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.
Can raw weed get you high?
Researchers have now isolated more than 100Trusted Source 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.
Other effects of 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 PharmacologyTrusted Source 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 ImmunopharmacologyTrusted Source, 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 PharmacologyTrusted Source, 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 dosesTrusted Source of cannabidiolic acid. Also, cannabidiolic acid made the antinausea drug ondansetron more effective. Further studies in humans are needed to confirm these results.
Will Raw Weed Get You High?
If you were hoping to get high after eating some raw flower, you’re in for a disappointment. Raw weed will not get you high. To understand why, you have to be familiar with a little bit of cannabis chemistry.
Cannabis is full of naturally-occurring chemicals called cannabinoids. When you consume and metabolize weed, these compounds enter your body and interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system.
These interactions trigger all sorts of activity and changes in your body, affecting things like mood, appetite, sleep, pain perception and much more.
The sensation of being high is one of these effects. But you’ll only feel that way if your body gets active THC, and as it turns out, raw cannabis doesn’t actually have THC readily available.
Instead, raw cannabis contains the non-psychoactive cannabinoid THCA. Interestingly, when cannabis is exposed to heat, the THCA is converted into “active” THC, which then makes you feel high.
This process is called “decarboxylation.” This is exactly what happens when you ignite bud, or when you heat it to the point of vaporizing. It’s also why before an edible can get you high, the weed must at some point be decarboxylated.
But when you eat raw weed, this crucial step is missing. As a result, all you’re getting is THCA, not THC, which means you won’t get high.
What Happens When You Eat Raw Weed?
If you’re dead set on eating raw weed, don’t worry. Although you won’t get high from eating raw weed, you still may get other health benefits from eating some leafy green.
In fact, a growing number of people claim that eating raw cannabis can be a great way to access the therapeutic and health benefits of cannabinoids without experiencing any of the psychoactive effects.
Dr. William Courtney is one of the leading proponents of consuming raw cannabis. He believes that ingesting the plant raw is one of the healthiest ways to consume it.
“When it’s consumed as a leafy green vegetable, you get the whole profile of the plant,” Courtney told Fox News.
“I believe this plant, having evolved over millions of years, is put together to support that system. It’s clear that this plant is incredibly important for cell health, which at its best prevents disease.”
Courtney regularly recommends raw cannabis to his patients. To date, he said he’s encouraged somewhere around 8,000 patients to give it a shot. And so far, he’s reported positive outcomes.
“My experience day in and day out is overwhelmingly positive with patients who are using it,” he said.
Juicing Is Best
For many people interested in the health benefits of raw cannabis, juicing is the best option. This approach allows you to get all the cannabinoids and other vitamins and minerals contained in the plant without having to process the fibrous plant matter, which can be difficult to digest.
Many people say it also tastes much better, especially when you mix your cannabis juice with other juice or add it to a smoothie.
Additionally, if you mix your cannabis juice with other healthy, vitamin-rich fruits or vegetables, you can give yourself a super-charged health drink.
To juice raw cannabis, you’ll obviously need a juicer and raw, un-decarboxylated weed. Fortunately, you can juice every part of the cannabis plant, buds, leaves, and all.
Roughly chop your plant matter and add it in batches to the juicer. From there, add whatever other fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens you’d like and enjoy.