Relaxation, improved blood circulation, and maybe even a reduced risk of heart disease – there’s a reason tea has survived dynasties, monarchies and the discovery of the coffee bean. However, while the benefits of this time-honored beverage deserve applause on their own, there’s good reason to think throwing another traditional plant into the mix may give your tea a boost that would impress Earl Grey himself.
While cannabis tea makes use of the plant’s natural compounds and can produce a high similar to that of the average edible, consumers looking for less psychoactive effects have found even greater relief in CBD teas: teas infused with the cannabis compound, cannabidiol.
- A History of Cannabis Tea
- The Benefits of CBD-Infused Tea
- Potential Drawbacks of CBD-infused tea
- Can you mix CBD with caffeine?
- The Best CBD-Infused Teas on the Market
- The Final Word on CBD Tea
A History of Cannabis Tea
CBD tea has its roots in cannabis tea, possibly dating back thousands of years to China and India, where it’s known as “bhang.” The tea and other cannabis beverages were used for medicinal purposes, believed to treat everything from urinary infections to rheumatism.
Traditional cannabis tea contains a more even balance of THC to CBD, and consuming it will yield more psychoactive results.
The Benefits of CBD-Infused Tea
Clinical trials regarding the benefits of CBD-infused products are still slim; and years of criminalization have been a stumbling block for researchers looking to study the compound’s effects directly.
Most reports of CBD tea’s benefits are therefore anecdotal, and based on reviews from people who have tried it. In fact, the most recent available scientific research into the makeup of cannabis-infused tea is more than 10 years old, and admits a lack of understanding as to how (or if) preparing tea with cannabis or its extracted compounds may change the resulting effects.
Those who have tried CBD tea on its own have reported positive findings that can likely be attributed to CBD’s more publicized properties — mainly relief from certain types of pain, inflammation, anxiety and insomnia. In many cases, those who have recounted their experience with CBD-infused teas make specific mention of inflammation feeling duller or less pronounced after consuming. What science is available on the subject is promising, and does appear to bear that out for the conditions tested.
Some anecdotal reports and reviews have made note of sensations of drowsiness, or an inability/lack of desire for more demanding activities – comments that hold weight given what we know about CBD’s tendency to promote relaxation and, in some cases, quicker sleep onset. For consumers dealing with short or long-term insomnia, introducing CBD may provide some relief.
Members of the scientific community have called for further investigation into CBD’s potential to treat symptoms of anxiety and anxiety-related stress, with a 2015 review of more than 100 studies concluding that “Preclinical evidence conclusively demonstrates CBD’s efficacy in reducing anxiety behaviors relevant to multiple disorders,” including PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and seasonal affective disorder.
In essence, there’s little reason to assume that most of the benefits associated with cannabidiol should be hindered by mixing it with tea. This may change as more clinical trials are performed on human subjects, however.
As an added bonus, regular tea (both black and green), has its own health benefits, containing antioxidants and compounds that can help reduce inflammation, improve gut health, reduce blood pressure and risk of stroke and cancer.
Potential Drawbacks of CBD-infused tea
A common downside mentioned in reports may be the drowsiness mentioned above. If you’re starting your day with CBD tea, sensations of sleepiness might make certain daily tasks more difficult than they’d otherwise be. It follows that this may also be the case with other activities, so you may wish to try CBD tea under low-stress circumstances until you’ve worked out an appropriate dosage.
A study looking at how cannabidiol behaves in teas and oils also suggested temperature can affect the presence and effectiveness of CBD, so it may be harder to get a consistent dose depending on how it’s prepared and when it’s consumed.
Your personal tolerance to both pain and CBD will determine how you respond to CBD tea, as well as how much you choose to consume. There’s always the possibility of a placebo effect too (when you expect a medication or product to have an effect, so the willpower alone can improve your wellbeing regardless of its ingredients), so more controlled studies will be necessary before drawing any conclusions about the effects of CBD tea.
