At this point, everyone has probably already tried CBD for consumption in some form. Especially favored by those who have a hard time tolerating smoking, CBD edibles provide whole plant chemistry that is fun, delicious and undeniably convenient.
What if you could enjoy whole plant chemistry straight from the source? We are talking about consuming raw CBD hemp flower in its natural state. It’s an interesting thought, but probably something you’ve also wondered about in the past. And we’re here to answer all your questions.”
Is it safe to eat raw CBD hemp flower?”
Before you put anything in your mouth, you should probably ask about safety. In the case of raw hemp flowers, this may not seem like such a threat. After all, it is a natural plant-based product.
To be fair, this is not necessarily true. Hemp flowers are actually just the buds of the cannabis plant. They are harvested and then processed by farms and (ideally) not exposed to chemicals and pesticides.
Most sellers out there will even give you a detailed description of the harvesting and processing process of hemp flower. This gives buyers the confidence and security that the flower they are buying does not contain any dangerous chemicals.
So, from a safety point of view, as long as you buy from a reputable source, raw cannabis flowers should be safe to eat. But is it effective?
Is eating cannabis flowers effective?
We assume you want to eat cannabis flowers for the effects of the plant, not for the taste. Cannabis is believed to provide users with a sense of calm, relaxation, cognitive and physical well-being and works wonders for targeting all kinds of ailments and stress.
But unfortunately, simply eating the substance may not produce the effects you were hoping for. This is because the compounds in cannabis need heat to activate (more on this later.)
However, some studies have shown that consuming raw cannabis flower in this form can give you access to certain precursor compounds that are supposedly beneficial in their own right. These are the cannabinoid acids found in fresh, raw plants.
Some researchers believe that consuming these cannabinoid acids may provide users with similar, if not stronger, health benefits. Currently, activating these acids with heat remains the ideal course of action for taking a dose of CBD flower.
What is decarboxylation?
But now we get into the scientific part of it all. Decarboxylation is just a fancy term for “applying heat”. By heat treating cannabis you remove the carboxyl group and replace it with carbon dioxide. At the cellular level this converts cannabinoid acids into actual cannabinoids.
This family of activated organic compounds is what interacts with cannabinoid receptors throughout the central nervous system. This is why you will notice that most products derived from cannabis use heat at some stage of the production process.
Without decarboxylation you will not get the characteristic benefits of cannabis. Therefore, simply eating the flower raw will not provide the same effects as eating meals that have gone through the healing process.
At best, eating cannabis flower will be like getting two servings of fiber in one day. Sure, it can improve your digestive process and help you achieve a certain regularity. But other than that, you can’t expect these valuable hemp-derived benefits to overwhelm your system.
How CBD Edibles Are Made
To better understand how decarboxylation works, let’s take a quick look at how edibles are made. Keep in mind that every process using cannabis flower will require heat at some point. For example, chewing gums, chocolates and even beverages use cannabis flower extracts derived from heated, activated cannabis flower samples. To do this, producers break open the flower and remove the stems, stalks and seeds.
They then place the flower on a metal plate or baking sheet and then place it in an oven at a specific temperature. It is usually around 250°F. The heating process takes 30 to 45 minutes, after which the flower is removed and placed for soaking in a highly stable alcohol or carrier oil.
The soaking process takes weeks to months, depending on the producer’s process. This extracts the chemical structure of the plant and infuses activated cannabinoids from cannabis samples into the liquid.
This is what brands and companies then use to produce their infused edibles. Essentially, they do the “edible” part as they normally do using standard recipes for things like cookies, cakes, chocolate and candy, with the only exception that they add CBD extracts to infuse into the final product.
Are CBD Edibles Legal?
Technically speaking, they are not. Don’t get us wrong – hemp is absolutely legal at the federal level. The 2018 Farm Bill has ensured this. Today, we know that hemp does not contain enough THC to cause symptoms of intoxication.
With almost zero THC content, hemp should not be a controlled substance because it does not behave like marijuana. So in terms of legality, the plant itself is absolutely legal.
Eating it, on the other hand, remains a gray area. The government legalized cannabis without giving any instructions on how people should use it. It is basically an agricultural product with no specific guidelines for use. And of course the FDA jumped on the concept. According to the Food and Drug Administration, cannabis has not been evaluated or approved as a food or supplement. Therefore, the FDA makes sure to prosecute marketers who try to sell their products as food, beverages or supplements.
As for what to do with hemp at home, that’s entirely up to you and outside the FDA’s jurisdiction.
Recipe Idea for Making CBD Edibles at Home
Want to use your newfound knowledge? Here are a few home edibles recipes for you to try:
- Heat the juice and add 20 ml of CBD extract or oil
- Add gelatin according to the ratio, Pour into the molds indicated on the package and leave to cool
- Scoop out and add a little powdered sugar and citric acid for extra flavor and texture
- Prepare your usual tea and add a few drops of CBD oil or extract
- Or alternatively, you can brew heated hemp flower petals in hot water
- Add sweetener. Consume immediately
- Melt 200 g of butter at room temperature
- Add 20 ml of CBD extract or oil and stir until completely combined
- Put the butter in a bowl or mold and put it back in the refrigerator
- Use it like regular butter or for baking
Unless your doctor has told you to increase your fiber intake, there’s probably not enough reason for you to eat cannabis flower directly. Instead, make sure to heat the ingredient, extract it with oil or high-proof alcohol and get creative. Who knows, maybe you’ll create the next CBD eating fad.