[Updated on: 21 February 2022]
If you’ve been following the news surrounding cannabis or using cannabis for its recreational or medicinal uses, chances are, you’ve at least once asked yourself if eating raw weed will provide you with the same effects.
After all, vapes and edibles involve the processing of the cannabis to achieve the final product, which means a long wait. So can’t we skip this part and eat the raw form instead?
Read on to find out if you can eat raw weed!
Can You Eat Raw Weed?
Raw cannabis refers to the freshly harvested leaves and flowers of the cannabis Sativa plant before being dried or cured.
So, can you eat raw weed? The answer is yes.
In fact, eating raw cannabis is one of the emerging ways of consumption. Although more research is needed, eating raw weed may offer health benefits as smoking or edibles.
Can You Get High From Eating Raw Weed?
However, these three cannabinoids are not naturally present in this form in the cannabis plant.
In raw weed, these cannabinoids have a carboxylic acid attached to them, which researchers refer to as THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid), CBDA (Cannabidiolic acid), and CBGA (cannabigerolic acid).
Once these compounds are exposed to heat or light, decarboxylation occurs where the carboxylic acid group detaches. Only then do these cannabinoids have the potential to cause any psychoactive effects.
However, the answer to can you get high from eating raw weed isn’t exactly a no. Technically speaking, you can get high, but that would require you to consume a lot more raw cannabis than you would need to smoke or use in edibles.
For example, you would have to consume 1/8th of a high-quality raw flower bud to feel any psychoactive effects. This isn’t a very efficient high as you can use that much to last you multiple smoking sessions.
Effects of Eating Raw Weed
Consuming the raw flowers and leaves of marijuana has several effects on the body.
Dig into this section to read about the positive effects of consuming raw weed.
Research suggests that THCA may have neuroprotective properties that may prevent and even treat neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease.
In addition, CBDA may hold the potential for treatment against epilepsy making raw cannabis great for brain health.
May Help with Nausea
According to a study, THCA and CBDA in raw cannabis may effectively reduce nausea caused by chemotherapy. In addition, it may also help increase appetite.
Great Source of Fiber
Everyone knows how great fiber is for proper digestion and consuming cannabis leaves will provide you with enough of it.
Fiber provides bulk to the stool helping in colonic lubrication and transit, regulating bowel movements. In addition, the bacteria in your guy breaks down this fiber and feeds on it, which further aids in digestion.
Eating uncooked marijuana may provide you with the fiber you need to achieve these benefits.
Raw Cannabis May Be Packed With Vitamins
You don’t have to worry about not fulfilling your daily vitamin intake when eating raw marijuana as you will receive several health benefits.
Eating raw cannabis will provide you with folate, which is vital for the repair of DNA
- Raw cannabis has iron which is vital to transport oxygen throughout the body efficiently
- Consuming cannabis will get you calcium which will give you strong bones
- Raw cannabis has vitamin C, which strengthens immunity
- Eating raw weed will provide you with vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting and absorption of calcium
May Help You Relax and Sleep
One of the plant compounds found in the cannabis plant is terpenes. However, the heating process causes some of these terpenes to evaporate which means you won’t be able to receive the benefits they may have to offer.
You don’t have to worry about losing any terpenes when eating raw weed. Terpenes such as linalool Beta-caryophyllene may have relaxing and anti-anxiety properties. In addition, they may also help you sleep better.
Anthocyanin is a pigment responsible for the red, blue, and purple colors you see in fruits and vegetables. This compound is packed with nutrients and studied for its antidiabetic, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-obesity properties.
Anthocyanin is found in the plant; therefore, if you’re consuming raw cannabis, it may provide you with the same benefits.
May Help With Pain and Inflammation
Cannabinoids act on the endocannabinoid system and therefore may help alleviate pain and inflammation.
In addition, consuming raw cannabis may have anti-inflammatory properties which may help reduce swelling caused by conditions such as arthritis.
Raw Weed Contains More Antioxidants
Heating weed flowers and leaves may reduce antioxidants. So if you consume cannabis products for their antioxidant levels, then you may eat raw weed as it may provide you with more health benefits.
Since there is no processing involved, the number of antioxidants is much higher. These antioxidants will protect your body from harmful free radicals, therefore, protecting you from diseases.
Uncooked Marijuana Has Healthy Fats
Omega-3 and Omega-6 are vital to maintaining cell function and repairing tissue damage. These fats also help promote brain health. Both these fatty acids are present in raw cannabis leaves.
Moreover, eating raw cannabis may also provide you with linoleic acid, which is excellent for hair and skin health.
The cannabinoid acids you’ll get by consuming raw weed may help you overcome some of the endocannabinoid deficiencies present in the body. This may help prevent chronic diseases.
Furthermore, these acids may help your cells communicate with each other and help with symptoms caused by conditions such as migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, and glaucoma.
