Healthy Living

Is Marijuana Safe To Eat?

A once-infamous drug used by millions of people from all over the world, marijuana, commonly known as weed, refers to the dried stems, flowers, leaves and seeds of the Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica plants.

The drug, which is commonly used for pleasure or to treat some chronic health problem, is known for its psychoactive properties and is typically ingested through smoking or vaping.

However, not all people can smoke or use a vape, which begs some people to ask: Is it safe to eat marijuana?

To answer simply, yes.

Marijuana ingestion

Much like its cousin plant hemp, marijuana-infused products are abundant on the market. They include energy drinks, gummies, capsules, teas, oils, tinctures and edibles. Most of these products first came into the market as far back as the 1960s. There are also non-edible marijuana products like ointments and creams.

A word of caution, however, just like hemp, the legality of these marijuana-infused products vary from state to state, and what’s legal in one place may be a federal offense in the other. So research should be a given. The legality itself of marijuana is mostly in the gray area, depending on the state and country.

Can you ingest raw marijuana?

Weed is essentially the dried parts of a plant, so yes you can eat it raw. However, because marijuana has to go through a process called decarboxylation to activate its psychoactive properties, it won’t have the same effect as actual marijuana products.

That’s because although marijuana already contains cannabidiolic acide and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, they must first be heat treated to turn into the active compounds cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol.

While eating it raw will not give the same effects, some experts believe that due to the array of plant compounds it has, doing so will still provide some health benefits.

Unfortunately, research is still lacking at the moment, and there’s not enough evidence to fully support this claim.

Nevertheless, edible marijuana products host various health benefits, from treating chronic pain to anxiety and depression.

The main problem with marijuana, however, comes with finding an appropriate dosage. THC concentration also varies, and the method of marijuana ingestion will determine how long before the dosage kicks in and how long it will last.

Marijuana A picture taken on June 5, 2019 shows a man smelling a sample of Marijuana buds, often simply called weed or pot, which is the unprocessed form of the female cannabis plant, at the "Hemp Embassy" store in Milan, one of the first shops in Italy dedicated to cannabis. MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images