Can You Get High From Eating Raw Cannabis Flower?
Banana Kush may taste delicious when eaten raw, but can you munch enough marijuana buds to actually get stoned?
Published on April 24, 2019

Have you ever seen a lush crown-nug so fuckin’ dank you wanted to eat it?

Of course you have. But will eating that nug get you ripped? Short answer: no, it won’t.

To catch a buzz from THC, it needs to be decarboxylated first. That’s a fancy term for converting the acidic form of THC, or THCA, into a bioactive, non-acidic form, which is just plain ol’ THC.

Still wrapping your hazy head around that? Let’s break it down.

The cannabis plant naturally produces lots of THCA, not THC. Any time you see THC percentages listed on your bud bottle labels, you’re actually seeing its THCA content. After applying a little heat — like a flame — to the buds, the acid part of the THCA pops off, leaving behind THC.

THC binds to special brain receptors in just the right way to get us lit. THCA, like CBD, doesn’t do that. So eating raw weed won’t get anyone stoned. Sorry.

Now, some THC is naturally produced in the plant, as well, but it’s usually at such insignificant amounts that there’s no point eating it. You’d probably need to scarf down pounds of Banana Kush to even feel a little floaty, which is just a waste of precious buds that will better serve you packed into a bowl.


Some folks, however, do eat raw cannabis. As I mentioned earlier, THCA behaves sort of like CBD in the body, and juicing cannabis can provide many of the same anti-inflammatory, anti-pain effects as smoking it. Except with juicing, no one gets high, which, believe it or not, some patients prefer.

There’s one way around this not-getting-ripped thing, though. You could first heat the cannabis in an oven. Heating it will decarb the THC, and you can get stoned from eating the buds if the weed gets cooked enough.

But then you won’t be eating raw buds. They’ll have been, well, baked. And besides, you’ll get all kinds of gross brown shit stuck in your teeth.

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Randy Robinson
Based in Denver, Randy studied cannabinoid science while getting a degree in molecular biology at the University of Colorado. When not writing about cannabis, science, politics, or LGBT issues, they can be found exploring nature somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Catch Randy on Twitter and Instagram @randieseljay
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