Weed tea is an infusion of water and cannabis, much like regular tea but with weed.
It’s made by adding ground-up weed into boiling water or milk and adding tea later — a process not too different from making loose-leaf tea.
Weed tea is not that common today, especially when compared to smoking, vaping, or edibles. But tea was much more popular in the past, and it was, in fact, one of the earliest forms of consuming cannabis .
Making weed tea is a bit of an art in and of itself, as different variations, ingredients, and modes of preparation can serve different purposes. Weed tea also has many unique properties, combining the effects of CBD, THC, and other herbs for unique, relaxing highs with a delicious taste!
Making Weed Tea
- Ground weed (about 2 teaspoons, but this will vary greatly)
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Milk (optional)
- Sweetener, like honey or sugar (optional)
- 2-5 teaspoons of herbs or tea (optional)
- Round up the ingredients
- Decarboxylate and grind the weed
- Heat water and oil to a simmer and add the weed, ideally in a sieve or reusable tea bag
- Simmer for about 10 minutes
- Add other tea or herbs and allow to steep for 5-10 minutes
- Strain or remove sieve/tea bag(s)
- Add milk and/or sweetener if desired
Although weed tea may sound simple, there are a lot of variables to consider, so I’ll walk through the steps.
The composition of the tea and the amount of cannabinoids present in it may vary depending on how long the weed steeps, what strain you use, and how long the tea is stored .
Let’s walk through a quick step-by-step guide for the different variations:
Step 1: Pick Your Ingredients
Weed tea can be as fancy or as simple as you want it to be, but there are four main components to it you should always keep in mind:
This one is obvious, but we have to include it. Water is the base for pretty much every cup of weed tea. The amount depends on how much tea you’re making — use 8 oz per serving.
Really, any oil will do, but coconut oil works well. It’s lighter and won’t add flavor if you use refined (unrefined has a strong coconut taste).
Oil is necessary because the cannabinoids will bind to it; they won’t bind to water, and your tea will be a waste.
Although you can make weed tea without it, adding a bit of milk makes the cannabinoids more efficient. Besides the oil, they will bind to the milk’s fat, making your high stronger.
If you’re lactose intolerant, vegan, or don’t have any dairy at home, don’t fret — you can replace milk with a dairy alternative. Just remember, many are low- or no-fat and won’t offer anything other than flavor.
The amount, again, depends on how much tea you want to make, your personal taste, and your tolerance. As a general measure, use 1-2 grams for every 4 cups of milk or water (about 2 teaspoons per cup, but this is approximate); the total amount used is less than what you’d put in a joint.
Many parts of the cannabis plant can be used to make tea, and some growers prefer using the stems as well as the flowers so no part of their crop goes to waste. However, stems are less potent, so you’ll need more if you want a strong cup of tea.
Tea & Herbs
It’s not necessary, but adding other herbs or teas grants extra benefits. The options are limitless, so make sure you experiment. Here are a few popular options and why:
- Chamomile — promotes relaxation; anti-stress
- Ginger — boosts immune system, calms stomach upset
- Cinnamon — high in antioxidants; anti-inflammatory
- Rose — anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, boosts collagen
- Peppermint — invigorating, soothes stomach issues, helps headaches
Some people don’t like the taste of weed, but they enjoy the benefits or may need to drink it for therapeutic reasons. Or maybe you have a sweet tooth.
Either way, these are some common sweeteners and spices for weed tea:
Step 2: Decarboxylate the Weed
Before brewing anything, you’ll have to decarboxylate your weed.
Decarboxylation is the process of cooking marijuana so its cannabinoids activate — the same process that happens when you light a joint.
If you don’t decarboxylate, you’ll be making tea out of raw cannabis, which isn’t too potent. By decarboxylating your weed, you will turn its raw cannabinoids (THCA and CBDA) into THC and CBD , giving the tea the psychoactive effects you’re looking for.
To do this, you must:
- Preheat your oven to between 93-118°C (200-245°F)
- Grind up the weed and spread it across a lined baking sheet (be sure to spread it in a single layer so it heats evenly)
- Cook the weed for 30-40 minutes, stirring it often
- Once the weed goes from green to a golden-brown tone, pull it out of the oven
And that’s it! You successfully decarboxylated your weed.
Step 3: Making Simple Weed Tea
Once the weed is decarboxylated, you can start the process of making tea:
- Heat 4 cups (950 mL) of water until it boils. Alternatively, you can use whole milk instead of water.
- Add milk, butter, cannabutter, cream, or coconut oil into the boiling water. You can skip this step if you’re only using milk.
- Once the butter has dissolved, lower the flame and add the weed. A tea sieve or reusable tea bag is the best way to do this since you won’t have to strain it later.
- If you’re using other tea, add it now.
- Allow the mixture to steep for 10-15 minutes. This allows THC and CBD to bind to the butter, milk, or oil.
- Once it has simmered, carefully strain your tea if necessary.
- Add any sweeteners or spices you want.
Congratulations! You have now made weed tea. Sit back, grab a book, and enjoy.
