Ten years ago, your average weed enthusiast would have been horrified by the thought of taking several premium colas and shoving them into a juicer, only to produce two ounces of a beverage that won’t even get you high. But in the handful of states where it’s legal to grow your own, backyard gardeners no longer need to treat a bud as though it’s worth its weight in gold. This newfound abundance has fueled interest in the health benefits of ingesting uncured marijuana.

Kat Denisovich is ahead of the curve. “I’ve been juicing high CBDA strands since 1996,” she says. “That’s the year medical became legal in California, and I really do believe in the medical benefits of this plant, particularly in its raw form.” Sprightly and bright-eyed at 74, Denisovich says that a shot of freshly juiced weed is a key part of her daily health regime. “I’m all about preventative healthcare,” she says, grabbing a pair of scissors from her kitchen counter and heading out to her greenhouse.

We’re here today to sample some freshly juiced Otto. Kat’s plants are sterling examples of the strain, with glittering trichomes and an intense hue. When I ask her what her secret is, she’s emphatic about a strictly organic regiment. “I use organic soil, top-dress with guano, and I never spray. This year, I’ve been experimenting with organic bloom products. Right now I’m liking Uprising Bloom by a company called Roots Organics.”

Kat’s strain tests at a ratio of 15% CBD to 0.1% THC. “Of course, you can also juice plants with a high THCA content,” she explains. “Either way you won’t get high because plants need to be heated in order to become psychoactive. But I usually start people on a CBD strain because it’s less intimidating. The idea of drinking a shot of weed can be scary to people who’ve had intense experiences with edibles.”

After snipping some choice buds from her plants, we head back to Kat’s kitchen, where she trims off the fan leaves and rinses the flowers in tap water. “Like most leafy green plants, marijuana is full of nutrients and has the most impact when it’s consumed right after you cut it,” she says. She puts 32 ounces of wet flower into her Angel juicer and a minute later we’re both holding shot glasses of frothy emerald liquid.

I must admit that I’m somewhat dubious. I’ve never been a fan of green smoothies and I’m suspicious of superfoods. But actually the drink goes down easy—it’s much tastier than a shot of wheatgrass juice. I pause for a moment to assess the effects—if any. I don’t feel high or CBD relaxed, but I do feel energized, like I’ve just taken a shot of espresso or, you know, wheatgrass.

Juicing enthusiasts have touted the plant as a superfood, loaded with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. Some proponents allege that it has the power to cure autoimmune diseases, prevent chronic inflammation, reverse the creep of cancer, and keep Alzheimer’s disease at bay. When I ask Kat if she believes these claims, she pauses. “It’s certainly a possibility, but I don’t know. I just go with what makes me feel good on a daily basis.”


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