Drink to Your Health: Cannabis Tea for the Common Cold
Featured Photo Credit: The Weed Blog
I spent the majority of last week sick with a sore throat (a name that doesn’t quite do it justice as I felt it would be better described as nightmare throat or raging-baby-dragon-trapped-in-my throat), and I found myself wondering about cannabis teas, or in short, CBD tea.
First, a couple of facts:
- Tea alone is packed with benefits for the body. There’s the antioxidants that protect the it from free radicals that can wreak havoc on our health, and let’s not forget about its association with weight loss and a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes.
- When ingested, such as in tea, cannabis can take anywhere from 30 minutes to more than an hour to show its effects because it has to be absorbed into the digestive tract, and these effects are typically prolonged and can last between four and six hours.
I discovered there’s already a market for prepackaged cannabis teas, and with makers like Stillwater and Jane’s Brew, the benefits of cannabis tea are readily available for the steeping. I also learned that capable cannabis users can make their own soothing versions right at home.
CBD also does two things:
- Enhance the body’s innate protective endocannabinoid response.
- Stimulate the release of 2-AG, another endocannabinoid that activates both CB1 and CB2 receptors.
“CB2 receptors are predominant in the peripheral nervous system and the immune system. This can help relieve some of the symptoms of cold and flu,” Poling says. “In addition, THC can help with restless nights and allow you to sleep and let your immune system do its job to get rid of the virus.”
Back to the (Brewing) Basics
“Cannabinoids are polar molecules that are not water soluble, so making a tea without fats or alcohol in it will produce a much less potent product.” Poling states. “In addition, decarboxylation is necessary to remove the alpha chain acids from the precursors of THC and CBD, THCa and CBDa.This is done through heat processing dry herb prior to use or through extraction and heat purging.”
Simply put, decarboxylation is what needs to happen to marijuana in order for its non-psychoactive compounds to be converted to the compounds associated with an entire list of medicinal effects.
Here is a basic guide to at-home cannabis tea brewing:
- Combine your choice of fresh cannabis with 2 cups of hemp milk and 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil in a sauce pot. Let it rest for about an hour at room temperature.
- Add your favorite tea to the mixture and let it steep over medium-low heat (not boiling) for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and strain.
- Pour into a mug and sip to your health.
Head over to Leafly.com for detailed instructions.
“We’d personally recommend bringing hemp milk up to temperature with some cured flower and straining it, or using a pre made coconut oil that could be added to your tea,” Poling says.