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If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Tea is the answer to most problems. You may have seen these words plastered on a co-worker’s favorite mug. Or if you frequent the tea aisle at your local grocery store, you might feel these words in your soul.
Black, green, herbal––there are plenty of types of tea, and now CBD is hitting the scene. You likely won’t find CBD tea at a typical supermarket, though you can probably find it in specialty shops or online. Let’s take a look at what’s in CBD tea, its potential benefits, and how to make it at home.
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What is CBD tea?
As you can probably guess from the name, CBD tea is a beverage that contains cannabidiol, a chemical compound found in cannabis plants.
Unlike THC, another well-known cannabinoid, CBD isn’t psychoactive and doesn’t get you “high.” It doesn’t have mind-altering effects associated with marijuana (like euphoria) and is commonly used to treat pain or anxiety (VanDolah, 2019).
CBD products have grown in popularity following the legalization of hemp, a strain of Cannabis sativa that has high CBD levels and trace amounts of THC (Abernathy, 2019).
What is CBD tea used for?
Cannabis in general has been used for centuries. Given its low risk for misuse and abuse, medical researchers have been very interested in CBD for its purported health benefits.
Currently, the only FDA-approved use for CBD is in the form of a medication called Epidiolex, which is used in combination with other medications for the treatment of a rare childhood seizure syndrome (Greenwich, 2020). People report using CBD on their own to treat a range of conditions like (Corroon, 2018):
- Chronic pain
- Insomnia and other sleep issues
- Migraines and headaches
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
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How to make and take CBD tea
An obstacle with hemp tea and other edible forms of cannabis, like gummies, is absorption.
Cannabinoids are fat-soluble molecules, meaning they need other oils and fats to be absorbed properly. That’s why many pre-packaged CBD tea bags include fat-rich ingredients like coconut oil. Drinking CBD tea right after a meal or with a fatty snack can also help your body absorb it (Devinsky, 2014).
There are many ways to make CBD tea, but it’s not as easy as soaking hemp plants in hot water. To extract CBD from a hemp flower, it needs to be processed and mixed with a binding agent.
If you’re new to CBD tea, pre-packaged bags are a convenient option. They typically contain hemp, tea leaves, and other herbs. Like conventional tea bags, they only need to be steeped in hot water. Many popular brands, such as Buddha Teas and The Brothers Apothecary, will tell you how much CBD each tea bag contains.
Another option is to add hemp oil to a cup of tea. If you’re planning on making your own CBD tea at home, you might be wondering what type of tea you to add. If you’re not crazy about the earthy flavor of hemp, mixing in a fragrant herb like peppermint or cinnamon can mask the taste.
The type of tea you choose depends on your intentions, as certain herbs and teas have similar health benefits to CBD. While research on teas and herbal products is limited, here are some suggestions for making CBD tea at home.
CBD tea for pain
People turn to CBD for its purported pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties (Anand, 2021).
If you have inflammatory, joint, or nerve pain, CBD turmeric tea may be a good option. Turmeric contains curcumin, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Newer studies show that curcumin may also help with nerve pain (Basu, 2021).
If you already take medication for chronic pain, speak with a healthcare provider before taking CBD. While there is some evidence that cannabis combined with certain pain-relievers can alleviate pain, it can also affect how your body processes those drugs (Anand, 2021; Greenwich, 2020).
CBD tea for sleep and anxiety
The calming effects of CBD are some of the most well-studied. CBD has been shown to help manage anxiety and reduce stress associated with public speaking (Bergamaschi, 2011).
Chamomile and other caffeine-free herbal teas are good options to add CBD into if you’re trying tea for sleep (Srivastava, 2010).
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CBD tea for weight loss
People often associate cannabis with having an increased appetite (the munchies), so it may be counterintuitive to think of hemp tea and weight loss. However, appetite stimulation is an effect of THC, the other main active chemical in cannabis plants––not CBD.
In clinical trials of pharmaceutical-grade CBD, around 20% of participants felt less hungry while using it (Greenwich, 2020). Animal studies suggest that CBD may help lower body weight and food intake, but there haven’t been any human studies yet to test this theory (Rossi, 2018).
If you’re looking to try it out, CBD and green tea make a good combo. Research shows that the antioxidants found in green tea can also aid in weight loss (Rondanelli, 2021). Whether you’re looking to try CBD tea to unwind or for overall wellness, there’s no shortage of options to explore.
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Anand, U., Pacchetti, B., Anand, P., & Sodergren, M. H. (2021). Cannabis-based medicines and pain: a review of potential synergistic and entourage effects. Pain Management, 11(4), 395–403. doi: 10.2217/pmt-2020-0110. Epub 2021 Mar 11. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33703917/
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