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.
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!
Don’t throw away your cannabis leaves! Here are four uses for marijuana leaves that are better than putting them in your local landfill.
Leaves are the primary energy gatherers of the cannabis plant. Green chlorophyll in the leaves helps harvest the sun’s energy, transforming it into vital fuel. Without healthy leaves, the cannabis plant is not able to live up to its full potential.
However, it is the buds of the cannabis plant that are harvested for medical and recreational use, meaning marijuana leaves that are pruned during cultivation and harvest are often seen as a byproduct, rather than a valuable product of the cannabis plant.
Here, we will discuss the various potential uses of marijuana leaves to ensure you are getting the most out of your cannabis plant each and every harvest.
Types of Cannabis Leaves
Before diving into all the exciting ways to use cannabis leaves, let’s start with some marijuana leaf basics.
Many users ask about how many leaves the marijuana plant has. While the number of leaflets (the individual fingers of the leaf) on marijuana leaves may differ depending on the type of cannabis plant, its place in the growth cycle, and more, they will have a odd number of leaflets, with mature leaves displaying serrated edges. Usually the number of leaflets is between 7-9, but some marijuana leaves can have up to 13.
When deciding how to use cannabis leaves, it’s important to first recognize that there are two types of leaves on a cannabis plant – the fan leaf and the sugar leaf. The two types of cannabis leaves have unique features that you may find makes them more ideal for a particular use.
- Fan Leaf: Broad marijuana leaves that shoulder most of the cannabis plant’s light gathering. Cannabis fan leaves are often recognized as the iconic symbol for cannabis. Fan leaves on indica plants are typically darker green with wider “fingers,” while sativa’s fan leaves often are lighter in color with lean, slender “fingers.” Cannabis fan leaves on hybrid cannabis strains generally feature a blend of the two. These leaves are typically trimmed during cultivation and contain low levels of cannabinoids. While they are among the most under-recognized and under-utilized parts of the cannabis plant, cannabis fan leaves are filled with flavor, resin, and phytonutrients that support wellness and health.
- Sugar Leaf: Smaller marijuana leaves that grow close to the cannabis plant’s flowers or “buds” during the plant’s flowering stage. Often times marijuana sugar leaves are hidden, with only their tips peaking through the larger marijuana fan leaves. Marijuana sugar leaves are usually trimmed after harvest to make buds appear more appealing to consumers, either before or after drying and curing. Sugar leaves are typically coated in white, delicious trichomes as if coated with a dusting of powdered sugar, and contain higher levels of cannabinoids than fan leaves.
These two types of marijuana leaves are often discarded, but they can be very valuable for making nutritious and cannabinoid-infused beverages and edibles that you can make at home or to amend previously-used soil to grow strong and healthy plants. Here are 4 healthy and green ways to use your cannabis leaves.