Edible Weed Seeds

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Well, no. Eating cannabis seeds does not get you high. However, this doesn't mean you shouldn't eat them! Here's why. If you've ever wondered about the health benefits of eating marijuana seeds (are there any?), then this comprehensive post may surprise you. We pull and poison them, but weeds can be a nutritious source of food or healing medicine. We'll show you how to identify the best edible weeds.

Can Eating Cannabis Seeds Get You High?

Okay, that’s dealt with. But don’t click away just yet!

If you’ve ever wondered so as to whether marijuana seeds are even edible, to begin with – yes, they are – and you don’t have to worry about going on a trip. In fact, Canada has already legalised shelled hemp seeds which can be added to food. They taste somewhat oily, and many have described them as tasting like sunflower seeds.

So, we’ve established one thing early on: there’s no high to be found by eating marijuana seeds because that’s what they are: plain ol’ seeds. As you may or may not know, cannabis seeds do not contain any chemical compounds that get you high, so we can put that one to rest.

However, it pays to know why so many love consuming raw cannabis seeds – there are actually a plethora of health benefits to be had.

Why Would Anyone Eat Marijuana Seeds if They Don’t Get You High?

Besides being an excellent protein source, cannabis seeds can help you manage weight problems and round off your diet with essential nutrients, including certain vitamins and omega-fatty acids.

Not known by many cannabis lovers is the fact that the seed contains up to 20 different types of amino acids (building blocks of protein), 9 of which are essential ones.

Marijuana seeds can also help excrete toxins out of the body faster while also improving the immune system. As far as we know, there have been no side effects of consuming raw cannabis seeds, and to quickly reiterate: there’s no high to be found, sorry!

So whether you’re planning to eat marijuana seeds or hemp seeds, go right ahead and indulge – enjoy the health benefits and the creamy, oily taste – but they will not get you high. There are no two ways about it.

The only way for you to enjoy a high is if you sow the seed and let the plant mature. Then how you consume is up to you.

A Quick Primer on Marijuana Seeds

To be perfectly clear, the term “marijuana seeds” is a collective reference to cannabis seeds in general. For example, when it comes to nutritional benefits, there is no significant difference between a hemp seed and a cannabis seed, which has the potential to produce a high-THC and potent strain through its flower, stalk, stem and leaves.

This is where the big distinction lies when it comes to the medicinal prowess of cannabis or hemp plant seeds versus the actual plant material. Most of the cannabis’s therapeutic benefits come from active chemical compounds like THC and CBD, as well as certain flavonoids and terpenes. Since cannabis seeds do not contain any of this “good stuff”, they are useless for therapeutic or recreational (euphoric high) purposes.

But there is a silver lining and a big, glaring one at that: consuming marijuana seeds offers a host of health and nutritional benefits, namely their protein and omega fatty acid content. In fact, this nutrition is second to none regarding plant-derived foods.

So, if you can’t get high from seeds alone and there are no therapeutic benefits, then what are we left with? This shouldn’t stop you from making those seeds a part of your daily nutritional regimen. Let’s expand on that:

No High – But a World of Health Benefits

An abundant source of easily digestible, natural protein

Ask any well-established nutritionist, and chances are you will hear that proteins derived from plants are much healthier and easier to digest than the regular animal-based variety.

Data revealed in a recent study where health records of over 130,000 people over 30 years were examined; it was discovered that participants who did not consume any animal protein had noticeably lower death rates than regular meat-eating participants; that where there was an increase in every 3% caloric intake from plant protein, death risk was effectively cut down by 10%.

And there’s no question about it that cannabis seeds are the best natural source of plant-based protein that you might come across today. This is why since the 17 th century, farmers have been using marijuana seed mash to provide nutrition for their livestock – that is, before it became illegal.

This also explains why hemp seed protein powder is so popular now in bodybuilding circles. Former Women’s UFC champion, Ronda Rousey, used to start off her mornings with some hemp hearts before hitting the gym for intense training bouts.

Heart Health Booster

A good reason why you should seriously consider consuming marijuana seeds is that they are really good for your heart. After all, diets rich in omega fatty acids can reduce blood pressure, improve cardiovascular function and also lower the risk of stroke by cutting down the likelihood of clot formation.

Moreover, cannabis seeds have a lot of arginine – an amino acid responsible for boosting the blood’s nitric oxide. This helps the blood vessels relax and dilate, reducing heart attack risk, lowering blood pressure, and improving overall cardiovascular function. Hemp seeds, in fact, have been recommended by many nutritionists to help patients recover faster following a heart attack.

