Can You Eat Raw Weed? Effects of Eating Raw Marijuana
Published on 6/16/21
We all know the allure of sticky, stinky cannabis buds. Shimmering with trichomes and dripping with oils, properly grown and cured cannabis can be very attractive. Tons of edibles have flooded the marketplace over the last few years and eating weed has also become very popular. Would you want to eat cannabis raw, though? It sounds off-putting, but there is a growing movement of people interested in what benefits might come from simply eating raw weed.
Does Eating Weed Get You High?
That's the first question that comes to mind when thinking about what to do with fresh cannabis. There are myths of people eating weed and enjoying psychoactive experiences, but unless the cannabis has been exposed to heat, light or has aged extensively, you will not get high from eating raw weed. Living cannabis plants do not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) weed's psychoactive compound - so sadly, you cannot experience any type of high by eating marijuana straight off the plant.
What raw cannabis does contain, however, is tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that has therapeutic properties. Through a process called decarboxylation, THCA converts into THC when exposed to heat. When cannabis is smoked or heated to the point of vaporizing, the THCA will convert to THC and become biologically acceptable to the body and link with internal receptors. Similarly, when cannabis is dried over a period of time, it will naturally undergo a very slight decarboxylation. That might occur because some cannabis buds have a tiny presence of THC together with the THCA. Note that if you want to make edibles, you must decarboxylate your bud or else you won't get high.
Benefits of Eating Raw Weed
Although research on cannabis continues to be restricted at the federal level, the medical benefits of cannabis have still been well documented. Relief from chronic pain, a decrease in stress and anxiety, and relief from insomnia are some of the reasons that weed is used in a therapeutic way. Cannabinoids within weed have also been shown to operate as anti-inflammatories and counter the advance of cancer in some patients.
In a similar manner to other leafy greens, raw weed is filled with essential nutrients and active antioxidants. Fiber, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (key to protecting against cell damage), vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, C, E), minerals (zinc, calcium, potassium, iron), carbohydrates, terpenes, essential amino acids and enzymes are all found in the leaves and buds of cannabis plants. There is also an abundance of plant phytochemicals in those glistening trichome heads. Limonene and beta carotene are two of the most prominent.
Many of those positive ingredients disappear during decarboxylation but remain in their natural form in raw cannabis. Weed might even be considered to be "the new kale" because it is so similar to leafy vegetables that provide boosts of nutrition. Ingesting raw cannabis also boosts the endocannabinoid system, which helps regulate the normal biological processes throughout the body and maintain homeostasis. Whether or not it tastes as good as some of those veggies is up to the consumer.
Other studies have indicated that THCA might have a protective effect on brain cells and reduce nausea and vomiting in certain scenarios. There are also indications that raw weed's anti-inflammatory properties have the potential to treat arthritis. No matter what, the evidence is clear that raw weed offers a viable option to prescription pharmaceuticals.
One of the most popular ways to consume raw cannabis falls directly in line with how similar plants are enjoyed: juicing. Grab that food processor and press the weed as you would your spinach or kale and the exceptional properties of raw weed will present themselves. Start with quality leaves that are fresh and properly washed. You will need around 10 leaves to get an ample amount to eat. Buds can be used, too. Since cannabis is a bitter herb, add things like pineapple or mango juice to the mix to counter the acidity. Consider adding garlic or ginger to add flavor.
Other popular ways to enjoy eating raw weed include blending into smoothies that have other strongly flavored ingredients, chopping it and adding it to salads or sprinkling diced raw weed on top of a stir fry like cilantro.
In conclusion: can you eat weed? Sure. Can you get high from eating weed? No.
Do you eat raw marijuana? What about juicing weed? Is there another way that you like to ingest it? What benefits do you enjoy from consuming raw cannabis? Take a second to let us know in the comments section below.