Put them aside and make a smoothie out of them. Alternatively, grind them and sprinkle over a salad. You could even pop them into your mouth like you’re eating some sunflower seeds. If you make a habit out of this, your body will thank you in the long run!
Instead, they were cultivating hemp for the boundless nutritional components of the seed. They also knew about its use for the construction/textile components of the stalk and stem. During that era, people used hemp fibers to make rope, paper, clothes, etc.
By the way, marijuana seeds are one of the only plant-based food sources that contain every single amino acid required for human survival! Some nutritional gurus claim these seeds are the most “nutritionally complete food source in the world.”
Final Thoughts: Health Benefits of Eating Cannabis Seeds
Can cannabis help to trim the …
It’s not that difficult! You can eat marijuana seeds raw, cooked, shelled, or unshelled. You don’t have to prepare or otherwise process them to reap the health and nutrition benefits.
The presence of arginine in cannabis seeds causes blood vessels to relax and dilate. As a result, you benefit from reduced blood pressure and lower risk of a heart attack. Indeed, your risk of contracting other forms of cardiovascular disease also drops. Some reports claim that hemp seeds help the heart recover after a heart attack.
However, what they lack in “therapeutic cannabinoids,” they more than make up for in general health and nutritional benefits. Their omega acid and protein content, for example, is nearly second to none in terms of plant-derived foods.
Continued Research Is Needed
Despite growing state support for cannabis use and mounting scientific evidence about its effectiveness, cannabis is still illegal under federal law and continues to be classified as a Schedule I controlled substance. Thus, cannabis research is harder to come by in the medical realm and virtually nonexistent in the nutritional realm. Up-to-date, factual nutritional information and analysis of cannabis bud flowers, leaves, and roots is grossly lacking and desperately needed.
Dark Green Leafy Vegetable Preparation
Raw cannabis leaves can be used in the same manner as other dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, arugula, kale, Swiss chard, or collard greens. The fresh leaves can be washed and added to a recipe whole, for example, in a smoothie or salad, or used to garnish a dish in the way that any other fresh herb might be used.
Raw cannabis leaves, stems, stalks, and seeds can provide the body with almost all of the essential nutrients including carbohydrates, protein, fat, water, vitamins, minerals, trace amounts of calcium, sodium, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids.2 Compounds in raw cannabis, particularly the phytocannabinoid acids, could be looked at as essential nutrients, rather than merely as therapeutic drugs. This takes raw cannabis out of the medical domain and transports it into the nutrition domain, where it’s then viewed as a nutrient source similar to a dark green leafy vegetable.
CBDA has been studied for its ability to fight against the mutation of tumoral cells in breast cancer patients. In one study published in Toxicology Letters, it was determined that “CBDA offers potential therapeutic modality in the abrogation of cancer cell migration, including aggressive breast cancers.”11 While more research is needed, this is a promising therapeutic option to explore for the quarter of a million women who are diagnosed with breast cancer in America each year.12
Raw cannabis contains THCA, a nonintoxicating substance that can be converted into the intoxicating substance THC through the decarboxylation process.6 This process also converts CBDA into CBD, although both forms remain nonintoxicating in their respective states. While the cannabinoids CBD and THC have been the focus of evidence-based research in recent years, their phytocannabinoid acidic forms CBDA and THCA are beginning to gain attention for their biological activities and significant potential as a therapeutic agent.
The Role of the Clinician
As a clinician, your role is to educate and guide your patients to the safest, most effective cannabis application method for their unique situations. As medical and recreational cannabis use grows across the country, it becomes imperative that clinicians are able to discuss the multitude of ways cannabis can be used and consumed and advise patients about how to prepare and consume raw cannabis.
While each individual has a unique endocannabinoid system and tone that accounts for different perceptions of feelings, the explanation for intoxicating effects may be unintentional decarboxylation.15 In decarboxylation studies of the acid CBDA, decomposition of cannabinoid acids can be attributed to light, air, heat, and/or time.14 It’s hypothesized that the heat generated from a centrifugal juicer is enough to decarboxylate THCA into THC and thus produce an intoxicating effect. This is important for clinicians to keep in mind when discussing raw cannabis and various preparation methods with clients.
Nutrients: “Dietary Magnesium and Cardiovascular Disease: A Review with Emphasis in Epidemiological Studies.”
Hemp seeds may interact with certain medications including anticoagulants.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry: “Evaluating the Quality of Protein From Hemp Seed (Cannabis sativa L.) Products Through the Use of the Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Score Method.”
Potential Risks of Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are a rich source of nutrients. Part of the hemp plant, these seeds are technically a nut that can be eaten raw or used to make milk, oil, cheese substitutes, or protein powder.
Hemp seeds’ health benefits include:
The fiber content in hemp seeds can cause digestive discomfort like bloating, nausea, or constipation in large amounts. Make sure to drink plenty of water when eating hemp seeds to help avoid gut problems.
While the fat content in hemp seeds comes primarily from its healthy essential fatty acids, eat them in moderation to meet your recommended daily consumption of fat. High fat intake can also cause nausea or diarrhea.