Can you eat marijuana?.The short answer is yes, you can eat weed. In fact, marijuana-infused foods and drinks have been consumed throughout history, as far back as 1000 B.C. (2Trusted Source).
Marijuana was used as medicine in ancient China and India and was introduced to Western medicine in the early 19th century Edible applications, such as tinctures, were prescribed to treat various conditions, from chronic pain to digestive disorders (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source).
Edible marijuana products were also used to relieve stress and induce euphoria, similar to alcohol. How to eat marijuana
Bhang, a beverage made from a mixture of the leaves and flowers of marijuana plants, has been consumed for centuries during religious festivals, such as Holi, a Hindu festival of love and color (3Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source).
In the United States, recreational use of edible marijuana products became popular during the 1960s and today many different
types of edibles are available, both legally and illegally, depending on state laws. How to make cannabis edibles
For example, gummies, candies, chocolates, capsules, teas, and oils are some of the edible marijuana products sold in both legal
Edibles enthusiasts also make their own weed products by infusing butter or oil with marijuana and mixing it into baked goods
and other recipes.
Though you can eat raw weed, it won’t have the same effect as consuming marijuana-based products, as marijuana has to go through a process known as decarboxylation to become activated (6Trusted Source).
Raw marijuana contains tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), compounds that must be exposed
Therefore, eating raw weed will not result in the same effects as consuming weed that has been heated, as in edible products like candies, tinctures, and baked goods.
Though you can’t get high from eating raw weed, some health experts believe that eating it may offer some health benefits due to the wide array of plant compounds it contains.
Yet, research in this area is lacking, so the potential therapeutic benefit of raw marijuana is still unclear.
Health benefits related to edible marijuana
Marijuana has many medicinal benefits and has been used to treat various ailments throughout history.
Today, edible marijuana products have a number of uses in the medical field and are becoming a more popular, accepted natural treatment in clinical settings.
The Risks of Consuming Edibles
The effects of marijuana edibles last much longer than smoking, usually up to several hours depending on the amount of THC consumed, the amount and types of the last food eaten, and other drugs or alcohol used at the same time.2
The amount of THC is difficult to measure and is often unknown in many edibles. Regulations and quality assurance regarding the determination of THC content and product labeling are generally lacking, and as a result the dosage estimation for many edibles is often inaccurate.3 Consequently, many products contain significantly more THC than labeled and people who consume these edibles can be caught off-guard by their strength and long-lasting effects.4
Delayed Onset and High Potential for Overdose
Perhaps the most prominent difference between smoking marijuana and eating edibles is the delayed onset of effects associated with edibles. Whereas the effects of marijuana usually occur within minutes of smoking, it can take between 30 minutes to 2 hours to experience the effects from edibles.5 This delay can result in some people consuming a greater than intended amount of drug before it has taken effect.
Marijuana overdose is also referred to as acute marijuana intoxication.6 Research has shown that edibles are the form of marijuana consumption most likely to lead to emergency room visits for marijuana overdose, and the authors of at least one study believe that this is due to the failure of users to fully understand the delayed effects of these products.7
Serious Negative Side Effects
The symptoms associated with eating highly potent edibles are often much more severe than the symptoms experienced after smoking marijuana. According to Dr. Nora Volkow, the current director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, edibles are now
being associated with “medical complications that we never knew were associated with marijuana”.8 Some of the more adverse effects associated with the consumption of edibles include:1,9
- Anxiety and panic attacks.
- Psychotic episodes.
- Impaired motor ability.
- Respiratory depression.
- Heart problems (ranging from irregular heartbeat to heart attack).