Healthy Cannabis Smoothie Recipe

Here’s my favorite cannabis smoothie recipe. I use more vegetable and less fruit so it’s great for keeping balanced blood sugar… and of course it keeps it “green”!

· 1 Serving Vanilla Protein Powder
· Large handful of Spinach
· 1/4 Avocado
· 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
· 2 tbsp. flax or chia seed
· Lemon juice (1/2 small lemon)
· 1 persian cucumber
· 2 cups unsweetened soy or nutmilk
· ½ cup blue berries or strawberries (or your favorite fruit for a little sweetness!)
· MCT or coconut oil
· A generous pinch of powdered turmeric
· 15-20 raw cannabis leaves and 1-2 raw buds

Dear Nurse Susan: Raw Cannabis

Dear Nurse Susan,
In one of your earlier posts you mentioned raw cannabis as “the superfood of superfoods.”
What does that mean, and would it be good to include raw cannabis in my diet?
Health Seeker


Dear Health Seeker,
I’m so glad you are interested in the benefits of raw cannabis! But first, let’s tackle a common concern about medical cannabis: Will it make me “high?” The answer is: It depends.

When cannabis is in its raw form, meaning fresh plant material or cold-pressed plant material, it is NOT psychoactive because there is little or no THC (the cannabinoid that can make you high). In the raw form of cannabis, the cannabinoids are in their acidic state, i.e. THCA, CBDA, which are not psychoactive. When you apply heat, such as drying it, smoking, vaping, cooking, or sunlight, the acid molecule flies off, (called decarboxylation) and THCA converts to THC, which IS psychoactive, and CBDA converts to CBD, which is not psychoactive. So as long as cannabis is in its raw form, there is no psychoactivity.

It’s important to mention that some juicers generate enough heat to convert THCA to THC, so you get the most value out of using the plant material in a blender with chilled liquids like fullfat, grass-fed dairy, soy, almond or coconut milk. As is the case with other “superfoods”, taking it with higher fat content foods increases the bioavailability. Add about 15 leaves and one or two buds (approx. 20 grams) to your favorite smoothie recipe. Also, you can simply add washed leaves to a salad or pesto!

Now that we know that raw cannabis is not psychoactive, let’s talk about the nutritional value of the plant. Raw cannabis is extremely nutrient rich, an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids (Omega 3&6), and protein. Raw cannabis is a potent antioxidant, antiinflammatory, analgesic, and neuroprotectant.
THCA protects against neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. It’s effective for auto-immune disease, epilepsy, insomnia, pain, tremors and muscle spasms. CBDA is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and it relieves nausea and vomiting.

The raw plant is also chock-full of terpenes (essential oils), which give the plant its aroma and which have therapeutic effects as well. For example, linalool (aka lavender) exerts a sedative, relaxing effect.
Eating raw cannabis allows a person to consume a much higher dose of cannabinoids and terpenes, without psychoactivity. Since dried cannabis is psychoactive, most people can comfortably consume about 5-20 grams, depending on what they are used to. Since raw cannabis is like a vegetable, you can consume as much as you want without any psychoactivity and plenty of cannabinoids. Research shows that 15-20 large fan leaves and a couple of buds per day, which is equal to 500-1000 mg of THC-A is the recommended daily amount. It’s a great way to treat and prevent chronic diseases. It can be consumed in the form of smoothies, salads, juice, etc. You can get more details about the science related to raw cannabis at these links:


Obviously, when you decide to eat raw cannabis, you can’t just go to the market and pick some up for breakfast! I’m not going to get into growing cannabis today, but for those of you with a green thumb, in legal states you can grow a specified number of plants for personal use. This is no different than for many who are already growing your own fresh herbs like basil, thyme, etc.

If you want some starter plants to grow, or to purchase plants for your raw cannabis use, do some research regarding local dispensaries or growers. Not all dispensaries carry plants so you may have to make a few calls. Find someone who knows the difference between use for raw consumption rather than growing for recreational use to get the strains best suited for your purpose. Make sure that any plants you buy are ideally organic and have been grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers.

I hope this inspires all of you “Health Seekers” out there, to learn more about the wonderful benefits of raw cannabis, and how you can add it to your diet!

Nurse Susan

Dear Nurse Susan: So Many Products... How to Choose the Best!

Dear Nurse Susan,
I went to a dispensary for the first time to get something to help me sleep, and was overwhelmed by the number of products to choose from! Can you narrow it down for me?


Dear Overwhelmed,

The first visit to a dispensary is often overwhelming, and can create a little uncertainty when you’re not sure what you are buying. You’ll typically turn to the dispensary staff for assistance and some are definitely better informed than others, which can making things even more confusing. Whenever you are buying cannabis products, there are 4 things to consider:

