strong proponent of using cannabis as a preventative medicine.
Using cannabis as a health food and bioprotective agent may be the most intriguing and valuable result of the new legislation. Home growing without a permit allows people, even current legal patients, hassle-free access to something they have been denied until now--without going through a huge bureaucratic paperwork nightmare--fresh cannabis.
The ability to use fresh cannabis as medicine and a health food is the hidden gem of the new legislation. Using raw cannabis for juicing will benefit medical cannabis patients, those with minor medical issues and health enthusiasts. There are several factors in fresh cannabis juicing that should be noted. The cannabinoids, or active medicinal compounds, in the plant are in a different form in raw cannabis. To become psychoactive, THC, the component of the plant that produces the euphoric “high” needs to be decarboxylated. This simply means it must be heated to convert chemical structure from THC-A, the naturally occurring acidic form, to THC—the psychoactive form. This is usually done simply from the heat of smoking or vaping the flower. There is no heating in the juicing process; therefore, no high.
Although research on THCA, CBDA and over 100 other natural medicinal cannabinoids that comprise the raw plant is in its infancy, preliminary feedback suggests that raw cannabis is clearly effective in treating many ailments. These include, pain, inflammation, nerve degeneration, nausea and appetite issues, and side effects of cancer treatment. Cannabinoids are powerful antioxidants, which makes cannabis juicing valuable preventative medicine.
Juicing raw cannabis poses little health risk. The variety of cannabis used--indica, sativa or ruderalis—has no effect when juicing—all are equally beneficial. There is little chance of side effect, as there is no toxic dose or potential to overdose. Cannabis is full of vitamins and minerals. The plant is a great source of Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. It is a good source of fibre and protein. Raw cannabis conforms to the needs of vegetarians and vegans, those with dairy and gluten issues, and is safe for gastrointestinal problems. One has the option of juicing the whole plant including the flower—with its highest concentration of cannabinoids—or saving the flower and just juicing the leftover leaves and trim.
Whether or not we will be able to saddle up in a juice bar and order a cannabis smoothie any time soon, home cannabis grows are about to be a reality for all Canadians. The wide-ranging miraculous health potential of this natural plant is just beginning to be fully uncovered. Nearly 250,000 registered medical users in Canada are already using medical cannabis for a huge spectrum of conditions. Now people will be able to use cannabis as a home remedy for less serious conditions such as minor pain, intermittent insomnia, occasional migraines, and stress-based anxiety. Options such as juicing and making topical salves will allow cannabis to take its rightful place among other natural healing plants in the naturopathic gardens and medicine cabinets across the country.
Note: Under current legislation, the Federal Government has left jurisdiction over recreational cannabis and home growing to individual provinces. At time of publishing, Quebec and Manitoba have stated their intention to not allow home recreational growing in those provinces. The law will allow 4 plants per household, NOT per person in the household.
Rick Gillman is a medical cannabis patient, consultant, and veteran freelance writer. He is involved in medical cannabis research and breeding projects--creating more effective medicine. He works for Canadian Cannabis Clinics as a Medical Outreach Educator out of the Collingwood, Ontario clinic.