2. Audu BS, Ofojekwu PC, Ujah A, Ajima MNO. Phytochemical, proximate composition, amino acid profile and characterization of marijuana (Cannabis sativa L.). J Phytopharmacol. 2014;3(1):35-43.
Courtney recommends advising patients to first ensure their raw cannabis comes from a reliable, reputable source; otherwise, they may risk ingesting unwanted pesticides, fungicides, and other harmful microbes. Once the plant material is obtained, the leaves should then be soaked in a mixture of cold water and apple cider vinegar to help eliminate any potentially harmful bacteria.
In mouse studies, THCA has been identified as an anti-inflammatory agent and it also has the ability to act as a bronchodilator, antipyretic, and antirheumatic agent. While earlier reports suggested that THC and CBD can stimulate the production of proinflammatory eicosanoids, it was then reported that its metabolites, such as THCA, could inhibit this process, suggesting that the acid is an anti-inflammatory agent in and of itself.7
— Emily Kyle, MS, RDN, CDN, CLT, HCP, is a certified holistic cannabis practitioner.
4. de Cássia da Silveira e Sá R, Andrade LN, de Sousa DP. A review on anti-inflammatory activity of monoterpenes. Molecules. 2013;18(1):1227-1254.
14. Wang M, Wang YH, Avula B, et al. Decarboxylation study of acidic cannabinoids: a novel approach using ultra-high-performance supercritical fluid chromatography/photodiode array-mass spectrometry. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2016;1(1):262-271.
Nutritional Value of Raw Cannabis
Outside of the frequently studied hemp seed, raw cannabis leaves and flowers could be considered one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. The raw plant material contains essential fatty acids, nine essential amino acids, dietary fiber, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, carotenoids, terpenes, and phytocannabinoid acids, all of which have the potential to benefit health.1,2
Mulch is important and shouldn’t be skipped, although it won’t be enough to feed your hungry plants on its own. Combine this practice with other top-dressings, or teas!
While alfalfa doesn’t have a crazy high nitrogen content in comparison to something like blood meal, it is still one that should be applied with some caution. Alfalfa meal has faster-acting nitrogen than the other materials we use, and can therefore “burn” plants if you aren’t careful. It works with the microorganisms in the soil to rapidly break it down, release nutrients, and heat up the soil more than most meals. These attributes make it a great compost accelerator! But also a more sensitive one to apply directly to plants. With alfalfa, we always start on the more conservative end of a recipe, see how the plant reacts, and then can slowly increase its use with time and age as needed.
Top-Dressing with Plant-Based Meals
The methods and products that many cannabis growers use, including the types of things mentioned above, require the plants to be “flushed” before harvest. This is the process of withholding any fertilizer and running large amounts of water through the plant’s soil and root ball over and over for several weeks. The purpose is to flush the plant of accumulated salts, chemicals, and unsavory additives – to make it safer and taste better when consumed. When I first heard about this practice, it set off huge red flags for me.
Add the meals to your tea bag and tie it closed. Dunk it up and down a few times in the bucket of de-chlorinated water to help it get saturated. Next, set the tea solution aside and allow it to steep for about 24 hours. If you can, stir on occasion to increase the infusion. Some folks like to use an air pump and bubbler to aerate their botanical teas. We typically don’t for this application, but definitely do for compost tea!
So you’re growing cannabis, huh? Right on! Like so many other plants in the garden, cannabis can be as low-maintenance or as pampered as you prefer. Also like other plants, your results and quality of harvest will be dictated by the kind of care you give it. Trust me, we have our hands full over here… We are busy, and don’t have time for elaborate cannabis feeding schedules. For the most part, we feed cannabis like any other plant in our garden! Okay, maybe just a tad more spoiled and fussed over…because we do want the ladies to thrive, after all!