Cannabis-infused tea, like edibles, allows you to consume cannabis without the harshness that can come with smoking or vaping. But unlike edibles, your weed tea won’t contain most food allergens and is much faster to prepare at home. You can make it in a variety of ways using all kinds of different ingredients and parts of the plant, depending on your personal preferences. A few popular methods for making weed tea are:
- Infusing water with dry cannabis flower (less intoxicating because THC is not water-soluble)
- Mixing cannabis infused with a fat (e.g., coconut oil, butter, etc.) with tea leaves and water to make a latte-type beverage
- Adding a cannabis tincture to tea
It all depends on how you want to feel, so here’s everything you need to know to make the perfect cuppa.
Does weed tea get you high?
If prepared correctly, marijuana tea absolutely gets you high. But making a marijuana-infused tea that consistently provides an intoxicating high isn’t as simple as you might think. Accessing THC in the plant can be a little finicky thanks to decarboxylation and cannabinoid solubility factors, but fear not; once you understand a few simple concepts, it’s all green fields from there!
Cannabis plants naturally produce the non-intoxicating compound THCA, which is THC but with an extra carboxyl ring that impedes the high we feel. Decarboxylation removes that ring via a heating process, converting THCA to THC and activating different medicinal and intoxicating properties. This may sound complicated, but the heat applied to cannabis when smoking or vaporizing to provoke decarboxylation requires no extra effort on our part. The process also naturally occurs when cannabis is cooked with butter or oils, or when hash or kief are added to a favorite recipe and then heated on a stove for edibles.
If you choose to decarboxylate your cannabis using a heating method before adding it to the tea, remember that the optimal time and temperature for decarboxylation will vary depending on the following factors:
- The amount of moisture (water) in your product
- How much product you use (i.e., dosage)
- The type of oven you have access to (e.g., gas or electric)
How long does weed tea take to kick in?
Like edibles, weed tea has to pass through your stomach for digestion, and then gets metabolized in your liver. This takes a lot longer than smoking weed, which hits you in a couple minutes via absorption in the lungs. You may have to wait an hour or two to start to feel the effects, but the tea’s effects will likely last longer and feel more intense than smoking.
When drinking weed tea, and consuming edibles in general, start low and go slow. Drink a cup and wait at least an hour; you can always make another one (or enhance it with our tips below) if you don’t feel anything.
How much weed do you need for weed tea?
How much weed you need for weed tea depends on how much you’re making and how intense you want it to be. If you plan to use one gram of cannabis flower that tests at 20% THC, that’s as many as 200 mg you could be imbibing, although it’s unlikely you’ll actually ingest the bud’s full potential due to digestion and decarboxylation.
If you’re planning to use dry flower, you may need more than if you are using an infused fat-based product like butter or oils, as THC is fat-soluble and binds better to them than to water. The recipes below use a relatively low amount of cannabis flower, but they’re easily adaptable if you need to experiment to find your ideal dose.
How many grams of stems do I need to make weed stem tea?
We’ve all had those bad days that get worse when we realize “crap, we’re out of weed!” That’s when those piles of stems come in clutch. While weed stems do contain a little THC, you’re looking at about 0.3% at best, so you’re going to need a lot of them, especially if you have a high tolerance; we recommend you start with half a cup’s worth if you have it. Given they are more fibrous than cannabis buds, the steeping process may take longer, but you can make weed effective tea using stems. We do recommend, however, that you try to incorporate some amount of flower for best results.
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Can I use dabs for weed tea?
If you ever find yourself with some quality concentrates and no way to dab them, you can in fact steep them with your favorite tea blend. Like flower, any concentrate you plan to use in a weed tea needs to be decarboxylated either via the hot water or before use.
Because dabs are oil-based, they will bind better to the lipids in coconut oil, cream, or butter rather than just directly mixing them in water. Many extracts use solvents, so you may want to use a full-spectrum and solventless dab like rosin to get the job done, which also has a lower temperature threshold than shatter or live resin diamonds.
Weed tea recipes
We’ve got two effective and tasty weed tea recipes to share, and two in-a-pinch alternatives if you’re in a weed bind. The recipe for cannabis tea with rose and chamomile can be adapted a million and one ways—simply use your tea leaf or flower of choice along with ground cannabis (or stems!) and steep your worries away. The cannabis-infused golden milk with coconut oil has ample anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits—the most luxurious way to end the night.
We highly recommend using a tea infuser and some form of sieve for these recipes to ensure the tea mixture steeps for the necessary amount of time, and to filter out any plant matter when you’re ready to take a sip. These are not necessary, but your tea may not hit the way you want without them.
