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Eating raw weed: Can it get you high?

Generally, people who use marijuana are either looking to get high or benefit from its reported medical uses. Does eating raw weed have the same effect as smoking it, vaping it, or consuming it in the form of edibles?

The effects of marijuana come from its active ingredients: delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and cannabigerol (CBG). These three ingredients are not naturally present in marijuana. They occur as a result of a chemical process called decarboxylation.

Because of this, raw weed may not produce the high that people usually expect from cannabis. That said, some researchers are still interested in the possible medicinal uses of raw weed.

Read on to learn about whether or not a person can get high from eating raw weed and about the possible medicinal effects of these inactive compounds. This article also discusses some other ways that a person can use cannabis.

Share on Pinterest Eating raw weed is unlikely to cause a significant high.

Researchers have now isolated more than 100 cannabinoids. THC, CBD, and CBG are three compounds that may produce significant therapeutic effects.

However, these three cannabinoids do not occur naturally in high concentrations in raw weed. Raw weed contains these three cannabinoids with a carboxylic acid attached. Experts refer to these compounds as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinolic (THCA-A), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and cannabigerolic acid (CBGA).

With exposure to light or heat from smoking or baking, the carboxylic acid group detaches. This process is called decarboxylation. Without the carboxylic acid group, these three compounds have the potential to cause a therapeutic effect. It is only then that THC can result in a high.

People are therefore unlikely to experience a significant high if they eat raw weed.

Despite the lack of high from the carboxylated forms of THC, researchers are interested in the possible therapeutic effects of raw weed. These potential benefits may include:

Protecting brain cells

One study in the British Journal of Pharmacology demonstrated that THCA might have a protective effect on brain cells.

These findings may be important for experts in neuroinflammatory diseases and neurodegenerative conditions such as Huntington’s disease. THC may be an interesting therapeutic option in these cases.

Inhibiting tumor necrosis

Another study, this time in the journal International Immunopharmacology, also tested the effects of unheated cannabis extract.

The researchers note that THCA was able to inhibit the tumor necrosis factor alpha levels in immune cells. Furthermore, this inhibition lasted for a long time.

Further studies will be necessary to confirm the effects of THCA on the immune system and its applications in immune conditions.

Providing antinausea effects

Researchers are also interested in the possible antinausea effect of THCA.

In another study in the British Journal of Pharmacology, researchers explored the antinausea effect of THCA in rats. The researchers demonstrated that it was effective in reducing nausea and vomiting.

They suggest that THCA may be a more potent alternative to THC in the treatment of nausea and vomiting. Further studies are necessary to find out whether or not these effects also occur in humans.

Researchers have also demonstrated the antinausea and anti-vomiting effects of low doses of cannabidiolic acid. Also, cannabidiolic acid made the antinausea drug ondansetron more effective. Further studies in humans are needed to confirm these results.

One of the difficulties associated with studying the effects of THCA is its instability in nature. The carboxylic acid group detaches easily from the compound.

For example, researchers have demonstrated that THCA is unstable in ethanol. After 10 days at 77ºF (25ºC), only 33% of the THCA remained in ethanol. Losses of THCA even occurred after freezing.

Although researchers suggest that there are many possible medicinal uses of raw weed, they must ensure its stability to prevent THCA from converting quickly to THC, which causes a high.

According to one study, smoking is the most prevalent form of marijuana use. Vaping is another common form of consumption. However, both vaping and smoking can have adverse effects on the lungs.

Consuming marijuana in the form of edibles could be a way of using weed without harming the lungs.

The effects of edibles differ from those of raw weed because the cannabis in edibles has gone through the process of decarboxylation.

The section below discusses edibles in more detail.

Marijuana edibles

In states where recreational marijuana use is legal, 11% of people who use it take it in edible form. In states where only medical marijuana use is legal, there is a 5.1% prevalence of edible use. Only 4.2% of people report consuming edibles in states where marijuana is illegal.

Researchers have also found that baked goods and candies are the most consumed edible marijuana products in the United States.

Manufacturers also produce marijuana infused:

  • drinks
  • spreads
  • sublingual drops
  • snacks
  • pills
  • mouth sprays
  • topicals

People who do not want to smoke, who do not want to smell of smoke, or who feel anxious about inhaling weed may wish to consider consuming edibles instead.

