Can You Eat Cannabis? Exploring the Nutritional Value of Marijuana
Wednesday July 19, 2017
A s the second-most nutrient-dense food (second only to soy), consuming cannabis can be part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, too. Of course, some methods of consumption allow more nutrients to be absorbed than others, but before we get into that, let’s look at what nutrition is and why it’s so important for a healthy body.
The Importance of Healthy Nutrition
A balanced diet is important for more than a slim waist-line; maintaining balanced nutrition can help people fight off and recover from illness, reduce depression, delay the effects of aging, improve energy levels, and even live longer!
Though the body produces some of its own nutrients, there are some it cannot produce thus requiring that we get it from an outside source (food). The most common of these are:
An important part of proper brain functioning, carbs come primarily from foods like bread, pastas, starchy vegetables, and whole grains
Comprised of nine to 20 amino acids and aiding in the establishment and repair of body tissue, protein can be found in meats, dairy, beans and eggs.
Vitamins help provide structure to blood, bones and ligaments, and can be acquired from many sources including fruits and veggies, supplements or even the sun!
Minerals help maintain appropriate water levels both inside and outside of cells, and maintain proper bone density, as well. Common minerals that must be consumed through diet include calcium, sodium and potassium.
The Nutritional Value of Cannabis
Though the most nutrient-dense part of the cannabis plant is its seeds (packing in high levels of calcium, fiber, fatty acids and 16 grams of protein in every 50 gram serving), the entire plant – leaves, stems, and roots – contain nutrition your body can benefit from. Leaves are an excellent source of fiber, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous and also contain polyphenols which are well known anti-oxidants that help protect the body from aging.
Though the stems contain high levels of fiber (suggesting they may be used as fiber supplement), their tough, woody texture and insoluble nature makes them undesirable to eat. The roots, which have been used topically as medicine for centuries, have yet to be analyzed by nutritionists.
Ways to Reap the Nutritional Benefits of Cannabis
Juicing is by far the best way to reap the nutritional value of cannabis. By juicing, not only does the consumer benefit from the nutrients listed above, they also consume a concentrated dose of powerful cannabinoids, too – without getting high! That’s because the psychoactive cannabinoid THC is not produced until its non-psychoactive precursor, THCa, is decarboxylated. In other words, a shot of fresh cannabis juice can deliver a huge amount of nutrition without ever causing a high.
For those who want the high, of course, another option is to consume cannabis-infused edibles. Though some of the nutritional content will naturally burn away during the cooking process, much of that may be dependent on the method of cooking. For example, foods that are cooked quickly under high heat tend to retain their nutritional value better than those that are cooked low and slow, but the opposite is unfortunately true of their cannabinoid profile; high temps burn off cannabinoids but retain their nutrition better.
The big question on our minds while writing this piece has been whether nutrients can be absorbed via inhalation.
There isn’t really a lot of debate on the matter; most people believe that nutrients must be absorbed through the digestive tract – the mouth, stomach, large and small intestines – since that’s literally what the whole system is designed to do.
Though it’s impossible to say for certain at this point, some trends suggest that inhaling nutrients may be another possible route to the bloodstream. For example, vaping alcohol has become popular because it gets people drunk without the calories. But research suggests that calories do get absorbed into the bloodstream via inhalation (albeit at a lesser extent) suggesting that some other vitamins and minerals may be able to, as well. Vape companies have also been selling caffeine – and vitamin-infused vape products which seem to work along those same lines.
The bottom line? Cannabis is a vegetable and vegetables are good for your health, but the method of consumption plays a big role in how readily available these various nutrients are to the body.
Do you think cannabis should contribute to a daily vegetable intake? What about smoking it? We’d love to know your thoughts.
Abby is a writer and founder of Cannabis Content, a marketplace designed to connect cannabis writers and creatives with businesses in the industry. She has been a professional cannabis writer since 2014 and regularly contributes to publications such as PotGuide and M&F Talent. She is also the Content Director at Fortuna Hemp, America’s leading feminized hemp seed bank. Follow Abby on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.
Have you ever chomped down on a few nugs of cannabis? Learn about the nutrition behind eating cannabis and ways it can improve your lifestyle.
Top three reasons why cannabis is a powerful superfood
Cannabis’ nutritional properties have been gaining traction as its popularity grows
Share this Story: Top three reasons why cannabis is a powerful superfood
Did you know that we’re supposed to get 5-9 servings of fruit and vegetables every day? This equates to roughly two cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables, but serving sizes vary based on the country an individual resides in. Although this is the recommended amount of fruit and veggies we should eat according to the USDA (United States Dietary Association), most of the American population don’t come close to meeting this recommendation.
Top three reasons why cannabis is a powerful superfood Back to video
This fibromyalgia patient is the first person prescribed cannabis in the U.K.
‘The sky has not fallen’: Edmonton city council queries staff on need for cannabis funding, mulls other saving strategies
OPINION: Time to put medical cannabis patients first… or face possible exodus to illegal market
Fortunately, though, another plant consumed for centuries due to its plethora of medicinal, therapeutic, and nutritional benefits is cannabis. Recently, numerous researchers and physicians have labeled cannabis a superfood, worthy of incorporation into your diet in some way or another. Read on to find out the reasons why.
Article content continued
Medicinal, Therapeutic, and Nutritional Value of Cannabis
Cannabis’s many medicinal and therapeutic benefits have been well established, but the nutritional benefits of cannabis are still gaining recognition and public coverage. According to the British Dietetic Association (BDA), superfoods are unprocessed foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, which are often derived from fruits, vegetables, and other herbs. Under this definition, numerous doctors believe cannabis can be grouped into the ‘superfoods’ category.
Besides cannabis’s array of medicinal and therapeutic benefits, the plant is an excellent source of vitamins and nutrients. In general, there are various parts of cannabis that can be consumed such as its leaves, stems, and buds whether they’re heated up or not. To reap cannabis’s nutritional benefits though, consuming raw parts of the plant is the way to go.
Three Reasons Why Cannabis is a Powerful Superfood
Cannabis sativa (hemp) seeds
Cannabis sativa (hemp) seeds contain a multitude of nutritional benefits that can help improve one’s diet to some degree. Hemp is a variety of Cannabis sativa plant species, often grown to produce industrial and commercial products including food, animal feed, and other useful materials like rope, textiles, and paper. Generally, hemp seeds are consumed for their high nutrient and protein content, especially by vegans and vegetarians.
Additionally, hemp seeds are often consumed for their fatty acids content in the form of Omega-3s and Omega-6s. Overall, humans need to consume a regular amount of fatty acids, especially because of the benefits they have on our heart and brain. Research has found that when one consumes Omega fatty acids, inflammation can be reduced, ADHD and arthritic pain can be managed better, and high cholesterol can be combatted. The presence of Omega fatty acids in hemp seeds is worth noting because they also help in the area of protein production.
Cannabis’ nutritional properties have been gaining traction as its popularity grows