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As the wave of marijuana reform spreads across the country, people everywhere are beginning to explore the different properties of this intriguing plant, and one of the many questions people are asking is “Should you be eating raw weed?” Experienced cannabis connoisseurs will tell you that weed has to be heated to provide the psychoactive affects that we all associate with it. However, not every benefit of weed is psychoactive. Researchers have been discovering that marijuana has the potential to be a superfood. Read on to find out why the answer to the question “Should you be eating raw weed?” is a resounding yes!
The first and most obvious benefit to eating anything is nutrition, so what nutritional benefits can you gain from eating raw weed? It turns out that there are a number of ingredients in marijuana that are incredibly useful to your body that you may not be getting anywhere else.
One prime example is B vitamins. These play a key role in the production of serotonin, which is a vital mood regulator. While B vitamins can be found in a number of other leafy greens, certain varieties of cannabis seem to be excellent sources of them.
Terpenes are another important nutritional ingredient in marijuana. These oils are produced by the same parts of the plant that produce THC and CBD, the psychoactive chemicals in marijuana. Research has indicated that different terpenes yield a wide array of health benefits. These benefits include analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, neuroprotective, and anticonvulsant properties. Each strain of marijuana produces different terpenes, and this difference is what gives each strain its own distinctive taste and smell. Some of the more common terpenes in marijuana include linalool, pinene, limonene, terpineol, humulene, and ocinene.
Cannabis can also be a great source of protein. The leaves and seeds are high in protein as well as omega-3 and 6 fatty acids. Not only does cannabis contain these two different fatty acids, but it also has them in the perfect ratio for many optimal health outcomes. The human body does not naturally produce fatty acids, so getting them in the correct ratio is essential to ensuring the body functions properly, providing a clear answer to the question “Should you be eating raw weed?”
Marijuana has other ingredients that are important to keeping your body functioning properly. In addition to the vitamins, terpenes, proteins, and fatty acids, cannabis contains antioxidants and amino acids. In fact, the antioxidant and neuroprotective properties of CBD are so powerful that the substance was patented by none other than the US Federal Government when CBD was discovered in 2003. Amino acids are vital ingredients to cell function and repair, and also play a key role in transporting nutrients.
The Unique Selling Point: Cannabinoid Acids
While marijuana may have some amazing nutritional properties, all of those substances, with the exception of CBD, can be found in other foods that you eat. However, there is one thing that sets cannabis far apart from other foods, something that other foods simply do not have: cannabinoid acids. These acids are one of the biggest reasons you should eat raw weed.
Cannabinoid acids play a key part in your endocannabinoid system, which helps regulate a number of important bodily functions such as metabolism, the immune system, mood, and sleep, among other things. THCa and CBDa are two primary cannabinoid acids that have been studied and proven to benefit these functions.
Astute readers will notice that these chemicals are remarkably similar to THC and CBD, and indeed, they are the source of the THC and CBD in the weed you smoke, vape, or cook. The difference is that THC and CBD are active, where as THCa and CBDa are not. When you consume marijuana in the more traditional ways, the parts of the molecule that make THCa and CBDa different from THC and CBD are removed, a process known as decarboxylation. One researcher noted that when marijuana is heated it delivers a dose of CBDa of about 10mg. When eaten raw the dose goes up to 1,000 to 2,000mg. As a result your body is able to absorb and process a much greater amount of this important chemical.
But what makes these chemicals important? The endocannabinoid system of course. The endocannabinoid system functions by helping your cells communicate with each other. As a result, it may play a vital role in treating a number of conditions. Other studies have suggested that helping the endocannabinoid system by consuming cannabinoid acids could prevent a variety of chronic diseases. Furthermore, experts suggest that the higher dose that you get from eating raw weed is more effective in achieving the desired results than the smaller quantities you get from more traditional consumption methods.
Last but not least is flavor. As anyone will tell you, the number one reason to eat something is because it tastes good, and there are a number of ways that marijuana can add a new dimension of flavor to the food you’ve been eating. It provides a wonderful undertone when added to smoothies or juices. Cannabis leaves are a great addition to a salad mix, and shelled seeds can be used to add a delightful crunch to a number of different dishes. When you consider the wide range of terpene combinations and the fact that each will produce its own flavor, the possibilities become endless. Especially when you take into account that some of the terpenes in marijuana also contain undertones of many classic cooking flavors, such as citrus.
As you can see, the answer to the question “Should you be eating raw weed?” is a resounding yes. The nutritional benefits and flexibility offered by the plant, combined with the boost of cannabinoid acids which you can’t get elsewhere, point to the fact that raw weed can potentially be the next superfood. Only time will tell if raw weed will gain the popularity that smoking and eating activated weed have achieved, but if research continues to find more and more benefits it is likely you will be ordering a cannabis salad sometime in the not-too-distant future.