Marijuana is a superfood. This incredibly unique plant contains over 400 different chemical compounds. The number of vitamins, essential oils, and acids found in cannabis has led experts like Dr. William Courtney to call weed a “dietary essential.” Marijuana is a particularly special plant in the world of nutrition because the herb contains extremely high concentrations of cannabinoid acids. Turns out, these acids are incredibly important for basic cell function.
Two of the primary cannabinoid acids that have been studied thus far are THCa and CBDa. When you heat these acids via smoking, vaping, or cooking cannabis you break them down into slightly different chemicals. Specifically, you degrade them into psychoactive THC and cannabinoid CBD. The process of converting these cannabinoid acids into their “active” form is known as decarboxylation, or “decarbing.”
Active THC and CBD have their share of benefits, but the one major downside to decarbing is that your body can only handle small amounts of these now activated cannabinoids. Explained best by to Dr. Courtney:
“We have a series of cannabis strains called ACDC. ‘AC’ stands for alternative cannabinoid, which is the CBD acid molecule, which has come into focus lately as being very important as an anti-inflammatory. And ‘DC’ stands for dietary cannabis. […] If you do heat it, then your dose is around 10mg. And if you don’t heat it, if it’s raw, then your dose is around one to 1-2,000mg.”
When you eat raw cannabis, your body is able to process extremely large amounts of THCa and CBDa without issue. Your body then converts these acids into the nutrients it needs via your own metabolism.
Consuming these cannabinoid acids is important because they help your cells communicate with each other via the endocannabinoid system. Consuming more cannabinoid acids may be the key to theprevention of chronic diseases caused by endocannabinoid deficiencies. Endocannabinoid deficiencies are thought to play a major role in the development of medical conditions like:
- Irritable Bowl Syndrome
- …and potentially many more!
Courtney suggests that high doses of raw CBDa and THCa are much more effective than their broken-down counterparts when it comes to their:
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Anti-diabetic properties
- Anti-ischemic properties (ischemia occurs when your blood vessels constrict, preventing oxygen from flowing to certain parts of your body.)