Cannabis tea with rose and chamomile
Prep time: 5 minutes
Steep time: 5-10 minutes
Dosage: We recommend 2 tsp for this recipe, but it depends on the potency of your cannabis. You can always add more or less depending on your tolerance.
- Cannabis infused honey (optional)
- 2 teaspoons ground cannabis trim, stems, or buds
- Coconut milk (optional)
- 2 teaspoons dried chamomile
- 2 teaspoons dried rose buds
- You can choose to decarboxylate your dried herb beforehand or not. (Again, this depends on whether you’re looking for the benefits of THCA or THC.)
- Add all dried flowers to a tea infuser and steep in hot water for 5-10 minutes.
- Remove the infuser and enjoy with additional cannabis-infused honey and/or coconut milk for added effects.
Cannabis golden milk with medicated coconut oil
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Dosage: This depends on the potency of your cannabis coconut oil. You can always add more or less depending on your tolerance.
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 1” piece fresh turmeric, unpeeled, thinly sliced, or 1/2 teaspoon dried turmeric
- 1 ½” piece ginger, unpeeled, thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil (cannabis-infused or not)
- 1 Tbsp honey (cannabis-infused or not)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon, for serving
- Whisk almond milk, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, honey, peppercorns, and 1 cup water in a small saucepan; bring to a low boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and add the cannabis coconut oil.
- Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until flavors have melded together.
- Strain through a fine-mesh sieve (you can also use a cheesecloth or coffee filter) into mugs and top with a dash of cinnamon.
How to make weed stem tea
If all you have is stems, you can still follow our first recipe for making stem tea. However, because of the difference in potency, your ratio of ingredients will differ.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Steep time: 10 minutes
Dosage: You won’t know for sure until you try it
- At least 1/4 cup weed stems
- 1 Tbsp of a fat-soluble binding agent, such as butter or coconut oil
- Your tea leaves/blend of choice
- You can decarb your stems before steeping or simply grind them before boiling, depending on the feeling you’re trying to achieve.
- Boil the amount of water you plan to use, i.e., 1 cup for a more concentrated tea, 2-3 cups for a diluted buzz.
- Add the binding agent to the water before you insert the stems with your tea of choice in a tea infuser.
- Steep the infuser in hot water for at least 10 minutes. You may want to steep the tea and stems in separate infusers or bags to avoid unpleasant stemmy flavor.
How to make cannabis plant (compost) tea
Waste not, want not. If you’ve been hanging on to your home grow or just happen to have a bunch of weed you don’t want to smoke, one of the easiest ways to use it up is to make a weed compost tea. You can follow the same recipe for stem tea using the leaves, old buds and any other plant matter you have lying around.
How to make weed tea more potent
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, the tea just won’t hit you like you want or need it to. Luckily, there are numerous ways you can up the dosage if your initial tea is lacking in the THC department.
When in doubt, bust the grinder out. Kief is made up of fallen trichomes, so they’re an easy way to bump up your dosage. Add them to your stem, compost or flower material during the steeping process. Keep in mind that because it’s impossible to tell how much THC is in your kief, you won’t be able to predict the high.
Incorporate a tincture
The tinctures you find in dispensaries have been decarbed already, so you don’t need to do anything to activate the THC. Oil and water don’t mix well, so you may want to opt for a glycerin or alcohol based tincture rather than one made with oil.
Simply add your desired number of drops based on the potency (most tinctures recommend you start with half a dropper’s worth, equivalent to 0.5 ml) to your tea and stir. If you use any milk or creamer, you can also add an oil-based tincture to that for better consistency.
Many medical patients swear by Rick Simpson Oil for its laundry list of medicinal benefits and even life-saving properties. It’s also really strong, to the point where doctors recommend weeks-long regiments to acclimate one’s tolerance.
RSO has a thick, honey-like consistency and less-than-pleasant flavor, but its potency means you don’t need much; you can substitute the coconut oil with a half rice-grain’s worth of RSO in the golden milk recipe if you’re feeling bold, or add it to your tea infuser for the steeping process.
Is cannabis tea more potent than smoking and edibles?
Everyone’s unique physiology means the same edible can have vastly different effects on each consumer. Additionally, since you’re making weed tea at home, you don’t know exactly how much you’re going to get. Concentrates are the most potent form of cannabis, and you can certainly brew a cup of dab-infused weed tea that knocks even the OGs on their ass, if that’s your prerogative.
Smoking cannabis limits how much THC you can inhale, but the intoxicating effect is almost instant and relatively short-lived. The slower onset of weed tea via digestion also leads to a high with higher dose potential, and you may opt for more intensity. Either way, we wish you a happy, hazy tea party.
Monica Lo and Jessica Aragona contributed to these recipes. This post was originally published on March 11, 2014. It was most recently updated on May 23, 2022.