If you’ve ever wondered if eating a little nug of the dank goodness you just brought home will cause the same effects as smoking it, the short answer is no. Fresh flowers from female cannabis plants are usually smoked or vaporized for the range of mental and physical effects they exhibit, but swallowing a small bud won’t do a thing to help get you high.
To understand why eating raw weed doesn’t get us high, we must first come to terms with what seems an impossible truth: living cannabis plants do not contain the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that pot is famous for. Living cannabis plants and freshly picked buds are, however, abundant with tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), which is the non-psychoactive (but possibly therapeutic) cannabinoid which becomes THC when heated via smoking, vaping, or cooking. When a harvested crop is stored properly, some of the THCA slowly converts into THC, which is why so many growers subject their plants to a curation process rather than selling fresh buds to dispensaries immediately. This process of “activating THC” is known as decarboxylation, and it is essential if you’re consuming marijuana to experience its unique properties.
Another reason eating raw weed won’t get you high is that THC has to enter your bloodstream to reach its receptors. Marijuana isn’t easy for our bodies to process, and when we eat raw flowers much of the trace amount of THC that enters our stomach is expelled through our digestive system, never to reach the bloodstream. However, if your hope for eating raw cannabis to get high stems from a desire to avoid the harm smoking may cause your lungs, you can enjoy the psychoactive properties of marijuana by eating proper edibles made with a cannabis-infused substance such as butter, oil, or alcohol. There are many types of cannabis-infused foods and drinks, but none of them contain raw weed or flowers.
While eating marijuana does not get you stoned, we should not ignore the fact that hemp seeds have been recognized as an important food source for thousands of years, as a rich source of essential oils, vitamins, and cannabinoid acids, which help maintain basic cell functions. Still not convinced that eating cannabis won’t get you at least a tiny bit high? Go ahead, try a bit. Prepare for sticky teeth and a possible stomach ache. You’ll wish you smoked it.