How to Make Marijuana Tea Stronger
Cannabis tea is unique.
Unlike pre-made edibles, cannabis tea (or any edible that uses flower material, like The Brothers Apothecary CBD Blends) can be either very mild in its effects, or very potent. This is directly influenced by how you blend & prepare your brew. With flower-based teas, unlike other edibles, the active ingredient in the tea isn’t processed, but rather “raw”. For reasons we’ll explain below, this means activating the cannabinoids (aka “decarboxylation”) depends a lot on the user.*
*The Apothecary pre-decarbs every batch of hemp. Lightly grinding & bringing to decarb temperatures helps remove moisture & activate CBD before blending with herbs.
Secondly, cannabis tea can so often be at the will of the beholder, so to speak. The amount of flower added to blends can greatly affect strength (as expected). Unless you’re using a pre-measured & lab-tested tea source (like those in the shop), it’s hard to know exactly what strength you’re really consuming.
How Edible Cannabis Tea Works (Just a Touch of Science)
In “raw” cannabis, THC exists in its acidic form, THC-A. Similarly, in high CBD hemp, CBD exists in its acidic form, CBD-A.
In order for THC or CBD to be fully released by the brew, it must go through a process of “decarboxylation.” In science-speak, decarboxylation is a chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases carbon dioxide (CO2). (This occurs during drying of the cannabis, but it can accelerated by applying heat, like when you smoke or vaporize your cannabis.)
After the cannabinoid has been heated through chemical reaction, it’s considered “activated”. While this turns THC psychoactive, CBD remains non-psychoactive, as it doesn’t interact with endocannabinoid receptors in the same way.
With cannabis tea, this is achieved through the use of boiling water. Normally, decarboxylation can require 30+ minutes of low-heat (~230°). Here, boiling water (~212°) is directly applied to flower (and surrounds the flower for several minutes at high temperatures) to activate the cannabinoid fully.
How to Make Your Brew “Higher” THC Content
THC is a “hydrophobic” oil – think “scared of water” – and lithophilic – think “loves fat”. This means it is insoluble in water but soluble in lipids. Lipids = fats.
CBD has the same chemical formula and molar mass as THC, and acts the same way with respect to water and fats.
While there is a finite amount of THC and/or CBD in every tea bag (we include ~40mg per serving), depending on your use of lipids, you can increase the amount of THC/CBD that has an opportunity to enter your system. Decarboxylation will activate cannabinoids from the cannabis, but adding fats to your brew will help the THC//CBD become more bioavailable, more easily being absorbed by the body.
In order to increase the THC’/CBD’s bioavailability, and in turn its effects on you, add soluble fats to your tea. For each cup, we suggest:
- 1 tsp Coconut Oil
- 1 tbsp/splash milk
Lipids are fats, like those found in coconut oil or in dairy products. Simply adding fats to your tea and allowing extra steep time allows THC to attach itself to fats and increase its availability in your system.