Rich in Omega Fatty Acids

Even though omega fatty acids are a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to total body wellness and vital organ health, as human beings, we cannot produce omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids on our own. This is why we need them from a food source. As you may already know, omega fatty acids can improve heart health and blood flow and, boost cognitive function, eyesight, joint health, and reduce inflammation.

Many health experts claim that hemp seeds contain the most omega fatty acid content among all plant seeds, even more so than flaxseed, walnuts and Chia seeds.

Whole Body Wellness and Disease Prevention

When you take just some of the benefits into consideration, it’s easy to understand why consuming cannabis seeds regularly can be an excellent way to prevent certain diseases and promote whole body wellness as well as general health.

And just to reiterate, marijuana seeds happen to be one of the only few plant-based foods that contain a rich amino acid profile – that’s every single amino acid required for survival. Perhaps this is why many leading growers and cultivators have described the cannabis/hemp seed as the most nutritionally well-rounded food source ever.

Good for Losing or Gaining Weight

A diet rich in cannabis seeds has been known to help lose or gain weight. Does this sound confusing or counter-intuitive?

Obese people can benefit from consuming seeds because they contain lots of vitamins, including Vitamin E, and essential minerals such as magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc and calcium – nutrients that can help overweight people stay fuller and feel more satiated around the clock.

On the other hand, the very same nutritional attributes found in cannabis seeds can help you gain weight (the good kind) if consumed healthily.

How do I eat Cannabis Seeds?

All aboard the cannabis health train! Now the next step – what’s the best way to eat them?

Well, marijuana/hemp seeds can be consumed straight off the buds (raw) or cooked, shelled, unshelled, etc., pretty much however you want. Some folks even like roasting and adding them to their favourite dessert. You don’t need to cook or ‘process’ them in any way to reap all those wonderful nutritional and health benefits.

But – they can be a lot more enjoyable and satisfying to eat when you get creative and have them in a meal, as opposed to just having them straight up, plain and raw.

A very popular way of consuming hemp seeds, for instance, is first to roast them and then mix them with a crunchy snack like kale chips. Some folks even roast their cannabis seeds and throw them in boiling water along with their favourite spices – a great way to increase the nutritional bang of your choice of tea by including cannabis stems and dried leaves.

Shelled cannabis seeds can be sprinkled on all kinds of foods like hummus, salads, yoghurt, quinoa, smoothies, etc. you can even press raw seeds for oil, grind them up into a nice flour or make a protein supplement out of them by mixing in your favourite peanut butter snack or protein shake.

Let’s just leave all the “high” stuff to the actual plant, is what we say. With such a unique range of health benefits, you’d want to think long and hard before tossing out those delightful seeds.

References

Cultivation information, and media is given for those of our clients who live in countries where cannabis cultivation is decriminalised or legal, or to those that operate within a licensed model. We encourage all readers to be aware of their local laws and to ensure they do not break them.

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Why Eat Marijuana Seeds: 5 Key Health Benefits to Know About

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the growth of industrial hemp in the United States. However, it depends on individual states submitting details of a hemp program to the government. Nonetheless, the law ended the 81-year prohibition of hemp.

What’s absurd is that early colonists in America were legally required to grow the crop! In 1619, Jamestown colony law decreed that all settlers had to cultivate Indian hemp. This legislation remained in place for centuries. Between 1763 and 1769, refusing to grow hemp in Virginia meant you could go to jail! It was only in the 20 th century that the crop became outlawed. Even then, the nation grew it during World War II.

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Were they doing this to get high? No. (Maybe some of them were.)

Instead, they were cultivating hemp for the boundless nutritional components of the seed. They also knew about its use for the construction/textile components of the stalk and stem. During that era, people used hemp fibers to make rope, paper, clothes, etc.

Here is a quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson: “Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country.”

Unlike hemp, cannabis remains federally illegal. Even so, many Americans are finding a way to incorporate marijuana seeds into their diet. They are doing so for the same reasons those colonists did in the 17th century.

In this article, we go over five key health benefits of marijuana seeds. We also outline why you should establish them as a staple part of your daily nutritional intake.

EDITOR’S CHOICE – Homegrown CannabisCo

Homegrown CannabisCo are the masters when it comes to seeds. Offering a massive variety of cannabis seeds that are well categorized, not only does this company create a resource for superb quality options including feminized seeds, it also provides extensive growing information for those looking for some support along their journey.