  1. Safety: Ask to see the lab results to confirm the product is safe, without pesticides, mold or bacteria. Reputable companies will lab test their products and will post the Lab Report on their website. If the company does not lab test their products, does not make them readily available, or they post expired lab reports, do not use that product! There are companies that see cannabis as a “get-rich-quick” opportunity and quickly bring low-quality products to market, especially over-the-counter CBD/hemp products. Buyer beware!
  2. Cannabinoid Profile: There are hundreds of cannabinoids and terpenes (therapeutic compounds) in cannabis, the most popular being THC, CBD, THCV, CBN etc. Each cannabinoid has its own therapeutic effects, although their effects often overlap. For example, THC and CBD both alleviate pain, but if your pain is severe, you will want to use more THC than CBD because THC is more effective than CBD for severe pain. It is a good idea to consult a cannabis nurse for education and consultation on cannabinoid and terpene profiles that best relieve your symptoms.
  3. Method of Administration: The method of administration is not just a personal preference. Each method has its own time to onset, duration of action, and bioavailability. Many times, a patient will use more than one method. For example, for immediate relief of nausea, pain, etc., vaping is the best method, because the time to onset is within 15 seconds, but lasts for only a couple of hours. For sleep, you may want to use an edible because, although they have a slower onset (up to 2-3 hours) they last the longest, up to 6-8 hours. So, if you take a low dose edible a couple of hours before bed, the sedation will last throughout the night, and help you stay asleep. And, if it’s dosed appropriately, you will not have a hangover, or be groggy when you wake up. Make sure you use an Indica at night, and Sativa during the day.
  4. Cost: Medical cannabis can be very costly, and insurance doesn’t reimburse. So, how do you know if a product is overpriced? Figure out how much you are paying per milligram of cannabis. For example, if a 30ml tincture has 500mg of cannabinoids (THC, CBD, etc.) and costs $50, you divide the cost by the number of milligrams, which in this scenario comes to $0.10/mg. The average cost per milligram for tinctures/sprays is between $0.10 - $0.20/mg. For full extract cannabis oil, the average cost is between $0.03 - $0.06/mg. Expect to pay more for CBD-rich products than for THC-rich products.

If you follow these steps, you will considerably narrow down your choices. Cannabis works differently for different people. You may want to go to sites like,, or my site to get more information on the specific condition you are dealing with. It takes some experimenting with different products, doses and methods of administration, plus a little patience, to discover the best product, dose and method of administration that works for you. In my opinion, it’s worth the effort!

I hope this simplifies your cannabis journey of discovery!

Nurse Susan

Dear Nurse Susan: Getting Good Medical Direction

Dear Nurse Susan,
I have an autoimmune disease and I told my doctor I’d read that cannabis may help my disorder. He said he did not want to discuss cannabis and wouldn’t give me any information on what to buy or how much to take. I went to the dispensary near me but there were no medical professionals to guide me. If I wanted to try medical marijuana, what should I do? Thanks for your help.
- Janice J.


Hello Janice,
I hear this from my clients all the time. Unfortunately, this is the current state of affairs because cannabis is still illegal on the federal level, so many physicians are not willing to discuss cannabis with their patients, in an effort to protect their federal DEA number that allows them to prescribe medicine.

Doctors that do prescribe medical cannabis cards typically spend little time with patients once the card has been authorized and the patient is again on their own. As a result, patients are falling through the cracks and will seek help on their own at their local dispensary.

What commonly happens is the staff at the dispensary – budtenders- don’t know what to recommend for a medical issue, so they recommend too much THC (the psychoactive compound in cannabis), and as a result, the patient has a bad experience and abandons cannabis as a therapeutic option. What a shame, because it is quite possible that cannabis may be the most effective nontoxic medicine for their condition. Also note, that you can benefit from cannabis without the “high”.

If you want to explore cannabis as an option for managing your symptoms and disease processes, there is a lot of information on the Internet. If you prefer the one-on-one approach, find a cannabis nurse in your area by going to the American Cannabis Nurses Association website: They will educate you on the endocannabinoid system, the components of cannabis and how they work in your body, dosing (the most important aspect of a successful cannabis regimen), modes of administration, and safety. An excellent introduction to how cannabis works in your body is There is also a resources list on my website at

Finally, if you prefer your information delivered in bite-size pieces, stay tuned to this column for weekly “Green Bites.”

All the best in your search for good health,

Nurse Susan

Dear Nurse Susan: Is It Snake Oil?

Dear Nurse Susan,
Does medical cannabis (aka marijuana) really do all the things that I’ve been hearing about lately? It sounds more like snake oil to me. I’ve heard it helps cancer patients, it helps insomnia, it helps kids with autism….REALLY? I think it just gets people high and they forget about their problems. What’s the real story about “medical” cannabis?
- Curious about Cannabis


Dear Curious,
As more states legalize either medical and/or recreational cannabis it seems that both the facts and the misinformation continue to grow. Given that cannabis is a political hot potato with decades of stigma surrounding it, separating fact from fiction can be a challenge.

I understand your skepticism about the broad and almost unending list of symptoms and diseases that benefit from the use of cannabis. Our society is so conditioned to pharmaceutical interventions that are single focused, i.e., antidepressants for depression, anxiolytics for anxiety, opioids for pain, etc., not to mention the drugs they prescribe to manage the side effects caused by the pharmaceutical drugs and any interactions between those drugs! It’s almost unheard of to be able to take one medicine (cannabis) that does all these things: kills pain, reduces depression and anxiety, plus much more. And by the way, that one drug is nontoxic with only minor side effects such as dry mouth, when used strategically and responsibly. Also note, that you can benefit from cannabis without the “high”. Sounds too good to be true, huh?

Cannabis and the science around it has grown exponentially in the past 50 years. There are more than 25,000 medical studies on cannabis that support most of the claims you read on the Internet or see in the media. If you are interested in reading them, go to the National Center for Biotechnology Information website: and search the terms: cannabinoids, cannabis, marijuana, etc. There is also a resources list on my website,

Finally, if you prefer your information delivered in bite-size pieces, stay tuned to this column for weekly “Green Bites.”

I hope this helps balance your skepticism a bit,

Nurse Susan