A vegetable is defined as any edible part of a plant other than the fruit. So, in theory, cannabis could be used as a vegetable. If you decided to chop up a bunch of marijuana leaves and make them into a salad, this would undoubtedly be the case, but would you really want to?
Weed has a pretty distinctive taste, and it might not suit everybody’s palate. However, there are several reasons why using cannabis as a vegetable is a good idea.
Its leaves are high in fiber, which is essential for a healthy digestive system. It also provides essential amino acids and minerals including magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. And although the flowers provide the bulk of the cannabinoids and terpenes, they can be found in lower concentrations in the leaves too.
Although marijuana can be used as a vegetable, it is much more accurate to call it an herb. The word herb usually refers to the way a plant is used, and this can be as a flavoring in food, a medicine, or for ritual purposes.
While cannabis may not fit into the first category as neatly as basil or oregano, it does have something in common with these culinary herbs. Most herbs have a strong flavor due to high concentrations of terpenes in their leaves. Terpenes are aromatic oils which are also found in marijuana plants. For example, linalool, a terpene which is present in lavender and rosemary is also prevalent in certain strains of weed.
Marijuana also fulfills the other requirements for classification as an herb. It has been utilized as a medicine for thousands of years, with its earliest uses being traceable back to ancient China. Despite falling out of favor during the 20th century, we are once again beginning to recognize the various medicinal uses of weed, and a wealth of research into its benefits is now emerging.
Cannabis has also been used in religious rituals throughout history. It was popular with ancient societies such as the Scythians, and in the modern world, it is a crucial part of the Rastafarian culture.
Another reason why marijuana fits the description of an herb better than that of a vegetable is that it is typically smoked, rather than eaten. After all, when was the last time you loaded some broccoli into a bowl and took a hit?