First Things First: A Brief Background on Marijuana Seeds and Their Uses

When we say “marijuana seeds,” we mean cannabis seeds in general. In terms of essential nutritional benefits, there is no discernible difference between a hemp seed and a cannabis seed. The seeds of marijuana do not contain cannabinoids; you find those in the flower, stems, stalks, and leaves.

There is a big difference in potential medicinal properties between the seeds of the cannabis/hemp plant, and the plant material.

Most of marijuana’s medicinal properties come from the presence of active cannabinoids and certain terpenes, flavonoids, etc. Since marijuana seeds don’t have cannabinoids, we don’t use them for medicinal/therapeutic purposes.

However, what they lack in “therapeutic cannabinoids,” they more than make up for in general health and nutritional benefits. Their omega acid and protein content, for example, is nearly second to none in terms of plant-derived foods.

You will find hemp seed products in grocery stores and health food outlets. However, marijuana seeds remain classified as a cannabis product. Therefore, their legality depends on where you live. We urge you not to buy them if you don’t live in a legal state. You are better off sticking with hemp seeds in that instance.

Anyway, let’s take a look at the top five reasons why you should eat marijuana seeds.

Can You Eat Marijuana Seeds? Yes, You Can… Here are the Top 5 Reasons Why You SHOULD!

1) High in Natural, Easy-to-Digest Protein

Most nutritional experts claim that plant-based proteins are healthier and easier for the body to digest than animal-based proteins. A study by Budhathoki et al., published in JAMA in August 2019, compared animal and plant protein consumption.

The researchers looked at the health records of more than 130,000 people over thirty years. They found that individuals who did not consume animal protein had “substantially lower death rates than meat-eaters.” Also, for every 3% increase in plant protein-calorie intake, the risk of death was reduced by 10%.

Marijuana seeds are one of the best sources of natural, plant-based protein that you can find. This is why farmers all over the world used cannabis seed “mash” to nourish their livestock before it became illegal. It’s also why bodybuilding hemp seed protein powder is becoming more popular.

It is (probably) why world-class fighters like Ronda Rousey start their morning off with a dose of hemp hearts before hitting the gym.

2) Can Help You Lose (or Gain) Weight!

Cannabis seed-based diets could help people gain or lose weight. Marijuana seeds are full of vitamins (particularly Vitamin E) and minerals (including potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc). They also contain protein and can keep you fuller for longer.

On the flip side, they’re also good for helping to gain weight healthily due to these same nutritional characteristics. Whether you want a filling snack or a superb supplement to add or maintain lean muscle mass, cannabis seeds are worth a try. They have a pleasant ‘nutty’ flavor that can add zest to healthy snacks like salads and plain yogurt.

Can cannabis help to trim the …

3) Crucial Omega Fatty Acid Content

Human beings do not naturally produce Omega fatty acids like Omega 3 and 6. Therefore, we have to consume them from outside sources. However, some say hemp seeds have the most abundant source of natural Omega acids in the entire plant kingdom. This means they have more than Chia seeds, walnuts, and flaxseed.

Omega-3 fatty acids help promote a healthy brain and heart. The omegas are also amino acids that are essential for protein production.

EDITOR’S CHOICE – Homegrown CannabisCo

Homegrown CannabisCo are the masters when it comes to seeds. Offering a massive variety of cannabis seeds that are well categorized, not only does this company create a resource for superb quality options including feminized seeds, it also provides extensive growing information for those looking for some support along their journey.

4) They Are REALLY Good for Your Heart

Marijuana seeds are heart-healthy because diets high in Omega acids reduce blood pressure. You also benefit from a lower risk of stroke-inducing blood clot formation and increased overall cardiovascular function.

The presence of arginine in cannabis seeds causes blood vessels to relax and dilate. As a result, you benefit from reduced blood pressure and lower risk of a heart attack. Indeed, your risk of contracting other forms of cardiovascular disease also drops. Some reports claim that hemp seeds help the heart recover after a heart attack.

Finally, the gamma-linoleic acid that’s abundant in marijuana can reduce the production of specific proteins that result in inflammation. This is particularly the case with inflammation of the heart and surrounding cardiovascular tissue.

5) Disease Prevention and Whole-Body Wellness

Consuming marijuana seeds regularly is potentially a great way to prevent disease and promote general health and whole-body wellness.

