You will not get high from eating raw weed. It turns out the psychoactive compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is activated when raw weed undergoes decarboxylation. Researchers believe that raw weed offers medicinal value, but no conclusive evidence exists.
Weed eating habit has not begun in the 21st century. In fact, the use of cannabis-infused food dates back to 2700 B.C. in ancient China and 1000 B.C. in India. But what happens when you eat weed? Can you get high from eating weed? And what are the best ways to ingest cannabis?
Read on to find out.
Can You Get High from Eating Raw Weed?
If you thought eating raw cannabis would get you high, you are in for a shock. Raw weed contains the non-psychoactive cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA). THCA does not get you high because, when ingested, it does not bind to the cannabinoid receptors in your body as THC does.
For better insight, assume that your cannabinoid receptors are locks. And these locks need a specific kind of key to open. THCA is not the right fit for the lock, but when activated and converted to THC, it can unlock the cannabinoid receptors.
THCA is thermally unstable and changes its chemical profile to THC when heated through decarboxylation. Decarboxylation activates THC to produce a high. Since raw weed does not involve heating or vaporizing, it contains inactive THC compounds, thus zero psychoactive effects.
It is worth mentioning that, technically, dried cannabis nugs will make you high. The cannabinoids and terpenes degrade when the buds dry for too long, thus activating THC.
What Happens If You Eat Weed?
Eating raw cannabis will not get you high. But that does not mean that eating it is entirely futile. On the contrary, eating and swallowing weed promotes your overall well-being.
Raw marijuana contains terpenes, naturally occurring compounds that produce an entourage effect. Terpenes break down when exposed to high temperatures, and since you are eating bud, you get to enjoy rich, therapeutic benefits.
Some common marijuana terpenes are pinene, humulene, limonene, and myrcene. Pinene boasts anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effects, whereas humulene is an anti-inflammatory and an appetite suppressant. Limonene helps with digestion and alleviates anxiety and depression, while myrcene aids body relaxation.
Raw cannabis also contains flavonoids. These phytochemical compounds have the potential to offer medical benefits. Cannabis flavonoids work as antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial compounds to fight diseases and promote immunity. Common flavonoids in weed include anthocyanins, cannflavin A, cannflavin B, and quercetin.
Other than raw weed, you can also eat edible cannabis. These come as oils, capsules, teas, candies, gummies, and chocolates. Cannabis edibles contain THC since they have been activated by heat or exposure to light. They produce a high that takes effect within an hour of consumption.
What Are the Potential Benefits and Effects of Eating Raw Weed?
There are numerous benefits of chewing marijuana. Researchers believe that THCA offers the following benefits.
Benefits of Eating Raw Weed
- Protects Brain Cells
A British Journal of Pharmacology study found evidence suggesting that THCA protects brain cells. This compound is effective in slowing the effects of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease.
- Prevents Nausea
THCA is an antiemetic compound that reduces nausea and vomiting. A 2020 study on rats found that the combination of THCA and CBDA managed nausea from chemotherapy treatment. More research also shows that THCA boosts appetite and promotes digestion.
- Inhibits Tumor Necrosis
Tumor necrosis can be bad for your health since it can cause aggressive development of the tumor or cause it to shift to another part of your body. A study on THCA found that this compound effectively inhibited tumor necrosis for an extended period. Unheated cannabis also prevents the rapid increase of cancerous cells.
- Relieves Pain and Inflammation
Raw weed contains THCA and CBDA. CBDA is a potent anti-inflammatory compound that works similarly to a COX2 inhibitor to relieve pain, fever, and inflammation. Unlike some pain medications that affect the gut, CBDA ensures the intestinal lining stays healthy.
- Better Sleep
- Encourages Entourage Effect
Raw weed contains terpenes. Terpenes are aromatic molecules that give cannabis its delicious flavor. The presence of terpenes produces an entourage effect to promote therapeutic benefits. Scientists are yet to point out how terpenes are metabolized, but they are confident that they are absorbed in the blood.
- Rich in Flavonoids
Flavonoids are usually overlooked, but they, too, provide numerous health benefits. Flavonoids attract insects for pollination and protect the plant against pathogens and UV rays. These phytochemicals support heart health, clean the arteries, and protect body cells against damage.
- Source of Essential Minerals
Did you know that cannabis leaves have high levels of vitamins, minerals, and fiber? This may come as a shocker, but raw cannabis contains calcium (necessary for strong bones), Iron (maintains healthy blood), Folate (for DNA repair), Vitamin K (supports blood clotting), and Vitamin C (for a healthy immune system). It is also rich in fiber to keep your gut healthy.
