Cannabis leaves, also known as marijuana leaf or leaves, have been consumed in various parts of the world for centuries. Due to the many essential nutrients they contain, they are considered a superfood and are now becoming popular in many countries as a medicinal food.
There are several benefits associated eat cannabis leaves that make them worth including in one’s daily diet. Adding the benefits of consuming cannabis leaves to your diet can improve your health in several ways. Read on to find how how eating raw cannabis leaf, or even cooked, can benefit your immune system and overall well-being.
What Exactly is Cannabis Leaf?
To start, we need to understand what cannabis leaves are. Also known as weed, ganja and marijuana leaves, they come from the cannabis plant and are typically the most prolific part of it. Different cannabinoids (active chemicals) in the leaves interact with our body’s endocannabinoid system responsible for maintaining optimal health. Raw cannabis leaves seem to be more powerful than cooked, however cooking the leaves can remove some of the psychoactive effect of the plant, which some people prefer.
History of Cannabis Leaf Consumption
The history of the consumption of raw cannabis plants is a long and complex one. Raw marijuana consumption can be traced back to ancient China, where it was used for medicinal purposes and due to its many health benefits. More recently, consuming raw cannabis plant leaves or even flower, has been done, often for its psychoactive properties. Cooked leaves are often used as well, however similarly to a lot of other vegetables, cooking the leaves removes some of the nutritional value of the plant.
While the exact origins of leaf consumption are unclear, it is clear that this practice has a long and varied history. Cannabis is now legal in some countries for medicinal purposes, this includes here in Thailand where medical marijuana is a new and booming industry.
Nutritional Benefits of Eating Cannabis Leaves
High Levels of Essential Vitamins and Minerals
Eating cannabis leaves can provide many benefits from a nutritional standpoint. Cannabis leaves are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals, especially raw cannabis leaves. Eating raw cannabis leaves contains many essential vitamins and minerals including:
- Vitamin A: helps with vision and the immune system.
- Vitamin B1: aids in digestion, metabolism, and energy production.
- Vitamin C: helps to reduce inflammation and boosts immunity.
- Vitamin K: helps to promote healthy bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
- Magnesium: plays a role in bone health, helps with muscle relaxation, and can help reduce anxiety.
- Calcium: benefits bone health and helps with muscle contraction.
- Folate: helps with cell growth and DNA production and prevents anemia.
- Iron: transports oxygen throughout the body, benefits energy production, and helps with anemia.
- Potassium: benefits electrolyte balance and helps regulate fluids in the body.
Consume raw cannabis to add these essential vitamins and minerals to your diet. Medical marijuana is often though to come in oil or capsule form, however you can also consume ganja edibles – or injest cannabis any number of ways, drink it in tea, inhale cannabis smoke using a pipe, vape or bong – which is common for chronic pain relief, or take it topically as an ointment.
Source of Fiber and Anti-inflammatory Compounds
In addition to the essential vitamins and minerals found in cannabis leaves, they also contain a high amount of dietary fiber and essential amino acids. Dietary fiber is important for healthy digestion and can help reduce inflammation. Cannabis leaves also contain various anti-inflammatory compounds that can provide benefits when consumed. These include:
- Myrcene: helps to reduce inflammation and has analgesic (pain-relieving) benefits
- Linalool: helps to reduce inflammation and has anti-anxiety benefits
- Beta: caryophyllene – helps to reduce inflammation and pain relief and may help protect against cancer cells
- Cannabidiol (CBD): has anti-inflammatory benefits, helps to reduce anxiety and benefits overall mental health.
These potent compounds in ganja leaves make it a true superfood, providing nourishment that goes beyond most other vegetables. Ingesting raw marijuana is probably the best method for cannabis use, however many prefer to eat weed in the form of oils or edibles, enjoy juicing cannabis, or inhaling cannabis smoke.
Some further health benefits of ingesting cannabis leaf include:
Improved Digestion and Immune System Response
The combination of dietary fiber and anti-inflammatory compounds found in cannabis leaves support the digestive system. Fiber helps to improve digestion, while anti-inflammatory compounds help to reduce inflammation in the gut. This can also lead to improved immune response, as inflammation is often linked to illness or disease.
Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
The dietary fiber and anti-inflammatory compounds found in cannabis leaves can also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The fiber helps to lower cholesterol levels, while the anti-inflammatories can help reduce inflammation in the arteries and veins. This combination can lead to improved heart health over time.
Enhance your Mental Well-being
Eating raw cannabis leaves provides compounds that can positively affect mental well-being. Cannabidiol (CBD) is known to have benefits for anxiety and sleep quality, while linalool can help reduce stress and tension. Eating cannabis leaves regularly may help to improve overall mental health over time.
Different Ways to Eat Marijuana Leaf
Fresh leaves can be consumed in a variety of ways. Here are just some of them:
- Fresh cannabis leaves can be used by smoking leaves, vaporizing, or consuming raw cannabis
- Pressed vegetable juices (raw cannabis juice mixed with other fruits/vegetables)
- Dried and powdered
- Blended into smoothies
- Baked into food items consuming edibles like muffins or cookies
- Made into oils or butter
Q&A of Eating Cannabis Leaves
Did You Know That Juicing the Leaves of Raw Marijuana Can Extract Essential Minerals?
Yes, the benefits of consuming cannabis leaves are maximized when they are raw. When juicing, be sure to add other fruits and vegetables for flavor as well as additional vitamins and minerals.
Is There an Easy Way to Get More Benefits Out of Cannabis Leaves?
One easy way to get more benefits from cannabis leaves is by consuming it in a variety of ways. This can include smoking cannabis leave, vaporizing it, eating raw cannabis, steaming or boiling it, blending hemp seeds into smoothies, baking edibles, and more. By ingesting medical marijuana more often, in a variety of ways, you will maximize your intake, so if you ever get sick of eating the plant raw, you can switch to other methods.
What Is The Best Way to Consume Cannabis Leaves?
The best methods of consuming raw cannabis is by chewing on them fresh, which will help maintain the beneficial compounds and nutrients in the leaves. Smoking cannabis leaf can also be beneficial, however, it’s important to note that smoking can also cause damage to the lungs. This is a problem for many recreational cannabis users.
Are Cannabis Leaves Safe To Consume?
Yes, cannabis leaves are safe to consume when done responsibly. It is important to remember that cannabis should always be consumed in moderation and to always adhere to laws regarding cannabis. If you do ingest or consume too much ganja at once, your body will let you know, and you may suffer a short period of nausea and vomiting. It is important to only ever purchase cannabis leaves from a trusted cannabis supplier.
Is Raw Cannabis Plant Material Safe to Consume?
Yes, eating raw weed leaves is generally safe to consume in moderate amounts. This is because medical marijuana contains beneficial compounds such as amino acids, dietary fiber and has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help improve digestion and reduce inflammation.
Eating cannabis leaves can offer a wide range of benefits for overall health and wellness. Cannabis leaves – similar to many other leafy greens – contain many anti inflamatory compounds which can positively affect digestion, reduce inflammation in the gut, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
If you are looking for a way to incorporate cannabis into your lifestyle, definitely consider eating marijuana leaves. Just remember to do so responsibly and follow local laws. Additionally, it is always best to purchase the fresh leaves from a trusted source. Eating cannabis leaves can be an easy and highly beneficial way to improve your overall health and wellness.