Amateur cannabis users likely don’t know the inner workings of cannabis. They don’t know that a key element for the “high” experience is heat, which transforms the compound THCA into THC, which is why someone might try to add raw marijuana into their sweets and expect some sort of benefit.
While this doesn’t work, raw marijuana does have some interesting health benefits.
In recent years, people have taken an interest in other parts of the cannabis plant, removing THC from their focus. There are a variety of elements present in the plant that have benefits, at times mysterious, since they haven’t been all that studied. These compounds and terpenes are plentiful and vastly different, to a point where researchers don’t even know how many there are and what their effects are in full.
While consuming raw cannabis won’t get you high and won’t be the most delicious experience, it’s something akin to eating leafy greens. While the plant won’t produce any psychoactive effects, it might help in providing vitamins, minerals and cannabinoids to your system.
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For the THC in the cannabis plant to become effective — providing the high and the sensation of relaxation or creativity — the plant needs to go through a decarboxylation process. This is the step many neophyte cannabis chefs skip before cooking edibles. Decarboxylation occurs when you apply heat to the plant, be that when smoking a joint or when preheating cannabis before adding it in to your edibles.
In its natural state, cannabis doesn’t have any THC. Instead it has a compound called THCA, which has been linked with anti-inflammatory properties, the promotion of brain health, the propagation of cells, and even slowing down the growth and spread of cancer cells.
Still, no matter how invested you are in cannabis research, there’s no scientific evidence out there that guarantees that consuming the raw plant will provide the anti-inflammatory properties and other benefits it’s been linked to. However, by eating cannabis raw, you’d get the same benefits of eating any other green and leafy plant.
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If you’re interested in eating cannabis and are finding it challenging, there are some options you can try. While some are interested in adding it to salads or as a garnish in their dishes (why?!), juicing might be the simplest way. This process takes advantage of the entire cannabis plant, including the leafs, stem and buds, and makes for a much better option than somehow finding a way to make raw marijuana taste good.
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Cannabis juices contain all of the compounds and properties in the plant and can be molded according to your tastes. You can mix it with other fruits and veggies, add in some honey for sweetness and end up with something healthy and delicious.
Hopefully this approach can help you utilize cannabis in different ways. If you have access to cannabis leaves then you likely have access to the cannabis plant. Be sure to use it to your advantage; sticks, stems, leaves and the like can be used to infuse drinks, teas, and coffees, or to add a cool and aromatic twist to a cocktail and wow some dinner guests.