Although consuming raw cannabis may have many therapeutic and health benefits, there are a few risks involved.
Lack of Research Surrounding Cannabis
Cannabis plants and cannabinoids are still undergoing research, and a lot needs to be confirmed about the effects.
Moreover, there need to be more human trials to study the effects of cannabinoids further. More research also needs to be examining the short and long-term impact of THCA, CBDA, and CBGA you may obtain by consuming raw cannabis.
Risks of THCA
THCA is an unstable compound that makes studying it difficult and increases the chances of side effects.
The carboxylic group from THCA detaches very quickly if it is not handled correctly. Heating up your raw weed may turn the THCA to THC leading to adverse effects.
TCH may cause side effects such as anxiety, dry mouth, paranoia, and an increased heart rate.
The Source of Weed
Unless you’re growing the cannabis plant yourself, you need to be very careful about where the raw cannabis comes from.
Because it is increasingly becoming popular, many commercial growers use pesticides which may cause various health problems. So make sure you’re eating raw cannabis that is organic and free from any pesticides.
Dosing Is Hard to Figure Out
Because of the lack of research, there is no set dose of cannabis products. Eating raw cannabis makes the quantity even harder to figure out.
If you’re new to the cannabis world or are thinking of trying out a new product, always remember to start low and work your way up.
Pros and Cons of Eating Raw Weed
If you’re still unsure whether eating raw weed is a good idea or not, let’s recap by going over the pros and cons of consuming raw weed.
Raw cannabis has several health benefits
- May promote brain health
- Raw cannabis may help with nausea
- Packed with vitamins and antioxidants
- Contains omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
- Raw cannabis has anthocyanin, which is packed with nutrients
- Has pain-relieving properties
- Raw cannabis may have anti-inflammatory properties
- Relaxing may help with anxiety
- It May help you sleep better
- Raw cannabis might help you overcome endocannabinoid deficiencies
- Lack of research
- THCA in raw cannabis comes with risks
- Dosing of raw cannabis is tricky to figure out
- The raw weed may be treated with pesticides
How to Consume Raw Cannabis
At this point, you’re probably thinking about giving raw cannabis a try. But of course, the idea of munching on raw cannabis leaves and flowers is not a pleasant one.
Not to worry! There are many ways you can incorporate raw cannabis into your diet.
Juicing Raw Weed
Juicing raw weed is the most common method used by people to consume raw cannabis as you can receive all the nutrients while filtering out the fibrous plant matter that is tough to digest.
Add the raw flower buds and leaves to your juicer and you’re good to go. You’ll have to add water too. This is because the water content of the cannabis plant is not very high and so you won’t be getting a lot of juice from the weed flowers and leaves alone.
You can also try adding some fruit juice. This will also help make your juice more palatable.
Make a Smoothie
If you don’t like the taste of your cannabis juice, you can try to make a cannabis smoothie instead.
Add the raw flower buds and leaves along with the fruits of your choice to your blender and blend away. The only downside of making a smoothie is that you’ll receive a lot more fibrous material as compared to juicing.
Try chopping up your plant material before blending to make the process easier.
As It Is
Of course, if you prefer having the raw flowers and leaves as they are, then go ahead! You can eat raw cannabis like lettuce, or you can finely chop it and add it to your salad.
Does Eating Raw Weed Show Up in a Drug Test
Although raw cannabis has THCA, which does not produce any psychoactive effects, it still is a form of THC.
Which makes one wonder, does eating raw weed make you fail a drug test?
The answer is yes.
Contrary to popular belief, drug tests don’t check for THC in the sample. Instead, they look for carboxy-THC.
Carboxy-THC (THC-COOH) is the second metabolite of THC formed in the body after marijuana is consumed. Since THC-COOH is fat-soluble, it is stored in fat cells and stays in the system for longer.
This means, regardless of the method of consumption, drug tests will detect THC-COOH in your system.
If you’re planning on taking a drug test anytime soon, we recommend not consuming any cannabis products with THC in them, including eating raw weed.
What Is the Best Way to Consume Cannabis
The best way to eat raw weed depends on you and the method you find most comfortable.
If you’re looking for a way to take weed without smoking it, then edibles may be the option for you. However, the dosage is a little tricky to figure out when it comes to edibles.
If you’re interested in the benefits of cannabis, but without the psychoactive effects, then there are methods available for that as well.
You can either eat raw weed or think about purchasing CBD products. These contain a variety of cannabinoids with little to no THC and offer many benefits.
So there you have it, raw cannabis does not get you high. Of course, that doesn’t mean that this is the only method of consumption.
Although eating raw weed does offer more benefits, at the end of the day, it all comes down to which method you find most comfortable.
Remember to do your research and opt for the least harmful way of consumption. Keep your healthcare professional in the loop, too, so that you can make the best decision for your body and receive the maximum amount of health benefits.