Recently, a show aired on Viceland called “Bong Appetite.” It is all about cooking with weed and all the amazing recipes weed can be incorporated into. In order for weed to have it’s psychoactive effects, the THC needs to be prepared certain ways, but I am curious about the non psychoactive benefits of eating raw cannabis and if ingesting raw cannabis has medicinal benefits as many other raw herbal medicines.

According to an article by Delilah Butterfield in Feb, 2016, there are many nutrients in raw cannabis such as vitamins, essential oils and cannabinoid acids. The cannabinoid acids, THCa and CBDa can be easily processed and converted into nutrients your body needs. Cannabinoid acids help cells communicate with one another through the endocannabinoid system and may help prevent diseases caused by deficiencies of the system.

On top of the cannabinoid acids, raw cannabis contains key nutrients, which are also active constituents of other medicinal plants. Terpenes, which according to David O. Kennedy are integral to the lives of humans. They modulate brain functioning and interact with GABA receptors. They are very specific to where they bind, and represent one of the largest groups of bioactive compounds in the body. Some of cannabis’ terpenes include linalool (anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anticonvulsant), pinene (neuroprotective, nervous system functioning), and limonene (lower cholesterol, prevent gastrointestinal issues). Terpene consumption when eating cannabis raw alone can seriously improve your health.

Other benefits of eating cannabis according to Butterfield include its Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids. These are the same fatty acids found in food items such as salmon, avocado and olive oil. They are key to brain health, and neuroprotective. Another great benefit of raw cannabis is its essential amino acid content. It has them all. These are amino acids that cannot be produced by the human body, and a balanced diet is key to making sure you ingest these in the quantities needed. Cannabis contains them all.

Cannabis can be eaten raw by eating the seeds, sprinkling the ground, fresh flower over food items, eating the leaves in a salad, juicing the flower, or blending it in with a smoothie. Although raw cannabis is not as psychoactive as smoking it, or having the THC activated in some way, there still can be psychoactive effect if enough is consumed.

Also, consumption will still show up on a blood/urine test, so it is something to keep in mind. Personally, I enjoy chewing on a bit of fresh flower and letting it seep into the saliva glands. Certain strains are more palatable than others, and I definitely feel the tingling effects on my tongue. Check out the show Bon Appetite on Viceland, or google “weed recipes” for more ideas on the health benefits of eating your weed!


Butterfield, D., 2016. Why you should be eating raw weed. Accessed 6/11/17.

Kennedy, D.O., 2014. Plants and the human brain. Oxford University Press, 2014.

Erin Warwick has experimented with medicinal plants for over 20 years and is currently studying for her Master’s Degree in Herbal Therapeutics at Maryland University of Integrative Health. On top of this, she is a fitness expert and Personal Trainer who received a degree in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois. When not immersed in plant matters, she can be found running heavy-duty obstacle coarse races or hanging out with her kids and pets. She thrives to help others obtain full body, mind and spirit health and wellness, and is particularly interested in unlocking the medicinal powers of cannabis and other amazing plants.