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 heavily processed or extracted, but is “raw”, containing a variety of additional compounds. For reasons we’ll explain below, this means activating the cannabinoids (aka “decarboxylation”) depends a lot on the user.
*The Brothers Apothecary decarbs every batch of hemp that goes into our CBD tea & Superfoods. Using our patented process that includes lightly grinding & bringing to decarb temperatures, this preparations helps remove moisture & activate CBD before blending with herbs.
As such, cannabis tea potency can so often be at the will of the preparer. 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 present in the tea, 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 your endocannabinoid receptors in the same way.
With cannabis tea, this can also be somewhat 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.
How to Make Your Brew “Higher” THC Content
THC is a “hydrophobic” oil (think “afraid of water”) and lipophilic (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 ~40-70mg 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.*
If you’re looking for an easier solution, you can find ready-to-drink CBD teas and superfoods at the CBD Tea Shop here at The Brothers Apothecary, in addition to CBD capsules, CBD hot cocoa, CBD protein, and even CBD skincare!
*The Apothecary LLC are not doctors and we do not provide medical advice. None of the information on this site, including information in any press release or blog post, constitutes legal or medical advice by us.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual.
Jesse Richardson, Health & Wellness Advocate
Jesse Richardson is the co-founder of The Brothers Apothecary. He's an avid tea drinker and the primary creator behind The Brothers' products. An undergraduate of UCLA for Political Science, Jesse currently studies Medicinal Plants at Cornell University and The International School of Herbal Arts & Sciences.
14 thoughts on “How to Make Your Cannabis Tea Stronger”
Trying to find your closes location. I live in SE Portland. Thank you
Have you changed your website design? How am I just now seeing this article! Thank you for this! So the dispensaries you sell at those teas have thc? I fly into Portland September I’d love yo come buy some in person!
This article was written at the beginning of our Bud Brothers tea adventure a year or so ago, when the THC edible laws in Portland were loosely regulated. Since then we’ve made the switch to a CBD Hemp based formula, however the article content regarding how to make our teas stronger is still applicable! We decarboxylate all of our hemp to perfection & add powdered coconut oil to our teas so it’s easier for our tea drinkers to reap the benefits of CBD. 🙂
We are working toward obtaining our license to produce THC teas once again. Once that happens, we will announce it to the public. Thanks for your interest!
I am DYING TO TRY!!!!!!!! Will probably use it for the rest of my life after my first experience.
what do you think about using coconut milk in place of oil/milk?
That’s a great idea! Honestly, anything with a strong lipid (fat) profile is a great addition. This could be a plant-based milk, butter, etc. We use powdered coconut in our teas to do this as well!
Jesse @ The Brothers Apothecary
What is the shelf life of your teas?
Hi Daniel! We suggest using as soon as possible for the freshest experience, but all our teas have a standard shelf life of up to 6 months to a year.
I found this content very helpful. Do you sell cannabis tea ?
Hey there! Yes we do. You can find it here: thebrothersapothecary.com/shop
Being, I never read such an interesting article on ‘TEA’.
Thanks for sharing.
Great article! Believe it or not, I once spent some years working in Africa where I studied under an herbal doctor that helped me develop a recipe for very strong cannabis tea that, until now, I have shared only with HIV and cancer patients in Africa. This “tea” has almost no taste and is used to infuse coffee, hot chocolate, or traditional milk-tea or chai. I’ve simply dropped a teabag into my favorite latte from a cafe to make a medicated latte!
In service to the cannabis community here in America, I am sharing the recipe with you now. May it serve to help folks that are chronically ill (and perhaps their caregivers as well!). I’d love to hear how your experiences are with the tea but admit that I don’t check on the computer very often.
The recipe effectively takes out the taste of cannabis:
Step 1: Put dried and grinded (or coarsely chopped) cannabis flowers in a pot of boiling water and boil for 15-20 minutes.
Step 2: Filter the cannabis and lay it flat on a clean, dry surface and dry in the shade/dark for about 2-3 days, turning once or twice per day.
Step 3: Gently gather the dried cannabis into a bowl and spoon into teabags (please look on line to buy empty tea bags) using one heaping tablespoon of dried cannabis for each teabag.
Here’s the BIG issue: in order to medicate your drink, the tea must steep for at least 10 minutes in a mixture containing fat. Translation: Make yourself a coffee, chai, or milk-tea, etc, but be sure your drink has fat in it in order to extract the cannabinoids from the tea. I use soymilk but full-fat dairy milk will work fine as well.
How much fat does the tea need in order for the cannabis resin to separate from the cannabis tea leaves and into the tea? I’ve found 1/4 cup (about 50 milliliters) for an 8-12 ounce drink to be excellent.
This process boils out the flavonoids but not the cannabinoids, as flavonoids vaporize just under the boiling point of water and cannabinoids vaporize at around 325 degrees fahrenheit. The 15-20 minute boiling time decarboxylates the THC allowing the tea to be used hot or cold.
Enjoy fellow enthusiasts. I’d love to here how it goes for you.
Lithophilic? You mean, Lipophilic. A lithophile is a micro org that proliferates in various rock formations. :-))
Oct. 10, 2021: I just want to say thank you for the efforts to suggest the means to make a strong brew. I’m an old man and don’t want to put the stuff down my lungs anymore; but a rare high via edibles (liquid) may be in order!