Katie Marsh doesn't look like a stoner, but if you took away her cannabis smoothie, she'd probably clock you. Marsh began her morning ritual of juicing weed one year ago, four years after she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. She tried ibuprofen, prednisone, and wheatgrass. But nothing eased her chronic pain.
A light went on when a friend suggested she try juicing marijuana. "It just struck me as something that might work because it's very green," the mother of two, who lives in Madawaska, Maine, tells Esquire. After meeting with cannabis researcher Dr. William Courtney in California, she bought a bag and started juicing it every day. "It wasn't my goal to be high," Marsh, 47, says matter-of-factly. "My goal was pain relief."
Today Marsh's disease is in remission, through experts say the verdict is out on whether it's due to the juice. "The acidic form of THC in test tubes has some effect on enzymes involved in inflammation," says David Casarett, M.D., whose book, Stoned: A Doctor's Case for Medical Marijuana (Current), is out now. "In theory, there's reason to think the acidic form has some effects." Still, he admits there's no definitive proof.
For those eager to try a cannabis shake, Rich shared a favorite recipe from her self-published book, Juicing Cannabis for Healing.
1/2 mango (no skin)
1 c. whole fat yogurt
1 tbsp. agave syrup or honey
1/2 inch wedge of lemon with peel
2-3 cannabis juice ice cubes
1-Use a masticating juicer—the kind you see used for wheatgrass shots at Jamba Juice—to juice the cannabis leaf. Put the juice in an ice tray and freeze overnight.
2-Put everything in a blender and mix until smooth.