What Is Hemp Tea? And How To Make It At Home
What Is Hemp Tea? [And How To Make It]
Hemp tea is a great way to ingest CBD with a much milder taste. If smoking, or even tinctures, are a bit too potent and earthy for you, you can always try preparing your CBD therapy in a tea. This gives you the same terpenes and cannabinoids as in any hemp, with their many health benefits, in a much gentler format.
Keep reading, and we'll explain all you need to know. We'll cover what hemp tea is, the benefits, and some reasons to try it. We'll explain exactly how to make it, and any potential side effects you should be aware of.
What Is Hemp Tea?
If you've been a regular reader of our blog, you already know that both hemp and marijuana come from the same cannabis plant. When cannabis has a THC content of greater than .3%, it's marijuana (and in most cases, illegal). When cannabis has been bred and cultivated to be below .3% THC, it's considered a hemp plant (and legal according to the 2018 Farm Bill).
Hemp can be ingested in many ways - you can smoke it just like weed, turn it into edibles, make cannabutter, use CBD tinctures, and more. But here, we're going to talk about preparing it into a nice, relaxing CBD tea.
After all, what is tea, really? It's just steeping tea leaves in hot water. You can do the same exact thing with hemp, making a concoction that gives you all the health and medical benefits of CBD.
Hemp, unlike marijuana, doesn't have the same psychotropic property that makes you feel high. The ability to get stoned is directly related to the THC content. Since hemp is specifically bred to keep THC low, you won't have to worry about it as a mind-altering drug.
What Are Some Hemp Tea Benefits?
If you're familiar with marijuana as medicine, you already may know some of the benefits of hemp tea. Since hemp and marijuana are from the same plant, they share many of the same properties. In fact, the health benefits that marijuana claims come from the terpenes and cannabinoids - the exact same ones present in hemp (minus the THC of course).
Many people refer to this as CBD, but that's actually just one of the possible cannabinoids. However, it's the one that currently has the most research out there. So most of the health claims you might have read about are referring to CBD (cannabidiol).
CBD is one of the most prevalent cannabinoids. It's plentiful in hemp, though the amount varies depending on the strain. It's find primarily in the trichomes, or resin glands, of the female cannabis plant.
There's more than 100 different chemical compounds in hemp, though. It will be awhile before we know all there is to know about cannabis. But research has already begun exploring others, like what CBG and the various terpenes can offer. These different compounds interact and work on the endocannabinoid system. While they don't all work exactly the same way, or with the same effect, there's a number of potential benefits.
Some hemp tea benefits include:
Digestive aid (good for conditions like IBS)
Can enhance mood or help combat depression
Improve sleep and help with insomnia
It's important to keep in mind that hemp is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and these claims are not endorsed by the FDA. While there are studies to support these statements, this blog and this information is not intended to diagnose, prevent, cure or treat any disease. Please see a health care professional for any serious medical concerns.
1. Pain Relief
We aren't entirely certain yet why hemp seems to have an affect on pain. We do know that it helps produce endocannabinoids, neurotransmitters which can regulate pain. Studies show that exogenous cannabinoids like CBD work with neurological receptors that can suppress or reduce some kinds of pain. We also see that cannabinoids can bind with receptors and influence the pathways that signal pain.
But while we don't entirely understand all the mechanisms at work here, the science does currently support it. For example, a 2018 study used CBD for chronic pain after kidney transplant. It accomplished pain relief for 6 out of 7 participants. Numerous clinical studies have used it for central and peripheral neuropathic pain, cancer, and more.
2. Hemp Is Anti-Inflammatory
Hemp has been seen to benefit patients with cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and general pain due to inflammation.
There are even some studies supporting its use in Alzheimer's or multiple sclerosis, specifically due to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties hemp has. The antioxidants in hemp tea may also prevent "oxidative damage."
However, again, we caution anyone with a serious medical condition against using hemp as a stand-alone treatment. If you think it could be right for you, please consult with your doctor first.
3. Digestive Aid
Really, this one works on the same principle as number 2. People use it as a way of handling pain and digestive problems, thanks to that anti-inflammatory feature we were just talking about. Particularly when it comes to Irritable Bowel Syndrome, there are many people who swear by hemp.
4. Reduce Nausea
Many people already think of tea as a great way to settle an upset stomach. But hemp tea might be the absolute best choice, especially if you're dealing with regular nausea due to a medical condition.
The cannabinoids in the tea interact with receptors in the brain, which halt the transmission of pain signals. Serotonin-releasing parts of the brain pick up, and basically tell muscle cramps and pain in your abdomen to "chill". Once the pain is relieved, you may find your discomfort gone.
5. Hemp Can Enhance Mood
We've already covered how CBD interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors, which influence things like serotonin to improve your mood. Some strains, in particular, can go as far as causing a "euphoric" sensation.
