Many of you may already be familiar with the cannabis plant, it goes by many names, Mary Jane, Reefer, Chronic, Ganja, and Herb. You’re also most likely already familiar with smoking out of bongs on your couch at home and passing joints with friends, or maybe even eating too many brownies at a party. However, have you ever considered having a freshly chopped Marijuana leaf salad?
The marijuana plant itself contains over 400 various and unique chemical compounds, these chemical compounds are what makes Marijuana a superfood. Recent research on cannabis from medical professionals such as Dr. William L. Courtney (who began with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology, University of Michigan) has led to the discovery that cannabis is in fact, a superfood! Medical cannabis professionals, including Dr. William L. Courtney, even suggest that raw cannabis consumption should be a vital part of everyone’s day-to-day diet. On that note, people suffering from chronic illness could benefit greatly from the daily consumption of raw cannabis.
Like most dark leafy greens, the leaves of the Marijuana plant (as well as its flowers/” buds”) contain important nutrients such as fiber, protein and essential vitamins. Some of these nutrients include; Folate (which is essential for DNA repair) Iron, Calcium, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. just to name a few! Cannabis is also packed full of antioxidants and in certain strains, the flavonoid compound anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are responsible for the dark purple color that is found in Cannabis Indica plants (like Granddaddy Purple). It is also found in common foods like blackberries, plums, eggplant, red onions and even red raspberries. These anthocyanins counteract the imbalance of oxidative and antioxidative factors in our bodies, therefore defending our health. Not to mention, cannabis contains an abundance of Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, as well as terpenes and essential amino acids. On top of all of that, what makes cannabis (including Hemp) exclusive to other leafy greens, is all the cannabinoids that it contains. When consuming cannabis in this raw manner, it’s considered to be a vegetable!
Incorporating fresh cannabis into one’s daily diet is extremely nutritional in many ways, that’s for sure! Nevertheless, there is one stipulation that makes consuming raw cannabis rather difficult to achieve in our society now. This being, you can’t simply add any dried and cured cannabis to a blender and expect to receive these benefits. You must consume the fresh plant, like you would with spinach/other leafy greens from either the grocery store. Now, this would be simple, if growing your own cannabis was legal… unfortunately this is still not the case in most of the United States. Even in the states where it is legal, there are licenses and medical requirements that make it impossible for the common person to grow. If we had the ability to buy bagged, fresh cannabis, our diets would be greatly enhanced! Yet, we still must take growing methods into consideration. Consuming food sprayed with harmful pesticides whether it be cannabis or any other vegetable, is an immense health risk. As we know, it’s rather difficult and often expensive to find organic, non-genetically modified vegetables on the market. Therefore, home growing would be an advantageous option for many, if it were legal! Hopefully as knowledge about cannabis spreads, we will see some acceptance towards the home gardening of this plant.
Now, the question you’ve probably been asking yourself this whole time is, “…but will it get me high?”. Here’s the situation: Cannabis when consumed fresh, usually has a higher concentration of THCA (tetrahydrocannabinol-acid) as opposed to THC. THCA itself does not produce a psychoactive high when consumed. THCA must first be converted into THC, which can be done simply by applying heat! Some of the conversion also happens in the drying/curing stage of marijuana, which is another reason why eating the plant fresh is recommended for the strongest nutritional benefit. This is good news to those who would like to avoid the psychoactive effects of THC but still enjoy the anti-inflammatory properties of THCA along with all the nutritional benefits of eating a superfood. So, in short, you’d have to eat a heck of a lot of raw cannabis to feel any sort of high from it and even then, you’re better off just smoking it instead for recreational purposes.
All told, the cannabis plant is beneficial to our health in many ways, one of those ways being that it can be consumed like a vegetable. With all those vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, cannabis makes the perfect addition to any recipe! Unfortunately eating raw cannabis in this day’s society might be rather difficult to achieve, however hopefully that will change soon. If you’d like to experience the nutritional and non-psychoactive benefit of cannabis in your diet, and you can get your hands on some fresh leaves yourself, here are a few ideas for you! You could either straight up use the leaves whole, mixed with other greens such as spinach, kale and arugula and mix yourself your favorite salad. You could also grind or chop up the leaves and sprinkle them into a finished pesto sauce or maybe over a finished tomato soup. You can even make raw cannabis smoothie to start your morning right! Keep in mind, when storing raw cannabis, you should store it in the fridge, like you would other fresh leafy greens. Here’s a recipe to keep in the cookbook for when the opportunity arises to consume some raw cannabis.
Blueberry Banana and Raw Cannabis Smoothie
- 1 Banana
- 3 (Large) Strawberries
- 1 Cup Blueberries
- ½ Cup Coconut Milk
- ½ Cup Almond Milk
- 1tsb Chia Seeds (if you like the texture)
- 1tsb Hemp Seeds
- 1tsb Flax Seeds
- 15 Fresh Cannabis Leaves and 2-4 grams of Raw Cannabis Buds (if available)