Weed tea, also known as Cannabis tea, is a cannabis-infused drink prepared by steeping various parts of the cannabis plant in hot or cold water. Cannabis tea is commonly recognized as an alternative form of preparation and consumption of the cannabis plant, more popularly known as marijuana, pot, or weed. This plant has long been recognized as an herbal medicine employed by health professionals worldwide to ease symptoms of disease, as well as a psychoactive drug used recreationally and in spiritual traditions. Though less commonly practiced than popular methods like smoking or consuming edibles, drinking cannabis tea can produce comparable physical and mental therapeutic effects. Such effects are largely attributed to the THC content of the tea, levels of which are drastically dependent on individual preparation techniques involving volume, amount of cannabis, and boiling time. Also in common with these administration forms of cannabis is the heating component performed before usage. Due to the rather uncommon nature of this particular practice of cannabis consumption in modern times (in contrast to historical use), the research available on the composition of cannabis tea is limited and based broadly around what is known of cannabis as it exists botanically.
According to a recent study on cannabinoid concentration and in preparations of and tea, a boiling period of fifteen minutes was found to be sufficient in order to reach the highest concentrations of cannabinoids in tea solutions.However, preparation of cannabis oil in the study was found to ensure a higher stability of cannabinoids than that which was found in preparation of cannabis tea.
It is advisable to decarboxylate ones cannabis beforehand to ensure a sufficiently psychoactive tea. Using coconut milk instead of dairy milk is also an option. One can add spices such as cardamom, nutmeg, saffron, vanilla, almond and more. Let the tea simmer for 5-10 mins, longer if using non decarboxylated material.
The Origins of Marijuana Tea
Cannabis tea isn’t new; in fact, it dates back to ancient times. Over the centuries, it’s been used differently across various cultures. In many places, marijuana tea has been traditionally consumed for medicinal or ceremonial purposes, while in others, people consume it simply for the pleasure of getting high.
One of the earliest communities to embrace cannabis tea was Jamaica; it’s traditional for pregnant mothers there to use marijuana to help combat worry, anxiety, and morning sickness. In Jamaica, cannabis is referred to as “ganja,” and ganja tea is used as a common medicinal remedy there, particularly in the rural areas. According to news reports, one Jamaican politician even claimed that he used ganja tea to treat his daughter’s asthma. Ganja tea is typically made from young plants that have not fully developed for harvest, which means the brew is less potent than smoking dried mature buds.
Another country where cannabis tea can be traced back hundreds of years is India, where the beverage was first used in 1000 B.C. The hot drink, referred to as bhang, is still widely consumed in India today. Bhang is a combination of milk, marijuana, and spices, with the dry contents being ground using a mortar and pestle.
Bhang is primarily consumed for ceremonial reasons; it’s often presented as an offering to the Lord. This is because cannabis is listed as one of the five most sacred plants in the Atharva Veda, a sacred text in the Hindu religion. Indian families often serve bhang to important guests at dinnertime. Marijuana tea is also used as a remedy for fever, sunstroke, or digestive difficulties.
Weed Tea Benefits
Marijuana tea has a long list of health benefits, all of which come from the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. THC, for example, is effective at calming pain and treating insomnia. Some people undergoing cancer treatment use THC to quell their nausea. CBD is also a useful painkiller and can help settle anxiety. Because marijuana tea effects set in slowly and last a long time, it can be helpful form of cannabis for medical patients needing long-lasting relief.
Consuming these cannabinoids in the form of a hot beverage is incredibly soothing; it’s also a very subtle way to ingest cannabis either recreationally or medicinally.
Weed Tea Effects
For people who are used to smoking or vaporizing cannabis, it can be difficult to know what to expect from marijuana tea. Results will differ from one brew to the next (depending on the amount of marijuana used and the strain used to make it), but here are some of the effects that are common with cannabis tea:
Mellow, Euphoric High
Much like consuming marijuana-infused edibles, the marijuana tea high is described as a more mellow high than smoking or vaping marijuana. People who consume marijuana tea report feeling mildly euphoric and renewed.
Slow to Kick In
Also similar to edibles, marijuana tea effects don’t kick in right away. They can take half an hour or as long as 90 minutes to appear. This is because rather than being inhaled into the lungs (where the cannabinoids are immediately absorbed into the bloodstream), the tea must go through the digestive tract. Because of this, those who are new it its effects are advised to start with a small amount, as it’s easy to overconsume before the initial effects set in.
When smoking marijuana, the effects wear off rather quickly, but marijuana tea can last several hours. This makes it a particularly useful remedy for pain, insomnia, or any condition in which the patient wants to avoid having to take repeated doses throughout the day or night.
How to Make Cannabis Tea
There are many commercial cannabis teas available on the market, but one of the basics of cannabis 101 is learning how to make it at home. There are many different variations of cannabis tea depending on individual taste and the desired effect. The beverage can range from a light, non-psychoactive tea consumed to enjoy the health benefits of marijuana to a thicker, more creamy brew that will bring on a mellow high an hour or so after consuming it (similar to marijuana-infused edibles).
Stems or Buds?
Some people choose to brew tea using cannabis flowers, while others prefer to make marijuana tea with stems. Brewing marijuana stem tea is an excellent way to make use of stems leftover after the buds are removed, although any concoction made with stems won’t be as psychoactive as buds that are filled with THC. No matter which material is used, the steps for making various kinds of tea are the same.
Non-Psychoactive Marijuana Tea
To make a mild, non-psychoactive cannabis tea, simply steep the stems or broken-up flowers in hot water just as with regular tea. Some people enjoy adding in other herbs, spices, or tea leaves to customize the flavor. This is an excellent way to enjoy the health benefits of the cannabinoids from brewed cannabis flowers or cannabis stem tea without feeling high afterwards.
Psychoactive THC Tea
To experience a high from cannabis tea, two things are necessary. The first is decarboxylation (heating cannabis enough to activate cannabinoids like THC); the second is solubility. This means that anyone hoping to make tea that will have noticeable euphoric effects needs to decarboxylate their marijuana before brewing it. This can be accomplished by breaking it into small pieces and baking it in an oven at 230 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes, stirring the material so it heats evenly.
Next, a potent marijuana tea requires some sort of fat to bind to the THC (which is not water-soluble). Half a cup of milk or a tablespoon of butter or coconut oil will work wonderfully for this. Pour 3 cups of water into a saucepan and add in the fat, allowing it to melt and bringing the mixture to a boil. Then add a gram of cannabis and simmer for at least 15 minutes to thoroughly infuse it. Strain the contents through a coffee filter to remove all solids.
This is a basic marijuana tea; it can be consumed as-is, combined with spices, or even brewed for a few minutes with black or herbal tea leaves to customize the flavor.
Another option? Put a pinch of kief into an already-brewed cup of regular tea to turn it into a cozy, high-inducing cup of kief tea.