Their cardiovascular benefits could reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other psychological conditions. In theory, then, cannabis seeds could promote mental health and well-being as much as they do physical.

By the way, marijuana seeds are one of the only plant-based food sources that contain every single amino acid required for human survival! Some nutritional gurus claim these seeds are the most “nutritionally complete food source in the world.”

How Can You Eat Marijuana Seeds?

It’s not that difficult! You can eat marijuana seeds raw, cooked, shelled, or unshelled. You don’t have to prepare or otherwise process them to reap the health and nutrition benefits.

However, they are a lot more enjoyable when you make a little ‘meal’ out of them, instead of consuming them raw.

One of our favorite ways to eat hemp seeds is to roast them. Then, we combine them with a crunchy, plant-based snack. For example, kale chips make for a fantastic combination.

A lot of people also like to make a non-psychoactive “ganja tea.” You can do this by roasting the hemp seeds first. Then, put them in boiling water along with some of your favorite spices. You can also increase the “nutritional potency” of the tea by including your cannabis stems and dried leaves in the infusion.

You can sprinkle shelled marijuana seeds on top of different kinds of foods to spice them up. Examples include oatmeal, quinoa, yogurt, hummus, salads, and smoothies. You could press the raw seeds for oil, or grind them into a fine powder for flour, protein supplement, or milk. You will need specialized equipment for this technique, however.

Final Thoughts: Health Benefits of Eating Cannabis Seeds

It’s important to distinguish between medicinal cannabis-based products (i.e., CBD oils), and marijuana seeds. The former contains cannabinoids and comes from the leaves, flowers, stems, and stalk of the plant. The latter is consumed purely for their nutritional/health benefits. You will not experience an intoxicating high with cannabis seeds. Please note that these seeds remain illegal in states without a medical or recreational marijuana law.

The next time you decide to toss away “useless” marijuana seeds from the weed you’re about to use, stop!

Put them aside and make a smoothie out of them. Alternatively, grind them and sprinkle over a salad. You could even pop them into your mouth like you’re eating some sunflower seeds. If you make a habit out of this, your body will thank you in the long run!

EDITOR’S CHOICE – Homegrown CannabisCo

Homegrown CannabisCo are the masters when it comes to seeds. Offering a massive variety of cannabis seeds that are well categorized, not only does this company create a resource for superb quality options including feminized seeds, it also provides extensive growing information for those looking for some support along their journey.

28 Edible Weeds You Can Find in Your Own Backyard

Steph is a certified Square Food Gardening Instructor who has been gardening for more than 10 years in Canada where the winters are long and cold, and the summers are unpredictable. She is a volunteer for her community’s Incredible Edible project. In the past she created an educational gardening space for seniors and taught classes at a local community center where she created her own curriculum and activities. She participated in several local municipal garden days where she set up a booth to educate citizens about the joy of gardening.

If you look around you, there are likely dozens of plants nearby that you may consider nothing but a nuisance, but look again. Some of those so-called weeds may actually be a nutritious source of sustenance that costs nothing to use. In fact, some people may even thank you for taking them off their hands. Edible weeds are all around us, pulled up, poisoned and burned because someone failed to see the value in them.

Once you know which to look for and what you can do with these complimentary consumables, you’ll be able to source food and medicine at a price you can’t beat. You may even be helping the planet and your garden in the process. We’ll show you which weeds are valuable resources in disguise and how to identify them below.

What is a Weed?

First, what makes a plant a weed? While the behavior of a plant plays a part in how we label it, our perceptions and ideas about plants have the most significant impact on whether we consider them problematic or not.

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When I held gardening classes at my local senior’s center, I became fast friends with an Indian woman who made the most delicious food. She also taught me a great deal about how we perceive plants. As I plucked weeds from the communal garden space, she pointed out that the plants I removed, in many cases, were good to eat. She would take the pulled remnants and bring them home to cook with. It was an eye-opening moment for me, and now I’m much more curious about the plants I consider annoying and invasive.

I firmly believe that the concept of a ‘weed’ is a human construct. There are no weeds. We’re the ones who impose our perceptions of Mother Nature.

It’s often human behavior that creates problems when we take plants from different continents and allow them to flourish outside of their native habitats. Humans also introduce plants to their gardens or yards without proper research or investigation.

