Cannabis tea is an infusion of cannabis—usually the leaves of the plant, are steeped in hot water. Typically, herbal infusions are used for delicate herbs, leaves and fresh tender plants. The leaves of mature cannabis plants have a stronger effect so are often also used. With cannabis, tea making is not as simple as just adding water to the leaves and letting them steep. The primary medicinal components in cannabis, THC and other cannabinoids, are not water-soluble. While the oils are definitely not water-soluble, they can be extracted crudely by boiling the leaves; the heat makes the oil malleable and the boiling action strips it from the leaves. Adding either some alcohol or some oil to the mix is required to help them dissolve.
Historically cannabis tea has been prepared by many cultures, some as medicine, some as a ceremonial drink, and others for intoxication. The oldest culture that has traditionally used cannabis in tea form, and in fact has a special name reserved for the tea is India. In India cannabis tea is referred to as Bhang, which is tea mixed with cannabis. It’s mainly a ceremonial drink. It was common in India to serve a glass of your finest Bhang to guests. It’s also used as an offering to gods and is considered to enforce the spirit to help fight off illnesses. There are many recipes for preparing Bhang; it’s generally spiced with cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, then sweetened with a bit of sugar or honey. Some recipes call for adding milk or alcohol to it as well.
Another culture in which cannabis tea is important is In Jamaica. Here it is called ganja tea. In Jamaica drinking cannabis is looked upon completely differently than smoking it. Ganja tea is often used as medicine, particularly in the countryside, and is a widespread custom in many families. However, ganja tea is not made from the same, ripened and dried plants that are used for smoking. Ganja tea is drawn from the young, green plant, and is often made just as one would regular tea, so is not very potent. The tea is said to make the body strong and less susceptible to illness. It is also often drunk, if someone suffers from a fever or a cold. Furthermore, ganja is said to be a good remedy for stress.
Cannabis tea is of interest to the Dutch as well. Researchers in the Netherlands recently completed a study on the chemistry of the tea components.
“Cannabis is one of the oldest known medicinal plants, and a large variety of biological activities have been described. The main constituents, the cannabinoids, are thought to be most important for these activities. Although smoking of cannabis is by far the most common way of consumption, a significant part of medicinal users consume it in the form of a tea. However, not much is known about the composition of cannabis tea, or the effect of different parameters during preparation, handling or storage. In this study we used the high-grade cannabis available in Dutch pharmacies to study the cannabinoid composition of tea under standardized and quantitative conditions.”
There are many recipes for Cannabis Tea, yet they are all similar. Some are given below for your tea pleasure. Drink one or more cups to achieve the same effects as you would from smoking the cannabis. Remember that the effects will last a little longer, up to 6-8 hours, enough for a god night’s sleep!
Teas can be made from water or milk, soy, seed, nut or rice milk. Some recipes even call for butter or cream which is higher in fat content. The active ingredients are oil soluble. You can let the tea steep for 1-2 hours in water and add a tsp. of butter. The effects vary so begin by steeping for a short time period, increasing as needed. Using milk requires a longer cooking time (no less than 2 hours). You can do it overnight in a crock pot. Add a cup of ‘milk’ (you can use soy milk or nut milk) and 2 heaping tbls. of marijuana leaf to the container, simmer on a low heat. A half ounce of hard liquor to a cup of boiling water increases the tea’s potency quite a bit.
(Recipes below are from Marijuana Tea.com)
Billy’s Marijuana Tea
4 cups water
1 cup marijuana leaf
2 of your favorite tea bags
honey (optional, but good)
milk/soy milk/rice milk (optional, but good)
Boil water and leave the leaf simmering in water for about 15 min. Add tea bags and or milk/honey and boil for another 5-10 min. If adding milk, pour very slowly so the milk doesn’t curdle. Or microwave the milk first so it’s a little warm as it hits the boiling tea.
Peter Piper’s Marijuana Tea
Gently simmer 1 gram cannabis per cup whole milk for 20 minutes…remove from heat and steep 1 mint tea bag per cup for 4 – 6 minutes…strain and refrigerate…stores well for at least one week I make a version of this with sugar and alcohol and liquor flavoring. I use 10% cream instead of whole milk and at Least 7 grams of cannabis per cup of cream…stores well for about 6 – 12 months…one ounce per serving…warms the heart!
Cannabis Butter Tea
Make butter, add a dollop to your favorite tea, black green or herbal.
Butter: 2 sticks unsalted
Leaf Matter: 1 Pot=approx. 3 ounces (use less if using bud)
Bring 2-3 cups water and butter to boil. Add as many leaves as you can fit in your pan and cover with the butter/water mixture. Continue boiling for about 1 hour. Mash and stir frequently to make sure all THC is extracted from the leaves into the butter. After cooking strain butter from leaf using cheese cloth. Boil a cup of water and use it to rinse out every last drop of butter from the leaves. Be sure to squeeze the leaves well to get all the butter out. Put liquid in fridge (or freezer) to cool. When the butter has solidified pour off water. Butter will keep in fridge or freezer, but keeps best in cooked food!