Do you know that consuming cannabis in form of a tea is much healthier than smoking, vaping or eating (cannabis-infused brownies)?
You will learn about this as you read along. In the meantime, let’s look at the essential compounds of the cannabis plant in relation to the health benefits of cannabis tea.
CBD and THC are some of the most popular cannabinoids researched by scientists. Both cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol can be termed “major cannabinoid end products”.
Why? because the cannabis plant produces cannabinoids in the form of cannabinoid carboxylic acids, including cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA), which, unlike CBD and THC, have a carboxylic group (-COOH).
Acidic forms lose the carboxyl group and transform into CBD and THC in a process called decarboxylation, which occurs as a result of physical factors i.e. exposure to light or elevated temperature. Thus, by consuming marijuana either by smoking, inhaling vapors during vaporization or eating baked cookies (edibles), we are delivering THC and CBD to our bodies.
Spontaneous conversion of one compound into another occurs also as a result of long-term storage of cannabis and during exposure to light, but under these conditions, this process takes place at a much slower pace.
Brewing cannabis tea (how to make Cannatea)
We mentioned earlier that at high temperatures, acidic forms are transformed into CBD and THC. Could brewing “herbs” in the form of tea be a good way of delivering these compounds?
From a study by Dr. Arno Hazekamp, a Dutch scientist dealing with the subject of cannabis and cannabinoids. It appears that the average cup of cannabis tea contains about 5 times more THCA than THC, even after 15 minutes of cooking. The reason for this is that, even if you boil water at a high-temperature of (100 o C), it is still not able to significantly convert the acidic forms into cannabidiol (CBD) or THC.
Until recently, acidic forms were considered pharmacologically inactive. This can be explained by the fact that both consumers and researchers focused mainly on smoking as the main way of delivering cannabinoids to the body. Evidently, smoking is not the only way.
Results from research studies
The results of an increasing number of studies (for the time being preclinical: vitro in cell lines and in vivo animals) indicate that acidic forms of cannabinoids may have therapeutic properties.
The health benefits of cannabis tea
For example, CBDA has strong antimicrobial activity and has a promising anti-inflammatory effect. It has also been found that THCA acid has a significant effect on the human immune system and soon clinical trials may be initiated to check its effect in patients. Acidic forms of cannabinoids may also slow down the growth of some types of cancer, i.e. breast cancer, this has been confirmed in laboratory tests.
Furthermore, the health benefits of cannabis tea are not foreign to the Jamaicans. Although most adult Jamaicans smoke marijuana, however, drinking is common among non-smokers, and tea is given to young children and the elderly. In Jamaica, cannabis tea is attributed to various therapeutic and prophylactic properties and it is used as a remedy for fever, cold or as a sedative.
A survey by medical marijuana users shows that preparing cannabis in form of a tea is a popular way of consuming cannabis in the Netherlands. Also in a recent study by the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines (IACM). Out of 953 people who completed an online survey, about 25% tried cannabis-infused tea.
Cannabis tea can be used to remedy the following medical conditions:
- Chronic pain
- Anxiety and Depression
- Weight gain
Similar to smoking marijuana, some users have complained of the following side effects from drinking cannabis tea
Cannabis tea has a unique composition compared to other forms, i.e. Hemp oil. At high temperatures (for instance, during smoking, vaporizing or baking cookies) acidic forms (THCA, CBDA) are transformed into neutral cannabinoids (THC, CBD). However, the temperature of boiling water is too low for such conversion to take place which was confirmed in Dr. Hazekamp’s research.
In other words, drinking cannabis tea becomes a better and healthier way to consume cannabis, simply because there is little to no THC in the cannabis tea (THCA, CBDA only), except you add milk or butter.
Although the biological activity of these acidic forms of cannabinoids (THCA, CBDA) has not yet been fully investigated, we hope that in the future their potential will be confirmed in studies involving patients.