Cannabis is called by various names like weed, marijuana, pot, hemp, etc… but all of them refer to the extracts from a group of plants called the Cannabis Sativa or Cannabis Indica. Almost all the parts of this plant are used to make marijuana be it the flowers, roots, stems, seeds or leaves. Usually, we don’t think of edible cannabis, we think of people smoking the ganja, but times sure are a-changing.
For a long time, weed was used as a recreational drug but years of studies have found that it is useful to treat many health conditions as well. The most popular way to ingest this drug has been smoking but it can be safely eaten too. In fact, edible cannabis is safer and has more effective health benefits than smoking it.
Let’s take a look at what, exactly ‘edibles’ are, and how they can benefit the conventional user interested mainly in health benefits.
What Are Edibles?
Any food, be it candies, chocolate bars, drinks, baked goods like brownies, etc that have cannabis in it is referred to as edibles. The edibles are ingested rather than vaped or smoked and are considered a better way of administering medical marijuana to children and the elderly. The fact that the edible takes longer to have an effect on a person, there is not much difference when it comes to health benefits it offers when smoked or ingested. The higher the person gets depends on the amount of THC present in the edibles. Also, it is to be noted that eating raw cannabis will not produce a great high that is seen when smoked.
Health Benefits Of Eating Cannabis
Hemp plants and raw marijuana are included as part of the diet because it has some amazing health benefits without actually getting high. Here are some of the benefits of eating weed:
It has many nutrients: The composition of the leaves of cannabis is such that it contains specific minerals, vitamins, and fiber. That is the reason cannabis edibles are highly beneficial for health. Another reason it is beneficial is, it is also another green leafy plant and carries the nutrients of a leafy vegetable. Some of the nutrients present are:
- Calcium – good for the bones
- Folate – essential for the creation of white and red blood cells
- Iron – Needed for oxygenation of the blood
- Vitamin K – Needed for clotting of blood
- Vitamin C – Needed for immunity
- Fiber – Needed for digestion
Could improve Lung health: As per a study conducted by a Lung Institute, medical marijuana is beneficial in reducing many lung-related issues. It was found that ingesting weed helped in improving the immune system, reduction in inflammation, relieving from chest pain, reduction in phlegm and also helped to sleep better. It was also found that eating edibles is better than smoking as it could irritate the lungs due to the release of active ingredients at high temperatures. It is also known to be helpful to people who suffer from asthma by reducing inflammation of the lung. The endocannabinoid in cannabis also aids in balancing the immune system and improves the respiratory condition.
Rich in Antioxidants: Oxidation is a chemical process that happens in the body every day and that can increase due to stress, pollution, smoking, and drinking alcohol. When the natural oxidation process is disrupted the body releases molecules called free radicals which can damage the cells in the body. When the free radicals go beyond a certain limit it can lead to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress and free radicals can lead to cancer and heart disease. The antioxidants in cannabis are essential to combat these free radicals and it also protects the body from other stress-related issues. Cannabis is known to have antioxidants in large doses and that can help in combating the free radicals and reducing the chances of cancer and other diseases.
It Could Aid in Pain Relief: Chronic pain is a common ailment for people and along with that there are a host of joint pain issues and injury-related aches and pains. The cannabis plant is known to have anti-inflammatory properties due to which it can provide pain relief. It not only helps in neutralizing the pain but also provides relief for a longer duration. On ingesting marijuana there can be a pain relief of close to 6 hours.
It can Help Kicking the Smoking Habit: Smoking in any form can lead to inflammation of the lungs and respiratory system in general. Moreover, people who smoke weed inhale the smoke deeply into the lungs and that means the lung has more tar than even cigarettes. But the same is not true when it comes to edibles. The bad effects of cannabis leaves are higher when it is heated at high temperatures and when used in edibles it is cooked at lower temperatures and hence there are no carcinogens released. When you eat the marijuana orally, it is turned into a different chemical response than when you smoke it.
It could Provide Relief from Nausea: One of the major benefits of using medical marijuana is that it can help in improving the appetite and also reducing nausea and vomiting. It is useful for controlling nausea related to chemotherapy, menstrual cramps, stomach pains, etc.
It could help those Suffering with Cancer: After years of study, there is evidence that cannabis is not just effective in preventing the spread of cancer cells but also the symptoms related to its treatment. It is helpful in relieving nausea, sleeplessness, pain, and discomfort from cancer treatment. The THC contained in cannabis is known to suppress the cancer cells.
How to Make Edibles From Cannabis
The cannabis has to undergo a conversion process for it to get the ‘high’ as raw cannabis does not produce it. For the conversion process, cannabis has to be exposed to heat or fat so that it produces the effect when consumed. Also, to add cannabis to the edibles it has to be in a form that can be used in baking or cooking. It can be ground to a flour or added to butter or oil. Powdered cannabis can be added to coffee or any other food and those added with oil or butter can be used for baking. There are many recipes available to make edible cannabis and it is also commercially available.
Ensure that the edibles are portion-controlled as the effect of cannabis is slow when compared to smoking and hence there is a risk of consuming too much at a time which can be unpleasant.