Cannabis is playing a big role in quarantine coping methods right now. But while a non-addictive, hangover-free herbal remedy is ideal during these times of increased, sedentary anxiety, the act of smoking is not. The solution? Don’t smoke your weed. Drink it.
Cannabis-infused tea takes out the loads of sugar and fat that usually come with eating edibles, while still providing a full infusion of cannabinoids from flower. It also gives your lungs a break. If you happen to have cannabis butter, infused honey, or a tincture on hand, your work is essentially already done. Just add to your tea of choice the same you would any honey or sugar.
If you don’t, no worries. All you need is a gram of ground flower and about 20 minutes to spare.
We’ve put together a step-by-step guide as simple as possible when it comes to that whole pesky decarboxylation thing. You, unfortunately, can’t just drop some weed in a tea bag and start steeping (unless you love the taste of soggy weed and don’t really want to get high). But you don’t have to go all out to make a quick single-serving of decarboxylated buds either. You got this.
1 gram of ground cannabis (Sour Tangie or any citrus-scented strain works well)
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter or coconut oil
Teabag of your choosing (classic English Breakfast is always good)
4 cups of water
- Any other ingredients for flavor such as honey, milk, sugar, cinnamon, etc.
- Cheesecloth or a fine strainer.
Cannabis tea, like edibles, can be a great way to consume cannabis without smoking or vaping. You can make it in a variety of ways using all kinds of different ingredients depending on your personal preferences. A few methods for making weed tea are:
- Infusing water with dry cannabis flower (less intoxicating because THC is not water-soluble)
- Mixing cannabis infused with a fat (e.g., coconut oil, butter, etc.) with tea leaves and water to make a latte-type beverage
- Adding a cannabis tincture to tea
Step 1: Boil 4 cups of water in a medium-sized pot. Once it’s boiling, add the tablespoon of butter or coconut oil and allow it to completely dissolve. THC needs something fatty to stick to under high heat — that’s how we separate the good stuff from the plant material.
Step 2: Add your gram of ground cannabis into the boiling pot, and turn the temperature down to a simmer.
Step 3: Allow this mixture to simmer for fifteen minutes. For really great weed or really passionate cannabis-foodies, it can be worth it to simmer at as low a temperature as possible for a longer period of time in order to preserve the more nuanced flavors of that strain. Terpenes are the first to burn off when things get too hot, too fast.
Step 4: Now it’s time to strain out the little bits of cannabis. There’s too much water to strain straight into your mug (unless it’s enormous), so grab a bowl or ideally an empty teapot. If you’re using cheesecloth, secure it around the top of the teapot or bowl with a rubber-band or string. You can always ask your quarantine mate to hold the cheesecloth in place around the top, or solo chefs can anchor it on all sides with something heavy. Carefully and slowly pour the boiling mixture through the cheesecloth and into your chosen vessel. You can always just use a metal strainer, but it needs to be a fiiine strainer unless you’re cool with leafy bits in your teeth.
Step 5: Add your teabag into the teapot, along with any desired extras like mint, lemon, honey, or a cinnamon stick and stir well. It’ll help moderate that herby flavor. Steep for about three minutes.
Step Yay: Remove the teabag, stir well to incorporate the infused butter throughout, and pour yourself a cup.
There is going to be a subtle weed-y flavor no matter what, but you can add some more milk and sugar to balance it out. Many find pre-made chai has a strong enough flavor to complement the herbal notes. Remember that your body will still digest it like an edible, so be patient. Depending on whether you’ve eaten recently and your body’s metabolism, it could take up to an hour and a half to feel effects.
Does weed tea get you high?
Making a marijuana-infused tea that provides the medicinal and intoxicating effects that cannabis has to offer isn’t as simple as you might think. Accessing THC in the plant can be a little finicky thanks to decarboxylation and solubility factors, but fear not: Once you understand a few simple concepts, it’s all green fields from there!
During the process of decarboxylation, the non-intoxicating compound THCA is converted to the compound THC, activating different medicinal and intoxicating properties (read more about THCA’s unique medicinal properties here). The heat applied to cannabis when smoking or vaporizing provokes decarboxylation without any extra effort on our part. When making edibles, the process naturally occurs when cannabis is cooked with butter or oils, or when hash or kief are added to a favorite recipe and then heated on a stove.
If you choose to decarboxylate your cannabis using a heating method before adding it to the tea, remember that the optimal time and temperature for decarboxylation may vary depending on the following factors:
- The amount of moisture in your product
- How much product you use
- The type of oven you have access to (e.g., gas or electric)