The health benefits of eating raw cannabis include: fighting cancer, preventing cancer, reducing inflammation, reducing anxiety, stopping metastasis, and brain protection from neurodegenerative disease.
Every week it seems the market has created yet another way to consume cannabis. There’s powdered drink packs, gum, suckers, gummy bears, chocolate shots, chocolate bars, and the list goes on (and on). The two most popular ways to get cannabis in you remain: smoking (with vaping coming up close behind) and enjoying an edible. Surprisingly, few patients have yet to harness the healing power of eating raw cannabis. Leaves, roots, and even the flower can be tossed into a salad or juiced in a blender. Raw cannabis has its very own medicinal benefit that is lost once its heated and cannabinoids are chemically changed.
THCa Fights Cancer, Reduces Inflammation and Protects Your Brain
The most abundant cannabinoid precursor is an acid called ‘delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid’ (THCa). Allcannabinoids have an acid precursor found in the plant. As soon as the plant is harvested, these acid groups start to degrade through a process called decarboxylation. This results in the formation of more chemically stable cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD. Heating the plant (by smoking, vaporizing, or cooking) rapidly increases this rate of decarboxylation.
THCa is an excellent antioxidant and free radical scavenger. This gives it powerful anti-cancer properties. Studies have shown THCa is effective in killing several different kinds of carcinoma cell lines. It has also demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties in several studies, which is achieved by reducing the production of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α).
TNF-α is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that is often over-produced in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Interestingly, studies have found that THCa works by a different mechanism than THC, which also acts as an anti-inflammatory: it does not appear to bind to the cannabinoid receptors CB1 or CB2, which are the receptors known to mediate the activity of THC.
THCa has also demonstrated neuroprotective effects in models of Parkinson’s and Huntingtons’ diseases. It is called ‘the cannabinoid that loves your brain’ and it can only be had by eating raw cannabis.
CBDa Reduces Anxiety and Prevents Metastasis
CBDa has been shown in several animal studies to be effective at treating nausea and vomiting. Studies demonstrated that CBDA reduced anxiety levels in animal models; CBDA could therefore be a powerful relaxant and anti-anxiety treatment.
CBDa is being studied as an anti-seizure medication. It has been so successful in clinical models that there is at least one patent pending on its extraction. A study conducted in 2014 demonstrated that CBDa prevented metastasis of breast cancer cells. Another study published in the Journal of Toxicology Science found that CBDa could inhibit COX-2 which is very significant to breast cancer patients as COX-2 is known to aid metastasis of breast cancer cells.
So, how will you get raw cannabis into you? You could make a cannabis salad, but juicing is the preferred method as you can add other fruits and veggies to reduce the bitterness of eating raw cannabis. While pre-curser cannabinoids (e.g. THCa, CBDa) are pharmacologically active and contribute to your health, these are not psychoactive, therefore you will not feel the “high” that smoking or vaping brings. The benefit of this is that your body can consume larger volumes of this nutritional powerhouse. Eating raw cannabis is also good source of vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, and healthy fats.