Step 4: Experiment
Don’t be afraid to come up with your own concoctions. Be creative or “steal” ideas from coffee shops or tea smiths.
For example, one of the most popular is weed chai — here’s a quick recipe for it:
- Ground decarboxylated weed together with clove, ginger, and cardamom.
- Place the ground-up spices on a cheesecloth or tea infuser and tie it up.
- Heat 1 cup (240 mL) of whole milk until it barely simmers.
- Dip the spice bag into the milk and let it barely simmer for ten minutes, stirring often. You can add 1-2 drops of vanilla for flavor.
- Remove and discard the spice bag once the tea has a nice brown color.
- Serve the chai, sweeten it with sugar and honey, and enjoy!
But, of course, weed chai isn’t the only alternative recipe out there. There are hundreds of options on the Internet, and weed tea is perfect for experimenting with.
What Are the Effects of Weed Tea?
The effects of weed tea vary depending on how you made the tea, whether the weed was decarboxylated, the strain of weed you used, and your metabolism. Generally, the effects appear between 30 and 90 minutes after drinking it and last 7 to 8 hours.
The high itself isn’t too different from smoked weed or edibles, but the combination of theine (found in tea) and any other herbs with THC and CBD can give you a range of effects. Increased relaxation, sedation, stimulation, and euphoria can come out of weed tea.
Weed Tea vs. Smoking
When you smoke weed, the process of decarboxylation happens as soon as you light the joint, so you are inhaling the cannabinoids directly. You’ll feel the effects of a joint, blunt, or vape much sooner than with tea since you’re not digesting the material, and the cannabinoids go straight to your lungs, then your brain.
However, once the effects hit, you’ll notice the high from weed tea is more intense than from smoking it, as is the case with edibles. Still, this mainly depends on how you brew your weed tea.
If you make your tea with only water or raw weed, the high will be very slight, less so than smoking.
Weed Tea vs. Edibles
With tea and edibles, you need to digest what you’ve eaten or drunk before the cannabinoids start affecting your brain. As such, the time it takes for both edibles and tea to make you high is similar: 30-90 minutes.
The main difference between weed tea and edibles is that weed tea doesn’t have to have anywhere near as many calories as edibles, depending on the sweeteners you add. Weed tea also often contains theine and other herbs, which add unique effects.
Usually, a weed tea high is between that of smoking and edibles in terms of strength. Orally ingested cannabinoids are more intense than inhaled cannabinoids, but weed tea may lose potency if you simmer the weed too long.
Weed tea can serve as a good “intermediate” high, but there are many variables to consider.
How to Make Weed Tea More Potent
If you’re looking for a stronger high, there are a few good ways to intensify your weed tea. The following ingredients can help you achieve that:
Tinctures are an oil or alcohol infused with cannabinoids. These are concentrated, so be careful — just 1 or 2 drops should do the trick.
If you wish to use a CBD tincture to treat ailments such as swelling, pain, or insomnia, make sure to consult a medical professional beforehand.
Also known as marijuana pollen, kief is that sticky brown, yellow, or green dust in the bottom of the bag or grinder.
Kief isn’t regular pollen; it contains cannabinoids and terpenes unique to its weed strain — concentrated and much more potent. Adding a pinch of kief to your ground bud before you steep the tea can increase its potency.
Keep in mind that kief can be very potent, so don’t add too much.
FAQs About Weed Tea
Still curious about weed tea? Here are the answers to some questions you might be asking.
1. Can weed tea make me high?
Yes, but only if you make it correctly. First, you need to decarboxylate it — heat it in an oven until it turns golden brown. Then, when making the tea, add milk, butter, or another fatty substance so the cannabinoids have something to bind to. Otherwise, your high won’t be strong at all.
2. Is weed tea healthier than smoking or edibles?
In general, yes. Weed tea has been used as a medicinal drink for centuries and gives the added benefits from whatever else you add to it. Plus, you don’t have to smoke the weed or eat the sugar often added to edibles.
3. Is weed tea legal?
Weed tea will be just as legal — or illegal — as everything else, whether it’s flower, edibles, or tinctures.
In places where medical cannabis is legal, weed tea is often legal as well. For example, in the US state of Colorado, weed tea is considered to be a “Medical Marijuana-Infused Product.” This means that it’s legal and not considered either food or a drug — as long as it’s manufactured or sold by a licensed dispensary or medical marijuana center .
- Kabelik, J., Krejci, Z. & Santavy, F. (1960) Cannabis as a medicament (p. 5-23) United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/bulletin/bulletin_1960-01-01_3_page003.html
- Hazekamp, A., Bastola, K., Rashidi, H., Bender, J. & Verpoorte, R. (2007) Cannabis tea revisited: A systematic evaluation of the cannabinoid composition of cannabis tea. ScienceDirect.
- Wang, M. et al. (2016) Decarboxylation Study of Acidic Cannabinoids: A Novel Approach Using Ultra-High-Performance Supercritical Fluid Chromatography/Photodiode Array-Mass Spectrometry. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.
- Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division (2015) Medical Marijuana Code. Colorado Department of Revenue.