Science Says Don’t Cook With Raw Cannabis

Science Says Don’t Cook With Raw Cannabis
Image: Getty
To sign up for our daily newsletter covering the latest news, features and reviews, head HERE. For a running feed of all our stories, follow us on Twitter HERE. Or you can bookmark the Gizmodo Australia homepage to visit whenever you need a news fix.

If you’re new to cannabis cooking and are ready to dump a ton of fresh bud straight into a brownie mix, stop! This is probably a bad idea, and science is here to tell you why.

Raw cannabis probably won’t get you high

Studies have shown that there are three active ingredients, or cannabinoids, that produce the effects of cannabis that you’re most likely familiar with: THC, CBD and CBG.

But they don’t start life this way.

Most people at least somewhat familiar with weed will probably be familiar with THC and CBD for their ability to get you high. But when ingested in a raw format they won’t have this effect.

According to Medical News Today, this is because these cannabinoids have carboxylic acid attached them that make them non-intoxicating cannabinoid. In this state the cannabinoids are referred to as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THCA-A), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and cannabigerolic acid (CBGA).

The carboxylic acid compounds need to be removed to result in a high. This is called decarboxylation and can be achieved from exposing cannabis to light or heat.

For example, as cannabis dries the TCHA will slowly convert to THC.

Okay, will simply eating it once its dried work then?

Kind of. But it won’t do much or taste very good.

While drying cannabis will bring out the ‘therapeutic’ elements of the plant, it won’t be particularly strong in most cases. You’d need to eat a lot of it to feel the effects in the same way as if its treated properly.

In the case of smoking, this is achieved by heating it further with literal fire.

As for edibles, it’s a little bit more involved.

You can heat it slowly in the oven and then put it into your recipe of choice, but it’s not going to taste great. And once again, you may not get the most satisfying effects.

This is because cannabis needs to be in the bloodstream to be effective. And unfortunately, the body has difficulty digesting bud.

And this is why you’ll often find that people bond it to a fat or alcohol so the body can better process the cannabis.

And this is exactly why cannabis butter and oil is so popular.

So while you probably can get high eating a large chunk of raw weed (at least after its been dried or heated) it’s not going to be great for your tastebuds or wallet.