Whether you’re a long-time cannabis enjoyer or you’re dabbling with it for the first time, you might be curious about some of the alternatives to smoking. There are many ways to ingest cannabis, from smoking to vaping to taking edibles.
Did you know that you can drink cannabis as well? There are many “infused” drinks including seltzers, sodas, and yes, teas! But are cannabis teas safe to drink, and are there any side effects that come with enjoying this enlightened beverage? We’ll take you through the benefits and side effects here, step by step.
Cannabis tea is an adult-only beverage, an infused drink that’s actually fairly simple to make. A tea bag is created like normal, but uses cannabis stems wrapped in cloth and then dipped into hot water. Cannabis tea is treated essentially the same as any other tea in terms of the process and can be used for a variety of purposes including personal enjoyment and chronic pain relief.
Because of its concentration, cannabis tea is often more potent than inhaling weed, which means that it can come with a dose of stronger side effects. The feelings of cannabis tea can also be more intense—common side effects include dry mouth, dizziness, and an increase in appetite. If you’ve smoked cannabis before or taken edibles, you might already be familiar with these side effects, though the potency may differ depending on the product.
If you suffer from any health problems, you should be aware of the effects of cannabis tea. These concentrated and infused teas are often celebrated for their healing properties (including chronic pain relief) but they can also hold adverse effects.
Cannabis teas contain a high concentration of cannabinoids. They’ve been used by various cultures for centuries as alternative medicine, and can both help relieve pain and improve healing conditions in the body.
What are cannabinoids? A class of diverse chemical compounds, cannabinoids activate the cannabinoid receptors in the body, creating a psychoactive reaction. The most common and well-known cannabinoid is THC, which is the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. Sativa is the natural, botanical source of cannabinoids, but they are also found in other plants. THC is the compound in cannabis that helps you achieve your high.
A single ounce of cannabis tea contains up to 5 grams of THC, on average. Cannabis tea has many effects, including pain relief, improved digestion, reduced blood pressure, and reduced abdominal pain. Many people enjoy cannabis tea with a meal or as a way to relax after a long day, and cannabis tea can be much more effective than similar alternatives.
Depending on the dosages, cannabis tea can be used medicinally in a variety of ways. In both low and high doses, cannabis teas retain their healing properties. It’s important to be aware, however, that drinking cannabis tea or taking medical marijuana can cause depression and anxiety in patients, an adverse effect.
When making cannabis tea for a patient, it can be prepared just like any other tea. You can add honey, ginger, sugar, cinnamon—anything you like. This makes cannabis tea preferable to smoking for many people, especially patients that might be affected by the smell or effort of inhaling cannabis smoke. A single cup of cannabis tea is more than enough to make a person high, but can also cause adverse effects.
While cannabis tea will make a person high, the cannabinoid profiles of the tea vary widely from person to person. Everyone handles weed differently, and the response from the brain can depend on many factors, including how frequently the person ingests cannabis. Since cannabis tea is a psychoactive drink, it’s possible that the user will experience a much more intense sensation than from smoking cannabis.
It’s also important to note that the effects of cannabis tea can last for several hours. As the person’s system processes the active ingredients in the tea, they might experience a wildly different high compared to someone else ingesting the exact same cup of tea.
THC can have negative impacts on cognitive and motor functions, as well as an increase in risk-taking behavior and psychological disorders. Since THC can impair functions, it has been associated with driving problems and an increased risk of psychological illness.
THC and cannabinoids also can pass through the breast milk, so it has been advised to not partake in medicinal cannabis while pregnant or breastfeeding. Not all cannabis components are psychoactive, but both sativa and indica can affect the body in different ways.
CBD, another psychoactive component in cannabis, interacts with various receptors in the brain, including those in the central and peripheral nervous system. CBD is considered to alter the way the brain processes signals, including the processors of serotonin neurotransmitters. This is why CBD is thought to affect low serotonin levels, which can impact depression and anxiety in the user.
Common side effects of drinking cannabis tea include:
If you’re concerned about any of the potential side effects that come with enjoying cannabis tea, it’s always best to start low and slow. If you’re new to the world of cannabis, drink a lower concentration tea, and maybe drink less than one cup. Work up to your preferred tolerance, be patient, and wait for your desired effects to appear.
When trying out cannabis tea for the first time, or if you’re a long-time enjoyer, quality matters. Only partake in organic, hand-blended teas that are delicious, effective, and made of premium vegan ingredients. Wesley Teas have a number of cannabis teas that can enhance your experience.
It’s a good idea to use the same low dose for several days and monitor any potential side effects. This way you can decide whether or not the adverse side effects outweigh the benefits—ultimately drinking cannabis tea is a personal choice and it’s up to you to figure out if it’s the right or preferred method. Always remain in a safe environment when engaging in cannabis-based therapies, and have a trusted person around if possible.