For one person, a dandelion may represent an ugly nuisance: a blemish on an otherwise perfectly manicured lawn. For another, the vigorous yellow flower is a nutritious edible weed that makes the ideal addition to a lunchtime salad or the perfect ingredient for an evening cup of tea.

My Own Experience

In my yard, the previous owners of the property planted a pretty trailing vine for added privacy on an outdoor fence. They apparently didn’t do their homework, and the vine creeps into my garden each summer.

I made the same mistake with purslane. I sowed seeds a few years ago thinking I was planting an easy to grow succulent and didn’t find out until later that purslane is a persistent bugger that’s tough to get rid of.

It returns every year with a vengeance and outcompetes whatever else is growing alongside it. In the first year, it was a yummy edible that I picked for salads. Now, it’s a weed because it keeps coming back without me wanting it there. But more importantly, because I planted something without thinking.

Caution

When you forage the plants below use, be sure you know what you’re picking. Some plants have look-alikes that can be unpleasant or downright dangerous.

Additionally, keep in mind that if you want to cultivate any of these edible weeds, planting them may be illegal, on top of a potential nuisance.

Finally, because these plants are considered pests, pick only from sources that you know haven’t been poisoned.

Edible Weeds

1. Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)

You might spot purslane in your favorite seed catalogs, but it can also be a weed. It grows almost anywhere because it can tolerate poor soil conditions. That said, it’s delicious. I put purslane seeds in my balcony containers and have been surprised (and annoyed) at how well it has thrived.

Tastes like: Purslane makes a crunchy addition to your salad, and it has a slightly acidic flavor.

How to identify: This edible weed looks like a miniature succulent plant.

Eating: Eat the leaves of this plant in a salad.

Caution: Don’t let your cat or dog munch on it, because it’s poisonous to them.

2. Borage (Borago officinalis)

The small purple-blue flowers of this plant attract bees and butterflies. Borage is an annual, but it’s self-seeding. It’s quite hardy and easy to grow.

Tastes like: Borage tastes like cucumbers, oddly enough, and it’s delicious.

How to identify: Look for a droopy plant with small star-shaped flowers.

Eating: The leaves and flowers of this plant are edible. Use it in soups, salads, cocktails, and desserts.

Caution: Don’t consume borage seed oil without first speaking to your doctor.

3. Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)

You can use milk thistle in food dishes in place of spinach, though it’s known more for its medicinal qualities.

Tastes like: This can be a bitter plant, but it has a sweet aftertaste. Cooking helps.

How to identify: Milk thistle is pretty distinctive. Keep your eyes out for a spiky plant with purple flowers.

Eating: You can eat the young stalks roots and flowers. You can also eat the leaves, but cut off the spines first. Cook it as you would spinach or eat it raw. You can also roast the seeds and use them as a coffee alternative.

Caution: Only eat this plant after you’ve removed its spikes. Additionally, it can cause nausea and diarrhea in some people.

4. Cleavers (Galium aparine)

This funky-looking annual weed has many fitting nicknames, including kisses and sticky weed.

Tastes like: For such a strange-looking plant, it sure tastes good. It has a flavor similar to pea shoots.

How to identify: Cleavers have branching stems with sticky, grippy hairs and little white flowers.

Eating: You can eat the leaves and stems of this plant, but since it’s sticky, it doesn’t work great in salads. Eat it as a lettuce substitute in a sandwich, instead.

Caution: Don’t eat this if your skin is irritated after touching it. If this occurs, you may be allergic.

5. Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

Two things I love combined in one plant: garlic and mustard! This edible weed is considered invasive in many parts of North America, so you can do your part to eradicate it by eating it all up.

Tastes like: This plant has notes of horseradish and garlic.

How to identify: Look for a low-growing cluster of lily pad-like leaves.

Eating: You can eat every bit of this plant, including leaves, flowers, roots, and seeds.

Caution: Avoid eating garlic mustard raw too often because the plant contains cyanide. Cooking it can help reduce the toxin level, however.

6. Dandelion (Taraxacum)

Probably the most well-known edible weed out there. Dandelions grow liberally on lawns and uncultivated land across the country. They spread prolifically, and we attempt to get rid of them with great enthusiasm, which is odd because they’re edible and incredibly nutritious.

Tastes like: The flavor depends on the part of the plant you consume. It ranges from earthy to nutty.

How to identify: Look for the infamous puffy poofs during the seeding stage that come from the pretty yellow pom-pom flowers.

