Cannabis is one of the oldest herbs on earth. In fact, people have been using cannabis for over 2,000 years. While you may know that smoking cannabis can provide relief, did you know you could be eating it too? From supplying the body with essential amino acids to fighting disease, cannabis contains a powerhouse of health benefits. When eaten raw, or juiced, these effects are amplified. Discover the incredible (and surprising) benefits of raw cannabis.
1.) Raw cannabis contains vital nutrients
Did you know cannabis is considered a vegetable? Like other leafy greens, cannabis is packed with vital nutrients such as fiber, iron, and calcium. The vast number of vitamins, oils, and acids in cannabis has even led experts such as Dr. William Courtney to consider cannabis a nutritional essential. Similar to other vegetables, many of these health benefits are negated once heat is applied. When vegetables are cooked, a lot of the enzymes, minerals, and vitamins are lost in the process. To maximize the nutritional value of cannabis, it is best consumed raw.
2.) Raw cannabis is non-psychoactive
Raw cannabis provides a number of outstanding nutritional benefits. However, it will not get you high. There is no psychoactive component to raw cannabis because heat must be applied to activate THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. In its raw form, cannabis contains THCA – the precursor to THC. In order for THCA to convert into THC, heat must be applied. This process if often referred to as decarboxylation. So raw cannabis can be consumed without psychoactivity. Which is great news for patients who need high concentrations of cannabinoids in their diet.
3.) Raw cannabis provides essential fatty acids
Fatty acids are essential to optimal health. These essential fats play an important role in the body by supporting vital systems such as the brain, heart, liver, skin, and many others. However, essential fatty acids must be obtained through diet. The body does not produce essential fatty acids internally. Hemp seeds along with cannabis leaves contain an ideal ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids. By integrating raw cannabis into your diet, you can supply your body with a nutritious boost of essential fatty acids.
4.) Raw cannabis is loaded with antioxidants
Did you know researchers discovered CBDA possesses powerful antioxidants? The precursor to CBD, CBDA is present in the raw form of cannabis. Like THCA to THC, CBDA must have heat applied to convert into CBD. However, in its raw form, CBDA provides a number of health benefits, including a powerful dose of antioxidants. Antioxidants play a pivotal role in the body by protecting cells against the damage of free radicals. Free radicals have been linked to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes to name a few. Raw cannabis provides the body with an ample amount of antioxidants. In fact, when eaten raw, the body is able to process larger amounts of antioxidants than it would be able to do if heated. Eating raw cannabis is a fantastic way to increase the quantity of antioxidants you consume.
5.) Raw cannabis preserves terpene content
Terpenes are the flavorful compounds in cannabis. They are responsible for the many flavors and scents of various cannabis strains. In addition, terpenes also possess a number of noteworthy health benefits. For example, the terpene linalool is an anticonvulsant and anti-inflammatory substance. Another terpene in cannabis limonene has been linked to lower cholesterol levels, faster metabolism, and gastrointestinal relief. While terpenes are present when smoked, some of the terpene content is lost when heated. By consuming cannabis raw you can maximize the number of terpenes you ingest. In-turn boosting the number of health benefits your body receives.
6.) Raw cannabis provides anti-inflammatory properties
As cannabis research steps out of the shadows and into the light, more information is being unveiled regarding the therapeutic properties of the cannabis plant. In fact, it is now believed that THCA may play a pivotal role as an anti-inflammatory. Some studies suggest THCA may even be neuroprotective and can prevent cancer. While there is currently not enough research to definitively say the degree in which THCA acts as an anti-inflammatory, preliminary research and anecdotal evidence indicate this cannabinoid contains powerful therapeutic properties. Because THCA is only present when cannabis isn’t heated, consuming raw cannabis is an excellent way to nourish the body with this healthy cannabinoid.
7.) Raw cannabis contains every essential amino acid
Did you know that cannabis seeds not only contain essential fatty acids but also essential amino acids? Essential amino acids play an important role in the functioning of our cells by repairing tissue, maintaining structure, and transporting nutrients across the body. Essential amino acids also happen to be the building blocks of protein. While most plants are considered an incomplete source of protein, cannabis is a complete protein source. Raw cannabis contains every essential amino acid. Because our bodies do not produce essential amino acids, they must be introduced through diet. Raw cannabis is a healthy source of amino acid content.
8.) Raw cannabis supports optimum health
Raw cannabis provides the body with vital nutrients, minerals, and vitamins that are not present when smoked. In addition, raw cannabis supplies the body with larger doses of beneficial cannabinoids. Although these cannabinoids can be obtained through smoking or eating cannabis, more cannabinoids are ingested when consumed in raw form. This is because when heat is applied, the body is not able to process as many cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are shown to play a significant role when it comes to our health. Interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system, or ECS, cannabinoids play a vital role in many physiological processes. In 2004, the term Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CEDC) was coined by Dr. Ethan Russo. CEDC has been linked to the development of various diseases such as immune system disorders, chronic pain, and fatigue. While the research is still developing, it is now believed consuming sufficient doses of cannabinoids can help prevent the development of CEDC. In other words, consuming cannabinoids can ward off diseases and support optimum health and functioning.
Consuming raw cannabis can provide a number of outstanding health benefits. However, it is important that only quality cannabis is ingested. Many forms of cannabis on the market contain harmful pesticides or insecticides, which could exacerbate health problems. Always source clean organic herbs before consuming raw.