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The History of Making Cannabis Tea
Many experts believe that a great number of cultures grew, harvested, and used cannabis for close to 12,000 years, including cannabis-infused tea concoctions. In fact, most historians believe that individuals from the Indian culture were the first ones to craft and consume cannabis tea, called bhang. Bhang, a green paste that was converted into ceremonial drinks and edibles was made by crushing buds, leaves, and seeds of the mature cannabis plant using a mortar and pestle. They then mixed in milk, ghee, and spices.
Along with the Indian people, the Jamaican culture is also known for brewing cannabis tea. In creating ganja tea, the Jamaicans utilized young cannabis leaves to create a lower potency tea that was made using only water and no fats.
Cannabinoids, Solubility Issues, and Decarboxylation
Making cannabis-infused tea sounds complicated, but with the right recipe and a proper decarboxylator - check some out - crafting this holistic and tasty brew will be one of the easiest things you do this week. Once you understand the principals of decarboxylation and conquer cannabinoids’ solubility issues, you will have a wonderful tea that is packed with both THC and CBD.
Often times, people only think they can consume cannabis through smoking a spliff, or a bong, or by eating it when it’s baked into tasty edibles. And thanks to state-of-the-art vaporizers, a wider selection of THC-infused edibles, and highly potent extracts, the old-school art of making cannabis-infused tea has gone by the wayside.
However, with the addition of new products on the market like Hemper’s Levo 2 Oil Infuser, those precious herbs can be easily prepared so that you can create delicious, potent, and pure teas from all of your favorite strains. Decarboxylators are simple and easy to use and greatly cut down the need for a separate decarboxylation process thanks to the machine’s built-in dry activate cycle that ensures you get everything out of every flower, herb, and bud.
What is a Decarboxylator you Ask?
Here’s the thing that not everyone knows: if you eat raw cannabis you likely won’t get “high” at all. Why? Cannabinoids, including THC, have what is known in chemistry as an extra “carboxyl ring” or group that is part of their chemical makeup. Cannabis flowers and leaves have a high concentration of THCA or tetrahyrdrocannabinoilic acid. Although THCA may have other purported health benefits, consuming it will not give you the euphoric “high” associated with THC. In order to convert THCA into THC, it has to be decarboxylated. We’ll cover more on this below, but for now let’s just say that a decarboxylator works to quickly, safely and easily convert the THCA in your cannabis into THC so that it can be used in your tea.
And now, onto the Basics
Cannabis tea can be made from a host of different ingredients in a wide variety of different ways. Some of the methods include:
- A mix of tea and a tincture, or alcohol-based extraction.
- A mix of cannabis that has been infused with a fat such as coconut oil, butter, and/or dairy that is combined with tea leaves and water to make a drink that is akin to a latte.
- An infusion of water and dry flowers that is significantly less psychoactive due to THC’s inability to be water-soluble.
The Decarboxylation Process
It’s a frustrating fact that trying to craft a tea that has all of the medicine and psychoactive effects of cannabis isn’t an easy process. Extracting THC from cannabis can be tricky due to solubility issues and decarboxylation, however, once you get the hang of it and understand some basic concepts, that frustration will quickly subside.
During the decarboxylation process, THCA, a non-psychoactive compound, is converted into THC, which activates various psychoactive and medicinal properties. When heat is applied to cannabis through smoking or vaporizing, this causes decarboxylation. When making edibles, decarboxylation naturally occurs because the cannabis is baked with oils and/or cannabutter. The same happens when kief and hash are thrown into the mix and heated on the stove during the making of a favorite recipe.
If you decide to use a heating method to decarboxylate the cannabis before adding it into a tea, be mindful that the best time and temperature for decarboxylation will vary depending on the amount of moisture in the product, how much product you are using, and the type of oven you are using – gas or electric.
The Benefits of Using A Decarboxylator
Check Out: Top 4 Decarboxylators
A decarboxylator, or oil infuser, is very easy and simple to use. It basically cuts down on the need to use a separate activation process. Hemper’s Levo 2 Oil Infuser comes with built-in wireless connectivity that allows users to control the unit through the LEVO app. The app allows users to look at the use history, utilize the built-in temperature and time calculators, and discover and share new recipes with friends.
There are many benefits to using a decarboxylator for your tea-infusion process including:
- Eliminating the need for additives, solvents, and emulsifiers
- Giving the user complete discretion over the ingredient profile
- Accurately controlling potency
- Giving the user an innovative steeping method that eliminates the need for aeration, which greatly increases overall shelf life
- Giving the user the ability to create batch sizes from 5-16 ounces
- Cutting down on expenses by taking away the need to buy pre-made products
Simple Cannabis Tea Recipes
Cannabis tea with rose and chamomile
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Steep Time: 5-10 minutes
Dosage: Dosage depends on how potent your cannabis is, but you can always add more or less depending on your overall tolerance.
- Cannabis-Infused Honey (optional)
- 2 Teaspoons Ground Cannabis Trim, Stems, or Buds
- Coconut Milk (optional)
- 2 Teaspoons Dried Chamomile
- 2 Teaspoons Dried Rose Buds
- Decide if you will decarboxylate the dried herb beforehand or not. (This depends on whether you are seeking to incorporate the benefits of THCA or THC.)
- Add all dried flowers in a tea infuser and steep in hot water for 5-10 minutes.
- Enjoy with additional cannabis-infused honey and/or coconut milk for added effects.
Cannabis Tea Latte
- 7g Finely Ground Buds or 14g of Trimmings (Decarboxylated)
- 15g Softened Butter (or 30ml Pre-Heated Coconut Oil)
- 400ml Full-Fat Milk (or Almond Milk)
- 400 ml Water
- Tea Leaves and a Metal Tea Infuser
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 4 Tablespoons Honey
- Hints of Cinnamon
- First, decarboxylate cannabis. This step is necessary in order to achieve the highest possible potency.
- Mix plant matter, milk, vanilla extract, and butter (or coconut oil) thoroughly. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for about one hour.
- Now, pour the mix into a pot, add water, and place pre-loaded metal tea infuser in the middle. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Aim for low to medium temperatures. Do not boil.
- Pour the “tea latte” through a fine kitchen sieve to remove all plant matter. Refine the flavor by adding a tablespoon of honey and/or a dash of cinnamon.
In the USA over 159 million Americans enjoy drinking tea, many of whom also enjoy legal cannabis for either recreational or medicinal purposes. Cannabis-infused tea is a wonderful concoction melding two of our favorite items into one delicious and fun drink. By following the steps in this guide and understanding the basics behind how to properly infuse your tea, you too can enjoy this relaxing and elating drink.
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