Eating: The roots, leaves, and flowers of this plant are edible and contain medicinal properties. Cook it up like spinach or eat it raw.

Caution: Don’t eat this ubiquitous edible weed without washing it first, because it may be covered in poison.

7. Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus)

Also known as curly leaf dock, this plant is capable of growing up to 1.5 meters in height and is often found growing along roads.

Tastes like: It might not look like it, but this plant tastes like lemon because it contains oxalic acid.

How to identify: Look for the distinctive narrow leaves with curly edges. The stems turn brown in the late summer.

Eating: Consume this raw when the leaves are young. Once the leaves get older, they should be cooked. Don’t eat the leaves after they have turned brown. You can peel and eat the stems and cook the seeds, as well.

Caution: Don’t consume raw yellow dock regularly.

8. Shepherd’s Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)

A brassica, shepherd’s purse is a tasty and nutritious edible weed.

Tastes like: This plant tastes like a mildly flavored radish or mustard greens.

How to identify: It’s easiest to spot when it’s seeding, because it has distinctive purse-shaped pods. It has hairy, lobed leaves.

Eating: Eat this edible weed when the leaves are young, either raw or cooked. Makes an excellent cabbage substitute.

Caution: Be sure you’ve made the right identification when nibbling this. It also resembles a poisonous plant.

9. Lamb’s Quarters (Chenopodium album)

Lamb’s quarters is an unappreciated plant. It helps restore poor soil in addition to being nutritious and, some even say, tasty.

Tastes like: This plant has a salty flavor, and it’s often used as a substitute for spinach leaves.

How to identify: This is an unattractive weed, which is why it’s pulled up so often and ignored as a food source. Look for its dusty powder-coated leaves.

Eating: The leaves of this plant are edible, and you can cook them or eat them raw. It’s also tasty dried and added to soups.

Caution: Don’t get caught up in a case of mistaken identity. Make sure you’re picking lamb’s quarters and not a toxic doppelgänger.

10. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

This edible weed grows close to the ground and spreads liberally. Bees love yarrow.

Tastes like: The flavor is like a milder version of anise.

How to identify: Keep an eye out for a kind of fern-like plant with clusters of tiny yellow or white flowers.

Eating: Eat the leaves raw or cooked.

Caution: Don’t feed this to your pets. Additionally, be careful when ingesting it yourself, because some folks are allergic.

11. Claytonia (Claytonia perfoliata)

This edible weed is a nutrient-packed plant that contains plenty of vitamins. Its nickname, miner’s lettuce, comes from the fact that back in the day it was eaten by miners to stave off scurvy.

Tastes like: It smells citrusy and tastes like earthy lettuce.

How to identify: Look for a plant with round, almost heart-shaped leaves. The stem shoots straight through the center of the leaves, which makes it easy to spot. When blooming, the tops are dotted with small delicate flowers.

Eating: Nibble on the leaves, stem, and blossom of this edible weed. Delicious in salads.

Caution: Don’t mistake this for purslane even though its other nickname is winter purslane because they don’t taste anything alike.

12. Bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta)

A plant in the mustard family, bittercress grows in a mat-like formation and commonly invades lawns.

Tastes like: This plant has a pleasant flavor similar to fresh micro greens and don’t let the name fool you. The leaves aren’t bitter.

How to identify: Grows in a cluster or clump with shoots topped by white flowers.

Eating: All above ground parts are edible, but the flowers can be bitter.

Caution: You shouldn’t store this edible weed for later. It’s best eaten fresh.

13. Chickweed (Stellaria media)

Unlike other types of weeds, chickweed is relatively innocuous. It’s not a towering monstrosity that clamors for space. Instead, chickweed grows close to the ground, spreading like a mat.

Tastes like: If you’ve ever eaten grass, then you know what this tastes like.

How to identify: Look for a fuzzy ground cover with small white flowers and oval-shaped leaves growing in opposites.

Eating: Consume the leaves cooked or raw in salads or as you would eat spinach.

Caution: Don’t feed it to animals in large quantities. It’s mildly toxic, especially to horses.

14. Chicory (Cichorium intybus)

A perennial that pops up often in the wild, its leaves and roots are edible.

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Tastes like: This plant tastes like wood, with a spicy twist.

How to identify: This scraggly, stemmy weed has tiny blue flowers and likes to grow alone in barren areas.

Eating: The leaves and roots are the best part of this plant.

Caution: As pretty as it is, don’t bother eating the flower, because it’s bitter.

15. Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)

This perennial has a long history a medicinal treatment, but it also makes good eating.

Tastes like: Depending on how you prepare it, this plant tastes like spinach.

How to identify: Stinging nettle, true to its name, is covered in tiny stinging hairs so you might feel it before you see it. Look for arrow-shaped leaves with variegated edges and fuzzy white flowers.

Eating: You can nibble on the leaves, roots, and stems of this plant, although young leaves are the most prized. Use it cooked in soups or as a side dish.

Caution: Don’t eat this without cooking it first to remove those nasty little hairs. You may also want to wear gloves when harvesting.

15. Wood Sorrel (Oxalis)

I love sorrel. I planted it in my garden two years ago, and it’s a beautiful specimen. Wood sorrel bares little resemblance to garden sorrel, however.

Tastes like: Sorrel tastes lemony thanks to the presence of oxalic acid, which lends a sour, acidic flavor.

How to identify: This plant often gets mistaken for clover. It differs in that the smaller branches grow at a 90-degree angle to the central stalk.

Eating: This edible weed is as refreshing as it is tasty. Eat the immature seed pods, leaves, and flowers in soups, salads or sauces.

Caution: Don’t eat too much of it in one sitting and keep away from all types of sorrel if you have arthritis or suffer from kidney stones.

16. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)

A well-known medicinal plant, valerian can also be eaten.

Tastes like: Has a flavor reminiscent of earthy pine.

How to identify: Look for a straight, tall plant topped with small flower clusters.

Eating: Only the leaves and seeds are edible raw, but you can use the root in tea.

Caution: Don’t dry it and use it later. It smells and tastes terrible when dried.

17. Onion Weed (Asphodelus fistulosus)

Smells like onion, but spreads like a weed. Thankfully, you can munch on this invasive plant.

Tastes like: As the name implies, it tastes like an onion.

How to identify: Look for this edible weed growing in the shade. It’s a delicate, thin-stemmed plant with drooping white flowers.

Eating: The leaves are delicious raw, and the has a mild onion flavor.

Caution: Don’t yank it out of the ground. Carefully remove onion weed by digging it out to prevent it from spreading.

18. Horsetail (Equisetum)

Once used as a medicinal treatment for several conditions including arthritis.

Tastes like: The leaves taste like grass. Made into a tea, it resembles the flavor of black tea.

How to identify: an odd brown stem at first until the weed turns green and branches out.

Eating: Consume the shoots in the early spring. Once the cones turn brown, this plant turns bitter.

Caution: Despite its name, don’t let horses eat this weed. It’s poisonous to them.

19. Lady’s Thumb (Persicaria maculosa)

How could a weed ever have such a proper-sounding name? More often used as a medicinal plant rather than eaten, lady’s thumb is related to buckwheat.

Tastes like: This plant has a lovely pepper flavor.

How to identify: You’ll find this weed by looking for flower spikes that sit atop a stem with a base of long slender leaves that often feature a dark spot.

Eating: You can eat the leaves, shoots, flowers, and seeds of this plant.

Caution: Don’t eat this plant if you’re suffering from a kidney ailment.

20. Kudzu (Pueraria montana)

A horribly invasive species, kudzu was introduced to North America in the 1800s. The fast-growing plant is so prolific that it is becoming a major problem in some areas. Thankfully, the one good thing about this rapid-growing invader is that you can eat it.

Tastes like: For being such an invasive plant, it has a delicate flavor a bit like snow peas.

How to identify: Look for a vine with leaves in a group of three and crimson flowers when blooming.

Eating: Don’t try to eat the vine of this plant, but you can eat the leaves, flowers, and roots. It’s great chopped up in quiche and eggs.

Caution: This is an easy edible weed to forage, but don’t ever plant it on purpose. In some areas, planting kudzu is actually illegal.

21. Pigweed (Amaranthus)

You’ve probably had an encounter with pigweed without even knowing its name. It’s also known as amaranth. In some places, lamb’s quarters are called pigweed, but they’re two distinct plants.

Tastes like: This plant with a funny name has a mild lemon taste with salty notes.

How to identify: Look for a tall stem topped with small, clustered flower spikes.

Eating: Young leaves are best, but you can cook or dry the older leaves as well. Roast the seeds for a treat.

Don’t: Don’t be in a hurry to eliminate this plant, because pigweed can also help you with pest control.