6. Hemp Can Help Relieve Anxiety
If you're in need of something to help with stress and anxiety, you're going to want a high CBD strain. The high levels of CBD affect the brain, and the serotonin receptors. This helps to regulate your mood.
Studies have even been done to show how it can help social anxiety disorder, and strains like our Kimbo Kush might help those suffering with PTSD - in addition to professional therapeutic treatment, of course!
7. Helps With Insomnia
Have a hard time getting to sleep at night? Well, you aren't alone. Trouble sleeping is one of the most common reasons why people turn to CBD - and many of them find success with it! Research shows that CBD can also help reduce REM sleep disorders as well - inability to stay asleep, or sleeping all night but waking up still tired, for example.
How To Make Hemp Tea
You can use a regular hemp bud as a loose leaf tea. Just grind the bud up and steep in hot water.
First, pick the right bud for you. You can ask a budtender for their recommendations at your local CBD store. Various strains are better suited for one goal over another, such as reducing anxiety or helping with sleeplessness.
Then, grind it up (you can just break it up by hand if you don't have a grinder).
For best results, you need to decarb your hemp first. This activates the beneficial compounds. Without decarbing, you won't really feel the effects of the CBD.
Decarbing is simple - put the ground hemp down on a nonstick tray, and put it in the oven for 40 minutes at 245 degrees. You can use a piece of parchment paper to keep it from sticking.
Once your bud is ready to go, just put it in some kind of infuser or tea bags. Leave it to steep in hot water. We recommend about 2 teaspoons ground cannabis for each cup.
You can add other flavors as desired - some people like to add mint leaves, honey, sugar, etc. Some people also do a CBD mix with herbal tea. Green tea or chai are some of the common type of tea used.
If all this sounds like too much work, you can always just put one serving of cannabis tincture into your favorite tea. No decarbing necessary, as already-prepared CBD oil doesn't require this step. We don't prefer this method, as you'll be missing out on some of the flavonoids present when using the plant. Plus, it doesn't seem to have the same bioavailability as steeping decarbed hemp.
What About CBD Tea For Weight Loss?
Some people have asked about CBD tea for weight loss. Reports have been circulating for years that it may have some potential as method for weight loss. We hesitate to verify them - while some studies have shown that it IS effective for weight loss, it doesn't seem to be effective for EVERYONE. Ultimately, if you want to try it for yourself, go for it! We'd love to hear from you on your results.
The science, at this time, supports that it could be a way of managing weight. As we've already said, in hemp there is CBD and other cannabinoids that affect the body's natural endocannabinoid system. Primarily, there are two cannabinoid receptors, which are the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
CB1 receptors seem to be more widespread in people who are obese and have lots of fatty tissue. THC, like in marijuana, stimulates the CB1 receptor, which then increases your appetite. CBD, on the other hand, is an antagonist - or "shuts off" this receptor. This seems to reduce overall food intake.
There's also some evidence that CBD stimulates the CB2 receptors, which can also lead to a decrease in overall food intake. An old 2012 study did confirm that CBD lead to a lowered appetite when tested on rats. There has (as far as we know) been no such study attempted on humans.
A 2016 study also showed that CBD converted white fat cells into brown fat cells. Brown fat cells are more "active" and help the body break down fat. Brown fats are an active fat, which burn off energy and calories as heat.
Hemp is also known to have benefits for metabolic disorders like diabetes, and has "heart-healthy" effects. But remember - these claims are not supported or backed by the FDA. If you have a serious health condition, please see your doctor. Hemp and the opinions in this blog should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any major medical disorders.
Does Hemp Tea Have Side Effects?
There isn't a lot of reported side effects for hemp. One of the most commonly heard is a dry mouth - but taking hemp in as a tea seems to help with this some.
Like anything, side effects are more likely if you overdo it. But it would take a lot of CBD to reach these sort of levels. Again, this is unlikely with a tea - I mean, how much tea can you drink? (Okay, if you're my mom, the answer is a lot.)
The biggest concern with CBD is that it can interact or affect other medications. For this reason, if you're on a lot of things for other conditions, be sure to talk to your doctor first.
There are many benefits to using hemp. The cannabis plant responsible for hemp has been around for centuries, and people have used it as a remedy for many ailments through out history.
In the case of hemp, you won't have to worry about the mind-altering high that marijuana has. Tea can be one of the easiest, gentlest ways to ingest hemp. This lets you take in cannabinoids like CBD and CBG, and terpenes, for the health and medical benefits that they provide.
These benefits include pain relief, anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties, a digestive aid, aid for nausea, enhanced mood and relief for anxiety, and help with sleeplessness. It may have cardiovascular benefits, improve heart health, alleviate chronic pain, treat IBS, and even help with PTSD and related anxiety.