This International Tea Day, why not brew up some cannabis?

Cannabis-tea proponents say that it can ease pain, help with insomnia, and quell nausea

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In the strictest sense of the word, tea refers to a beverage made from pouring boiling water over the cured leaves of an evergreen shrub called Camellia sinensis.

Originating in East Asia, Camellia sinensis has been cultivated by humans for centuries, and there are hundreds, if not thousands, of known cultivars.

Those may be enough for tea purists, but others prefer herbal teas, or tisanes, made with fresh or dried flowers, fruit, leaves, seeds, or roots. Common ingredients in herbal teas include ginger, ginseng, rooibos, chamomile, rosehip, orange zest, peppermint, fennel—and cannabis, of course.

What can our favourite green leaf do for us when brewed into a tea? Cannabis-tea proponents say that it can ease pain, help with insomnia, and quell nausea, among other effects.

A wealth of benefits

Tee Krispil is a Vancouver-based rapper, producer, and entrepreneur, and she is a true believer in cannabis tea’s benefits. In fact, Krispil believes in it so much that she started her own company, FLEURS, which produces CBD-infused tisanes.

“Tea has a wealth of benefits on its own—especially organic herbal blends that are designed to treat different ailments,” Krispil tells CannCentral. “Infuse it with CBD and you’re now also including powerful anti-inflammatory constituents, which help to relieve pain.

“I like to use tea and cannabis to help relax my nervous system,” she adds.  “My favourite herbs, like lemon balm and oat straw, are ‘nervines’, which means they have a calming effect on your body and mind.” 

FLEURS produces several blends, each promising different benefits. WOKE, for example, is for energy and memory retention, and it includes such herbs as lemongrass, ginkgo biloba, and yerba mate. CHILL, on the other hand, combines cannabis with ingredients like damiana leaf and lavender flower to calm anxiety and relieve tension.

FLEURS Tea

Each variety is made with 7 mg of full-spectrum, organic industrial hemp. From a medicinal standpoint, the teas contain mainly CBD, with only trace amounts of THC.

“We keep the dose light so the tea can be enjoyed throughout the day,” Krispil says. “You won’t feel any intoxicating effects.”

There are other brands taking a similar approach. Toronto-based Fluent Beverage’s line of Everie teas (which includes lavender chamomile, decaf peach-ginger green tea, and vanilla rooibos) contain 10 mg of CBD per cuppa.

HighTea, on the other hand, delivers 10 mg of THC in each serving of its blends, which include Majestic Mint and Chamomile Smile. 

DIY cannabis tea

If you would prefer the DIY route over purchasing commercially made cannabis teas, it is possible to brew your own. May 21 happens to be International Tea Day, so what better time to start?

“I think it’s really potent to experiment with herbs on your own,” Krispil says. “It can be an enlightening and meditative practice. However, some commercially available teas are really well-thought-out and crafted by herbalists who have been practising for some time, making their blends really synergistic and effective.”

When it comes to home-brewing your own cannabis tea, Sandra Hinchliffe literally wrote the book. The author of High Tea: Gracious Cannabis Tea-Time Recipes for Every Occasion cautions that simply pouring boiling water over flowers, leaves, and/or stems will not make for a particularly tasty beverage. By itself, cannabis can have an overpoweringly bitter, grassy taste. Instead, Hinchliffe recommends adding cannabis oil to your tea of choice, which will also allow you to control the dose of CBD or THC you’re ingesting.

For those just starting to explore medicinal teas—whether they contain cannabis or other potent herbs—Krispil has some helpful suggestions.

“You could go to a local herb store and start seeing which herbs call out to you,” she says. “Do some research, look up things like plant synergy, plant actions, and growing practices. Then blend the tea according to the research you’ve found. Herbalism is a folk tradition, and many lineages have different techniques for using herbs in tea. Find one that resonates with you and then get brewing!”

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