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Many patients who use medical marijuana on a regular or semi-regular basis are familiar with the more traditional ways of ingesting it—smoking, vaping, and eating. But did you know that marijuana-infused tea is considered a gentler, healthier alternative to smoking?
Marijuana-infused teas are becoming an increasingly popular choice for those looking for a convenient alternative to traditional consumption methods and wanting to avoid the associated risks of smoking, which can be especially helpful if you’re battling respiratory diseases or afflictions of the mouth or throat.
But these drinkables are by no means new innovations. Throughout history, several prominent cultures have harnessed cannabis’ healing power through teas. In many Jamaican and East Indian households a common home remedy for morning sickness and pregnancy-related stress is is often a cup of cannabis-infused tea. Intrigued? Keep reading!
Therapeutic Benefits of Marijuana Tea
Another reason for marijuana-infused teas’ increasing popularity is that they contain more therapeutic benefits than traditional smoking. And, unlike smoking’s quick reaction time, cannabis-infused teas have a longer build due to the digestive tract’s absorption of the liquid’s active ingredients.
Tea made from brewing the leaves of the plant, not the bud, produces milder effects and doesn’t generate the traditional “heavy” or “stoned” sensations associated with other ingestion methods. Because of this, many say they feel “renewed” by the overall mild euphoria that often accompanies drinking cannabis tea, providing a great choice for those wishing to avoid becoming overly intoxicated.
If you’re going to brew your tea from flowers or leaves, you should make sure that you have a verified and tested organic source. Your best way to do this is to purchase your marijuana from a state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary. Be sure to check with your state to make sure that they allow flower. If you live in Oklahoma, you can purchase up to 8 ounces of flower at a time, which is more than enough to make tea for a month, but you’ll have to get your Oklahoma medical marijuana card first.
SEE ALSO: In-Depth Review of Spring THC Soda
As with all these cannabis ingestion methods, finding the correct dose for you will take a little trial-and-error, so it’s wiser to start small. If you’ve never tried marijuana before, in any form, begin with a very small dose to familiarize yourself with its associated sensations and side-effects. We recommend trying ½ a cup (125 ml) per day.
Otherwise, if you’re a regular or semi-regular user, a standard starting dose is one cup (250 ml) every 24-hours. If you find that the medicinal effect isn’t quite enough for your situation, you can increase to two cups (500 ml) every 24-hours, taken at 12-hour intervals (once in the morning, once before bed).
THC Per Cup
The amount of THC per tea cup will vary depending on the strain(s) you use to create your home-brew. For example, if you’re using a single gram of cannabis (1,000 mg dry weight) that has an approximate 10% THC content, your tea would contain roughly 100 mg of THC. As with all teas, strength depends on how long you allow it to steep; longer equals stronger tea.
Effects of Marijuana Tea
Cannabis-infused teas typically take somewhere between 30-90 minutes for the full impact to be felt. Some people with a higher metabolism or lower body mass may feel the effects more rapidly, while those with a slower metabolism or denser body mass may not feel the impact until almost 2 hours later.
So the first time you try this tea, plan to be in a familiar, safe environment for a few hours until you know how your body reacts. Drinkers typically experience effects lasting 4-8 hours. And it’s because of these long-lasting results that many find it particularly beneficial treating chronic conditions like MS, nausea, and rheumatoid pain.
How to Make Marijuana Tea
Want to make your own marijuana tea? The easiest way to brew a cup is to simmer the marijuana buds, leaves or stems for 30 minutes with an added fat (like butter or coconut oil), depending on the medicinal strength you want.
Marijuana-infused teas made from cannabis buds produce the strongest effect; teas made from leaves are milder; and stem-made teas have the weakest effect of all three.
Here are three different marijuana tea recipes utilizing each of these plant parts that you can easily make at home!
1. Marijuana Bud Tea
For each cup of tea you’ll need:
- 1/2 gram marijuana buds (for leaves or stems check out the second recipe below!)
- 1/2 teaspoon softened butter (unsalted)
- 1.5 cups water (400 ml)
- Optional: Tea bag (any flavor, mint works very well)
- Optional: Milk, sugar or honey to taste.
- Utensils: tea strainer, stainless steel pot, spoon
- Grind the buds. Remove any stems and put them aside to make a separate cup of stem-infused tea.
- Place the ground buds into a bowl and add the butter, mixing carefully; the back of a spoon works very well for this. Try to get every piece coated with a little butter.
- Carefully add the water to a stovetop pot on medium heat, slowly bringing it to a simmer, then gently spoon in the marijuana butter mixture (be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl). Keep the water simmering and “brew” your tea for 30 minutes, stirring often.
- Remove your pot from the stove and allow to rest for a moment, or until the bubbles to stop breaking the surface; once cooler slowly pour it through a strainer and voila—tea!
If you find the taste too strong, you can always add a tea bag of your choosing to the pot during the last 3-5 minutes of brewing.
2. Marijuana Leaf/Steam Tea
To make a mild-tasting tea with even lesser “intoxicating” effects, simmer 1-2 grams of stems, leaves, or a combination of both in 1.5 cups of water for 30 minutes. Strain and drink! That’s it! It’s a perfect drink before bedtime.
3. Ready-Made Teas
If you’re not feeling up to the challenge of making your own cup of marijuana tea, you can always enjoy these pre-packaged ready-made teas anytime, hot or cold!
- Sarah’s Medicated Teas, based in Colorado Springs, CO, are available for purchase online. They’re currently branching out into Northern California and will soon be available at Dank Valley Farm, Indigo, Humble Root, and From the Earth.
- The Venice Cookie Co. offers four different flavors of their “Subtle Tea”: PM, a non-caffeinated chamomile, spearmint and valerian combo, Chai, Green, and Black (Ceylon). Each bag contains 40mg of THC.
- Have a discerning palate? House of Jane offers “Jane’s Brew Gourmet Cannabis-Infused Teas,” available in both C-Cups (for Keurig style machines) and traditional bags available in three doses: 20mg, 80mg or 200mg THC.
- Pot-o-Coffee also has a 10mg K-Cup option of their “Hemp-Derived CBD-Infused Tea.”
You can also find cannabis-infused tea by searching for the keyword “tea” on Nugg, which will search the inventories of nearby cannabis dispensaries and let you order delivery online if any are available!
“[Marijuana tea is] the absolute best for medical use…[I] drink one cup of tea and have it relieve my symptoms for at least 6 hours. Not a really strong tea either…[its] effects took between 1-1.5 hours and it sneaks up on you…you may not notice anything ‘happen’ rather you may notice a few hours later, hey I’m not in pain.” —Kelly of Cowichan Bay, BC
“I prefer teas to smoking because I don’t feel sluggish, just relaxed and alert.” —Ember Rose of Denver, CO.
“Drinking marijuana tea can give you all the medicinal effects you’re after, and you don’t get the smoke in your lungs—or the smell on your breath. It’s great if you happen to have a sore throat or something like that. When I’m down, a steaming hot cup of this tea drops my pain level down to where I can actually function like a human being! I think it would be perfect, too, for people who are non-smokers but still need pain relief!!” —Janet M. of Ann Arbor, MI