Can you mix CBD with caffeine?
Although some teas are caffeine-free, the most common types are black and green — both of which are caffeinated. So the question of whether or not CBD mixes well with caffeine is an important one.
Unfortunately, reactions to a caffeine and cannabidiol combo can be hard to predict. Some consumers have reported that the jitters associated with caffeine consumption are smoothed out by CBD’s sedating properties, while others have suggested CBD can act as a stimulant in lower doses, potentially amplifying the anxieties that most would prefer to avoid.
Research has shown that caffeine can affect the metabolites of the endocannabinoid system in humans (the same system that responds to cannabis), pointing to a possible “inverse” relationship. In a press release from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, researchers explained that neurotransmitters in the endocannabinoid system decreased after drinking four to eight cups of coffee in a day — the opposite of what occurs after someone uses cannabis. Similar results were found when testing neurotransmitters in rats.
The Best CBD-Infused Teas on the Market
1. CBD Tea by The Brother’s Apothecary Fine Teas and Remedies
The Brother’s Apothecary has a line of CBD-infused teas, including flavors like Golden Dream, Mellow Mint, Highbiscus, and Mighty Matcha. The Brothers Apothecary exclusively uses hemp that contains <0.3% THC, and each bag contains 60mg of CBD.
2. CBD Turmeric & Ginger Tea by Buddha Teas
Buddha Teas CBD Turmeric & Ginger Tea is crafted using high quality, broad spectrum nanosized particles of water soluble CBD (rather than CBD oil-based). Turmeric is known as a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Ginger is a gentle way to promote digestion and soothe the stomach. Buddha Teas claims that the tea has been tested to reveal zero percent THC.
Green Roads CBD Chamomile Tea is a delicious way to unwind in the evening. It is an artisanal blend of chamomile, vanilla and peppermint, with approximately 7mg of CBD per cup. According to Green Roads, the tea has been formulated to “help calm your body and mind so you can get through the most demanding parts of your day.” Made with high-quality CBD obtained from industrial hemp cultivated in the US, all of Green Roads’ products are formulated by a licensed pharmacist and third-party lab tested — so you know you’re in good hands.
4. HempTea by the Tea Can Company
The Tea Can Company offers several varieties of CBD infused teas, including Garden Therapy (High Strength), Joint Therapy (High Strength), Sweet Relief (High Strength), Hearty Cider (Mild Strength), and Calming Chamomile (Mild Strength). The Tea Can Company partners with top CBD suppliers in the US, using a Co2 extraction process that is free of solvents, pesticides, metals, and synthetics.
5. Hemp Infused Peachy Dreams by Kickback
Kickback’s Hemp Infused Peachy Dreams is a loose leaf ginger peach tea. It is described as full bodied, crisp and refreshing with aromatic notes of fruit and spice. Kickback purports their products have a “higher body absorption rate that creates a more functional chill.” The proprietary extraction method doesn’t use any synthetic emulsifiers, preservatives, or harsh chemical solvents. The company also claims that 1mg of its hemp derived Nano hemp extract has the same potency of 5mg to 10mg of regular hemp extract or isolate.
6. Loose Leaf Infused Teas by Willie’s Remedy
Willie’s Remedy offers hemp-infused loose leaf teas infused with full-spectrum extract. Made with organically grown American hemp, each package contains 150mg of CBD (about 10mg of CBD per cup). Willie’s Remedy comes in five flavors: Peppermint, Chamomile, Hibiscus, Black Tea, and Green Tea. And yes, this brand is really owned by Willie Nelson.
The Final Word on CBD Tea
There’s no shortage of new and eccentric ways to consume CBD, but for many consumers, a simple cup of tea might be just the thing. Information about CBD teas and similar products is going to change as countries/regions open up to cannabis, but trying new things while being mindful of how cannabidiol may affect you is certainly a good start.