While marijuana is often merely associated with its psychoactive effects, what most people don’t know is that THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects, only becomes active when heated. In fact, when used raw, cannabis could even give its users a variety of health benefits unheard of by most.
Take the case of Kristen Peskuski, who, as a young teenager, suffered from joint inflammation and an array of autoimmune conditions which made her organs and other tissues swell, including interstitial cystitis and lupus. She was prescribed over 40 different anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and painkilling medications to treat the symptoms. As a result of these various medications, she developed steroid toxicity. So awful were the symptoms that doctors even told her she’d be lucky enough to make it to her 30th birthday. Still hoping to be cured of her illness, she then decided to seek alternative treatments. After juicing raw cannabis leaves every day, within two months, her back pain had lessened considerably.
“Marijuana’s abilities as a painkiller are generally perceived to be the result of its psychoactivity – so much so that the intensity of a plant’s psychoactive effects is often used as a gauge of its medical potency. Contrary to intuition, this isn’t true! The medical properties of marijuana are actually destroyed when heated or aged, as it becomes psychoactive. Heating converts 600mg of non-psychoactive THC acid into 10mg of psychoactive THC. Here’s where the exchange for medical effects occurs. While the 10mg retain some medicinal effects, there is only a fraction of the THC left. In simplified terms, in the raw plant, THC acid isn’t psychoactive, but acts as a very powerful medicine, up to 400 times more powerful than when smoked.”