Tuesday, July 14, 2020
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What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Raw Cannabis?

“Passenger tries to get rid of marijuana by eating it during traffic stop,” blared the headline on Michigan’s WZZM13.com’s website. It’s one of those stories that make you stop and think what happened next.

But before we get into what happened to the weed-eating teen, let’s review what happened before the Aug. 20 incident:

  • Two Michigan teenagers were smoking marijuana in a car on Interstate 94. (Bad idea.)
  • Police, responding to calls about the teens smoking while driving, pull over the car.
  • The 18-year-old female passenger began eating the weed to destroy the evidence.
  • Arrests were made. The driver was busted for operating a vehicle while under the influence. The passenger for possession.

All in all, a pretty crappy way to spend part of your weekend. And a lesson learned the hard way: Do not EVER drive while impaired. It is simply not worth it.

But what about the eating of raw cannabis? Is that dangerous?

Not really. Raw cannabis is not psychoactive. And it is an acquired taste.

In order to activate THC, it needs to be heated — by lighting it up, or vaporizing it or cooking it. If you eat it raw, you will derive benefits from other non-psychoactive cannabinoids (CBD, CBN etc.), but the THC needs to hit a certain temperature in order for it to get you high.

If you eat a large amount (say, an eighth of an ounce), you may eventually feel something, but it will take a few hours for your body to digest it. Why? Science.

In order for marijuana to be psychoactive, it needs to go through decarboxylation, a chemical reaction that converts “inert” cannabinoids from their inactive state to their active form. The THCA, the inactive form of the psychoactive cannabinoid in weed, needs to convert to THC, which provides the high.

Decarboxylation requires heating cannabis. When you eat raw weed,  you’re consuming cannabinoids in a form your body can’t do anything with.

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