What Happens When You Eat Raw Cannabis?

by Rachelle Gordon
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Have you ever seen an especially pretty cannabis bud and thought to yourself, “That looks good enough to eat!” Besides, who hasn’t experienced the one-of-a-kind deliciousness that comes from picking an apple fresh from the tree and taking a big bite?

But what happens when you eat raw cannabis exactly? The answer may surprise you…

Eating Bud – Does it Get you High?

The short answer is no. Cannabis flower contains THC-A, which is not psychoactive. When exposed to heat, a chemical reaction occurs and the THC-A turns into THC, which is psychoactive. Essentially when you spark up a joint, you’re waving a magic wand that will ensure the desired results are felt.

In the edibles world, cannabis typically goes through a process called decarboxylation before it’s used in a recipe. Loose buds are separated but not ground and exposed to heat either in an oven or a special “decarbing” device in order to bring out the THC. While it’s not one hundred percent necessary to decarb marijuana prior to using the slow-cook butter method, many expert cannabis chefs swear by the method. 

But Isn’t There a Small Amount of THC in Raw Cannabis?

The lifecycle of a cannabis plant includes lots of light and warm air, so it’s not impossible for some THC to be present in fresh bud. Mild decarbing can occur, especially during the curing process, wherein newly harvested marijuana flower is dried, manicured, and exposed to varying levels of airflow to prepare it for sale/consumption. However, the amount of THC produced during this period of production is rarely enough to make a significant difference in how the plant will react when eaten straight up.

Raw Cannabis May Still Offer Benefits

Despite its lack of psychoactivity, there are still plenty of potential benefits to eating raw cannabis. Studies suggest that THC-A may have anti-inflammatory and anti-emetic properties and could also act as a neuroprotectant. Fresh cannabis is also rich in antioxidants, fiber, and iron much like other leafy greens and also contains a variety of terpenes, which give cannabis its unique aroma and flavor and may have benefits all on their own. Juicing bud alongside other produce like carrots and mangoes has become more popular, making it super simple to get your daily dose of Vitamin Weed.

Conclusion – Raw Cannabis is Still Cool

While consuming raw cannabis may not get you buzzed, it can still do a body good. Acting as a superfood with its vast amounts of THC-A, terpenes, and other beneficial compounds, fresh bud has the potential to be the next big thing. Don’t be surprised if some day soon it pops up as an ingredient on the board of your favorite smoothie shop, right alongside the B12 shot and turmeric boost.

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