Every stoner knows that raw marijuana isn’t psychoactive; you have to heat it up to get those properties out of it. This article isn’t about eating raw weed to get you high, we’ve got edibles for that. This article is about one of the greatest sources of nutrition that most people haven’t even considered.
Why Try Eating Raw Weed?
Did you know that cannabis is actually a superfood? It contains over 400 different compounds. Many doctors have deemed weed an essential part of the diet due to the number of vitamins, acids, and essential oils found in the plant. What makes cannabis such a special plant is the high concentration of cannabinoid acids, which are essential to basic cell function.
Two primary cannabinoid acids are THCa and CBDa that, when heated, break down into different chemicals: the psychoactive THC and the non-psychoactive CBD. This process of heating the marijuana and breaking down the cannabinoid acids into their active, cannabinoid form is known as decarboxylation, commonly referred to as “decarbing.”
The process of "decarbing" weed is pretty simple. Photo by @thejoemoran
Cannabinoid acids are important because they help improve the communication between your cells using the endocannabinoid system. Research indicates that consuming more of these cannabinoid acids could be the key to preventing chronic diseases that are found to be caused by a deficiency in the endocannabinoid system. The following conditions are thought to be caused by such deficiencies:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
New research is suggesting that high doses of CBDa and THCa (only found in raw cannabis) could be much more effective than CBD and THC (their broken-down counterparts) when it comes to being an anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and anti-ischemic.
Cannabis - The Nutritional Powerhouse
Like many other leafy green vegetables, cannabis contains a bounty of proteins and nutrients when consumed raw.
Terpenes are the essential oils present in cannabis, among other plants. These terpenes are responsible for the scents and flavors of their plants. They have many nutritional and medicinal benefits when consumed alone, but when combined with cannabinoids they become way more powerful. The following are some of the most common terpenes in cannabis:
Linalool: causes a floral aroma, similar to lavender and is known for its anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties.
Pinene: causes a strong pine-like scent and is neuroprotective, helping to strengthen the nervous system.
Limonene: causes a citrus aroma and can help prevent gastrointestinal issues, lower cholesterol, and boost metabolism.
This beautiful cannabis plant is from @bl_labs
Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids
Hemp seeds and marijuana leaves are high in protein and contain the perfect ratio of the omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids that are incredibly essential. These fatty acids are so essential because we don’t produce them on our own but require them, thus we have to get them from the foods we eat.
Essential fatty acids, like omega 3 and omega 6, are essential to good brain health. The human brain is almost 60% fat, requiring constant intake of the right kinds of fat to prevent neurogenerative diseases from cropping up. They also play an important role in maintaining the balance of the endocannabinoid system.
Essential Amino Acids
Marijuana contains all of the essential amino acids that we need to get from our diet because, like the essential fatty acids, we don’t make them ourselves. You can find these amino acids in marijuana leaves, but the highest concentration can be found in hemp seeds.
This beautiful plant is brought to you by @anibal.peralta.romo
In 2003, CBD was discovered to have incredible antioxidant and neuroprotective properties. These antioxidants are essential to prevent cell damage from occurring and causing serious illness. CBD was found to be a more powerful antioxidant than both vitamins E and C.
When you eat raw cannabis, you consume large amounts of CBDa, drastically increasing the number of antioxidants you consume in a serving.
How to Consume Raw Cannabis
The most recommended way to consume raw cannabis is through blending or juicing uncured flower or leaves. You could also pluck a few leaves to add to the base of a salad or to use as a substitute for herbs like cilantro or parsley.
This appetizing image is from @stoned_community
There’s still more research to be done in how we metabolize raw cannabis. One thing we do know is that incorporating more raw weed into your diet can help you consume over 60 times as many cannabinoids in a sitting than when you smoke, vape, or eat an edible. Raw weed packs more cannabinoid power than activated weed.
WRITTEN BY: MEGAN MEDEIROS | COVER PHOTO BY: whatdoiwear.com
MEGAN MEDEIROS IS A FREELANCE WRITER AND EDITOR IN HARRISONBURG, VA. SHE'S THE OWNER AND OPERATOR OF MEDEIROS WRITING, PROVIDING FREELANCE WRITING, EDITING, AND SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT SERVICES. SHE’S BEEN WORKING AS A CANNABIS WRITER FOR THE PAST TWO YEARS, MOSTLY FOLLOWING THE LEGAL CLIMATE OF MARIJUANA, ESPECIALLY IN AREAS LIKE CALIFORNIA, COLORADO, OREGON, CANADA, AND OTHER LEGAL AREAS. SHE HAS A BACHELOR’S DEGREE IN ENGLISH AND IS CURRENTLY WORKING ON A MASTER’S IN ENGLISH AT JMU.