How To Make Cannabis Tea
As we enter into the colder seasons, it’s going to be crucial (perhaps now more than ever!) to make your environment cozy. This time of year already calls for comfy blankets, rich foods, and of course, tea! If you’re looking to have a tea that’s “extra relaxing,” cannabis tea is easy to make.
The first step is understanding dosing, especially if you’re not someone with a lot of “self-restraint,” or consider yourself a lightweight.
Riley Starr, founder of flir, has vigorously studied and perfected the once seemingly elusive “perfect edibles” dose. His company has designed their chocolate bars in such a way that you can access a very mild dose of THC, and not be cheated out of a few bites of delicious chocolate.
“It's easy to snap off a generous segment of chocolate containing just 2mg, which for us lightweights is already enough to provide a gentle buzz,” says Starr.
While many companies are developing new technology for infusing THC into chocolate for the fastest onset possible, they’ve chosen to go with a natural cocoa-butter infusion.
“We believe the slow, subtle emergence of the experience is one of the best things about cannabis edibles,” he says. “Rather than a storm that rolls in all at once, we like our edibles to affect us like the falling twilight—you may not notice the daylight slowly fading over an hour or two until you look up at the sky and suddenly notice the first stars winking on.”
With a description like that, it’s no wonder Starr is the one you want to listen to if you’re considering creating your own edibles—or in this case, cannabis tea.
Here, he explains how to make cannabis tea, what makes cannabis beverages special, and advice for beginners looking to try edibles.
How to make cannabis tea
Making a simple steeped tea at home with cannabis flower won't result in a strong THC beverage, but it does allow you to access the therapeutic benefits of many other cannabinoids. Even though clinical research is still in its early stages, THCA, the precursor to THC, may offer even stronger anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects than THC itself, and is far more soluble in water.
Making a THC-infused tea in the home kitchen can be a little trickier.
As with other edibles, it is necessary to decarboxylate your flower to convert THCA into THC, usually by baking. Then the flower should be infused into something containing fat.
What’s good about a cannabis-infused beverage?
A simple infusion.
That is, steeping young leaves and flowers in hot water. It is one of humanity's oldest tools for accessing the benefits of the plants in our ecosystem.
Tea is perhaps the simplest, purest form of this practice that continues to thrive in our modern world, but this also happens to be one of the earliest ways that the cannabis plant was used medicinally.
I love to contemplate how such a simple ritual has remained with us since ancient times. And ritual is essential to the experience of cannabis.
It's also a powerful reminder of how a humble plant—be it tea, coffee, wine grapes or cannabis—when cultivated with great care, harvested, dried, fermented, smoked or aged by experienced hands, can produce the most extraordinary wealth of flavours, aromas, and effects.
How long does cannabis tea take to kick in?
If you’re getting cozy at home with you book and a cup of weed tea, the last thing you really want to be doing is mentally regulating how much you’re sipping. It’s important to remember that the effects of cannabis take longer to kick in if you ingest it instead of smoke it. That’s because it has to pass through your stomach for digestion, and then metabolized in your liver.
The “waiting process” can be up to an hour. We recommend taking a few sips of your weed tea, and then maybe have some “regular tea” at your side to supplement the act of drinking tea in between. This will create an environment where you can fully relax, still drink tea, but not worry about getting high or over-indulging.
This is obviously not much different than making “regular” tea, which you might decide to call “no fun tea” going forward.
Step one: Boil water. As Starr mentioned, add some fat into the water, like butter or coconut oil, to give the THC something to bind to under high heat.
Step 2: Add your ground cannabis into the pot (about a gram will do) and let the water simmer.
Step 3: Step away for ten to fifteen minutes. Allow this mixture to simmer for fifteen minutes. You definitely don’t want the water to be too hot otherwise you will lose some of the aromatic terpenes.
Step 4: Strain the cannabis! Do this into an empty teapot by using a fin strainer or a cheesecloth.
Step 5: Add a teabag into your cup or pot for flavour. “My favourite is infusing decarboxylated flower (or a nice extract) into full-fat coconut milk by simmering them together for 30 min to an hour, and using it as the base of a delicious spiced chai,” says Starr.
Step 6: If you want, make a secondary cup that isn’t cannabis-infused to alternate between, or to help you get a good sense of both flavours (one with cannabis and one without). Let it steep! You can always add milk or sugar to help offset the weed flavour too, however, many people like the subtle earthy undertones of the plant.
Starr’s final advice for beginners trying weed tea?Take it slow!
"If you want your relationship with cannabis to last many happy years, there's no need to rush things," he says. "Take time to get to know the plant, and to get to know the person you are under its spell."