Most people are familiar with the effects of smoking, vaping, or otherwise consuming cannabis, but have you ever considered eating it raw? From a nutritional perspective, cannabis is actually extremely healthy. It's a leafy green vegetable that's loaded with protein, fibre, antioxidants, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Fresh leaves and buds can be blended up into a smoothie with other fruits and vegetables, pressed into a raw juice, or even eaten in a salad. The possibilities are limitless and the health benefits are impressive.

Cannabis Raw Juice smoothie

BENEFITS OF RAW CANNABIS CONSUMPTION

Consuming cannabis straight from the earth has a multitude of therapeutic advantages. First and foremost, the cannabinoid acids THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) and CBDA (cannabidiolic acid), which turn into THC and CBD when heated, remain as they are.

CBDA has anti-inflammatory properties, functions as an antibacterial, and has links to reducing nausea and vomiting. Preclinical research states that THCA may have the potential to protect against neurodegenerative diseases, treat epilepsy and muscle spasms, and provide relief for insomnia and pain.

Cannabis will also hold on to a lot more of its beneficial terpenes when it's not getting torched. Aside from producing the aroma and flavour profile, terpenes also have their own set of medicinal properties. They're known to have antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-cancer properties.

cannabis fibre antioxidants

Like many other leafy greens, cannabis is chock-full of fibre, protein, fatty acids, and iron. It can also give you a nice daily dose of vitamin C for immune function, vitamin K for calcium absorption, calcium for strong bones, and folate for DNA repair. Do you happen to have any purple-leaved cannabis? If so, make sure to add that to your diet as well! It contains anthocyanin flavonoids, which function as antioxidants.

It is worth noting, eating raw cannabis will not get you high, as the aforementioned THCA has not been turned into THC through decarboxylation. For some, this will be a turn-off, but for others, this may be of benefit. Know that THCA and CBDA do not have the same effects as THC and CBD. Both sets are being investigated individually, with active THC and CBD currently believed to have more therapeutic potential. However, this does not mean raw cannabis doesn't have its benefits, especially when it comes to a healthy, wholesome food source.

“We have a series of cannabis strains called ACDC. ‘AC’ stands for alternative cannabinoid, which is the CBD acid molecule, which has come into focus lately as being very important as an anti-inflammatory. And ‘DC’ stands for dietary cannabis. […] If you do heat it, then your dose is around 10mg. And if you don’t heat it, if it’s raw, then your dose is around one to 1,000–2,000mg”. —Dr William Courtney, medical doctor and promoter of the “raw greens” cannabis movement.

Salad, hemp seeds, smoothie, juicing

CONSUMPTION METHODS

It's important to remember that you need to use leaves and buds from live cannabis plants when eating it raw. Dried, cured buds will not work for raw cannabis consumption.

  • Smoothie: It's a good idea to mix some leaves/buds with other fruits and veggies to dilute the bitter taste of the weed. Check out this easy and delicious recipe.
  • Juicing: The fresher the cannabis, the better the juice.
  • Salad: Chop up some leaves and mix with other greens and some dressing for a delicious and healthy salad.
  • Hemp Seeds: If you have access to hemp seeds, these can be consumed just like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or any other kind of seeds you enjoy snacking on.
  • Cold-pressed hemp seed oil: Use as an olive oil substitute.

Raw cannabis products are safe to be consumed daily. There are so many benefits raw marijuana can offer that you just can't get any other way!

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