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The health food industry could be the perfect segue for cannabis to enter the mainstream. Sprouted hempseeds have high levels of non-psychoactive cannabinoids and are tasty sprinkled on sandwiches or salads. Balms and lotions provide relief for sore muscles, and now juice enthusiasts are experimenting with cannabis leaves.

Juicing works best with young leaves that have been cut before the plant buds. Unlike most edibles, it will not get you high so you can use it during the day and still be functional.

Katie Marsh, who recently released Juicing Cannabis for Healing, is managing severe rheumatoid arthritis through daily juicing with cannabis leaves. She has spoken on radio stations across the country to promote the herb’s healing power when juiced and will soon include a companion DVD to go with her book. The DVD contains complete instructions to set up a home grow room. Marsh says, “Although there’s a lot of information on the web, it’s sort of piecemeal. I wanted something with A to Z instructions for the very beginner.” The book is targeted for the medical grower who wants to grow for his or her own use but doesn’t want to deal with the culture that is more geared toward the recreational user.

Marsh is also an advocate of marijuana’s health benefits and says she would like to see the health food industry actively embrace cannabis. “I think cannabis, once it becomes legal federally, should be in the frozen section of every health food store in the country. It’s amazing. It’s relatively harmless. And I think it strengthens the medical movement.”

One dilemma Marsh and many practitioners in the cannabis health field face is finding the balance between making a living and making sure seriously ill patients are getting the help they need.

Marsh says, “So many people when they are ill just can’t work, and if they don’t have a passive income it can really be hard. Charging people just feels wrong when you know someone is really ill.”

One of Marsh’s dreams is to find the funding to put together a healing retreat in a beautiful natural setting that would be no cost to patients. “Whoever is most ill could come for free,” she says. The retreat would offer therapeutic marijuana treatments and help creating and setting up a grow room, in addition to the holistic healing methods such as meditation, yoga and tai chi. “I want something free flowing where people can have their privacy. A place away from the world and away from money.”

Cannabis has yet to go mainstream, but it’s the perfect industry to help us re-define health and health care, as it’s already in the process of creating a new image for itself.

Marsh says, “Once I learned the lie about cannabis wasn’t true, it made me look at a lot of other things in our society and think is this real or is this just what we’ve been sold? I find that it makes you lift the veil on a lot of assumptions you have in life.”

Photo Credit: Matthew Kenwrick 

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