It is possible for a person consuming marijuana in the form of an edible to take too much. They may not notice this immediately because the high may be delayed. To avoid taking too much, eat a smaller amount and wait for the effect.

Smoking or vaping weed and eating cannabis edibles can cause a high, but what about eating raw weed? Learn more about eating raw weed here.

What is raw cannabis?

Olivia Snider

Raw cannabis is distinctly different from both the cannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

You’ve probably heard about the latest craze in cannabis: CBD, or cannabidiol. But what about raw cannabis? Raw cannabis is distinctly different from both the cannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD. While all three come from the Cannabis sativa plant, they each boast their own unique characteristics that produce different effects on the human body.

So what exactly is raw cannabis? Simply put, it is unheated, or “non-activated,” cannabis. This means that it has not been through a process called decarboxylation, which is really just a fancy way of noting that the compound has undergone a chemical process as a result of heating over time.

Raw cannabis not only contains fiber, calcium, and iron, but also contains over 100 cannabinoids. It includes both of the raw counterparts of THC and CBD, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA). But, because these compounds are inactivated or unheated, raw cannabis is not psychoactive. It should be noted that, while the decarboxylation or activation process does require heat to occur, this can also happen as a result of sunlight exposure or even room-temperature storage over time. The amount of THCA or CBDA that is converted through activation depends largely on the type of heat process applied and the duration of time.

Raw cannabis and CBD, both finding their origins in the hemp plant, are not classified as Schedule I substances like marijuana. The 2018 Farm Bill, which de-scheduled hemp and its derivates (with a THC content of no more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis) as a Schedule I drug and authorized legal hemp agriculture in the U.S., has rendered raw cannabis and CBD legal in the U.S. (Editor’s note: Opinions still differ on the current legal status of CBD as well as raw cannabis in consumer products. FDA has stated that CBD is not currently allowed in dietary supplements and food.)

Why Incorporate Raw Cannabis?

Raw plants, in general, retain more of their nutrients in contrast to their cooked counterparts. This same concept applies to raw cannabis as well, even beyond the benefits of the cannabinoids.

Cannabis is a powerhouse of a plant and, in its raw form, is actually one of the most nutritionally complete food sources on our planet. It has nutritious compounds such as omega fatty acids, minerals like calcium and iron, and an abundance of vitamins, including vitamin A, B1, B2, C, and E. Raw cannabis also boasts complete proteins, which means the proteins found in cannabis provide all essential forms of amino acids.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you would want to entirely replace CBD (which is heated) with CDBA in your diet. While certain nutrients are destroyed by heat and are better absorbed through raw plants, other enzymes are more bioavailable through their cooked counterparts.

Basically, it’s all about balance.

Where Is Raw Cannabis Sourced ?

Raw cannabis can be difficult to come by. The most straightforward way to source it is actually to grow your own, which is unfortunately not an option for everyone. One tip: Ensuring the plant doesn’t dry out helps maximize the raw cannabis benefits. One should check with state and local laws as to whether a home-grown cannabis project is lawful under applicable regulations. Another option is to look for CBD products containing raw cannabinoids. As the legal landscape on cannabis shifts, it should become easier for folks nationwide to include raw cannabis into their daily diets.

How Is Raw Cannabis Used?

Juicing is one of the most common ways people choose to start building raw cannabis into their diet. One should select a masticating or cold-pressed juicer to ensure the cannabis remains raw. Masticating juicers utilize a slow crushing and squeezing process to extract juice from the raw plant. Unlike centrifugal juicers, masticating juicers do not produce heat, eliminating the chance of converting raw cannabinoids into their activated counterparts during the preparation process.

Another way to incorporate raw cannabis is through green smoothies and salads. It’s easy to toss in the blender with your favorite green smoothie recipe, or as an additional topping on your salad. For instance, one could sprinkle raw cannabis trim or drizzle a full-spectrum hemp extract oil that contains CBDA on top of a veggie mix.

Olivia Snider is a writer at Bluebird Botanicals. Bluebird Botanicals retails a Hemp Complete full-spectrum CBD oil, which contains CBDA.

Raw cannabis is distinctly different from both the cannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).