A reader asked us if they can use raw cannabis in a salad.  The answer is yes, but why?

if you are wanting to enjoy the effects of marijuana, it doesn’t make much sense to eat it raw.

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. 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.

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Photo by Jan Sedivy via Unsplash

Another semi-trend seen online is the marijuana smoothie which is just another form of having raw cannabis. When incorporating raw cannabis into your diet, there are side effects to consider, including allergic reactions, possible ingestion of insecticides and pesticides, and compromised immune system from possible pathogenic exposure. Consuming raw cannabis isn’t the best solution for fast symptom relief.

Researchers are interested in raw weed, but there the difficulty associated with studying the effects of THCA is its instability. 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% trusted source 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.

RELATED: How To Be Discreet When Using Weed

Back to the salad, we surveyed a group of people about eating raw cannabis and found only one who had it natural.  Brandon in Seattle once had to quickly hide his stash so he ate it and said the flavor wasn’t that good. Brandon continued to say “given all the hybrids out there now, I’m sure the taste has improved. There are things I’ve smoked that would probably taste better.”  There are many way to consume marijuana, including in both sweet and savory foods.  A company call DeepCell Industries developed a cannabis salt that can be used on a salad and give a better experience.  We suggest exploring those before having it raw.

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