22. Pineapple Weed (Matricaria discoidea)

How could something that smells like pineapple ever be considered a nuisance?

Tastes like: The name says it all. This plant tastes like a mild pineapple.

How to identify: Look for a bare-bones version of chamomile, because it is easy to mistake the two plants. If you crush the leaves between your fingers, you can be sure it’s pineapple weed because of the scent.

Eating: If you come across this in the wild, pick and eat the leaves and flowers on the spot. It also makes a wonderful tea. The older the plant gets during the growing season, the more bitter it becomes.

Caution: Don’t eat it in large quantities at first. Some people are allergic to this weed.

23. Burdock (Arctium)

A biennial with a bad reputation because of its sticky, grippy little burrs. Surprisingly, burdock is packed with antioxidants.

Tastes like: Burdock tastes like artichoke, though that depends on which part of the plant you’re eating.

How to identify: This plant looks like something you should avoid, thanks to its annoying little burrs.

How to eat: Peel and boil the stems. You can also eat the immature flowers or young leaves.

Caution: Don’t plant burdock on purpose. It’s a problematic plant in many regions. The burrs may harm animals or at the very least cause discomfort if stuck to their fur or skin.

24. Mallow (Malva)

This low-growing plant is related to okra and hibiscus, and it’s not only edible but has medicinal properties as well. On top of that, it’s handy to have around the kitchen because the leaves secrete a mucus when boiled that can be used as an egg white substitute or a thickener for liquids.

Tastes like: The fruit tastes a bit like capers, and the leaves are mild. They will take on the flavor of the things you cook them with.

How to identify: Look for a plant growing along the ground with long, geranium-like leaves sprouting from a central point.

How to eat: Eat the leaves and flowers raw or cooked. All parts of the plant can be eaten.

Caution: This plant is a prolific grower.

25. Sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella)

This edible weed is related to French sorrel and tastes much the same.

Tastes like: Sheep sorrel has a tangy, citrus flavor with a slightly bitter edge.

How to identify: This plant grows in a clump of arrow-shaped leaves with a red rosette in the springtime.

How to eat: You can eat the leaves from this plant, which are delicious chopped in salads. The seeds are also good raw or cooked. Ground up dried leaves can be used to make a flour for baking or to thicken soups.

Caution: Don’t each too much raw sheep sorrel at a time.

26. Violets (Viola sororia)

Violets are almost as hated as dandelions when it comes to lawn maintenance, but I think the native wildflower gets a bad rap. Though they can spread like, well, a weed, the pretty flowers are delicious, and the plant also has medicinal properties.

Tastes like: This pretty little plant has a mild, sweet pea flavor.

How to identify: When the plant is blooming, keep an eye out for the little purple flowers. When it isn’t blooming, you can spot it by the low-growing, heart-shaped leaves.

How to eat: The flowers can be eaten raw and add a bit of color to a salad. You can also candy them or turn them into jelly. The leaves can be eaten raw.

Caution: Since this plant is not loved by homeowners, be sure you are collecting specimens that haven’t been poisoned.

27. Mullein (Verbascum)

This weed isn’t a prolific spreader, but it grows freely in barren soil. People have used the soft, furry leaves as toilet paper throughout history, which is why it is sometimes called Cowboy Toilet Paper.

Tastes like: It has a slightly bitter, earthy, astringent flavor.

How to identify: This plant is easy to spot. It is a fuzzy grayish mound of large leaves in its first year. In the second year, it sends up a tall stalk covered in yellow flowers.

How to eat: You can eat the leaves and flowers raw, but it is best turned into a tea.

Caution: The hairs on this plant can irritate the skin for some people.

28. Bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare)

This edible weed clearly doesn’t want you to get near it. It’s covered in little spikes from head-to-toe. The effort is worth the result, though.

Tastes like: The raw leaves are bland, the stem and root taste like a Jerusalem artichoke.

How to identify: Bull thistles look like any thistle except they have short daggers on the surface of the leaf.

How to eat: You can eat the cooked root or stem as you would any veggie, either baked or boiled. You can also eat young leaves raw. Flowers can be roasted when they are young, and you can also roast the seeds.

Caution: Wear gloves when harvesting. Make sure you remove all of the sharp bits before eating.

Edible weeds are one of those hidden treasures that are everywhere once you know how to look. It may even make you look at weeding your own garden in a whole new light. If you have a favorite plant that others consider a weed, be sure to let us know in the comments below.

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