- Rich in Antioxidants
Raw and cooked cannabis contains high levels of antioxidants. These chemicals protect the body against free radicals (waste molecules that the body produces when reacting to the environment). Free radicals can impact the cells and body, causing inflammation. Luckily, antioxidants neutralize these waste molecules to prevent diseases like cancer.
- It is Safe
Chewing raw marijuana is much safer than smoking. Smoking, indeed, allows fast THC absorption into the bloodstream. However, it puts you at risk of developing respiratory problems. The hot smoke irritates the airways and lungs, causing inflammation. With time, you exhibit symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest pains, and recurring lung infections.
Marijuana smoking also involves inhaling deeply to hold the smoke in the lungs. This habit deposits four times more tar in the lungs than cigarette smoking. The introduction of these carcinogens affects the lungs and the respiratory system.
Side Effects of Eating Raw Weed
Having discussed the benefits of chewing marijuana, here are the side effects of eating weed raw.
- Risk of Consuming Harmful Bacteria
Chewing weed may offer potential benefits but also puts you at risk of ingesting harmful bacteria. Raw cannabis leaves may have E. Coli, salmonella, or both, putting you at risk of suffering diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever.
- Risk of Ingesting Chemical Pesticides
Some cannabis farmers spray chemical pesticides and herbicides on their plants. If a marijuana plant has traces of these chemicals during harvest, it can be potentially toxic. Pesticide residue has been linked to causing acute and chronic poisoning.
How to Ingest Cannabis for Best Results
When you steam, cook, vape, smoke, or dry raw cannabis, the THCA compound ceases to exist and converts to THC. And since you are not interested in the psychoactive THC, you can enjoy raw cannabis in these ways.
- Make Juice
Juicing raw cannabis is a healthy way to ingest the plant’s vitamins, minerals, fiber, proteins, antioxidants, and cannabinoids. Add cannabis leaves and buds into the juicer and mix it with other fruit or vegetable juices. Weed juice is not tasty, but blending it with fruit juice will mask its taste.
- Make Salads
Take your ordinary salad to the next level by adding raw cannabis leaves, seeds, flowers, or stems. Try adding thinly sliced cannabis leaves to a bowl of radishes, peppers, onions, olives, and sunflower seeds.
- Make Smoothies
Smoothies are an excellent way to absorb cannabis phytonutrients. Sprinkle fresh cannabis leaves or flowers into your blender, then add berries, tropical fruits, and ice. However, avoid freezing the smoothie, as extremely cold temperatures can alter cannabis’s chemical profile.
- Chew Raw Marijuana
If you enjoy eating raw Brussels sprouts, beets, broccoli, or lettuce, you can try munching on a raw cannabis bud. This method, however, may not be as appealing as a smoothie, juice, or salad.
You can also try eating raw marijuana seeds. They are rich in easy-to-digest protein, vitamins, potassium, iron, zinc, and magnesium to help you gain or lose weight healthily. Cannabis seeds are also an excellent source of omega fatty acids for a healthy heart and brain. Not only do they reduce blood pressure, but they also reduce the likelihood of suffering a stroke or heart attack.
- Make Edibles
If you want to enjoy more than a raw cannabis leaf or flower, add it to your baked foods. Baking, however, converts carboxylic acids into THC and CBD, so be prepared for mind-altering effects.
Is Raw Weed Legal in the US?
There are two honest answers to this question: yes and no. Yes, raw weed is legal yet illegal. Confusing right? Well, weed legality has never been black and white in the United States.
You see, raw weed comprises THCA and CBDA. Neither of these compounds is listed as controlled substances, which can be translated as legal. However, THCA is a precursor of THC, and this explanation might be what the DEA will use to prosecute you.
Additionally, federal law considers marijuana a controlled substance. It does not distinguish whether it’s smoked marijuana, marijuana-infused edibles, or raw marijuana. Even though the raw marijuana buds have zero THC, federal law classifies it as a Schedule 1 drug.
Fortunately, all hope is not lost. Despite the federal law banning marijuana, some states have legalized medical and recreational marijuana, making it possible to eat weed. The states that have legalized medical and recreational marijuana include:
● New Jersey
● New Mexico
● Rhode Island
● New York
● Washington D.C
Other states have only legalized medical marijuana, and a few have placed a ban on all types of marijuana.
Eating raw marijuana will never produce a high. This is because it contains THCA, which produces zero psychoactive effects until it converts to THC. To get high, consider smoking, vaping, or baking the plant.
Before purchasing and using raw weed, ensure it is legal in your state. Also, get your products from a reputable vendor to avoid buying contaminated weed.