Can you eat marijuana leaves?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “Can you eat marijuana leaves?” We will also elaborate on the ways to use marijuana leaves, the nutritional benefits of marijuana leaves, and the possible uses of marijuana leaves in our daily routine.

Can you eat marijuana leaves?

Yes, you can eat marijuana leaves. Products of marijuana leaves have been eaten for quite a long time. Primarily, it was used for medicinal purposes in China, and also in India. 

Cannabis has a high nutritional content, which is why all parts of the plant, including the stem, seeds, roots, and flowers, have been used for food, feed, and therapeutic purposes. Cannabis plant matter may be used to make a variety of food items. A cannabis product is a foodstuff that contains cannabis components (1).

The edibles of marijuana were also linked to many significant aspects such as relieving depression, stress and it can cause euphoria.

The edibles of marijuana became popular especially in 1960 and nowadays a large number of significant edibles are available which are being synthesized from marijuana leaves. 

The consumption of marijuana products depends upon the law of each country, whether it is illegal or not in that state. Marijuana is also named cannabis.

Raw cannabis

Even though cannabis seeds and products are largely used in the modern food business, cannabis flowers, leaves, and sprouts are also consumed raw in juices or salads. Important bioactive chemicals, such as polyphenols and cannabinoids, are present that are not present in seeds or are found in smaller amounts (1).

You can eat raw cannabis but it does not have similar effects as eating marijuana-based items, as it has to pass through a process called decarboxylation to get activated. 

Raw cannabis consists of components of tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA) that should be exposed to heat, such as when smoking or baking, to be converted to the active forms tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). 

Therefore, consuming raw cannabis does not have the same consequences as eating heated cannabis as does consumable goods such as tinctures, candies, and baked goods. Common cannabis edibles such as infused chocolate, baked goods, beverage mixes, candies, and gummies are usually considered non- dangerous (2).

While consuming raw cannabis can not get you high, some cannabis proponents believe that consuming cannabis can provide additional health benefits due to the large range of botanicals it contains. 

Because cannabinoids enter the body through the digestive system rather than the respiratory tract after being taken, THC pharmacokinetics can be advantageous to the body. As a result of their lipophilic nature, fat consumption enhances THC and CBD absorption. Oral intake offers a longer experience than smoking and inhaling (pulmonary absorption of THC) because the most psychoactive form of THC is enzymatically formed in the hepatic system following THC metabolization. Furthermore, ingesting is less conspicuous than smoking, and it avoids the production of toxins linked with the burning of plant materials (1).

The benefits of marijuana leaves

Marijuana leaves are of medical importance. They have been used against various illnesses for a long time. Now, edible marijuana is becoming more popular due to its great effects on healthcare.

Can be used for the various significant health conditions 

Most of the consumable marijuana is being used to treat different health conditions such as cancer-related syndromes.

Symptoms that are associated with the cancer-causing disease include:

  • Chronic pain
  • Anxiety 

Medical products which are based on marijuana leaves are being prescribed all around the world including different countries such as Germany, Italy, and Spain. 

THC is a significant component of marijuana leaves. It is also responsible to get relief from pain. Certain treatments are derived from marijuana such as Sativex. 

Sativex is considered as an oral spray that consists of an equal amount of CBD and THC components which are mostly prescribed for spasticity of muscles and to treat pain in the body.

Many other ailments are also getting treated by certain marijuana goods, these ailments may be neurological or digestive syndromes. These areas of treatment also require significant research. Other medicinal uses of cannabis are related for the treatment of digestion and nutritional problems (17.66%), central nervous system and psychological disorders (16.24%), ache, and chronic inflammation (12.21%), relaxants (6.02%), analgesics (5.84%), antidiarrheal (3.01%), and anti-hemorrhoidal (2.52%), followed by dysentery (2.27%), injury therapy (2.21%), and stimulant (2.40%) (1).

Consumable marijuana-based goods such as pills, oils, gummies, and tinctures are being used against weight loss, poor appetite, and also in those patients who have mild symptoms of cancer.

In a recreational context, there is a wide variety of cannabis-infused food products, including everyday commodities such as teas or coffees, pizza, lollipops, chocolates, breakfast cereals, gummy consistent products, chocolate cookies/brownies, beef jerky; and even more recently, beer, wine, hemp-infused milks, barley-based sodas, health beneficial-honeys, alcoholic beverages aromatized with cannabis flowers and fortified sports products. The main ingredients used in the preparation of cannabis edibles are oil and butter (3).

Downsides of eating marijuana leaves

It is very difficult for any product of marijuana to get determined for its dosage because sometimes it provides negative effects. THC factor also varies depending upon the condition where these products are manufactured and for which purpose these products are synthesized.

Sometimes, the consumption of marijuana leaves takes a long time to show its after-effects. The latency period can be 20 to 30 minutes in case of smoking.

The mixing capacity for a concentration of THC along with the responsive period of marijuana leaves could lead to the overconsumption of marijuana leaves that could result in different problems such as paranoia.

Studies show that the use of cannabis was associated with lower white mass integrity and neuronal integrity. Chronic exposure to cannabis smoke induces dependence and withdrawal symptoms, which include lack of motivation, appetite loss, restlessness and depressed mood (3).

The uses of marijuana leaves

The possible uses of marijuana leaves are described below:

  • It enhances the capacity of the lungs.
  • It regulates seizures.
  • It also provides relief from chronic pain.
  • It is effective against depression.
  • It also aids in fighting against cancerous problems.
  • It helps to lose body weight.
  • It is also very effective against diabetes along with prevention from diabetes.

Are marijuana leaves legal?

Marijuana is considered illegal in some places but now it is being legalized for different uses such as medical or recreational. But it also depends upon the laws of your country or state. 

Cannabis cultivation, sale and recreational use were prohibited by the majority of countries during the 20th century. In the current century, several countries decriminalized cannabis possession, and legalized its use in medical treatments. Moreover, some countries such as Canada, South Africa, and Georgia, states and territories in the United States of America and the Australian Capital Territory have legalized recreational cannabis. In many countries, medical use is allowed (3).

Long term effects of marijuana leaves

Frequent use of marijuana leaves also results in long-term effects in some individuals such as brain development. It is claimed that people who start taking marijuana in their teenage years have a better memory.

A study showed that the long time supplementation of cannabidiol is related to adverse side effects in approximately a third of participants with the most frequently occurring adverse events being dry mouth (11.12%), euphoria (6.43%), hunger (6.35%), red eyes (2.74%), and sedation/fatigue (1.78%). Other study reported side effects in one third of patients, including pain, anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders (2).


In this brief guide, we have provided an answer to the question, “Can you eat marijuana leaves?”. We have also elaborated on the ways to use marijuana leaves, the nutritional benefits of marijuana leaves, as well as the possible uses of marijuana leaves in our daily routine.


  1. Iftikhar, Amna, et al. Applications of Cannabis Sativa L. in Food and Its Therapeutic Potential: From a Prohibited Drug to a Nutritional Supplement. Molecules, 2021, 26, 7699.
  2. Cerino, Pellegrino, et al. A review of hemp as food and nutritional supplement. Cannabis cannab res, 2021, 6, 19-27.
  3. Rasera, Gabriela Boscariol, Andre Ohara, and Ruann Janser Soares de Castro. Innovative and emerging applications of cannabis in food and beverage products: From an illicit drug to a potential ingredient for health promotion. Trend Food Sci Technol, 2021, 115, 31-41.