Every morning, Katie Marsh starts her day with a green smoothie— infused with cannabis. Marsh, of Madawaska, Maine, blends up yogurt, fruit and thawed, juiced cannabis. “To drink it straight is kind of bitter, but it’s not at all objectionable in a smoothie,” she said.
Marsh’s unusual recipe stems from being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, three years ago. The autoimmune disease causes painful swelling in the hands and feet. She was prescribed prednisone and a low-dose antibiotic. The latter only made her symptoms worse.
Her doctor suggested she take disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), but she knew the risk of side effects, including liver damage, was too severe.
“I white-knuckled it through the pain and only took pain killers when I absolutely needed them,” she said.
Marsh wanted a natural way to find relief so she saw a holistic doctor and started making drinks with turmeric and ginger, which he told her would fight inflammation. Yet nothing was working and her condition worsened. She would wake up about 10 times a night because shew as in so much pain.
“It got so bad that I had trouble getting out of bed, getting off and on the toilet and even dressing myself,” she said.
Living in California at the time, Marsh thought about obtaining her medical marijuana card so she could smoke pot to try to eliminate some of the pain and cut down on the medications. When she told her friend about her plans, her friend suggested, “Why don’t you juice it instead?” Since Marsh had already been growing and juicing wheat grass and making other types of green juices, it seemed like a no-brainer. “I had never heard of it before but it immediately resonated with me,” she said.
She met Dr. William Courtney, a physician, researcher and leading expert in raw dietary cannabis who is based in Mendocino, Calif. Once she learned what strains to look for, she obtained a bag from a grower and started juicing it every…