Cannabis is playing a big role in quarantine overcoming methods right now. But while a non-addictive, hangover-relieving herbal remedy is ideal during these periods of heightened sedentary anxiety, smoking is not. Decision? Don’t smoke weed. Drinking weed in tea bags – is one of the best ways to gain peace and relaxation.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.
The Chemistry of Cannabis Tea
When it comes to making weed tea, at first glance it can be a bit daunting, frustrating, and unsatisfying if you don’t understand a few cannabis chemistry fundamentals.The first thing to keep in mind is that raw, live cannabis contains delta9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid or THCA for short) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA). These cannabinoids are the precursors of the more well-known THC and CBD that are so famous for their psychoactive and medicinal effects.
THCA, however, is non-psychoactive, which means that it cannot get you high. Similarly, CBDA is much less medicinal than CBD, which means that it won’t relieve the symptoms for which you take it. Ingesting any part of a live cannabis plant will only get you the THCA and the CBDA and will not have the same effect as the product you buy at your local dispensary. So how does cannabis go from a non-psychoactive, non-medicinal plant to the psychoactive, medicinal powerhouse that we know and love? Good question. Here’s the answer. When the cannabis plant is harvested and begins to dry out, THCA and CBDA slowly convert to their non-acidic counterparts, THC and CBD (remember, the “A” in THCA and CBDA stands for acid). But this conversion is only partial. You won’t get all the cannabinoid goodness possible if you just let the plant dry out naturally.
To really maximize the effects, you need to add heat (decarboxylate). That bud you smoke, it’s been dried using low heat to continue the THCA-to-THC conversion. The full release, though, comes when you add a flame into the mix. This high temperature converts the majority of the THCA (and CBDA) into the stuff that makes you feel better. But you don’t just have to burn it to get the benefits. Psychoactive THC and CBD can be dissolved without losing their medicinal qualities. These cannabinoids can be dissolved in water, alcohol, butter (we’ll discuss these two in a section below), and even milk. In fact, THC and CBD dissolve more effectively in the fat from butter and milk when compared to water.
As you practice making your own marijuana tea, you’ll begin to intuitively learn how to make it as mild or as potent as you like. To get you started, here are five cannabis tea concoctions for your drinking pleasure.
Weed Tea Recipes
Raw Chinese and Jamaican-style herbal cannabis tea is one of the easiest ways to experience the miraculous long-term medicinal benefits of non-psychoactive THCA as a dietary supplement from raw marijuana without getting too high off of it. We highly recommend juicing your raw cannabis cola buds directly into mouthwatering juices and smoothies if you want to get your THCA without getting high at all. We suggest boiling any leftover stems, leaves, or shake you may have into a tea that delivers a relaxing, mellow, mildly sedative body high without too much cerebral euphoria in order to get all the cannabinoids you possibly can from your plants.
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
Makes about three regular mug-sized cups of tea. Recommended dosing: one cup per person, and not within two hours of heading out to drive or operating serious machinery.
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.
Sip safely out there.